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4th - rendering Unequal Worlds

by Felmagre 

Posted: 24 September 2003
Word Count: 525
Summary: I trust the changes make for improved reading. I await your comments with interest.

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For Mi Ling being born into a Chinese family as a girl was not something to be envied. Though her Father a cormorant fisherman from Yangshuo had made every effort to improve his family's position, risking his life swimming the Li river and walking across mountains to reach Hong Kong, things were still difficult when Mi Ling arrived. There was barely enough money to feed the family and the last thing he needed was another baby. So, just two weeks into life Mi Ling was taken by her father to be abandoned, left to die of cold and exposure. 'He was not a bad man' she says in his defence 'what was he to do, he could not feed us all.' Indeed, that Mi Ling is alive and relating her story proves this. It seems when the crunch came her father simply could not leave his daughter and somehow found a way to feed his family. Such traumatic happenings would have had many of us here in the west running to therapists and given us an excuse to become crippled, self absorbed individuals. This was simply part and parcel of life for Mi Ling and not something she was going to let impeded her development as a wife, mother and student.

Ever since she can remember Mi Ling had longed to go to university: an impossible dream as she left school with no formal qualifications as did the vast majority in Hong Kong. Not deterred in terms of resources and social life Mi Ling attended evening classes night after night, no matter how tired she was, determined to gain her standard grade English and Maths. Since gaining them she's met and married a high ranking police officer, has three beautiful children a lovely home and servants. All this a far cry from her unpromising beginnings.

In July of ninety nine Hong Kong's returned to China was to dramatically affect Mi Ling and her family's life, not least because of changes to the education system. As a result of these changes Mi Ling and her husband decided to send their children to Britain to complete their education. Naturally Mi Ling would accompany them.

Not one for wasting opportunities she used being in Scotland to improve her English language skills, as a result heard about the Open University from one of the ESOL tutors. Now, two years into her degree her dream is being realised. Mi Ling says of herself 'I'm on a journey a path which has many, many stairs to climb.' ' Once you take the first step you must continue to climb.' ' You must complete the journey no matter how tired it makes your legs.' 'I have started to climb.'

Mi Ling is one of those rare people you meet every now and then who have no inkling of their specialness and the impact they have on others. Nor, in Mi Ling's case how bright or well balanced she is. She has this unique ability to challenge people by her determination not only to realise her own dream but also to inspire her children so they too will become all they can be.

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Comments by other Members

Richard Brown at 17:55 on 29 September 2003  Report this post
Excellent! Such a vast improvement and hardly a comma in sight! One or two editorial bits:
1. I'd still replace 'Father' with 'father'
2. In the last line of the ist paragraph - 'impede', not 'impeded'.
3. In para 3 - 'Hong Kong's return' (not 'returned')
4. In the fourth paragraph - there's no need for so many quotation marks in Mi Ling's reported speech. It's continuous so needs speech marks only at the beginning and end.

There are probably a few more small typos and the like (I didn't have time for a thorough trawl) but overall the improvement from the first version to the fourth is dramatic. Well done!


chinamummy at 21:39 on 29 September 2003  Report this post
Hi. I enjoyed your piece. Mi Ling sounds like a very special lady. Chinese women have an inner strength that many people in the West have never had to tap into. I know this because I adopted twin baby girls from China 18 months ago. They are the most spirited children I have ever known and if they continue to be so strong and accepting of their fate I guess someone might write about them and their strength of personality one day too. Please tell Mi Ling that I'll tell her story to my children when they're older.

Felmagre at 08:14 on 01 October 2003  Report this post
Good morning China Mummy,

Yes, I believe you are correct in your understanding of Chinese Ladies if Mi Ling is anything to go by. She is an inspiration as well as being a very nice person to boot.

You won't go far wrong in teaching your children about her. May I congratulate you on having crossed cultures, you will be enriched and challenged by the experience.

Kind regards

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