|Zhou Guojun (L1) has been working outside his hometown for over 13 years. He worked as a drudge when he first left home at his 16 in a foundry. He now works at a textile mill, together with his wife and father in Wuxi, south China’s Jiangsu province. (Photo/ Han Yuqing) Zhou’s grandparents in their nineties, mother and his 9-year-old son posed for a photo at home. (Photo/ Li Xiang)|
As China's urbanization quickens its pace, a growing number of people head to the cities in search of work and are thus forced to leave their elderly parents and children behind. Take the Jiangsu province’s Nansong as an example--the village used to have a population of 2020. Nowadays, 960 villagers seek jobs in cities and thus 90% children and 70% elderly people and 30% women are left in the village.
To seek better-paying jobs, more and more married men in the village, unhappy with their tiny farming incomes at home, make their annual exodus to cities after the Spring Festival, leaving their loved ones behind.The wives who stay in the countryside not only bear the loneliness but also toil to keep their homes running.