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“Traditional Chinese Women”

    • 2995 posts
    October 11, 2022 8:57 PM EDT

    Growing up in a small town in China’s Guangxi Autonomous Region, I’d never felt I had anything in common with the women in my family. To get more news about women of ancient china, you can visit shine news official website.

    As a child, I was defiant, ambitious, fiercely independent, and more than anything else, I prided myself to be different. I thought I was one-of-a-kind.There wasn’t really a word in Chinese for girls like me. If there was, it would probably be the dreadful “Buguai”, a word used to describe children who dare to defy their parents. I wasn’t exactly disruptive — after all, I had never climbed a tree, destroyed my parent’s priced possessions, or punched another kid, but I did once talk back at my first-grade teacher, for which I earned a “well-deserved” beating from my mother; when I was 15, I ran away from home to my maternal grandmother’s house for a week after an intense argument with my parents, which was probably the highlight of my “rebellious past”.

    I remember I often watched my mother with a slight contempt because she, in my eyes, was everything I didn’t want to be.

    She is the epitome of a traditional Chinese woman — an “arranged” marriage introduced by a family acquaintance; lacks a college degree; doesn’t believe in sex before marriage; cooks and cleans diligently at home every day.

    The fact that my Laolao, my maternal grandmother, had a love marriage and her daughter, my mother, didn’t, was enough to convince me, a self-proclaimed hopeless romantic and feminist, that my mother had led the most boring life that I did not wish to emulate.

    What kind of woman from the 20th century doesn’t have the independent will to meet and marry the man of her dream instead of settling for a “good enough” man from a lame family introduction?
    My mother had a very close relationship with her mother-in-law, my paternal grandmother — my Nainai. In fact, my mother saw my Nainai as more of a mother than her own mother, who she did not see eye to eye with.

    My Nainai grew up during World War II when Japan invaded China. She also met my grandfather through an arranged marriage. She and Grandpa helped my parents raise me until I was five when my parents moved our family to neighboring Guangdong Province.

    The strongest impression I had of Nainai was her constant nagging.She would repeat the same advice over and over again, disregarding my audible annoyance. She simply ignored all forms of “I got it” or “You just said that”.

    She was obsessed with reading and clipping articles from newspapers in the health and wellness section. As a kid, I had never bothered to read the thick stacks of paper clippings she sent me in the mail every week like clockwork.

    In my young mind, Nainai was quite annoying. Much like every other child, I thought I already knew everything. “Drink water.” — Duh, who doesn’t know that? “Eat at a regular time every day.” — Hello? I already do that.

    Nainai’s advice was thought of as useless, repetitive, and a nuisance that took time out of my week, with no value or pleasure in return. I often complained to my parents about Nainai — I told them I wished she would speak less and send me fewer articles — or even better, perhaps not at all.

    Born into a poor farming family in Guangxi Province during World War II, Nainai barely received any form of education. She may have done some rudimentary elementary schoolwork before it got disrupted by the war. To support her siblings, she started working at factories as a young girl, like so many other kids at the time.

    Like my mother, Nainai also had an arranged marriage. She told me: “I was a very ugly girl. Nobody would have pursued me. I don’t know why your Grandpa agreed to marry me.” My younger self thought Grandma had incredibly low self-esteem, given how she spoke so lowly of herself.