They Are For the Children – Mab Ma ’25

The time in villages passes slower. People only get a sense of time by which meals are they supposed to eat, breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Most of the time was spent on tendering the land, but people would visit their relatives as long as they are vacant. During the time of festivals, visitors also bring gifts like roasted chicken, milk, and eggs, but of course, the host shouldn’t claim them the gifts at once. It would usually took several rounds of pushing or wrestling, if they are close, to finally settle the ownership for the gifts. When I was young I love visitors. the scene was definitely very entertaining. The gift givers will always say: “Old Ma(my family name), you don’t do this I am telling you! you take the gifts. They aren’t for you! They are FOR THR CHILDREN!” At that time I truly thought the visitors came just to offer me gifts, so as the height of their thighs, I felt very much respected. I decided to save the gifts for New Year and will not share with anybody. My dad accepted the gifts. When I thought everything was done. My grandma swiftly grabbed a bag of Chinese cabbages and rushed to the visitors. The visitors were one step before crossing our front doorstep, not technically leaving the host family. Therefore, too bad, they have to take it. They left, with a Chinese cabbages shoved in their handbag. I then asked my father if I can have the gifts. He said no, and the reason is that the gifts were exchanged with our stuffs. He said: “they aren’t for you. It was just an excuse.” I got so pissed at my dad, thinking that he was a shameless lier. After all, the visitors have said “FOR THE CHILDREN.”

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