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80后 (bā líng hòu) Post-1980s: Eighties Babies in China

Apr. 12, 2012

Are you old enough to remember the '80s? Crazy hairstyles and fashion often popped up throughout the world as well as a series of advancements in technology that changed the world. Those who grew up during that time can often be seen as having similar characteristics and patterns in their lives. 

In China, you'll often hear two words in daily speech: "80后 (bā línghòu) Post-1980s" and "90后 (jiǔ líng hòu) Post-1990s" to describe those born in 1980-1989, and 1990-1999 respectively. 

Initially, "80后 (bā línghòu) Post-1980s" referred to young writers born in the '80s, but gradually spread to reflect the period's cultural trends.

The characteristics of post-1980s are as follows:

1 Most of them are close to the age of 30 or in their mid-twenties.
2 Because of a preference for a more lavish lifestyles and a tendency to spend (especially as credit cards gain popularity worldwide), a large sum in their savings account isn't typical.
3 Many can't afford buying a house up-front, so a steep monthly mortgage adds to the pressures of life.
4 Under the pressures of finding decent employment and becoming a home owner, most opt for a later than usual marriage. Furthermore, since the established trend amongst their friends is likely settling down and having a family, it's all the more taxing to fend off their parents' offers of blind dates.

As the popularity of the phrase "80后 (bā línghòu)" grows, you can also hear the phrases "90后 (jiǔ línghòu) Post-1990s," "70后 (qī líng hòu) Post-1970s" and so on.


        Kàn nǐ tǐng xiǎo de, jiǔ líng hòu ba?
Anna: 看 你 挺   小  的,90       后   吧?


        You seem so young. Were you born in the '90s?

        Hēhe, wǒ shì bā líng hòu de.
Lucy: 呵呵,我是   80        后   的。


        Hehe, I'm a '80s kid.

Zhè shì yí bù guānyú bā líng hòu zài Běijīng fèndòu de diànyǐng.
这    是  一部  关于      80         后  在  北京      奋斗   的   电影。


This film is about people born in the1980s who struggled in Beijing.

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