No place like home

2010-02-21 14:08 BJT

Special Report: 2010 Spring Festival |

Special Report: News |

Christmas and Valentine's Day might be a little more chic these days for youngsters, bringing reverberating warnings that traditional festivals - and to some extent our cultural heritages - are in danger.

We do have things to worry about but it's not about our festivals.

This holiday season, as always, hundreds of millions of people are, or will be, on the move. And more likely than not, the destination is one single place: home.

At this moment, for those of us working and living apart from our parents, home is not where we reside after work. It's where mom and dad are.

In front of the anxious crowds packing transit hubs across the country, all the hoopla to "safeguard" the Spring Festival sound redundant. Home is where the hearts are because this festival is about the family and family gatherings.

On the lunar New Year's Eve, or chuxi, every Chinese feels homesick. We were born tied to our homes, which is why tickets for trips to and from our homes are the most coveted commodities these days, and why we brave the seasonal human tides and hit the road.

High-speed railways between Wuhan and Guangzhou and between Zhengzhou and Xi'an have come into operation, just in time for the Spring Festival passenger peaks.

Yet the way home remains just as difficult for most of us, since more are out on the road this holiday season. Our lunar new year trips will become more enjoyable as our trains get faster.

And we have seen railroad authorities trying to make our trips home less difficult. Their vociferous experiments on ticket sales might, just like critics pointed out, end up being little more than posturing. Yet the Guangdong police departments' initiative to dispatch police vehicles to convoy motorcades of home-bound transient workers, for one, warms the heart.

We hope all the reportedly 100,000 transient rural workers, from Hunan, Guizhou and Sichuan provinces and the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, who chose to go home from Guangdong on motorcycles, have arrived home safely. They illustrate what home means for Chinese people.

Our profound thanks go to those who are working to make our trips home safer and easier. And best wishes for those who are still on their way home.

Let the precious coincidence of the lunar New Year's Day and Valentine's Day make this holiday season sweeter.

And let the new snow not deter anybody from going home, and instead augur an auspicious lunar new year for all.

Editor: Shi Taoyang | Source: China Daily