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[Memory of the past 40 years] The happiest hours after sunset

Time:2018-07-31 17:19:00 Source: China Youth China Youth International

  In a snap, the cause of China’s reform and opening up has ushered in a glorious moment of 40 years. The author, a contemporary of reform and opening up, has witnessed China’s access to the world market and its upgradation from poverty to prosperity.

  Looking back at the past 40 years, what remains in the memory is not only those climbing numbers and magnificent development chapters, but the story of life filled with hopeful dreams and the temperature of the times.

  I don’t remember how old I was at that time when my brain was occupied by the words “The Legend of Green Snake”. Grandmother told me that my oral ability was just at the threshold level then, but “The legend of Green Snake” was my repeated words, which means that I wanted to watch this TV series. The only TV set in the battalion was not turned on until night, when men, women, children and elders in the village all sat on the bench and watched together. As my mother had to do needlework at night, it was my grandmother who carried me to watch TV. When I was tired, I slept in her arms, and my grandmother took me home. In fact at that time, I couldn’t understand anything at all. I probably was attracted by the lively atmosphere.

  Later, we had our own TV set. But for the sake of power saving, we would not turn on it until the playing time as noted by the TV newspaper. Thus, after dinner, our family would relax in a cool place together during summer time. A wicker chair for grandfather, a bamboo chair for grandmother, a palm-leaf fan for grandfather to drive mosquito away and another for grandmother to create cool breezes. How happy I was! My happiest time was when the family talked about the people and things we’ve met during the day and stayed together, shaking living burdens and money earning totally off.

  Thereafter, an apartment was distributed to my father, and we moved to the town to live. We would pick up grandmother to spend weekends with us and take a walk with her in the park nearby or hang around in the mall where neon lights were shining and people were coming and going. Grandmother told us that this town was even more prosperous than the Shanghai Bund that she had been to in the past. She often sighed with wonder at the improving living conditions, saying that we already had enough to eat and wear, which was only a wish for her generation; we even lived a life they could not imagine before.

  Forty years passed, my mother has also become a grandmother who took care of her grandchildren, just like my grandmother. The only difference is that my mother would go to the square to dance after dinner. Looking at the ladies dancing to the rhythm in the same clothes, it is hard for us to imagine that these are retired “aunts” exercising there. On festivals and holidays, these “aunts” even have chance to perform on the stage in their neighborhoods. They are always joyful together and share their unique happiness in the dances.

  Evening life can tell the life quality of ordinary people. Instead of picking heavy loads under the stars and making clothes under the kerosene lamp, we exercise and have fun together under the spotlight. The time when all the villagers surrounded one TV set has gone, and every family now has TV sets and convenient Internet to use, substantially enhancing people’s senses of gain and happiness. During the 40 years, enduring substantial pioneering hardships, our fore fathers have changed their own destiny with the time of a generation, facilitating the country’s development. Born in the 1970s, we feel honored to have witnessed and experienced these tremendous changes. I have to say that in the past 40 years of reform and opening up, every aspect of improvement in life and culture has been reflected in people’s daily life. We have not only expanded our life needs in “quantity”, but also enhanced them in “quality”.

  Activities in the evening reflect changes in people’s material and cultural life during the 40 years of reform and opening up; evening life records footprints of cultural life course. Practices and facts have proved that reform and opening up have a profound bearing on both China, and the world. Being a long-term, arduous undertaking, reform and opening up must be carried on from generation to generation. Reform and opening up is always on the road, we people are always on the road.

Editor:Hou Qianqian
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