Nye bøger: Kinas små kejsere og et-barnspolitikken

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Spændende og personlig anmeldelse af Mei Fong’s One Child: The Story of China’s Most Radical Experiment og Kay Ann Johnson’s China’s Hidden Children: Abandonment, Adoption, and the Human Costs of the One-Child Policy skrevet af Sheng Yun i London Review of Books:

I was born in 1980, the year China implemented the one-child policy: I don’t have siblings, and neither do my peers. Whenever a Westerner learns that I’m an only child, the facial expression is a give-away: ‘You must have been terribly spoiled’ or ‘You must have been terribly lonely.’ Stanley Hall, the pioneering child psychologist, referred to the condition as ‘a disease in itself’. Our generation were known as ‘little emperors’ here in China. We are the chubby (pampered) babies surrounded by parents and grandparents in posters and cartoons. Being spoiled was the least of it. The attention a couple pay to their only hope can be overwhelming. Often they were very strict. At school, where we were all ‘little emperors’, we were subjected to shock therapy. A boy at my primary school had every meal fed to him by his mother until he was ten. Our teacher’s approach was to get us all to mock him, and man him up a bit.

Growing up wasn’t a lot of fun, but we didn’t have much to complain about either. I was never beaten, and unlike the older generation, I never went a single day without food. The worst punishment was a thorough scolding, probably for bullying boys at school – girls usually did better than boys in primary and middle school and there were many haughty little tigresses – or for speaking out of turn. My mother never allowed me to do chores or housework even when I was eager to help: ‘Your only task is to study, nothing else.’ My parents didn’t go to university – they didn’t have a chance to – and it was my job, apparently, to ensure that I did. This command was issued endlessly throughout my childhood until I finally fulfilled their dream. Part one of mission accomplished.

:: Illustration fra Xinhua

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Hurtige klik fra Kina af Kim Rathcke Jensen. Jeg er journalist og BA i kinesisk. Jeg bor i Beijing, hvor jeg arbejder som Politikens korrespondent i Kina og Asien.

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