- Gordon Dumoulin
'Cherry Freedom' the new social and living standard in China
CHINA SOCIAL TRANSITIONS | ‘CHERRY FREEDOM’ ( 车厘子自由) has been the number one #hashtag on Weibo (Chinese twitter) last month. ‘Cherry Freedom’ ; a new term about the ability to purchase pricey imported cherries without a second thought — has been widely discussed on the Chinese internet since the Lunar New Year earlier this month.
The fruit has become a popular gift for festivals, but following a cost increase, netizens have advanced it as a new standard for wealth and a way to playfully lament their own ‘poverty’.
Cherry Freedom has sparked many discussions; ranging from outcries on the rising costs of social obligations such as hongbaos (red envelopes) for Lunar New Year or weddings as well as living costs (housing and education), not being able to buy ‘imported cherries’ anymore with on the other end comments that people should not complain and joke about ‘poverty’ as “People who are truly poor won’t make a joke out of poverty because to them, it’s a tragic reality”.
Cherry Freedom has also initiated to a video circulating online about the hierarchy of ‘freedom spending’ milestones which has elaborated the whole expression of grades of financial choices and capabilities. China is in strong social transition with continuous new standards and expectations.