Dispatches from China

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China through the looking glass

Now the time has come
To talk of other things –
Of strawberries and jellies
And other would be kings.

Looking through the glass at China you can not see the story behind the door; the story of five generations whose lives were defined by the last 60 years.

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The children of the revolution are now parents and grandparents. The world they were born in is nothing more than a memory, replaced by a reality which has, in many cases, lined their pockets but taken them to strange places far from home. The structured environment of the local communes and certainty of communist socialist ideology was left behind as people followed economic opportunities to the cities and overseas. In their new surrounding they remain fiercely loyal to their home towns, but as each generation passes the ties become weaker. Now, after three generations of suffering and sacrifice, they find themselves confronted by generations as strange to them as Gen X and Y were to us Baby Boomers.

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