posted on February 22nd 2015 in with 0 Comments

Beijing/RatTribe/2014/pictures by Sim Chi Yin / VII / story by Ian Johnson / Du Xiuyan, 43, works in kitchen of restaurant serving northeast Chinese food, from Harbin. / Du Xiuyan: earning her sonís dowry Thereís been one main thing on Du Xiuyanís mind since she got to Beijing two years ago to make dumplings, wash dishes and cook dough soup at a restaurant serving northeast Chinese cuisine: will she have enough money to get her son a good wife? He is now 18 and she has just a few more years to earn the cash, says the 43-year-old from Harbin in northeast China sharing this dormitory room with a female co-worker. ìAccording to the customs in our village, we need 200,000 rmb in cash, at least three pieces of gold for the bride to wear on her body. Only then we can get a good bride. ìIn a few years time I would have made enough money working here, and my son can then get married. Right now I still havenít earned much, making just 3,000 rmb a month.î But she doed not see it as a sacrifice being in Beijing alone working, leaving her husband, daughter and son at home to farm corn on 20 mu of land. She said: ìI donít like to farm! Iíd rather be a migrant worker. To farm I must work under the sun, get so dirty. These days who would rather be a farmer!î

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