Sunday, March 31, 2013

Questionable Fact: Fu Ping's Suffering during the Cultural Revolution

The Original Story:
One the biggest selling point of Fu Ping's story is that she became the surrogate mother of her sister at the age of 8 at the onset of the Cultural Revolution in 1966. Bend, Not Break used many pages detailing her sufferings and struggles during those years of preadolescence.

The Earlier Story:
Fu Ping's early autobiography, Drifting Bottle, had no mention of her being away from her birth parents in Nanjing. Not only that, when she was complaining about the hard-word she was forced to endure in America to make a living, she cried out (Page 11):
In my own country, I was nonetheless a professor's daughter, spoiled by my parents, and had never endured such hardship. But it is not just the hardship, the truly unbearable part is the injustice.

The Debunking:
Fu Ping's story in Drifting Bottle was a happy and privileged upbringing during the time she lived in China. Despite common misconceptions in the west, Cultural Revolution is not a taboo subject in China. Indeed, it has become quite fashionable to complain one's sufferings in that period since the 1980s. There was no reason for Fu Ping to exclude that part of story in Drifting Bottle if it did happen and had a great impact in her life.

In the next several posts, we will look into her story during the Cultural Revolution and continue our debunking in more detail.

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