While the One Child Policy was not spoken about to us, there were quite a few stories about families as time went on.
Meet my Brother and Sister
In 2010 a student phoned me and said that her mother wanted to meet me. Would I go to lunch? I accepted. It was funny as the lady and her daughter Lisa came to pick me up, but the lady got upset as she could not remember the route to their home town. Oddly enough I did – and safely directed them to the town/city where they lived. Much to their surprise!!! “How could an Australian know the way?”
As we arrived at the luxurious gated complex, the mother, who spoke no English, asked that Lisa tells me that they were not rich. I was to guess that this information was not correct, as we arrived at the six storied house.
When we entered the house, I was introduced to Lisa’s older sister and her brother. Later, when I asked Lisa how they had three children in the family. She told me the story. Her sister came first, and father saved up to pay the fee and have another child, which was Lisa. Again he saved up, and they paid the fee when her brother was born.
At the University, we learned that those families with only one child were public servants, or poor. The rich had more clout.
One Child Policy Statistics
According to China’s statistics, the policy prevented 400 million births. I am sure it would be much higher.
Not much was said about the policy, but I learned stories. We were shown an old building, where nuns used to live. There was a special window, where people could leave their unwanted babies. Girls of course. The mother was under so much pressure during the One Child Policy times to produce a son, and even with the successful birth of a girl, the mother would be continually bullied by family members. A son was more important. So often they did the unthinkable (to us). They left the girl on the side of the road, or gave them away.
Mei Fong has been in Australia recently – and has been interviewed several times on radio. Read more about her here.