Hello everyone, welcome back to MaoMi Chinese!
In the last episode, we talked about ‘urban villages’, which are villages in big cities. It is very cheap to rent a house in an urban village, but the environment is particularly poor. Generally, only migrants who work in the city will live in the urban village. These migrants also have a name in Chinese. They are called "rural migrant workers in cities". They built cities, but it was very difficult for them to have a home in a city. Why? Today, let's talk about " rural migrant workers in cities ".
Before talking about " rural migrant workers in cities ", we first need to know more about China's household registration system. Every family in mainland China has a "residence booklet", which records the name, age, place of birth, type of household registration, etc. of everyone in the family. There are only two types of household registration for Chinese people: rural household registration and urban household registration. Generally speaking, people can be registered in a rural household if they were born in the countryside, and urban household registration if they were born in the city. Children are generally in the same household registration as their parents. Some people were originally registered with a rural household, but because they found a good job in the city, they could register with an urban household, and they would also have the benefits of urban household registration. Their children could also go to schools in the city.
After knowing more about the household registration system, we can talk more about " rural migrant workers in cities ". " rural migrant workers in cities " means people who work in cities but still have rural household registration. Their jobs are generally very tough and tiring, for example, working as workers on construction sites, working as workers in factories, working as cleaners in cities, or working as taxi drivers, restaurant waiters, and so on. Their salaries are generally low because they do not have a good education. Many of them have not gone to university, so it is difficult to find good jobs. Because their children are not registered in an urban household either, they cannot attend schools in the city. However, in order to earn more money to support their families, migrant workers can only leave their rural homes and come to cities to find jobs. In this case, their children can only go to schools in the countryside, and they can only stay in the countryside and live with their grandparents. These migrant workers and their children can only choose to be separated. These children who stay in the countryside and cannot stay with their parents are also called "left-behind children". In 2012, a report stated that there are about 260 million migrant workers in China, and they are all doing the hardest jobs in China's big cities with very low wages, which is why there are so many people in urban villages.
These migrant workers have built great cities with their bodies and brought convenient life to the people in the cities. Sadly, most of them have to be separated from their children and have to live in cheap but crowded urban villages. Although the governments of many cities are changing their rules so that more and more migrant workers can register with the urban household and enjoy the benefits of the urban household registration, there are still many migrant workers who are unable to settle down in the cities where they work. In fact, we are all human beings, and of course, we should all be equal. We hope that more and more migrant workers can have a nice home in the city which they are devoting their lives to.