The 'Rat Tribe': Beijing's Dungeon Apartments

The 'Rat Tribe': Beijing's Dungeon Apartments

273
views

Beijing, a Chinese city that has nearly tripled in size since 1995 from eight million to 21 million people in 2013, has come up with some bizarre methods of housing its people. With very loose building codes, Beijing has taken advantage of all its space and is essentially packing in its 20 million plus residents wherever they can. I was always under the impression that American college housing was bad... and then I became aware of what researchers have labeled the “Rat Tribe” in Beijing, and never have I been so wrong.

In China, they have developed a system of household registration called Hukou. The Hukou system has significantly stratified, or in this case demographically segregated, China’s massive population into economic and origin groups. The system has had a significant impact on rural migrants who are looking for jobs in big cities, where they are abundant. The "Chinese dream" that most of these migrants are in search of comes with a cost, and the Hukou is to blame. Because they are leaving their so called “assigned” registration area, the migrants are unable to apply for low-income (government regulated) housing, nor can they participate in public schools or collect government welfare simply because they are not registered to live in the city. Therefore, China has a part of the population, which is registered to live in the big cities, enjoying the benefits of the culture, art, and economy of the big city, and migrant workers simply have no place to go.

With demand for housing so high in Beijing, the only place migrant workers have been able to look to for housing is down below. Beijing has become home to nearly one million underground residents who live in refurbished bomb shelters from the Cold War period (1960s to 1980s) and these “apartments” do not fit the American definition or standard of what an apartment is, whatsoever. Dark, windowless, damp, and lacking fresh air, these living quarters range in sizes up to 300 square feet, down to as little as 6 feet, 5 inches by 7 feet, 4 inches. Some residents, who live in quarters only the size of a twin sized bed, only have a twin sized bed in their room. Some apartments are as much as three to four stories below ground and access to them is only by bomb shelter style doors at the surface leading to the bustling city of Beijing. Residents share communal toilets and pay about 50 cents to take a five-minute shower. The biggest complaint is lack of sunlight, but workers compromise because of the amount of money they feel they save by living underground.

The modest beginnings of these Chinese dreamers, who consist of young actors, hair stylists, newlyweds and street sweepers, are more than humble to Americans, and are, arguably, unacceptable. In America, we often complain about what we have or more commonly, what we lack. After learning about the Rat Tribe, I personally have become more grateful for my dirty bathroom, runny faucet, my fan that is missing a blade, and my sliding door without a handle. How lucky are we? We have it made here in America.

For more information on this and to check out some of my sources refer to these websites: 

http://projects.aljazeera.com/2015/01/underground-beijing/

http://www.npr.org/2014/12/07/368760646/a-universe-beneath-our-feet-life-in-beijings-underground

Popular Right Now

6 Things You Should Know About The Woman Who Can't Stand Modern Feminism

Yes, she wants to be heard too.

97292
views

2018 is sort of a trap for this woman. She believes in women with all of the fire inside of her, but it is hard for her to offer support when people are making fools of themselves and disguising it as feminism.

The fact of the matter is that women possess qualities that men don't and men possess qualities that women don't. That is natural. Plus, no one sees men parading the streets in penis costumes complaining that they don't get to carry their own fetus for nine months.

1. She really loves and values women.

She is incredibly proud to be a woman.

She knows the amount of power than a woman's presence alone can hold. She sees when a woman walks into a room and makes the whole place light up. She begs that you won't make her feel like a "lady hater" because she doesn't want to follow a trend that she doesn't agree with.

2. She wants equality, too

She has seen the fundamental issues in the corporate world, where women and men are not receiving equal pay.

She doesn't cheer on the businesses that don't see women and men as equivalents. But she does recognize that if she works her butt off, she can be as successful as she wants to.

3. She wears a bra.

While she knows the "I don't have to wear a bra for society" trend isn't a new one, but she doesn't quite get it. Like maybe she wants to wear a bra because it makes her feel better. Maybe she wears a bra because it is the normal things to do... And that's OK.

Maybe she wants to put wear a lacy bra and pretty makeup to feel girly on .a date night. She is confused by the women who claim to be "fighting for women," because sometimes they make her feel bad for expressing her ladyhood in a different way than them.

4. She hates creeps just as much as you do. .

Just because she isn't a feminist does not mean that she is cool with the gruesome reality that 1 in 5 women are sexually abused.

In fact, this makes her stomach turn inside out to think about. She knows and loves people who have been through such a tragedy and wants to put the terrible, creepy, sexually charged criminals behind bars just as bad as the next woman.

Remember that just because she isn't a feminist doesn't mean she thinks awful men can do whatever they want.

5. There is a reason she is ashamed of 2018's version of feminism.

She looks at women in history who have made a difference and is miserably blown away by modern feminism's performance.

Not only have women in the past won themselves the right to vote, but also the right to buy birth control and have credit cards in their names and EVEN saw marital rape become a criminal offense.

None of them dressed in vagina costumes to win anyone over though... Crazy, right?

6. She isn't going to dress in a lady parts costume to prove a point.

This leaves her speechless. It is like the women around her have absolutely lost their minds and their agendas, only lessening their own credibility.

"Mom, what are those ladies on TV dressed up as?"

"Ummm... it looks to me like they are pink taco's honey."

She loves who she is and she cherished what makes her different from the men around her. She doesn't want to compromise who she is as a woman just so she can be "equal with men."

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

When It Comes To Politics, Agree To Disagree, Then Move On

Since when is it OK to attack other people because their political views are different than yours?

103
views

Recently, it was election time, a time of year that I honestly hate. I feel like it truly brings out the worst in people. A time when we, as a very privileged country, get to exercise one of our many freedoms. A time that should remind us of how appreciative we should be to live in a country that has so many freedoms. Except, most people — as they do with many things nowadays — feel as if this is just a part of everyday life. Something they earned by just being a person, and something they expect to be given.

Do you people honestly realize that this is not a freedom everywhere?

Do you not realize that there are countries that people live in where they have absolutely no say-so in anything? So, to begin, why don't we all lose the sense of entitlement for once, and be a little grateful and appreciative that we are even given this freedom.

Secondly, does no one truly respect or care about anything our country was built upon? Our country was built upon the idea of a safe haven. An escape from persecution, from discrimination, from being treated less than people should be treated. Do you all realize that we are going back to exactly that? What happened to freedom of speech? Freedom of religion? No one respects either of those ideas anymore, it truly seems.

Everyone should be encouraged to vote, regardless of their opinions, because that is their freedom. Just because they view an issue differently than you, does not mean that they are wrong. And it definitely does not mean that you have the right to judge them, mock them, ridicule them, or persecute them for their beliefs. Who are you, honestly, to judge anyone? I am not perfect, you are not perfect, no one is perfect. We all come from different places with different ideas. Who is great enough to say whose idea is "correct?" Not any one of us.

The fact that people turn to hate over differing opinions is sad, immature, disappointing, and just downright ridiculous. You really think that hate is going to solve our problems? You really think that by hating each other and hurting each other, our country is going to get any better? And if not, then did I miss the memo about everyone pushing our country down the toilet? Because if we don't wise up, grow up, and come together, that is EXACTLY where our country will continue to grow. Some of you may want that, and if you do, you are the problem. If, however, you actually want our country to be something to be proud of, then make a change. It is not too late.

I myself try to do my part every day. I might disagree with a lot of people, and I am sure a lot of people probably disagree with me. But you know what is different? I don't hate them. I don't ridicule, or talk down to them. I try my best to treat them how I want them to treat me. I don't know what beliefs you may have. But in my religion, our God didn't put us here to judge. He put us here to love. No matter the race, gender, political affiliation, or even religion. He tells us to spread the word of Him and to love everyone openly and freely, and He will do the rest. Yes, you heard that right, even if they are of other beliefs than us. Even if you don't believe in God, I still think we should all follow this ideal. Not one of us is better than anyone else, so why do we feel we have the right to judge? In my opinion, we don't.

So how about we agree to disagree and MOVE ON.

Related Content

Facebook Comments