With winter fast approaching, an 84-year-old woman in Harbin, famed for its frigid climate and annual ice sculpture festival, has made waves on Chinese social media by hand sewing covers for the benches at public transport hubs. Since retiring from the fabric industry, Zhang Gui Zhen — dubbed the “Ice City’s most beautiful grandma” — has dedicated her thread and needle to protecting the butts of her fellow Harbiners from the unforgiving metal of the city’s public benches.
In a video interview with The Paper, she is self-effacing and acerbic, downplaying her heroics as “entirely unremarkable.” “Oh come on,” she responds to the praise lavished upon her. “At this advanced age, you can’t be self-congratulatory. Life is pretty idle after you retire. I just want to do something small for everyone. Don’t thank me. There’s no need. This is my way of thanking the country. It’s a good country, isn’t it? We don’t have to be worried or afraid.”
[Images via The Paper]