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Singing is part of every party in China. China being a culture of conformity, everyone is asked to sing, often solo, and a good voice is not needed. At home, I do not sing in public, but in the spirit of conformity, I sang karaoke in China. I also dyed my beautiful silver-white hair black. This made the Chinese a lot more comfortable because Chinese men and women alike dye their hair at the first appearance of gray. My combination of “old hair, young skin” upset them.
Karoke
Rabbit
I cannot live without a pet, so shortly after arriving in Shenzhen, China, I bought a little white rabbit on Dong Men Road. This was a famous market in Shenzhen where loads of street vendors sold anything you could want for very little money if you knew how to bargain. I bought my bunny for fifteen yuan – a little less than two bucks. My Chinese friend named her Hua Mulan after the girl who became a warrior according to the ancient Chinese poem that inspired Disney’s movie Mulan. The next year, Dong Men Road was developed. Vendors had to work indoors, Jeans West was an anchor store and prices went sky high. Hua Mulan kept me company my three years in China. When I left, I’d discovered Hua Mulan was male and I left him with one of my middle school students.
Deng Xiao Ping followed Mao Ze Dong as the leader of the Communist Party of China. Deng is responsible for “Open and Reform,” the policy that created special economic zones where China began experimenting with a market economy. We call it capitalism. Shenzhen was the first special economic zone in China and it was modeled on the adjacent Hong Kong. Open and Reform was the beginning of prosperity in China. Deng Xiao Ping is held in high regard for turning around the economy and making a middle class possible, although he also was responsible for calling in the military to end the Tiananmen Democracy Movement in 1989.
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My Life In Shenzhen
• SYNOPSIS
• PROLOGUE
• CHAPTER 1
• CHAPTER 2
© 2008 Reva Rasmussen  All rights reserved.