Page 11

CANDACE CHONG

The Chong family in Fujian in the late 1970s. Candace is the second child from the left in the first row.

Our job as writers isn’t to make as night to take part in mourning ceremonies for the Chairman. But he had predicted that this would happen. “When my mother was pregnant, my much money as we can. Our job is to father used to tell her, ‘When our kids are born, Mao Zedong will die, and create a record of this time. then we will have good times,’” Chong recalls. — Marsha Norman Chairman Mao had not made life easy for Chong’s father. He was an actor and director of Nanyin opera (or nanqu) indigenous to Fujian (see Chapter 10 on Wang Xinxin, for more on the Nanyin tradition). Chong Ching-po had been sent to a “re-education camp” during the Cultural Revolution after he was overheard making a joke about Jiang Qing (the wife of Mao). He met Chong’s mother Wong Pik Wan after he was released. When their firstborn daughter arrived, the country was still in a state of social displacement and deprivation, drastically reducing opportunities for families like theirs. Chong’s parents applied for permission to immigrate to Hong Kong, the British colony to the south, which offered the promise of a better life. Her maternal grandmother was already there, so they had a route in. When they were granted papers, they packed their bags that very night and left. As they traveled over the border at Lo Wu, Chong’s mother was pregnant with her brother. It was Christmas Eve, 1978. The family moved into a 600-square-foot apartment in Sai Wan (Western District) in Hong Kong. “We had Candace as a toddler with her mother, Wong Pik Wan. 55

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Creating Across Cultures - Candace Chong  

These articles first appeared in the 2017 publication "Creating Across Cultures: Women in the Arts from China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan",...

Creating Across Cultures - Candace Chong  

These articles first appeared in the 2017 publication "Creating Across Cultures: Women in the Arts from China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan",...

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