Chinese Urban Dictionary: Foxi

By Mia Li, February 5, 2018

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Foxi/ Fó xì / 佛系 adj. buddha-like, having no desires and indifferent to everything, apathetic 

A. Every stage in life is exhausting – doing well in school, finding a job, buying a house. I'm stressed out just thinking about it.

B. I know. Fo xi is the only way to go.

A. Agreed. Let's just go take a nap.

Now that the post-00’s generation are entering adulthood, how are the post-90’s kids doing? Well, they’ve already given up and are ready to become hermits in caves. 

They are fo xi, people who have seen through the nihilistic nature of our material world, abandoned all desires and now live like buddhas.

In a series of viral posts in the first month of 2018, a member of this generation described the fo xi philosophy. People who are fo xi don't set any professional goals, and therefore have no anxiety about not achieving them. They post photos on WeChat but don't care about how many people ‘like’ them. They don't really mind what they have for lunch or dinner because food is just food.

If socks show up when they order pants from Taobao, they just keep the socks, because arguing and complaining is unthinkably exhausting. “Okay” and “sure” are their answers to almost anything. 

This nihilistic attitude is the latest addition to a long list of traits of the post-90’s generation that annoys the heck out of the post-80’s generation, who call them lethargic, unenthusiastic and soft. While most of these post-90’s kids don't even care to defend themselves, some have cited the lack of social mobility as the cause. Class solidification only happened after the post-80’s generation had already made their fortunes. Nowadays, the social status of the family you are born into very much determines your life trajectory. Changing that trajectory is nearly impossible and highly costly. 

If you don’t hope, you don’t get disappointed; if you don’t fight, you don’t get hurt. “I’m not from a rich family, nor am I super smart,” one of them wrote in his post. “How my life will turn out is very much up to chance. Why exert any effort?”


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