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Children again... if only for a day

Many of China's office workers joined the country's hundreds of millions of children to celebrate International Children's Day yesterday.

Xiao Wenye, 24, a programmer with a Beijing-based computer company, found her mobile phone flooded with "Happy Children's Day" text messages from her colleagues.

"Although I am not a child any more, I wanted to make the special day my holiday," she said.

"When I was a little girl, I could not wait to grow up," she said. "But now, I really miss the joy in my childhood."

Li Hong, a 30-year-old executive in an accounting company in the eastern Nanjing City, bought a Teddy bear and a model car online as his Children's Day presents - the bear for his 4-year-old daughter and the car for himself.

"When I was a kid, my parents were too poor to buy me any decent toys," he said. "Now I can make up for my lost childhood joy with my own salary."

The ever-increasing pressure that office workers face also makes them cherish their childhood days.

A popular text message that has been circulating among Beijing's office workers reads: "Lay down your masks and be a child. Those over-aged children who rise as early as a rooster, sleep as late as a dog and work as hard as a mule - Happy Children's Day."

"I will turn off my mobile phone and spoil myself by sprawling on the couch, watching Transformers with a bag of king-size potato chips in my hands," said Liu Chang, a bank clerk in Sichuan Province.

"I just want to pretend to be a child for one day to escape from the work pressure," he said.

According to an online survey conducted by, a Chinese survey Website, more than 80 percent of nearly 750 voters said they believed Children's Day was a good way to alleviate stress.

"Most adults who love to observe the day are urbanities born in the 1970s or 1980s, who lived a relatively affluent life when they were children. But they experienced great pressure when they began to work," said Meng Tianyun, a sociologist with Qingdao University in Shandong Province.

"These changes make them cherish their childhood even more and celebrate the festival could be interpreted as a way of easing their pressure," he said.


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