Source: The Guardian (1/22/21)
‘Touching fish’ craze sees China’s youth find ways to laze amid ‘996’ work culture
An online movement is pushing back against the country’s ferocious work culture of long hours for seemingly little gain
By Helen Davidson in Taipei
On the Chinese microblogging platform Weibo, enthusiastic slackers share their tips: fill up a thermos with whisky, do planks or stretches in the work pantry at regular intervals, drink litres of water to prompt lots of trips to the toilet on work time and, once there, spend time on social media or playing games on your phone.
“Not working hard is everyone’s basic right,” said one netizen. “With or without legal protection, everyone has the right to not work hard.”
Young Chinese people are pushing back against an engrained culture of overwork, and embracing a philosophy of laziness known as “touching fish” [摸鱼]. The term is a play on a Chinese proverb: “muddy waters make it easy to catch fish” [浑水摸鱼], and the idea is to take advantage of the Covid crisis drawing management’s focus away from supervising their employees.