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Thread: Chiao

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    Senior Member Array aamirbati's Avatar
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    Chiao

    Chiao

    This Powerpoint was originally in Chinese, sent to me by a friend who downloaded it from Internet.
    It is about a Chinese by the name of 焦波 who started to take photos of his parents in 1974 when they were over 60 years of age.
    His series records the life of his parents and is very moving.
    CCTV choreograhed his and his parents’ stories in one of the TV series few years ago. That series left a dent in my mind.
    焦波’s photos were exhibited in U.S. in 1998. They received much acclaim and won the highest award in the Mankind Contribution category.

    I have added English to these slides for all to enjoy.
    Mom….
    A tidy person
    1.41 m tall
    71 catty.


     


    Born in year of Ox
    Dad….
    A strong man
    …with eyes portraying those of an unyielding man.

    Born in year of Rabbit
    1974…the first photo of my parents….with me and my then-girlfriend now-wife.
    The first photo I took of my parents. They looked serious.
    This is a trail in my hometown in China.
    Dad and mom had walked this trail together for 70+ years.
    They were born in the same village…one in the east, one in the west.
    They never knew each other before they got married.
    “Higher…higher…a bit higher. Did you hear?”
    So true…one’s life goes around in a circle. Don’t they smile and laugh like children?
    Every Chinese New Year, mom would sit on the rock in front of the house….waiting, waiting and expecting her son to come home.
    Every time I left home, I insisted that she not bid me farewell on the road. She agreed. But every time I turned my head, she was there !!!
    Despite a new house was built, they still loved the old one.
    In accordance with our village culture, my parents slept with legs touching each other.
    Dad got a splinter in his fingers. Mom put on her reading glasses to take it out.
    “You are not picking the splinter. You are digging a trench to rake up roots!”
    Mom would calmly said, “Oh boy, I am old. I can’t see clearly.”
    Mom has bundled-up (“dumpling”) feet since 6. Her toe nails were shaped like snails.
    Dad used to clip the toe nails for her.
    It’s their 68th wedding anniversary. They decided to have a ‘cleanliness’ day. Mom washed dad and clipped his toe nails.
    Men in the front.
    Women at the back.
    Dad was always the principal character.
    “Yes, whatever you say.” … despite she did not agree.
    Mom got angry and fell sick.
    During those days, dad worked particularly hard…cooking, boiling water, housework!
    It’s close to Chinese New Year, mom had lung problem and was hospitalized. Dad was lonely and depressed at home.
    Mom fell sick. Dad was the Field Doctor.
    Dad performed a “receive-the-bride” ceremony as a prayer to get mom to recover.
    “Do you have a fever?” … Dad’s way to express his subtle love for mom.
    It’s the Chinese Valentine day. Dad insisted to take mom out of hospital despite her serious lung and other health problems.
    “Let me take care of her for a few days. Even if she were to die, I would feel better”, dad said.
    Three days later, the doctor’s verdict was mom wouldn’t live for another 2 hours. Everybody got her prepared…clothes, coffin. Neighbours came to say goodbye.

    The next day, mom slowly woke up!!!
    “We’ve been married for 68 years. This is the first year we couldn’t spend the Chinese New Year together.” Dad wiped his eyes when he visited mom after she’s rechecked in to the hospital.
    When the flowers started to bloom after the Ching Ming Festival (April 5), mom could miraculously stand up.
    She returned home.
    Dad loved this photo…because mom had recovered.
    Dad loved this photo…because mom had recovered.
    My mom…a statue
    My dad…an iron tower
    It’s extreme temperature. Dad and mom would wash each other behind closed (front) doors. Mom helped dad to scrub his back. Dad helped mom on the same.
    “When he was young, he wouldn’t do this for me.”
    Co-operation without asking or telling….
    ….when dad did his carpentry work.

    Unspoken understanding their whole life
    Co-operation without asking or telling….
    ….when dad did his carpentry work.

    Unspoken understanding their whole life
    When his hip bone was broken, dad still insisted on feeding himself.
    “Let me get some wild veggies for the children. In the days of famine, these wild veggies were used to fill the stomach. These days, they become a novelty.”
    Dad wouldn’t trust the young generation to work with these old-days tools in the field.
    “Mom, still work in the field?”
    “Why not? Live and stay idle is not living!”
    This year, my mom was 84.
    It’s Fall.
    Together they saw open the shell of a calabash ….
    …a plant for food
    …its shell as a water scoop.
    Telephone…something new.
    “Let’s try it.”
    Dad dialled. Mom held up the receiver.
    “Why no voice or noise?”
    Mom blamed dad for not knowing how to dial.
    Let’s organize the photos of our grand-children. This could be considered as a get-together for the New Year.
    “Grandpa, you sweep that side, I sweep this side. See who is the first to clear the snow.”Dad loved to read.
    Reading newspaper was his favourite pastime.
    He would relate the news to his neighbours.
    Any articles I put on the papers….Dad would read…over and over again…and then relate the contents to mom.
    Dad carried my grand father’s photo to the summit of Tai Shan, a mountain he had never set foot on before.
    How dad and mom marvelled at a tree from B.C. 110
    Here they were, walking hand in hand, in Tianmun Square, Beijing.
    Up at the summit of Tai Shan, my parents met another young couple.
    “We are great people now that we have scaled the Great Wall!”
    A couple from Canada casting their admiration on this aged pair up at the Great Wall
    A couple from Canada casting their admiration on this aged pair up at the Great Wall
    Enjoying the ‘movie’ toy for the kids
    “I can blow out or blow up a fire. I can’t blow out the candles. I am truly aging…air now leaks from my mouth!”
    Her 85 birthday…first time with a birthday cake.

    Words after words of advice … when sending her grandson off to Beijing University
    The family photo….4 surviving kids out of 8. My mom’s greatest worry was on my mentally-challenged elder brother.
    My mom joking on her own petite feet
    A shot of ‘my shot of my mother’
    Breaking out into song in The Temple of Heaven, Beijing
    Breaking out into song in The Temple of Heaven, Beijing
    “At my age, how can I wear this colour?”
    “No, it looks nice on you…just like when you were a bride.”
    “Mom, you’d carried me for life. Let me hold you up for once.”
    My wife took this photo of us in the Imperial Palace, Beijing.
    Her 90th birthday.
    Never anticipated this to be their last photo together.
    2002 CNY. The village’s group photo.
    Dad and mom were the oldest among all.
    Mom was lying on her bed in the Ward.
    Dad’s dead body was wheeled passed her room.
    Nobody told her his news.
    But mom seemed to know about it.
    She was told dad was sent to a rehab center in BJ.
    “How is he?” she would ask occasionally.
    Then she would stop short of her conversation.
    She stared on the bed.
    A blank look.
    Lots to think about, isn’t it?







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