Tue, April 28, 2009
Lifestyle > Society > 90th anniversary of May 4th

Young at heart feel unappreciated on China's Youth Day

2008-04-23 14:38:06 GMT2008-04-23 22:38:06 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

BEIJING, April 23 (Xinhua) -- Youth may be a state of mind, but it seems to be stopped at the age of 28, stirring controversy over plans for a half-day off on Youth Day on May 4.

More than 300 million Chinese aged 14 to 28 will be allowed take a half day off from work or school on Youth Day, allowing the young to sleep till noon or bunk off at lunchtime.

Youth Day has been on the national holidays statute since 1949 as one on which people within specified age limits can take half day off, but the policy is not widely promoted by the government till this year.

The Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council made it clear on Monday that only people aged 14 to 28 can enjoy the privilege.

However, the policy, though applauded by many, also drew criticism as people questioned the rationale behind the age limit.

"Why is the Youth Day vacation only available to those under 28?The United Nations defines youth as people under the age of 45, and why should China be different?" asked a commentary carried by China Radio International, one of the country's major broadcasters.

"If youth is defined as 14 to 28, then why were most award winners of 'China's ten most outstanding youths of the year' in the past aged over 40?" it said.

Chinese Youth Day was established in December 1949 to commemorate the beginning of the May 4th Movement in 1919, a student protest that grew out of dissatisfaction with the Treaty of Versailles settlement.

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