An Ocean Apart, a World Away. foot-binding
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Bound

Bound | An Ocean Apart, a World Away. foot-binding | Scoop.it
In a novel based on Chinese Cinderella tales, fourteen-year-old stepchild Xing-Xing endures a life of neglect and servitude, as her stepmother cruelly mutilates her own child's feet so that she alone might marry well.
Elizabeth Walton's insight:

This book is about a girl named Xing Xing who has no parents and is set to be a servant for the rest of her life. Since she chose to not have her feet bound so she is not considered fit for marriage. She is very gifted in both poetry and calligraphy and tries to use these things to help create for herself a better future. This proves to be difficult because at this time in China women are worth less than an animal.

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Lost Girls of China, One Child Policy

Lost Girls of China, One Child Policy | An Ocean Apart, a World Away. foot-binding | Scoop.it
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 Starting in 1980 China began its One Child Policy to help control its growing population. In the Chinese culture boys are much more desirable then girls and because of the One Child Policy most families want to have a son. This puts incredible pressure on a woman, in the video one woman confessed that her husband threatened to send her away if she didn't gave birth to a baby boy. Boys are considered much more desirable then girls because they can work, stay at home, and carry on the family name, whereas girls are eventually given away at marriage. This policy has led to thousands of baby girls being aborted, abandoned, hidden, or killed. In the Chinese orphanages the overwhelming majority of children are also girls. Also, since most families choose to keep their sons this policy has created a gender imbalance in schools, towns, and the country as a whole.

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Bound Feet

Bound Feet | An Ocean Apart, a World Away. foot-binding | Scoop.it
Elizabeth Walton's insight:

This picture shows the ancient Chinese tradition of foot-binding. Young girls begin binding their feet between the ages 6 to 8. Foot-binding was an extremely painful process that made it difficult for girls to walk at all. A woman's bound feet were a symbol of her beauty and made her acceptable for marriage. Foot-binding was finally banned in the mid-1900's.

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Marriage in the Chinese culture is both very important for both of the families involved and follows a pretty strict structure. Firstly, the complex Chinese structure first originated from the Zhou Dynasty and continued down for many centuries. The father of the household always had the final say in the marriage. In addition, a marriage was always arranged through a middle man who traveled to each household and set everything up. Some of the things that were taken account during this process were the family’s wealth and reputation. Often times the two people getting married had only met each other once briefly or sometimes not at all before the marriage.

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The Chinese Revolution of 1911

The Chinese Revolution of 1911 | An Ocean Apart, a World Away. foot-binding | Scoop.it
History and ICT
Elizabeth Walton's insight:

In China in 1911-1912 the people were going through a process of overthrowing their Manchu Dynasty and replacing it with a Republic. During the Chinese Revolution people had realized that their current government system was now incapable of controlling an entire country. At this time in China their government system was very corrupt. The article says that high officials regularly accepted bribes and sold government positions and took advantage of the citizens by taxing them heavily for their own benefit. The Republic was accepted because they had the support of other countries and had more military power which the people thought could restore peace in China from all the disorder. After the Republic was put into place more western ideas and concepts were introduced in China. During this time parts of China slowly started to break away from ancient Chinese traditions and implant new ones. Although this new government system was implanted the country was still in a state of disorder and constant fighting.

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China's One-Child Policy: History

China's One-Child Policy: History | An Ocean Apart, a World Away. foot-binding | Scoop.it
Elizabeth Walton's insight:

China's One Child Policy first began in 2000 to try and halt the country's growing population. Before this the country did its best to promote both birth control and abortion. Government officials were also given more power over the citizens to oversee if they were following their policies and rules, if not they were threatened.

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An Ocean Apart, a World Away

An Ocean Apart, a World Away | An Ocean Apart, a World Away. foot-binding | Scoop.it
Elizabeth Walton's insight:

The book An Ocean Apart, a World Away is a story of girl in China named Yanyan. During this time in China the country is still in a state of constant fighting and uprisings. The government was controlled for a long time by the Manchu dynasty which was overthrown during the Chinese revolution in 1911. Now ten years later in 1921 China is now a Republic. Yanyan loves school and is fascinated with both Chinese and Western Medicine and dreams of being a doctor. Unfortunately, women at this time especially in China were usually uneducated and were almost completely separate from the rest of society. After she turns down the offer to run away with a boy named Baoshu, who is plotting with a group of Manchu’s to overthrow the Republic, she travels to American to study at Cornell University. Much of the story here is about Yanyan learning to adapt to American culture and finding out that many of her thoughts about what America is like were untrue. She meets some other Chinese students attending the school and persuades her counselor to allow her to enroll in math and science classes which he considered unsuitable for females.

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Little Girl with Bound Feet

Little Girl with Bound Feet | An Ocean Apart, a World Away. foot-binding | Scoop.it
Elizabeth Walton's insight:

This picture shows a little girl with bound feet. This ancient Chinese tradition made girls tightly wrap bandages around their heels and toes to prevent their feet from growing. The ideal length for a girls foot was said to be only 8 inches.

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In China, foot binding slowly slips into history

LIUYI, China — Bathed in a faint afternoon sunlight that seems to highlight every wrinkle on her face and hands, Fu Huiying hobbles around her dusty home. Nearby, chopped vegetables suggest a...
Elizabeth Walton's insight:

I really liked learning about foot-binding from someone who actually went through it. Her perspective on this tradition was really interesting because she didn't despise it but didn't support foot-binding either. She almost seemed sad that there would not be a tradition for women to carry on anymore. It is also kind of sad because she actually believes that bound feet are beautiful and defines a woman. Overall, she believes that foot-binding should end because she would not want her relatives going through the process.

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Interesting Facts & Information: tourism, travel, culture, language, business, people. » Blog Archive » Women in Chinese Culture

Interested in knowing about the role of women in Chinese culture? Get an overview of the women and their evolving role in Chinese society.
Elizabeth Walton's insight:

This article was really intersting. I think that the difference between women rights in Chine and America is that in China the ancient traditions regarding women lasted much longer. Its sad that women were treated as property and were merely given away at marriage. I also think that it was interesting that women were basically resticted to their homes, I wonder if this was partly due to the fact that women had bound feet which made it difficult for them to walk.

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