International Women’s Day 2010

Second International Women’s Day Event

When I went to China in 2008, and spent almost a year there, working at a college/university, I had no plans to return, and in 2009 I expected I would stay home in Wynnum, Queensland.

But I was offered an opportunity to spend 3 months in South Korea, in a city called Jeon Ju and with a little fear and trepidation I accepted.

Not long after returning to Australia after that adventure, I was offered a position back in Shaoxing, for just one semester, so in February 2010, I was on my way back to China.

As was the case in 2008, I was there in time for International Women’s Day – but this time the celebrations were quite different. It was to be held at a major hotel in Shaoxing, and when we received our invitations, it came with a request to perform.  As often happened, it was me who set out to arrange something that the Aussie ladies could do. And of course, no one wanted to participate. It was funny that again we were asked about our Australian National Dress.  What is it?

Australian National Costume?

I have Googled “Australian National Costume” – and there is no “one” outfit that fits this concept.  We often laughed and said, t-shirt, jeans and sneakers.  What if?

I am Australian

Anyway, we were not in any national costume for this event, but a friend and I took to the stage and sang the famed Seeker’s song “I am, we are, Australian”.   As one who does not like to perform in public (or at all), I was pleased with our act, and we got plenty of applause!!

Qui Jin

It was some time later, that I learned about Qui Jin – who was from the city of Shaoxing.  I don’t recall any mention of her at either of the IWD events I attended.  What a shame!  As a local amazing woman, with her statue in the middle of town, I would have thought there would be a mention of her.

Why wasn’t she mentioned at an International Women’s Day event in China?  She was active around the beginning of last century in trying to stop the binding of feet of Chinese women – which was part of tradition.  Maybe it was to stop the wives running away when their marriages were not happy.  But young girls had the bones in their feet broken and turned under the foot, which was painful for them.

Over many years, various entities attempted to get the act of foot binding banned, and there is a great story of the history of this terrible custom on Wikipedia here.   Around 1910 things were changing in China and footbinding was on the way out.  An interesting story.

Anyway, I have good memories of International Women’s Day celebrations in China.

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About Di Hill

My business card says "Writer, Traveller, Camera Addict, Bamboo Fan, Workshop Presenter." This website will focus on my writing - and the workshops I present. Workshops on Blogging, Marketing for Writers, and Life Story Writing.
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