Attitude to life changes for quake-hit Chinese

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New Delhi, June 4 : Safety and good health has become the new mantra of a majority of Chinese following the devastation caused to life and property by the May 12 earthquake in south west Sichuan province.

Take for example, masters student Shi Yan. There was a time when she would visit her favourite online shopping site to browse items she loved - clothes, cosmetics and shoes, but in the wake of the earthquake, she found for the first time, that she had lost interest in the products.

"I suddenly lost the desire to buy a 400 yuan (57.75 dollars) pair of sandals," Shi said.

Shi decided to donate the money she would have spent on the shoes to quake victims instead.

"I realized that safety and health are the most precious things in life," she said.

A poll, conducted by the China Youth Daily and news portal, showed that 88 percent of the 4,309 people surveyed thought that the quake had "changed" their lives.

The rest of those polled said they were "not sure" of the effect of the disaster on their lives, or that there was "no change at all".

Shi was also part of the 82.1 percent of those polled who chose to "cherish life more and create more value for society" after the quake.

The results of the survey come amid changing attitudes in society over how the younger generation in the country is being perceived in the aftermath of the quake.

Those born in the 1980s and 1990s, for example, have been labelled as spoiled, criticized for lacking care for others and said to be too focused on themselves.

One mother said in the Beijing Youth Daily that the quake pushed her son and "his whole generation to the frontline for others".

Yi Wenchen, another graduate student, had planned for a trip after finishing her course this summer. She cancelled the plan and donated the money she set aside for the trip to quake victims instead.

Long Yi, an employee of a network company in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, still remembered the atmosphere in her company during the three days of national mourning for quake victims, from May 19 to 21.

"Some of my colleagues, who care very much about how they look and changed dresses almost every day, put on black and white attire for the three days," she said.

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