Contemporary World Culture: Cultural differences
As a Chinese farmer, there are not many luxuries in life. We live a meager living, my seven children, my wife, and I. We have a small plot of land we grow crops on and raise a few sheep, a few chickens, and two goats on. My family and I live in the western part of China, where farms are more common. The closest major city is many weeks’ walk away, and many hours by motor vehicle if we should be so lucky. Our food we grow ourselves. We also have livestock and crops to trade at the local market for other necessities, like clothing and blankets. We also have sheep in order to get wool to trade for these items. Our household items consist of a few blankets to sleep with and a few pots to cook our food in over a fire.
Each day we get up just before dawn, myself and our oldest five children. We begin feeding the livestock and prepare ourselves for the days work. My wife stays inside with the two youngest children, tending to them and to the needs just outside the home. My children and I begin to work on the fields, ensuring that the crops are doing well and that there are no animals or pests destroying them. We work from dawn until dusk, which is when we first eat for the day. There is not much food to go around, so my wife and I eat once a day, while the children eat in the morning and in the evening. Our main staple is rice, but we also have eggs from the chickens and any rabbits we may find on our land.
There is no time for entertainment most days. But when we do have time to celebrate we sing and draw pictures in the ground. We tell stories of legends and our ancestors, passing along the knowledge that we have. Our entertainment is very local to our people. We would like our children to get an education, but we are not educated ourselves and are too poor to send our children to a real Chinese school where they can learn to read and write.
As a farmer in China, my greatest worry is ensuring there are enough supplies for basic needs to take care of my family. Making sure there is enough food for everyone and hoping that no one falls ill, because we cannot afford a doctor and the nearest one is very far away. Another fear is that of natural disaster. If there is a natural disaster, such as torrential rains, then the crops we harvest will be ruined and my family will have no way to eat or purchase other items we need. One immediate concern is the increased popularity of the Chinese lanterns which are a great threat to our crops and our livestock. Many livestock have eaten the casings for these lanterns which are ignited for celebrations. This has resulted in their death and ultimately is our loss. Also, wires from these lanterns have caused injuries to livestock, and some deaths as well. (Lavigueur).
Johnson, June. Global Issues, Local Arguments: Readings for Writing. New York:
Custom Publishing, 2007.
Lavigueur, Nick. (2010, July 3). “Farmers demand ban on Chinese lanterns :Livestock
injured by wires and fire risk to crops.” Huddersfield Daily Examiner,27. Retrieved October 17, 2010, from ProQuest Newsstand.