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Saturday, May 9, 2009

School Girls in Republican China

I came across these two photos of students at a missionary school for girls in Beijing during the Republican era. They were taken by Sidney Gamble sometime between 1917 and 1919. I was particularly moved by this one: the girls looked happy and proud. They were probably full of hopes and dreams (they were girls and they were given an education!) not knowing what's ahead of them was in fact the horrors of the Sino-Japanese War, the Chinese Civil War, the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution... and yet, their hopes and dreams are forever frozen in time in this photo.

These are the elementary school girls. You really should enlarge it and see how adorable they are! And also, look at how neatly their feet are crossed...they have been taught proper manners, unlike Ms. Cat here. Scratching self with paws :-)