The Last Mantou in Memory of the Only Child

July 9, 2012Archer Wang4 Comments, , , , ,

From Sina Weibo:

Hundreds of millions of Chinese parents ended up having one child, in line with the one-child policy, and that one kid is the hope of the family. However, some ten million families have lost their only child, and twenty million parents have become childless. They are bereaved not only of their beloved kids, but also of the right to live a happy life, as a result of the one-child policy. Some even have significant difficulties in going to retirement home, because they don’t have anyone to sign the forms.

Read our story: Over a million Chinese families lost their only adult children, end up with an empty nest.

The picture is from a father who lost his son five years ago. The sticky note reads: “This is the leftover bun that Xiaohong didn’t finish eating at his last breakfast on February 13 2007.”


Two weeks ago BBC ran a nicely-written story on this issue which you can find here:

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4 comments to “The Last Mantou in Memory of the Only Child”

  1. jahar | July 10, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    Because not having a child equates to not being able to have a happy life.

    • Vikto | December 30, 2012 | Permalink Reply

      A thesis is a fomarl study of a subject matter, a written report that explores a topic, a research paper. The narrative is all the words in the paper/report/thesis. An outline of your narrative is an outline of the study/paper/report/thesis you will be writing. Each year in English classes, you write, starting with words, then sentences, then paragraphs, then stories and essays. How to do each has been explained to you over the years, including how to outline (organize an outline is a method of summarizing the writing’s organization) each (paragraph, story, essay what to write first, second, third, etc., and why you put thoughts/points in a certain order). Each of these built upon the one that came before: an essay is an organized group of paragraphs, a paragraph is an organized group of sentences, etc. All of this has been leading up to a thesis, where you choose a topic, research and make notes on the writings of others on the topic, organize the information into a logical writing, analyze what you’ve learned and add to the literature or knowledge on the subject by adding your own reasoned thoughts and ideas, which you justify by using others’ works and your own analysis. You’ve been taught how to outline: A. ___. Indented and under A: 1. __ 2. __ 3, __, Maybe a. __ and b. __ under some or all of the numbers. Then B. __ C__ Your textbook Table of Contents is an outline of the material in the textbook. (You can think of the textbook as a long thesis.)First, you choose a topic. One current possible subject is Childhood Obesity: a lot is being written, reported, and studied on that. You’d do some preliminary research and pick one aspect of the subject as your topic: for example, Overcoming the Causes of Childhood Obesity. Research that, make notes (including information to make correct citations of others’ work on the topic), think about it from various angles (is there an umbrella under which all causes can be grouped or are the reasons too different), try to think of an umbrella or classification for the reasons. What various ways can the causes be overcome? Think how your thesis will run what you’ll say first, second, third. Then write the outline (the Table of Contents, if you will, of your paper).A thesis involves a lot of work and takes a lot of time (weeks, if not months). Your teacher is breaking it down into parts to guide you. She probably handed you a sheet of information; if not, she discussed it in class. She has deadlines for several of the parts to be turned in, because you can’t do it all in two weeks and she’s helping you stay on top of the project so you can do it and do it well. Being able to complete a project that can take months (even years) when you have other things to do is a very, very valuable skill (a large part of life), and she’s trying to teach you how to do it by helping you do it once on a relatively small scale.You can expect to do at least one thesis in your senior high school year, and probably in your junior year. In college, expect to do at least one or two each semester for different courses, not just your English courses. They will be longer, more detailed, and more complex and will take hundreds of hours of effort and no one will be standing over you and reminding you that this needs to be done by now if you’re to meet the paper’s deadline and get a good grade on it. Theses are assigned so you learn valuable information (and in the hope that you’ll add to the collective knowledge on the subject). Your teacher is preparing you to do them for college, and for many, many types of jobs after college, by having you do this one. Because you don’t even understand her words, you have a lot of re-reading and catching up to do, because, I can assure you, this was not the first time the project was mentioned. This was only a reminder of the deadlines for two parts of it. (Even if you think you’ll never have a job where you must write a report, EVERY job requires that you understand different things and juggle different tasks, many of which occur over long periods of time, so the organization, analysis, reasoning, and time management parts of the thesis will aid you no matter what type of work you do.)

  2. Blacksoth | July 11, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    What can I say that hasn’t been said a million times in a million different ways? The one-child policy is arguably the worst policy in human history.

  3. Cleo | September 13, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    The grief of losing a child aside, this hints at an unsavory motivation to have children to ensure elder care in your old age. Holy cats.

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