Shanghai Talk, September 2009 • To commemorate the 60th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, TALK asks three 60 year olds from around the country what this birthday means to them. They share views about growing up in synch with New China since 1949, how things have changed and how much there is to celebrate
Yu Er Rong slowly and deliberately takes his Chinese ID card out from his pocket. He leans forward, pointing to the birth date typed next to his grainy headshot.
“October 17, 1949,” Yu says, just in case there’s any doubt that he is a child of New China.
Though the retired government infrastructure worker from Shanghai describes himself as shy and his life as uneventful, words overflow when he talks about his nation’s astounding journey since 1949.
“The most undesirable thing that’s happened to me and the country was the Cultural Revolution. It was like 10 years in prison, an extremely bad memory for my generation,” Yu says.
China has come a long way, and now, in its 60th year, there are many achievements to look back on, and many developments to look forward to.
It is even more momentous than other milestone anniversaries. In China, 60 is when one comes full circle according to the Chinese principles of feng shui and the lunar calendar.