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(2007-03-14 21:03:42)

Xieba (10/07 afternoon)

Around tree o clock Liu Yang came to our place and me and him and Shenqi went to look around in Xieba for the first time. The plan was the same as the days before and Shenqi was supposed to draw the map (A challenge that we realized was much harder than we had first thought)

We walked on narrow paths between the rice fields to get to the different farmers house and I found it quite exciting even if a lot of dogs scared us. Fortunately for us Liu Yang was with us, he told us as he was born in the year of the Tiger he was not afraid of dogs and would protect us.

We noticed that the houses seemed to be of worse quality the further we came from the main road. At the road almost all the houses seemed new two floor buildings while there were much fewer of those further up the hill and away from the road and the river. 







Finally, after have walked on these narrow paths for a while we came to a family but sadly they did not want to speak to us. So we went to the next farmhouse where an old lady was happy to talk to us. But later some men came, which Shenqi also interviewed, and after a couple of questions one of the men became annoyed and left. Shenqi continued to ask some questions to the old lady but another man asked us to leave. We left and I started to feel a bit uncomfortable, as I not want to intrude in these peoples lives. But as I did not really understand what was going on I let Shenqi and Liu Yang handle things, which they did exceptionally well seeing that they were both very calm and collected. We continued to a place with bamboo trees where a lot of people had gathered to enjoy the shade and coolness of the trees. At first the people seemed unfriendly and just told us to leave but when they understood that we were students from Fudan their behavior changed drastically and they answered all Shenqi’s questions. They explained to us that they were a bit skeptical against people from outside the village as they had previously been cheated by some people and lost a lot of money.




Then we continued and Shenqi interviewed a person who seemed very nice and had traveled a lot around China to find jobs but had never gotten one that was well paid.

We continued to the School in the village which was quite similar to the school in the other village. An old lady showed us around the school and pointed out some flaws with the school for instance were a roof and the floor in one classroom in very bad condition. I took a picture of a small girl who was playing in the school but when I tried to show her the picture she almost began to cry.

During the whole day when we walked between the different farmer’s houses I and Liu Yang had spoken a lot. He had told me about his experiences and that he was almost famous in the village as he had been the best student in the school. He also told me that he was going to a good university next year but was planning to retake the university test to get into an even better university. And he said that he had never worked as a farmer as his family wanted to him to go to university. We also talked a bit about Sweden, he had a lot of questions and I tried to answer them as good as possible.

Finally after a long day we went home. Just before bedtime I and Lishuang discussed future research.








Xieba the second day (11/7)

As usual I had a good morning and after breakfast Shenqi, Liu Yang, and I went with a farmer named Liu Chun Hua to see more of the Xieba village.

First we went to the village hall which was small and rarely used. The village hall in Changjiang was much bigger and cleaner and even had a computer.

When we continued walking I talked to Liu Yang and he told me that none of his friends in his age was still in the villages. All had left for the cities to work or to study, a fact that I found quite interesting and quite similar to Sweden. Young people in Sweden seldom want to live in the countryside.







As we were walking along the road I said hello to a farmer who was cleaning corn. He replied my greetings and asked me where I came from. I told him that I come from Sweden to which he replied that I must be very unhappy as I am so far away from home. We talked for a while and Liu Yang helped me when I did not understand and when the farmer did not understand what I was saying. When we finally left the farmer said “manzou” (walk slow).

After that we came to a kindergarten but unfortunately the children were away this particular day. However, we walked around in the daycare center and it was nice even though it was directly connected to a pig farm. We went, later on, to see an artist who created miniature mountain landscapes. The creations were nice but Shenqi told me that the artist bragged a lot.

Then we went to talk to a farmer who owned a tea house and Liu Yang was nice to translate for me and I also took some pictures. Next to the tea house was Liu Chun Hua’s home so we walked over there and got some delicious corn.                  

And then we went to see a rather large pig farm (around 15 pigs). One pig seemed crazy and tried to jump over his fence.







Liu Yang had previously pointed out his house and as it was very close by I asked him if it was okay if we could see his room. He said that it was okay even though he told us that it was very untidy. But, in contrast to what he said, his room was quite tidy. He had posters of famous football players and manga figures on the walls.

We continued on and Liu Chun Hua showed us some walkways among the rice fields that seemed very tidy and organized. And then we took a bus back to my sleeping place and what had become more and more our headquarters: the farmhouse of Yan Guang Ping the village representative of Xieba.

After we had all eaten and slept for a while Yan Guang Ping took us to meet some of the poorest farmers in Xieba.


刘洋指给我看过他的家,因为离得很近,我提出参观一下他的房间。他说可以,但是他的房间很脏。但是,恰恰相反,他的房间相当干净。他在墙上贴着足球明星和???(manga figures)的海报。




The first family only consisted of a small girl in a yellow princess dress and an old woman. The house was very dark and small. The child’s parents had gone to the city and her mother had, in the city, run away with another man while her father continued to send home money every month. The experience to see the family was very sad and I felt a bit uncomfortable as I come from a happy family in Sweden. I did not feel worthy to stand there and listen to their sad stories.

Then we went further away from the main road up towards the hills, as we walked I talked a bit with Ji Geng and Liu Yang. Both told me that they also felt very sad for the family we had just visited.





We saw the school again and then we continued to walk to see a poor old man, who lived alone in a small cottage made of clay with no electricity. At his place I also felt uncomfortable and did not go in to see the inside of his house. I felt like a tourist looking at misery.

We left the old man and continued with a big group of children following us (and I saw a bathing water buffalo). Then we came to see some more poor families and Liu Yang, who lived in a neighbouring village, told me that he was surprised of what he saw here. He really did not imagine that so many poor farmers could live here.





Then we continued and walked up on the top hill to the end of the village where they had planted a lot of bamboo. After that we went down all the way to the river and a fisherman took us on his boat on the Yangtze river, A very nice experience.

Next we went back to our place and I had to say goodbye to Liu Yang, which was sad as I liked him. Fortunately, he promised to write email to me.                   

For supper we ate some delicious fish that Yuan Guang Ping bought for us from the fisherman. During the dinner he told me that wanted me to come back and that he wanted to know more about Sweden, which made me very happy. I also had to say goodbye to all my research companions which of course was very sad. But I had gotten all their emails so it still felt okay.






I think I learned a lot during the time in the villages and on the train. I got to see another China, a China that you sometimes can glimpse in Shanghai but is much more apparent in other places. It is the China of contrast.   




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