“Raise Fewer Babies, But More Piggies”

6 Jul

8:00 am

Today is our second day of classes (Tuesday July 5). My roommate and me are getting ready to leave while simultaneously firing out emails to everyone back home. Yesterday after classes both Emily’s, as well as myself, stopped by an outside fruit market where I bought some bananas and apples, (or at least what I thought were apples). This morning I was eating a blueberry muffin as well as an apple. When I took my first bite in to the apple I was surprised to find that I had in fact bought a cross between an apple and a pear. I still have yet to decide if I am a fan of this new (to me), breed of fruit. I think I will just stick with the apples that I am used to.

There is a 70% chance of rain today, which I would normally grumble about; however the rain is a nice way to wash away many of the suspicious smells on the sidewalks that we walk constantly during the day. Considering the fact that the summer, mostly June, is monsoon season in this area of China, I shouldn’t really be surprised by the forecast. Good thing for my new umbrella and raincoat :).

5:00 pm

Although I left for class this morning completely prepared for the heavens to open, there was luckily no rain to be had. There is a lot to love about China, walking out of my hotel room in the morning to a rat lying on the ground is not one of them. I would have stepped right on it had my friend and roommate Em not seen it and pulled me away. If I had walked outside to a rat on the ground a week ago I would have cried and avoided the area of the sighting for days, but today I just kept on walking, and when I saw it 8 hours later I just laughed.

Every Monday and Tuesday I have a Chinese culture course from 9 am to 12 and an intermediate Chinese language course from 1-3:30.  The one-hour break for lunch has been an interesting way to go exploring around the Chengfeng area. Changfeng is the area that our university, East China Normal University is in. Yesterday we went to a Korean Barbeque restaurant on the second floor of one of the university’s cafeterias. Needless to say I am not a Korean BBQ kind of girl. I ordered the sweet and hot chicken. Definitely not the kind of sweet and hot chicken I am used to at the Chinese restaurants back home! Today for lunch a small group of my friends decided to venture out a little to a different part of the Changfeng area for lunch.

Luckily for us, the menu had a about a dozen meals that had been translated into English. There are multiple people in our group that are near fluent; however unfortunately for us, none of those people were in our lunch crew.  I ordered a noodle bowl with beef in a tomato sauce. When they first brought me my meal, the meat was on a plate and the noodles were in a bowl. I immediately dumped the meat and sauce in the soup/noodles. Hopefully that was the right thing to do, and if not, maybe some of the people in the restaurant got a good laugh for the day 🙂 . My friend Sara got rice with chicken and peanuts. One of the men working at the restaurant, in very broken English might I add, that is was like Kung Pao Chicken. We had finally found the kind of chicken that we know and love!! My friend Josh got rice with beef and veggies in oyster sauce. It was fantastic! I know what I am getting for lunch tomorrow!  Our meals were about 8 Kuai apiece. That is equivalent to about 1 dollar and 20 cents! Once again.. there are so many things to love about China 😉

I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Chinese culture class! It is a lecture class so I am able to just sit and absorb the unbelievable things about China that so few people know about. Today we spent 3 full hours discussing the 1-Child Policy. My brain cannot wrap about all of the many details that go into the policy. I will write a few things that really stuck out to me, but unless you immerse yourself in China and its culture you will never be able to fully grasp and understand everything because of how different our worlds are.

(Before you read some of these facts, I would like to point out that my teacher descibe all of these things to us in detail as if these things are the most normal things in the world. It is absolutely shocking.)

Chinese law professor selling himself as a slave to pay off punishment debt for having 2 children

-Professor Yang Zhizhu, a law professor in Beijing, broke the 1-Child policy when is wife became pregnant with their second child and refused to have an abortion. The government charged them 240,000 kuai ( or $1,536,000) as a punishment for breaking the law. He was fired from his job and sold himself, as a slave to whomever would buy him to try and earn the money.

-The family planning committee is an organization run by the government to make sure all people are following the 1-Child Policy. In May 2010 the corruption of the family planning committee in Hunan Province came to light. If they believe a family the have more than one child, they will kidnap the other child and sell him/her to a welfare agency for 1,000 kuai ($6,400) who will then put them up for adoption over seas. The US will pay $3,000. When American families adopt children, they will have no idea that the child is not an orphan but has actually been kidnapped. Often times the agencies will make a mistake and kidnap a child that really is an only child. The parents will search but never be able to find their children. The government pockets all of the money that is made during those transactions.

-If the government/ Family Planning agencies discover that you are pregnant with a second child, they will force you to have an abortion.

-If you have a second child and are able to hide it from the government, you are considered one of the “Black People”. You can never be registered in China and therefore practically do not exist. You cannot go to school, get a job, or hardly ever leave the house. If you do leave the house you must have your siblings registration card to use as Identification and hope that no one recognizes that the card is not you.

-The “Powder Scandal” is extremely controversial in China. A food company that makes milk powder put into milk and formulas for babies, also puts poison into the powder. They are trying to kill of many of the babies to keep the population from rising. The government knows about this yet does nothing to stop it. Many of the people know about the issue but are too poor to buy any other kind of powder. They just have to pray that the batch that they bought isn’t a poisoned one.

Obviously this is an extremely interesting class! I don’t have quite as many interesting things to say about my language course (unless you would like to learn a few words or phrases.. in which case leave me a comment and next post I will do exactly that.) It is a fun class and I am greatly improving with my Chinese. As I finish writing this blog I am also finishing eating a delicious bowl of noodles and vegetables. I will try to find some time to write again soon!

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2 Responses to ““Raise Fewer Babies, But More Piggies””

  1. Katy Mooney July 8, 2011 at 1:12 am #

    Corbin and I went to dinner with your Mom and Kylie last night and she told me about your blog. I am so jealous, it sounds like you’re having an amazing time….and getting a lot of exposure to the culture!! We loved the part about the rule of one, that is incredible. keep writing, you have definitely piqued our interest!!!!

  2. Uncle Mike July 10, 2011 at 8:43 pm #

    Makes you realize what a great country we live in does’nt it? I did not know you were such a good writer Kendall. Enjoying following your travels!

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