A picture is worth a thousand words and these nine photos, which have touched thousands of Chinese netizens, show a side of China that most people may not know.
Deep love between little girl and her great grandma
The little girl in this photo, Li Pan, is 17 years old now, and lives with her 96-year-old great grandma in Hebei Province, China. When she was very young her dad passed away, and then her mom left her and married someone else. Since then, she has been taking care of the family including her great grandma, who’s been bedridden for many years.
This strong girl has brought love, hope, and happiness to her family, and inspired this award-winning photograph.
To love is to share
Outside a KFC restaurant, an old beggar just bought his wife an ice-cream cone. He waited aside, watching her enjoying it. To love is to share and care.
The ‘hero dog’ Feixiong
Feixiong was a search and rescue (SAR) dog that was severely injured when searching for survivors in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. When found under debris, Feixiong was nearly dead and wasn’t recovering. His trainer gave Feixiong a big hug, and with tears rolling down his face, put him down to relieve his pain and suffering.
Feixiong was honored as a “hero dog” for his contribution in the Sichuan earthquake rescue operation.
This 91-year-old “grandma peddler” was first noticed by a kind-hearted netizen, “延续GIRL.” In Jiao Zuo city, Henan Province, she sells items every day instead of just begging for money. After her story and photos went viral online, many netizens noticed the bowl next to her. They say: “It’s a similar bowl to beggars’, but you can see the owner’s dignity from this one.”
The most beautiful scene in the rainstorm
During a rainstorm in Suzhou, China, an old beggar with a crippled leg struggled desperately to move himself forward. Suddenly, a young girl rushed into the rain with an umbrella and held the umbrella over him so he wouldn’t get wet, letting herself get completely soaked. This photo quickly went viral online, and she was praised as being “the most beautiful scene in the rainstorm.”
Here are two Sina users’ comments, according to Chinasmack:
“Thank you, good girl! What you held up was not an umbrella, but a sliver of hope for all people trapped in a rainstorm, shining a bit of light for a society caught precariously in a raging storm! May all people who are on the lowest level of society caught in the midst of a rainstorm have this kind of umbrella.”
“There will be a day when Chinese people will look back and find the things that we have lost…”
Tough journey to school
Gulu elementary school is probably the most remote school in China, or even in the world. It’s located halfway up a mountain and takes students five hours to get there. The path, as shown in the photo above, is an extremely dangerous cliff road, and only about 1 foot wide.
On Nov. 18, 2011, the elementary school was shut down and the students now attend school at a safer location.
This happened on bus 321 in Fuzhou, where a construction worker was sitting on a step though there were seats available. He was soaked with sweat and his boots were covered with mud. He hesitated for a little while and then sat on the step.
He doesn’t know that his photo ignited a hot discussion on the Internet with many netizens moved by his consideration, while others feel sad.
Before this photo came out, there were reports on construction workers giving their seats to other passengers, but being rejected. Why? Because the passengers thought the workers’ seats were dirty, and some even said they may get diseases if they sat in their seat.
Regardless of others’ judgement, many construction workers choose to ride a bike to work, or stand in a bus, so that they don’t make other passengers feel uncomfortable.
A sanitation worker picked up a college student’s wallet, and waited in the rain for two hours until the student came back to get it. She was moved to tears by his kindness.
Differences in education
Since the mid-1980s, China started a nine-year compulsory education system, which includes six years of elementary school and three years of junior high school. However, there’s a very noticeable gap between rural and urban students.
“In urban classrooms, students use state-of-the-art technology, and they learn English, reading, math, and science from well-qualified educators. By contrast, many rural schools include cramped dormitories where students eat and sleep because they’ve traveled from their homes in the mountains.
Teachers are under-resourced and lack incentives,” writes projectpartner.org, which also says that because students have to pay for junior-high-school education, 60 percent of rural students drop out because they can’t afford it.
According to poverties.org:
“Despite massive investments in teacher training and school premises and equipment in the 1990s, the issue of corruption and embezzlement of public funds by local officials has taken a severe toll on the quality of the teaching environment.
“In remote provinces, schools are often poorly built or left in an advanced state of deterioration. Earthquakes in the Western provinces of China are great to uncover the extent of corruption: you can immediately see which buildings are and aren’t still standing.
“In 2008, a disproportionately high number of schools collapsed in the massive earthquake in Sichuan, revealing how sub-standard the buildings were for a region prone to quakes and landslides. The extent to which corruption impacts on poverty in China is undoubtedly widespread and all-pervasive.”
Researched by Monica Song and Cecilia Kwan