“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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[On] a cold winter morning, there was a little boy playing on the snowy ground. Suddenly, his sight was caught by a little snowball, which could move. He used his fingers to touch it, and he felt [that it was] soft and a little warm. “Wang!” the snowball made a clear noise. This was a frozen dog.
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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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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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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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There’s a Buddhist temple at the top of a mountain called Tiantong Temple. In this temple, there [are] more than 100 monks. A boy named Yuan was sent to this temple when he was 5 [years old]. When he was 8 years old, he started to learn to chant sutras [and to] pay respect for Buddha with the other monks.
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“[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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“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)
He was an orphan who had no higher education, no special skills. In order to make a living, he became a butcher. At that time, for [the] kind of people like him who had nothing except for physical strength, it was a way of making a living. Continue reading Storied China 2011 (4 of 6)
My story didn’t derive from the eldest person in my family. Because my great-grandmother [is] very old, she [doesn’t] have a good memory and sometimes she [can’t] tell her story clearly. So I took the story I will tell from my grandfather (my mum’s father). My grandfather [is] also very old, but he [can] remember most of things which happened to him and his family.
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