Monday, April 7, 2014

Xiao Zhen's Eulogy

An unverified video clip has gone viral on showing a Chinese student jump to his death in the middle of a class allegedly under exam pressure.

The video which has racked up almost 250,000 views shows a normal class scene which is then thrown in chaos after a young man suddenly moves out of focus by climbing on a window sill and jumping. The reaction of the class fills in the gaps that the camera could not capture: The boy jumped to his death.

‘High school student Xiao Zhen leaps to his death from a window in the middle of class. It is believed this happened due to pressure of preparing for college entrance exams,’ reads the description of the video.

So far no one has said where in China this might be and I have not seen this story in the Chinese media, but whatever the real story is, it speaks some substance about the stress that Chinese students have to undergo.

In the restaurant I eat at, the owner has some twins of about 9…the boys are always working each time I hop in for a bite and find them there. If I don’t find them, then they are at school, if I find them, they are studying.

Almost 7 of every ten students at Shandong University and those that I know use glasses and those I asked have told me their sight got corrupted because they had to study hard.

Now, I am no fan of laziness… but the Chinese kids are in their own league.

There is just too much pressure on one child to do exceptionally well…so you have a child coming from regular school and going to a part time lesson, then later go to some piano lessons and then swimming… there is so much desire in Chinese parents to create supermen out of ordinary men that are children.

Some have lost all social life skills trying to beat the examiner at his game.

The result is gloom and more gloom, I walk in the university parks and I see students pacing about trying to memorize manuscripts, I even have seen some recording the chapters into dictaphones so they can listen to it over and over again and memorize it.

Its not only China, students from South Korea are also reportedly some of the most stressed out of the lot, the stereotype that Asians are brainy comes at a huge cost, i see.

Yes, the population is high, the competition is fierce…but did Zhen had to die?

It is because he probably thought that that test was life itself, that failing it was like committing a capital offense, maybe it is… is there alternative to doing well in school in China?

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