Storied China 2012 (6 of 6)

“My father was taken away by [the] Red Guard [on] December 5, 1966,” my grandfather told me with a deep voice.

“I was 20 years old in 1966, and I had two brothers. That day, my mom was preparing a delicious meal for us. My father, brothers, and I worked hard in the field. Everything seemed [to be] going normally, but it was just an illusion.

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Storied China 2012 (4 of 6)

It was a raw morning in winter when I heard [this story] in the old house in my hometown. I sat beside the fire with my aunt. The raw weather chilled my interest [in] outdoor activities. The north wind [was] whistling in the drizzling rain. The doors and windows [rattled]. Everybody was out. Only [my] aunt and I were at home, so we [were] telling stories to kill the time.

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Storied China 2012 (3 of 6)

There was a small old house, which just included one bed, one table, one iron pot, and two chairs. My grandma and grandpa had a daughter, when they were [both] 20 [years old]. After one year, they had another baby, unluckily for them [it was another] daughter. They wanted a son, by virtue of the value of [male children]. After that, the whole family placed great hopes on the third baby. However, another unfortunate girl was born. The whole family was crazy. My grandpa’s mother shouted at my grandma. [She] even wanted to drive my grandma away. At that time, in the countryside, [every] family wanted a son because they believed sons were better than daughters. He [would] have adequate strength to do farm work, yet she [would not have such strength].

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Storied China 2012 (2 of 6)

When I was born in a small town, I lived with my [grandparents] for my parents were busy with their own work and business. Therefore, I had no other choice but to stay with my older parents. Of course, I was too little to have the right to choose. With the passage of time, I grew to the age [that I could] go to a primary school, and the relationship between my grandpa and grandma confused me. [They spoke few words], and they seldom had [anything to talk about]. Sometimes I really doubted whether there was a love between [them]. Everyday, they were very busy trying to earn money to support the big family. They didn’t act in any [of the] romantic ways [that I saw] on television or read [about] in books. In their opinion, “I Love You” was too luxurious for them to say. Buying a gift [for] each other or [for] one’s birthday was even more out of the question.

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Spring Fever

[Plum blossoms on GuiDa’s Campus]

I am not sure why I take such particular interest in the turning of the seasons, but I do.  Seeing nature transition from the gray of winter to the wonder of flowering trees and green crops, fills me with childlike joy.  This feeling is also compounded by the newness of each season for me here.  All of a sudden, I see a lily magnolia (aka. in China a “jade orchid tree” 木蘭科) in full bloom where just the day before it seemed only a skeleton of a tree stood.

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Storied China 2011 (6 of 6)

“[Even] now, I still feel uneasy [that we might have] encountered trouble during the journey, which would [have] ruined everything. However, time can’t turn back. Wherever, I’ve succeeded, I never regret the choice I made that night.” Grandfather always [says] that when asked about the moving 40 years ago.

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Storied China 2011 (5 of 6)

“He is a reliable man, we have decided it!” Chunhua was thrown such cold words [as she fought] with her parents against her arranged marriage. It was in 1946, Chunhua was 16 years old. She [had already given] gentle heart to a handsome boy. They loved each other very much, and they were talking about their romantic marriage. But her parents would break their sweet dream. Continue reading Storied China 2011 (5 of 6)