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One-child generation's New Year's test

BEIJING -- This week begins China's annual mass pilgrimage, as hundreds of millions pack trains and highways to return to their hometowns for the Lunar New Year holiday.

But for one particular group -- young urban marrieds who grew up as only children -- the yearly ritual can mean tough decisions, painful arguments, and a modern-day test for one of China's most enduring family traditions. These young couples are part of the generation of only children born during the 34 years of China's "one child policy."

Now they must decide which parents to go visit. It's a decision fraught with emotion, especially for the growing elderly population, often living far from the children.

"Both of us want to go back to our home to celebrate Chinese New Year," said Lin Youlan, 30, who married Li Haibin, 33, four years ago. "We always fight about this problem." They live in Beijing, and they are both only children.

-- The Washington Post

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