Ten Years of Grief
Most revolutions bring a society better conditions making the country develop faster, and giving people a better life. However, there was a revolution that brought the Chinese people sadness, pain and depression without any good change. That was the Cultural Revolution, which occurred between 1966 to 1976 and destroyed a huge amount of culture and society. At that time, the Mao Zedong came to power, and he initiated a strict order for the country. His party critiqued the traditional culture, defeated rich people, professors and anyone who didn`t support the Communist Party. The Cultural Revolution`s leader ordered those rich people know they should donate their whole fortune, let them work day and night and gave them dirty narrow rooms or grass houses to live. In fact, the ten years of the Cultural Revolution destroyed Chinese people`s characteristic. They threw out traditional culture even if it was good, and forced people to believe the only one party. It made our society become tough that people didn`t have real human right. This Revolution destroyed my family and let my grandmother lose her happiness and pass away early.
The Cultural Revolution critiqued people who were rich and powerful. My great-grandfather was a famous businessman and powerful person in my hometown seventy years ago. He even donated an airplane to the army and assisted them to defeat any aggressors. However, he could not enjoy his old age after the Communist Party won the war. The leader of Revolution accused him of being a capitalist because he had an amount of money to donate. At that period, they forced everyone to become a communist or they would be criticized and denounced. Therefore, the Red Guard which was the solider unit belonging to the leader fired and broke great-grandfather`s traditional treasures, like books, paintings and vases. I still remember that one of the vases was more than two hundred years old. Moreover, they robbed the gold, beautiful decorations and broke the front door of his house. In fact, my great-grandfather passed away after those things happened. We didn`t know the reason that he died. However, compared with other sufferers, he still had a decent quality of life. For example, my grandmother`s sister married a professor and because professors and intellectuals were considered anti-communist by the government, they had to parade through the streets every afternoon. People forced them to hang a board, which was written “I was wrong”, on their neck. This was one rude role that happened in the Cultural Revolution and make people live like a sinner.
In addition, the Cultural Revolution destroyed people`s lives. At the same time, one person`s salary was too low to afford a family. Therefore, my grandmother needed to work hard to bring up four children. Unfortunately, she was ordered to go to the countryside to work. At that time, people believed women could do what men do, so she went down into the cellar in the summer. Nevertheless, this was dangerous work even for men. The biting cold water damaged her body and made her pass away too early. She was a really kind and wonderful woman in my memory. In fact, she was the most favorite family member of mine. That was why I felt animosity to the Cultural Revolution that it destroyed many blessed families.
Finally, due to the because of the revolution, a branch of my great-grandfather`s family went abroad to America, but we lost touch with them. They escaped the defeat in the correct time that they did not need to accept the unreasonable criticism and condemnation of the government. Furthermore, we all hoped they would have a free life where no one forced them to do anything and they could reach their American dream. We did not think they could get out of this dark period. In addition, the reason I came the U.S. was not only for the American dream, but also because I wanted to find the information about them or to know where they ended up. The Cultural Revolution separated a lot families, but I believe one day mine may have a reunion.
There is no doubt that the Cultural Revolution destroyed many aspects of the Chinese spirit, economy and culture, not only for the society, but also for the Chinese people. This ten years lag contributed immeasurable damages. Even though people tried their best to develop their country in the late 20th century, there still exists a number of hidden troubles. Even today, Chinese politics still has problems because there is no freedom of speech and press. In fact, I love China and I absolutely hope China will change to a more beautiful, peaceful and freely developed country in the future.