CHINESE CHAPTERS

Short Flashes

Swallow part 1: recognition

* Swallow part 2: ceremony

Swallow part 3: awaiting

We used to keep dead lotus leaves to hear the rain

Steps

Here live only sparrows





Swallow part 2


Swallow part 2

In the ancestry book of the family, only male members are mentioned. However, in the longest column on the left page, Cōng Yàn’s name is written. She is the only girl noted in the book. Cōng Yàn was a second daughter, so her parents decided to raise her as a boy.
She was the favorite of her grandfather, spending days with him in the forest, while her older sister was staying with her grandmother at home. According to the « one child » policy, the parents needed to pay fees for the second baby. Despite this, they decided to give her the highest education.


Swallow part 2

I was born on the first day of the New Year. Time stops during New Year's Day, suspends, no one works, everyone goes back home, the cities are empty, the restaurants and shops closed. My mom started to feel the pain during lunch. There was no doctor or midwife in the village. No one had a car. My father and his friend dragged my mom through the mountains in a wheelbarrow, it took them a few hours, to get to the nearest hospital. The doctor was upset about having to work on New Year’s Day. He helped my mother to give birth, but didn’t write down the exact time of birth which is very important for predicting your future. On the day of my birth it was fairly warm, the sun was shining.

Swallow part 2

Swallow part 2

Swallow part 2

Despite the couple being together for 8 years, Chen Feng’s parents were still not convinced that he should marry Cōng Yàn as she didn’t know the exact time of her birth. They couldn’t read from the stars if the two matched.
Finally, Cōng Yàn ‘s mother needed to draw back memories of that day, to avoid the cancellation of the wedding. She estimated she gave birth around 7 pm.


Swallow part 2




Swallow part 2

Cōng Yàn and Chen Feng got marriage certificate from the office, a little red book with their portrait picture inside.
The preparation started: the young couple signed up for the driving license and began to collect money for their first car. They renovated apartment in Chen Feng’s family house. They made an impressive photo session, posing in many suits and dresses.
A few days before the wedding, inhabitants of the village helped out: men put up red tents between buildings, hung up red garlands and removed all nails from walls, to bring good luck. Ladies were shelling lotus seeds, peeling bamboo sprouts, untying tangled crabs.
The orchestra and moviemakers led the car with the young couple on a newly built road between uninhabited constructions. Then, Cōng Yàn and Chen Feng, covered with confetti, roars of fireworks and surrounded by guests, passed through two colorful inflatable gates, to pay their respects to the family.


Swallow part 2

Swallow part 2

Swallow part 2

Swallow part 2

Swallow part 2

During the dinner, the bride was traditionally pouring drinks for guests and the groom was giving them cigarettes. In exchange, they were receiving red envelopes with money. The tour between big round tables covered by plates was never ending, there were still some guests to welcome, many tents to visit.


Swallow part 2



Swallow part 2



Swallow part 2

Cōng Yàn said: Oh, I forgot to tell my grandmother that I was getting married. Then together with her mum, they lit candles, poured the "bay jiu” to the little glasses and prepared food and fruits to announce the news to ancestors. Then they burnt some fake money whose dust would materialize in the nether world. She said: The most important is too take care of the ancestors 20 years after their death, because they are staying close to family. Following the beliefs, the grandmother was still at home, but the grandfather was already far away. She used to feel his presence after his death, but not anymore.

The day after the wedding, Cōng Yàn took a boat on the nearby river



Swallow part 2