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1968 11 December I remember I remember An Yi telling everyone that all our revolutionary posters are up and that we should all be proud of ourselves for advocating Chairman Mao. A few seconds into the congratulating ceremony, I noticed something. I saw something shiny from the corner of my eye‌ Those two big red eyes, I know everyone has two eyes, but Hong Wai makes it seem like you're lucky to live. "Remember that one little comment you made on Mao? Yeah, well I know. And I won't stop working until I find out and Figure 1: The Dazibao, biast newspaper-like posters, were usually found to tell everyone what kind of Black Whelp have a heavy crowd. you are." just from looking into his revolutionary eyes you get the illusion you did something wrong, but his aura and his look allow everyone to respect one of the only Red Guards in our once fantastic school. I still couldn't help wondering why he was staring at me, but this is one of the Red Guards in this school, and anything could've made me look suspicious. Even though there was no valid reason as to why he would be wary of me, anything can happen- so I bowed and turned around. An Yi had finished her speech, and we were finally allowed to look at the Revolutionary Posters our peers made. I found Xiao Yue, and we started walking around until I saw a massive crowd of people around one Dazibao, the shouts and murmurs of everyone made it seem so appealing. So we ran towards them, and at that point, all I could feel is everyone's bodies being pushed away by my hands the pollution today was extra lousy today, but I didn't care. I just wanted to see the famous poster everyone was talking about, I couldn't help myself, my thoughts were racing through my mind, and they all went something like: 'God! Imagine how revolutionary this is going to be! Is it about the Bourgeoisie elements of the workbooks or textbooks that we used in school? Or is it how the teachers taught us concepts that Chairman Mao opposes to? AH! THE BLACK TEACHERS.' But I was way from far‌ "Feng Li Chen and her betrayal to Mao, the Great Leader Amongst Us All." What? I couldn't believe what I saw and I still can't! Right now! I stumbled to my feet and fell once I got to the front of the crowd but no one hesitated to help me up, but I still didn't know why. "Feng Li Chen, the daughter of a Rightist. The grandchild of a landlord, she falls right into the Five Black Categories. A Black Whelp, a supposed child of Mao, a disgrace-" I couldn't read anymore the tears in my eye, restrained me from doing that; my cheeks were starting to burn, I felt like I was thrown into the deep and salty sea. Stunned, I ran home. Why would someone say that about me? I'm not on the blacklist! Whatever chances I had of becoming a Red Guard are entirely gone now, I still don't know why those things were written on that board. But all I know is that I'm grateful for the rain because now all the posters are going along with it and now- I HOPE- no one's going to remember when I go back to school.


1971, September 13

It's been a while since the government, the devil's child, had started the "Great" Chinese Proletarian Cultural Revolution and since then, nothing's happened to me, so like a newly-born cub, I've been weary and confused for the past two years. The remaining year has had no weariness present because once the ferocious Red uniforms stop rummaging through your neighbourhood, you start to lose paranoia. And besides, the only saviour we had, Lin Biao was arrested today, so I'm assuming the government would be more focused on the liquidation of Lin Biao instead; therefore, I secretly called my family over to come and eat some-celebratory- food, since today's my birthday. I barely have any money anymore because the gruesome government gobbled away my allowance and replaced it with 10 Quai/ month! But being the minority of people who have been publicly detained these little moments mean the whole Revolution to us! "Feng Li Chen, can you pass me the dumplings please?" click, clank, snap, munch, slurp. "This food is delicious! I haven't had such good food in a long time. The revolution has changed my life quite a lot." said my grandma, the paranoia that had been forgone for two years had come back. Since the accusations of me being a Revisionist, I've had enough experience to know when you can be falsely imprisoned, and I was spot on today. With the fresh but polluted air coming from the multiple cracks in the air, my family was already discussing how wrong, and unnecessary the Revolution was, but I couldn't stop them. The scenery, food, clothing, everything in this house just reminded us of it; not even my birthday couldn't lighten the depressing and nostalgic scene up, not even by an inch. BANG! "THIS IS GENERAL CHENG! YOUR HOUSE IS BEING SEARCHED! US ALL YOUR BORGIOESE ITEMS AND WALK AWAY SAFELY!", Psh "walk away safely" they didn't even ask to open the door they just smashed it down, like the savages they are. Grandma was unfazed by this unfortunate catastrophe; I remember lookingmore staring than looking- at her when the door smashed down. She stared directly at the high picture of Chairman Mao pinned to the roof, the one that the Red. She told Figure 2: The Red Guards made their posters very me that China has changed since her time, but beneficial, making sure to persuade their audience into I never thought she would lose her words. CLANK! CLINK! taking their side. CLICK-CLANK-STOMP-STOMP- CLI-CLACK! More dishes fell to the floor, dad's struggle session had begun, and I just didn't know what to do. General Cheng beat us all but the words had been scram out. GIVE

Why am I such a lousy disgrace to this world? Only if I had changed my name, none of this would've happened! But then, what would've happened to grandma, mama, and daddy? I'm just a 15 year old!


1976 September 12 People have been crying for three days! 72 hours, day and night. "Mao"- this, "Mao"-that "We won’t forget about you!" "LET CHAIRMAN MAO REIGN!" And the only thing I can think of is how much wate-"LET 100 FLOWERS BLOOM!". I've had enough just because Mao Zedong is dead doesn't mean they have to recite every single thing he has said before, is this some recitation? I got up and raced to the small window with decaying plaster around it, the mouldy windowsill that used to make me throw up was more of a norm for me now. I reached up towards the handlebar, and I was just about to get Figure 3: Revolutionists come together to share tears worth a it before someone walked in crying her eyes out. fountain spilling Communist water, for their Leader, Mao. "Li Chen? Are you there?", *sigh* I dropped my gnarly feet to the ground and walked barefoot- like I usually did-towards Yue. "What's the matter with you? Why are you crying?" She cried again, trying to say something "I-I- What-but-my- The Great Chairman Mao… And-Now- I-I… Sma-Smash-Smash the Four Olds!" She blurted that one out "Smash the Four Olds?" I asked, and suddenly THUMP! I fell to the ground. My mind was racing; I couldn't take any more hurt and confusion that phrase was the final blow. I started crying too, each tear representing one memory I was suddenly taken away to my memory land, a bombsite, I saw the evening Grandma collapsed when she was doing her daily ritual, the ritual all landlords' wives had to do, of sweeping the alleys and no one could help leaving grandma to die alone. The tear dropped; the oppressive memory ended triggering many more flashbacks. I went passed dad being taken away; his struggle session had begun, I came back to the night he came back all swollen and beaten up, the ghost version of dad came back. Swoosh, I'm with mom, and we're talking about grandpa and how he was like, and suddenly we're interrupted by a gang of students, people I had memories with; some of my best friends, protesting outside of our door, and calling us names, "COUNTEREVOLUTIONISTS!" "REVISIONISTS ARE THE DEVIL'S CHILDREN!" "BLACK WHELPS LIKE YOU SHOULDN'T BE ALLOWED ON THE LANDS OF THE GREAT COMMUNIST CHINA!". No, no, no, no. NO! When I awoke I awoke with a gasp for air, oh.. 小月 was still there, still crying her eyes out about the death of Mao Zedong. Did she not understand that this man was a deceiving, cruel and timid man? He sucked out all of the life that was in me. He's the reason why Dad is dead, Grandma died a long cold death, AND why mom is suffering from a treatable condition, but we just can't get the help we need because Mao has convinced everyone that when someone has the same surname of a 100-year-old landlord, then you have to suffer! Why is she still my best friend anyway? Is she a spy? "C'mon Yue… Come here." She stiffly walked over, shaking from her crazy amount of mourning. I didn't agree with her crying, but I just needed someone to hug and cry with as well, for this Revolution has taken everyone I cared about away from me.


And I'm not sure if this is ever going to change.

Journal  

Three in-depth, realistic and emotional journal entries, all written from one person who physically survived the Great Chinese Revolution. B...

Journal  

Three in-depth, realistic and emotional journal entries, all written from one person who physically survived the Great Chinese Revolution. B...

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