'Dazi culture' increasingly popular among young Chinese

2024-02-29 Editor : Mo Honge ECNS App Download

(ECNS) -- Various types of companionship like a meal mate, travel buddy, study companion, or workout pal have become part of social life for many young Chinese, who call this new social connection "dazi."

Dazi makes social life easier and more comfortable

Unlike intimate friends who need to socialize frequently and keep in close contact, a dazi, or companion, is a more relaxed social partner.

Getting along with a dazi means one doesn't have to accommodate the other because of different interests and hobbies, which will greatly reduce social costs.

"Dazi culture" means to "do the right thing with the right person," said Lizi (pseudonym), who visited Tongtian Gorge Scenic Area, strolled through an ancient street, and enjoyed the fragrant wintersweet with her "travel dazi" during February in Shanxi.

Xiaoyue, a young woman in Yinchuan, northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, has met a variety of dazi because of her love for baseball and softball.

Playing with a "dazi" has not only satisfied her need for companionship but also made her love the sport even more.

On Xiaohongshu, China's lifestyle-focused social media platform, the topic of "dazi -- a new social relationship" has been viewed more than 40 million times, and the topic "I am looking for a dazi" on social platform Weibo, nearly 70 million times.

The word dazi was also selected as one of the "Top 10 most popular words of 2023."

Xinxin has traveled twice with two different travel mates found via the internet.

"She took pictures of me, and I made specific travel plans for both of us. We had a great time during the trip, but we didn't have much communication after," she said.

Young people are more eager to have a "boundary sense" in social interactions and seek interpersonal relationships that match their own hobbies and needs, she added.

Money-saving dazi makes deposit goals easier to achieve

There are even "money-saving dazi" on social platforms, who share their saving methods and encourage each other to achieve their financial goals.

Xiaomifeng (screen name) posted a photo of a deposit receipt on a social platform seeking a "deposit dazi", and saying that "before the age of 30, I always bought a lot, and now at the age of 35, I finally realized that it's important to save money."

Mutual supervision and encouragement are the major roles of a money-saving dazi.

Following Xiaomifeng's post, some netizens commented, "I used to deposit 2,000 yuan (about $278)a month, but now I save 6,000 yuan."

Will an old age partner become popular in the future

Besides, some young Chinese start planning their retirement in advance, soliciting "old age partners" on social platforms, and trying to explore a suitable model for themselves.

A post-1990s blogger who claims to be a staunch DINK (double income, no kids) advocate posted on Xiaohongshu earlier this year about crowdfunding a retirement community in Shandong Province, which sparked echoes from many netizens. More than 300 people had joined the group after the blogger set it up half a month later.

"Dazi culture" is not only a choice for young people in the face of uncertainty but also a trend among them, said Tan Gangqiang, head of a psychological consulting firm in Chongqing. 

These various companions, which cater to the individual needs of young Chinese pursuing their individuality, are reshaping China's family structure and social culture.


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