Despite a strong Confucian tradition which associates great value and respect with age, China’s elderly are beginning to be ‘left behind’ by a China fixated with ideals such as growth and development. Societal roles and values are shifting; since the 1970s young adults have been steadily moving to the cities in search of work opportunities, often to provide for the very family, both young and old, which they leave behind. But without fixed incomes, expensive hospital bills and a distinct shortage in elderly care homes, China’s elderly are facing significant challenges in their old age.
The toiling wrinkles and general dishevelled appearance of this elderly gentleman symbolises the hardship of the elderly who, having endured a tiresome youth, continue to face hardship in old-age, existing as by-products of China’s rapid growth and successes.
‘left behind‘ by Benjamin Griffin
Mosque of Quanzhou, February 2015.