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The untold spy story of WWI

In 1910 a proposed Alliance between Germany and France (See New York Times Article ) worried Britain so they sent someone to 'sniff around'.

The story is a personal journey of discovery set in the vibrant energy that is Zanzibar. Susan finds herself in the palace of the great Sultan of Zanzibar as private tutor to his children. She immerses herself in the heady experiences of that rich island. From making friends with her personal servant, Subira, to falling in love with Asim, a senior member of the Sultan's court. Susan delights in the discovery of Zanzibar and the discovery of herself. The only shadow being that she was recruited by British Military Intelligence as a spy. That compromises her love for Asim and will eventually cut the silken thread that is her journey into the exotic.

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Sunday
Jan082012

 

The Cultural Revolution through my Eyes

by

Xiaosui Zhou

 

 

I was born in 1966, the year China the Culture Revolution began. My mother told me when I was just born that a nurse held me in her arms and said, "come, look at this girl, she is so pretty, her eyes are so big". Another nurse who was in the room standing in front of the window, said, "come here and look at the people marching down the street wearing high caps!"

They were the people the Gong Chan Party (The Communist Party) had branded as counter-revolutionary. They were being marched down the street as an example.

This is the story of my life, and my family's life, in the time of the Cultural Revolution. I hope you will be interested in seeing China through my eyes.

 

Chapter One

I was Born in this Time

This was a time of unrest and uncertainty. A time that was to last for 10 long years and profoundly affected my family.

Just after I was born, the Government accused my father of being a counter-revolutionary because his family had moved from China and all lived overseas. So he lost his job as a teacher. He wasn’t allowed to work and had to stay at home reflecting on what he had done wrong. This was bad for my father, but it was good for me. My father could look after me at home, and over the early years of my growing up I became very close to my father who was also my first teacher.

I remember, he hung a blanket by the four corners to become a hammock, and he put me inside. He would rock me to and fro when I cried or became restless. He needed to write two pieces for the Government about his thinking and saying sorry that his family left China and lived overseas. He also had to embroider a Mao Zhengdong photo.

Just like this, my father looked after me and finished his thinking “reconstruct”.

My parents told me I was a lambkin, a fat lot cry. My father really loved me. At that time, no-one listened for him, so he talked to me everyday. He talked and talked and I laughed and laughed. My father said he looked at me and I made him so happy.

By the time I was one year old, I had worn out four blankets!

When I was one year old, my father who had lost his job as a teacher, had to go to a Government building company to become a general labourer. It was very hard work for a teacher. At night he had to go to re-education meetings. When I was older and started to understand something of what had happened in my family, my sister, who is six years older than me, told me, “in this time, many nights she saw my father come back from the meeting with bruises and wounds all over the body." These had been inflicted by the Hong Wei Bing. My mother, who was a Doctor, cried and helped my father clean the wounds. These beatings went on night after night, my father wanted to die. My mother told him, “I need you, your two children need you, they need to have a father, you must live!’

Hong Wei Bing: Hong = red; wei = to guard, to protect; bing = soldier

In Chinese culture, ‘hong’ is lucky and represents good.

The Hong Wei Bing was the Communists Party’s youth cadre. It was made up of students in high school aged between 12 and 18. They were given authority over any person branded as a counter-revolutionary. They were, of course, too young and callow to be given that much power, so they abused it. It would be like giving the students at your local High School authority, without boundaries, over anyone in your town who did not seem to conform, including their teachers.

The Government officials ran the re-education meeting with the Hong Wei Bing.

The Hong Wei Bing harassed anyone who was at the meeting. Asking questions like, ‘Did you do the bad thing for the Government, for Mao?’, ‘Do you love Mao?’, ‘Why does your family live overseas?’ ………… questions that had to be answered quickly and with enthusiasm. If the Hong Wei Bing were not satisfied with the answer, or even if they did not like your demeanor, of if they just wanted to hurt you, then they would beat you up. Many people died from these beatings.

My father did not, he lived.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday
Jan082012

 

 

My Father's Wisdom

by

Xiaosui Zhou

 

 

I was born in 1966, the year China the Culture Revolution began. My mother told me when I was just born that a nurse held me in her arms and said, "come, look at this girl, she is so pretty, her eyes are so big". Another nurse who was in the room standing in front of the window, said, "come here and look at the people marching down the street wearing high caps!"

They were the people the Gong Chan Party (The Communist Party) had branded as counter-revolutionary. They were being marched down the street as an example.

These are some of the stories my father taught my in this time.

 



Chapter One

Why do you make yourself upset when other people do the wrong thing?

I was eight years old, I very like Chinese dance. I often danced in the school. Teacher very like me, she always teach me a lot. After one year, I dance very well. I went to factory, army and other schools, many places to perform.

One day, teacher asked me to go to her office. She told me I can’t dance for the school any more. I was very upset. I asked, “why?” Teacher said: “somebody told to school that your father is a bad person who is oppose to Mao. So you have a bad family, you cannot dance any where.

I cried long time when I went home. I didn’t want talk to anybody, I didn’t want eat food, I just cried and cried. I was ill; I stayed in the bed two days. I couldn’t go to school. My parents didn’t know what happened to me. They were worried. So they went to school to find out what happened.

I remember, one morning, when I woke up, my father was gave me a book. It was a very old book, with many dance pictures in the book. I look and no interested. My father smiled and asked me: “ Do you think your father is a bad person”. I shook my head. Father laughed, and then he said: “you are right, our family is a very good family. We never done the wrong thing to anybody. You are a best dancer, they don’t want you dance, it is they who are losing. My daughter you haven’t lost anything. You must be happy again, you can dance at home, our family can have dance party every week. My daughter, you must remember, don’t use other person do the wrong thing to punish yourself.

Yes, my father was very right. After this thing, when I am upset for someone, I always tell myself : ‘why you make yourself upset for other people doing the wrong thing.’