Massive Youth Flock to Temples, Employment Crisis Reappears, 20% of Young People Are Out of Work

Massive Youth Flock to Temples, Employment Crisis Reappears, 20% of Young People Are Out of Work

Massive Youth Flock to Temples, Employment Crisis Reappears, 20% of Young People Are Out of Work

In today's mainland China, a wave of young people are flocking to temples. At the Yonghe Palace in Beijing, amidst the crowds offering incense in the main hall, many young Chinese can be seen. They include recent graduates entering the job market and college students still in school. The scent of incense envelops their slightly anxious faces, much like the uncertainty of their future lives. Are young people flocking to temples out of sincere devotion to Buddha? Clearly not. Instead, they are filled with uncertainty about their future and seek divine blessings. They hope that Buddha will bless them with a smooth job search, a suitable job, preferably without a 996 (9am to 9pm 6 days a week) or 007 (24hrs/7days a week) work schedule, and not to be laid off... After three years of pandemic lockdowns, the economy in many Chinese provinces has hit the pause button, and the pace of foreign capital withdrawal has accelerated. The difficulty of finding jobs and the ongoing wave of unemployment are constantly plaguing young Chinese. At this time, "young people's love for offering incense" has become a new phenomenon that the mainland media is paying attention to. A report in the Beijing News published in late April stated that from February to the present, the total proportion of people born in the 1990s and 2000s booking temple scenic area tickets accounted for nearly 50%. The online search volume for temples has increased 368 times since 2019, and young people are keen to visit different temples to offer incense and ask for divinations, and even willing to pay high prices for Buddhist prayer beads and bracelets.