In my previous blogs, I mentioned many times the concept of establishing a Sister County agreement between two places. However, I haven’t had a chance to talk about what a Sister County relationship is, the representation behind it, and the effect. So, my blog this week will focus on “What is a Sister County” and some updates on Commissioner Terrence Farrell’s upcoming trip to China. Continue reading
I’ve been reading about the history of the Shimenkan village for the past week, and I also organized my notes from the interviews I conducted over the summer.
The minority Miao came to this isolated village to avoid conflict with other minorities that lived in Southern China. Over time, their culture was passed on generation after generation. Before Christianity came to the village, the Miao minority mostly believed in folk religion. Continue reading
My original plan for this week’s blog is to focus on the sister county initiative between Chester County and Yanqing District. However, since that part is mainly logistics and might appear to be boring, I decided to focus this week’s blog on my meeting with the congressman, Ryan Costello. Continue reading
(I took this picture when I visited the village’s local school and this is a renovated building)
One of the biggest differences between the United States and China is how the urban and rural environment develop. In the United States, even in the very remote areas like a little town in Vermont, people’s living conditions are generally good. However, in China, the countryside is poor and extremely undeveloped. It is extremely difficult to improve people’s quality of life because they are trapped in poverty. Low-income families remain poor generation after generation. Due to the lack of education, these families can only work the low-skill, low-wage jobs. With such low income, families can only afford the basics of life, and education seems to be a luxury. Without education, the poverty trap simply becomes a downward spiral that doesn’t seem to end. Continue reading
I had the honor of meeting one of the Chester County commissioners through my guardian the year I visited Westtown. Because of this connection I was able to create an internship for myself. Since the very end of my sophomore year, I started my internship in Chester County’s commissioner’s office. Most recently, I wanted to help a district in Beijing build connections with Chester County and possibly have some school exchange project. With this goal in mind, I visited Yanqing District in Beijing, China this summer. Yanqing District is located in the north-western part of Beijing. My primary goal visiting Yanqing was to follow-up on what was being discussed in May, 2017. Continue reading
For my independent research seminar this year, I’m looking at a small Christian village in China and the political influence around it. I began this research project last summer. Because Christianity is not the dominant religion in China, it is not very common for an undeveloped village to have Christianity as their dominant religion. The name of this village is Shimenkan. I took my first trip there in the summer of 2016. I was shocked when I arrived; I thought I had traveled 40 years back in history. The houses people lived in did not have running water! A small number of the houses had electricity. This summer when I got to the main street of the village, all the buildings on the street were under construction. After I did some research, I found out that the Chinese government had invested 80 billion yuan (Chinese currency $1= 6.46 yuan) in this tiny village for reconstruction purposes. One year later the main street looks much nicer, wider and more modern. In just two years, the government has had a significant impact on the village both culturally and financially.
Over this Thanksgiving vacation, I was able to find some time to work on my short writing. Although this writing is not a condensed historical account that covers every aspect of the communist society in China, it unfolds a unique perspective on viewing the history. Given the free time I had during break, I finished most of the writing. In this upcoming weekend, I plan to wrap up this short story, enrich its content and polish its language. As soon as this writing is finished, I will quickly start my study on Eastern European literature because I want to finish reading one more book for my project before this semester ends. In this blog post, I would like to share more about my writing process and talk about the challenges I have met.
Over this past weekend, I conducted my first interview with my grandmother. She was born three years before the establishment of the People’s Republic of China and forced to leave her hometown, Shanghai, when the Cultural Revolution occurred. Her stories not only enrich my knowledge with regards to that period of time but also help me to collect resources for my fictional writing. This interview was mainly focused on exploring the change in visions of marriage over three generations. As I am currently reading the book Wild Swans, I found out that marriage, a huge component of people’s lives, can be morphed into different structures in the wake of history. Consequently, the Cultural Revolution under Communist Regime might have also changed the customs of marriage.
I have to be completely candid here about the fact that this my independent study for this week is rather challenging. As I just figured out my course timetable and this class has just been added to my course lists this Friday, I do not really have time to conducting my plan as I planed this week. Accordingly, since I just started this project, I would like to give a general introduction in concerning with this history project. Continue reading