5. Ethnographic Reality – The Left Behind Children

This week I read a book called Factory Girls-From Village to City in Changing China, which a book related to make me to ethnographic research. This book makes me think about another common phenomenon in China – the left behind children. These children remain in rural regions of China, such as mountainous are in Guizhou Province. Their parents usually leave them to work in urban cities, and they are taken care of by grandparents or relatives.

In 2016, I went to Gui Zhou Province to do a landscape project, and during that time, I saw a lot of left-behind children in that small village. The video link I shared also tell a story of Tianmei, a left-behind kid – in Guizhou Province. I can totally feel how lonely Tianmei is. She really misses her parents, and the left bind children like her always seem like be more mature than other even-aged children in the urban city. Because of the lacking of infrastructure and parental support, they are facing a lot of challenges in their life. Who can guarantee the quality education and physical well-being for them? Do they have healthy social relationships in this environment? Many other questions need us to think deeper. Their parents have to leave them to earn money in urban cities, and that’s the reality of life.

I believe we need to pay attention to the issue of the left behind children. It is a kind of product of our rapid development time. Technology changes our lifestyle and social construction a lot, but at the same time, we also need to think about how to solve the real problems carried by social development. What can we do for them is a good question for us. Maybe we can donate for them, or like my friend become a volunteer to support their education.

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