Bound feet and western dress wiki

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bound feet and western dress wiki

Bound Feet & Western Dress by Pang-Mei Natasha Chang

In China, a woman is nothing.

Thus begins the saga of a woman born at the turn of the century to a well-to-do, highly respected Chinese family, a woman who continually defied the expectations of her family and the traditions of her culture. Growing up in the perilous years between the fall of the last emperor and the Communist Revolution, Chang Yu-is life is marked by a series of rebellions: her refusal as a child to let her mother bind her feet, her scandalous divorce, and her rise to Vice President of Chinas first womens bank in her later years.

In the alternating voices of two generations, this dual memoir brings together a deeply textured portrait of a womans life in China with the very American story of Yu-is brilliant and assimilated grandniece, struggling with her own search for identity and belonging. Written in pitch-perfect prose and alive with detail, Bound Feet and Western Dress is the story of independent women struggling to emerge from centuries of customs and duty.
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Bound Feet and Western Dress Book Talk

Bound Feet & Western Dress Reader’s Guide

Foot binding was the custom of applying tight binding to the feet of young girls to modify the shape and size of their feet. The practice possibly originated among upper class court dancers during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period in 10th century China, then gradually became popular among the elite during the Song dynasty. Foot binding eventually spread to most social classes by the Qing dynasty and the practice finally came to an end in the early 20th century. Bound feet were at one time considered a status symbol as well as a mark of beauty. Yet, foot binding was a painful practice and significantly limited the mobility of women, resulting in lifelong disabilities for most of its subjects.

Foot binding was the custom of applying tight binding to the feet of young girls to modify the . The earliest-known Western anti-foot binding society, Jie Chan Zu Hui (????), was formed in Xiamen in . customs are compared to the inexplicable patterns of Western women's fashion); seclusion (sometimes evaluated.
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For instance, "Yu" means goodness, and "i" means propriety. Did Yu-i live up to her name?

Thank you! Chang Yu-i was born in to a large and affluent family. As she grows up traditional China is gradually becoming Westernized: Yu-i herself is the first girl in her family to escape foot-binding; she is always aware of how this gave her freedom. Married at 15 to a scholar and later renowned poet Hsu Chih-mo , a mother at 18, Yu-i is a docile wife and daughter-in-law who obeys the customs of filial devotion dutifully. But her husband is uncaring, often absent, and she feels restless and uneducated. Their marriage continues to deteriorate even after she leaves their son in China and joins her husband in Cambridge, England. He disappears, and pregnant, lonely, and depressed, Yu-i moves to Berlin with a brother and studies to become a teacher.

In , when Zhang Youyi was aged 12, she found an advertisement in the newspaper Shen Bao about a girls' school in Suzhou called the Teachers' College Preparatory School. She raised the idea of attending the school with her parents, and they agreed - due to the low fees charge by the school. Zhang and her First Sister both entered the school after completing an entrance exam. As Zhang was prepared for marriage in , her parents urged her to quit her schooling and return home to prepare for her future. Zhang Youyi did in fact, attend school after her engagement, but two months before her wedding, she left. She followed her first husband to Europe in , but he left her, and Zhang settled in Berlin in

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5 thoughts on “Bound Feet & Western Dress by Pang-Mei Natasha Chang

  1. Zhang Youyi was a Chinese educator, banker, and the first wife of the Chinese poet Xu Zhimo. Bound feet & Western dress. New York: Doubleday.

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