曾铮文集
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曾铮文集
·評《三生三世十里桃花》续
·「繞樑三月」的美食經歷——在紐約
·Taking on the Chinese Authorities
·「三百六十行 行行出狀元」“Every Trade Has Its Master”
·Witnessing History: one woman’s fight for freedom and Falun Gong
·與《靜水流深》之恩人的聚會
·An Ordinary, But Extremely Extraordinary, Chinese-Style Mother
·Witnessing History Should be Mandator Reading
·一份被香港媒體封殺的採訪
·惡之火與善之心
·曾錚的圖片故事(11)Jennifer’s Photo Stories (11)
·莊稼地裏的「祕密通道」Banned Books Mean Everything
·My Thoughts on Yang Shuping’s “Fresh Air” Speech at the University
·楊舒平「新鮮空氣」引發的「血案」與兩名北大外教的故事
·我也看見過UFO飛碟 I’ve also Seen a UFO
· 我看「巴黎協定」
· A Better Way to "Re-enter" Paris Accord
·【Mini Novel】 A Red Hairpin【微小說】 紅色的髮夾
·Quote of My Daughter ( 1)
·評熱門新片《神力女超人(Wonder Woman)》
·Why Do We Need a “Wonder Woman” Today?
·【讀史筆記之二】未讀史實 先樹史觀
·【讀史筆記之三】「文化」正解
·【讀史筆記之四】「中國」「新」知與走向未來
·【讀史筆記之六】神話即歷史&人、地球與宇宙
·曾錚的圖片故事(16)Jennifer’s Photo Stories (16)
·The Story of My Father
·【讀史筆記之七】造人的傳說與人真正生命的來源
·【讀史筆記之八】「三皇開文明」及神傳文化
·曾錚的圖片故事(17)
·【讀史筆記之九】人類所經歷兩個截然不同的過程
·Jennifer’s Photo Stories (18)曾錚的圖片故事(18)
·【讀史筆記之十】我之易學「研究」誤區:離道越遠越難很回返
·一道簡單而可怕的數學題
·【讀史筆記之十一】中醫的奧祕與實
·二十年前的今天
·【讀史筆記之十二】跳出局部看整體
·【讀史筆記之十三】巨细庞大的工程
·【讀史筆記之十四】德化天下與找尋真相
·Another Date to Celebrate! Plus Three "Trivial" Things That Really Sho
·在黑暗無望的濁世中 看見希望的金光
·曾錚的圖片故事(19)兔子與毛衣- 兔子與毛衣
·和《好兄弟,我哭了!》
· 讓人打寒顫的通知Chilling Notification
·三篇互相矛盾的报导詮釋何爲「厚顏無恥」
·A State of Torture
·Charles Hugo's Laughters
·虞超的笑聲
·兩張表情迥異的臉
·十六歲時的傷感
·三十歲的新生命
·Is Reunification of South and North Korea an Option for the Chinese Co
·與美國人做「生意」 Doing "Business" with Americans
·Jennifer's Photo Stories (25) 曾錚的圖片故事(25)
·愚蠢的我 令人神經錯亂的科技 Stupid Me & Terrifying Technology
·全球訴江(1) 「畢業旅行」陡吃官司
·「別跟特朗普總統打交道」?我焉能枉擔此虛名!
·神韻音樂: 聽過才有的膚淺認識
·My Humble Understanding of Shen Yun Music
·An Open Letter to President Trump regarding His Visit to China
·人消費
·鄉愁 Homesickness
·難民申請艱辛路 The Harsh Road of Asylum Seeking
·A Mature Person 內心成熟之人
·《靜水流深》中文版再版 亞馬遜網站全球發售
·《靜水流深》再版序:靜水流深 穿破暗夜
·世界是精神的物化
·《靜水流深》再版自序
·中共國取消主席任期限制 有啥好驚慌的?My Quick Thoughts on China's Prop
·「適者生存」在美國 One of the Reasons Why I Should Live in America
·Seeking the Way 步虛歌
·Troubles 麻煩
·Why Do I Write This Book?
·The Soul of My Poetry 文心
·The Mystical Udumbara 優曇婆羅花
·「情人眼裏出西施」曾(錚)解 A Beauty is Created by a Lover's Eyes
·以對——和元曦《無言》
·「俠女」隨想 The Spirit of a Female Knight
·「俠女」隨想 The Spirit of a Female Knight
·A Song from Tibet 藏歌
·Elegy 大提琴之《殤》
·A Snowy Day in Spring 春雪有懷
·An Example of How the Chinese Consulates Are Spreading Lies
·Pear Flower 梨花詩
·題白雲詩社 In Appreciation of The White Cloud Poetry Society
·「急思廣溢」新解 What is Cang Tou Shi?
·白蓮歌 Song to the White Lotus
·陌上(調寄天淨沙)On The Way
·鴻蒙前的歌唱 The Song Before the World Begun
·定中 In Tranquility
·詩語的飛翔 Upon Word and Wing
·Catching the Moment—Appreciating and Analyzing "On the Way"
·「遍插茱萸少一人」-寫在北大建校百廿年
· 西江月·初冬有懷 My Thoughts in Early Winter
·Holding Hands
·冬日隨筆(一)A Winter’s Poem (1)
· 再詠黃山雪霽 Huangshan (1) after Snow/Ode to Huangshan(1)
·賦得春江花月夜 A Moonlit Night on the Spring River
·Will They Gain Freedom?
·Jennifer’s Photo Stories (26)-The Question I Ask & The Question I Fai
·歸真 Returning to Zhen*
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The Story of My Father

(Please click here
   for full article with photos:
   
   Jennifer’s father visited Jennifer on a business trip to Beijing while she was studying in Peking University. The photo was taken at the famous Weiming (or Unnamed) Lake in Peking University. (Provided by Jennifer Zeng)
   

   1
   My father was born into an ordinary peasant family in Chaozhong village, Zhongjiang County, Sichuan Province. It was said that my grandmother had given birth to 12 children, but only 9 survived. My father was the second eldest son in the family. With numerous younger brothers and sisters to look after, he was naturally expected to share the responsibility of supporting the family.
   I didn’t have a chance to visit my father’s home village until the 1980’s, when I was already a high school student. Several of my uncles were still living in the shabby, old mud wall houses inherited from our ancestors, with literally no furniture inside, nor electricity. People still relied on dim kerosene lamps in the night.
   To me, this kind of family should have fallen into the “absolute poverty” category. However, in 1949, when the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) categorized everyone in China into different classes after coming into power, my father’s family was classified as a “small land lessor.”
   
   Jennifer Zeng (right) with her two sisters in the 1980’s at Chaozhong village, Zhongjiang County, Sichuan Province in China. The mud wall house behind them was the family house passed on to many generations from their ancestors. Some of Jennifer’s uncles and many of her cousins are still living in this house and village today. (Provided by Jennifer Zeng)
   I learnt the term “small land lessor” in 1973, when I was required to fill in the “personnel archive form” while enrolling into elementary school. One of the items to be filled was the “family class category on your father’s side.”
   At that time a “personnel archive” was set up for everyone when you first enrolled into elementary school. All personal information was included in the archive files including all exam scores in the school, all the comments your teacher wrote about you, all your family situations, and all the good and bad things about you.
   Everywhere you went, this archive followed. But you were not allowed to view the contents or know what was actually inside. It was only meant for the Party to know everything about everybody.
   As a 6-year-old, grade-one student, I already knew that there were a “class of landlords” and a “class of poor and the lower-middle peasants,” but I didn’t understand what a “small land lessor” was. I then asked my mother, who immediately said indignantly, “It was unfair! There were so many brothers and sisters in your father’s family. Overall, they didn’t own much land. If it were calculated based on the average land area per person, your father’s family should have been categorized as ‘middle peasants’ at most. Only because they had hired people to help farming the land, they were categorized as a ‘small land lessor,’ which was unfairly high!”
   In the 1990s'Jennifer revisited her relatives who still lived in the village. The old family house remained unchanged. (Provided by Jennifer Zeng)
   In the 1990s’Jennifer revisited her relatives who still lived in the village. The old family house remained unchanged. (Provided by Jennifer Zeng)
   
   I didn’t fully understand mother’s explanation. However, I somehow already knew that it was a terrible thing if you were ranked “high” in the “class category.” At that time, the grandfather of a girl in our class was a landlord; and the entire class looked down upon that girl.
   Once I went to her home, and unintentionally saw an old man in a black cotton-padded coat sitting in the corner quietly. I realized that this must be her landlord grandfather. Immediately I was struck with fear, as if having seen a monster. I hastily made up an excuse and fled her home as fast as I could.
   Fortunately enough, the social class category of my mother’s side was “poor people in the city,” which was part of the “proletariat.” This gratefully evened up my father’s “high category” a little bit.
   My mother’s parents got divorced soon after she was born; and she was adopted by another family. Actually, my mother’s foster father was once a “capitalist,” who owned a brewery and a shop in Zhongjiang County. My father actually came to know my mother when he worked in that shop as an apprentice.
   Later on, my mother’s foster father became addicted to opium. As a result, he spent all his wealth. When the CCP took power in 1949 and gave everyone a “social class category,” he was therefore classified as “poor people in the city.”
   From then on he often boasted in front of my mother and my grandmother, “Do you think it would have been so easy for you to become part of the ‘proletariat’ if it weren’t for me?”
   2
   My father had some private schooling when he was young. When he was older, he had to attend school, which was very far from home. Every day, he needed to finish all his homework at school, as his time after school belonged to family duties, including weaving a certain amount of fabric, which was to be sold at a farmers’ market every ten to fifteen days.
   When he became a teenager, my father insisted on going to the capital city of the county to study. My grandmother didn’t want him to go, as he was much needed at home. She figured: if we find him a wife and get him married, he would then stay, become a strong farmer for the family, and then raise his own children to carry on the family line.
   Therefore, they managed to find a girl for him. When he went on an arranged blind date, my father saw that the girl had a “pig-belly” shaped face, and instantly disliked her. With much determination, he refused this marriage arrangement; and overtook many difficulties before he was finally able to go to the capital city, where he eventually met my mother.
   When my father told me this story, there was always an unnoticeable trace of contempt on his face. I always thought to myself: How lucky! If father had married that “pig-belly” faced woman, wouldn’t he have been “trapped” in the countryside? If that were the case, there would have never been such a person as me in this world. Therefore, I have never thought highly of anybody who had a “pig-belly” shaped face, no matter how others praised her for being beautiful.
   However, I had never figured out: as a mere teenager, why my father could be so determined about gaining more education when the entire family was against this.
   
   
   
   Profile photo of Jennifer Zeng’s father at university. Ever since Jennifer’s childhood, she has believed that this is what a handsome man should look like. (Provided by Jennifer Zeng)
   
   
   My mother later told me that my father was the eldest student in his class. As a fourth grader at the elementary school, he was already 18 years old. He studied very hard and showed various talents in different areas. He was good at singing, playing musical instruments, basketball, swimming, calligraphy and writing. The essays he wrote were spread amongst the students in the entire county as good examples; and my mother had also read them in school. So, my father was quite a figure even then!
   3
   In the 1960’s, at the age of 27, my father was admitted to the Southwest University of Political Science & Law in Sichuan Province; and thus became the first ever university student in his village. This caused quite a sensation among all the villagers.
   As far as I can remember, father only told me one story about his university life, and that was about a secret skill for obtaining one more bowl of rice.
   When my father was attending university, China was experiencing the so-called “Three Years of Natural Disasters.” It should actually be called “The Three Years of the Great Chinese Famine,” when 20-43 millions were starved to death, according to some scholars.
   My father said, when it was mealtime in the university, everybody ate in the dining hall, with eight people sitting at each table. Rice was supplied in a big pot for everyone to share.

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