xi's moments
Home | Op-Ed Contributors

'Versailles' typifies both luxury and decadence

By Yao Yuxin | China Daily | Updated: 2020-11-21 07:10

Urgent need to create equal opportunities

The term "Versailles", taken from a Japanese manga series of the 1970s called The Rose of Versailles, refers to the luxurious lifestyle of French aristocrats in the Palace of Versailles during the prosperous Bourbon Dynasty, especially in the late 18th century. The term became popular after a blogger, MengQiqi77, began using it with her posts to brag about her luxurious lifestyle with her rich husband.

As Japan experienced rapid economic growth after the end of World War II in 1945, Japanese people's aspiration to lead an aristocratic lifestyle was unconsciously reflected in literary works. The manga series did the same and therefore became a big hit in Japan.

Today, China is perhaps in the same development stage that Japan was in the 1970s and 1980s-and perhaps that's why some Chinese people try to mimic the taste and lifestyle of the rich.

Yet the Plaza Accord of 1985, which led to Japan's long economic stagnation, shattered many Japanese people's illusion of leading a luxurious life by climbing up the social ladder, and turned the once infectious, even envious, behavior into a matter of ridicule.

The "Versailles" group in China is criticized mainly because of the widening wealth gap and narrowing channels for upward social mobility today compared with the initial stage of reform and opening-up.

To a certain extent, the social ridicule of the "Versailles" group reflects "frustrated culture" and the feelings of "Buddhist youth" who are devoid of material desire-a trend popular among Chinese youths in the recent past. So there is an urgent need to create more equal opportunities for youths, so they can improve their livelihoods and lead a decent life based on their educational qualifications, job skills and hard work.

Sun Jiashan, an associate researcher at the Chinese National Academy of Arts
The views don't necessarily represent those of China Daily.

If you have a specific expertise and would like to contribute to China Daily, please contact us at opinion@chinadaily.com.cn, and comment@chinadaily.com.cn.

|<< Previous 1 2   
Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349