A Chongqing Evening News reporter recently visited a local elderly couple to find out just how two people can stick together for 81 years. Turns out the keys to their successful relationship are treating each other with kindness, not giving up on longing for a better life and never being apart — not even for one day.
Wu Xi’an is 100 years old while her husband Xiang Yongshan is only 99. When Wu was 3 years old, her parents began the traditional and painful practice of binding their daughter’s feet. No matter how much she cried and wailed, her parents would not back down. In those days, foot binding was a requirement in the Chinese countryside for finding a suitable husband.
When Wu was 6 years old, her parents and Xiang’s parents agreed that one day the two would be married. Thanks to her tiny feet, Wu was “marrying up.” Xiang’s family was richer than her own family, owning more farm land. During her childhood, Wu never got to go to school. Even today, the only characters she can recognize are her and her husband’s names.
The two were finally married when Wu was 19 years old. She was carried out of her home in the early morning on a sedan chair to the Xiang family home where she presented her dowry, consisting of curtains and pillows with fine embroidery which she had woven herself. When Xiang Yongshan saw the intricate designs, he couldn’t help but gasp in astonishment, causing Wu’s face to turn red.
When she was young, Wu’s mother told her daughter that it was fine if she was illiterate, just as long as she was an expert embroider. After their marriage, Wu would spend her spare time weaving designs to express her love for her husband, a pastime that she continues to this very day.
Now, Wu and Xiang are at the head of five-generation family that includes some 55 descendants. Each Spring Festival, everyone returns home, cooking huge meals and celebrating the holiday together.
We want to wish these crazy kids the best of luck.
[Images via Chongqing Evening News]
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