Last Friday, CNN the US global TV channel, released a list on paid holidays of 39 countries. Brazil and Lithuania topped the list with 41 days, while China ranked last with 21 days. America, preceded before China, ranked second to last with 25 days.
According to CNN, “the numbers above reflect the minimum vacation days for an employee who works five days week and has 10 years and paid public days.”
When I saw the list, I feel very sorry for China. But I also feel sorry for CNN.
CNN said every Friday they examine statistics, for they seem to believe the world ranking shows how countries differ from each other. Who’s best? Who’s the worst? And where does the U.S. fit in?
However, I don’t understand CNN’s way of thought or approach. If that examination is intended for the U.S. itself, why don’t you do research your own society first and foremost and in a much deeper way? If that is designed for the world, why don’t you cover all the countries in the world? Are these countries not on your list in the first place? Are they not so important enough to get your attention? I don’t understand it.
Actually, we have to admit that there are few paid vacation days in China. And we also have to admit that China is a developing country. So, first over all, you shouldn’t take China on the same horizon compared to those developed countries, just like most other countries on the list.
You may say that Brazil is a developing country, too. Yes, it does! So China is not better than Brazil in many fields such as the issue of paid vacation days.
If the list of paid vacation days covered all the countries in the world, China might have been ranked better.
Don’t misunderstand. I am not trying to find an excuse for China, and I do still feel sorry for the current situation of the workers in China.
If an ordinary Chinese employee who’s worked five days a week for 10 years just gets 10 minimum paid vacation days and 11 public holidays, I’d be very much concerned.
Zeng Ying, a blogger, said that the workers want to get more paid vacation days. Even if they haven’t a big ambition to go to Pairs or Phuket to enjoy romantic, they just want to meet their parents in regular days for a simply homely food, and they just want to check their children’s homework and send them to school in their vacation days, which they had never been able to do during their work periods.
In China, many employees even cannot enjoy 21 paid vacation days.
According to the report of the National Tourism Administration and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, 33.1% of employees in Beijing said they had never enjoyed paid vacation days, and 17.85% said they frequently worked on weekends.
Why don’t Chinese enjoy their paid vacation days? Is it because they so much love to work? I don’t think so. You know, China is not a rich country. Although the GDP size ranks the second in the world, the per capita gross domestic product only ranks 99th in more than 200 countries in 2010. It may mean China still has a long way to go.
So, the survival issue is the most important task in China. Survival has become a top priority factor. More than 80% of the survey respondents said that they were willing to give up paid vacation days to continue working and earn more money, according to the above-quoted report.
The issue of fewer paid vacation days is also related to the government policy. Labor law guarantees paid vacation days, but in reality it cannot be well performed.
In addition, Chinese’s character has traditionally played a role. Most Chinese rarely take the initiative to make the lack of paid vacation days an issue.
Just as a netizen said, the issue of paid vacation days doesn’t mean a free day of simple playing. Rather it is a sign of advanced social civilization. It’s a degree of happiness and harmony in a society.
Anyway, I hope Chinese people can enjoy their life, just as the people of other developed countries.