Two Mothers

On the fifth day of the Russia invasion of Ukraine, CNN interviewed an Ukrainian woman who had just fled from her own country Ukraine to Przemyśl, Poland. The Ukrainian woman, a mother of her 6-year old son, responded to the CNN reporter in tears and said, “The Russian are coming and shooting to kill, the only reason that I leave the country is I have to save my son, but I left my mother behind.”

As facts recorded in history, in 1960, China was in the middle of the world’s largest famine which began from the Spring of 1959 to the end of 1961. This Great Chinese Famine was caused by a combination of radical agricultural policies, social pressure, economic mismanagement, and natural disasters such as droughts and floods in farming regions. Some 30 million Chinese starved to death and about the same number of births were lost or postponed. The peasants tried to survive by seeking alternative food sources and even resorting to acts of cannibalism, but most tragically, this disaster of the Great Chinese Famine was largely preventable.

I was born in the Spring of 1960 in China, exactly in the middle of the Great Chinese Famine. A couple of weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine, I asked my mother why has she been against me as if I were her most hatred of vigorous enemy and why has she been treating me the ways that kept me wondering always if I were really her biological son. My mother responded in fake weeping without tears and said, “It was tremendous hardship for me to take care of you.” I did not understand the relevancy of her response but it was clear that I obviously is the blame for bringing to her the made-believed misfortune at the time I was born till one year old.