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"They did their revolution and rebellion. We did our work."

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  • Interviewer: Thank you for accepting my interview. Were you born in the 1930’s or ‘40’s?
  • I was born in 1941.
  • Interviewer: Where were you born?
  • In the countryside.
  • Interviewer: Which province was it?
  • Hubei.
  • Interviewer: Oh, the Hubei countryside. The 10 years between 1966 and 1976 were called the Cultural Revolution. Have you heard of it?
  • Yes. We were still working on agricultural production while the revolution was in progress.
  • Interviewer: Did you see the rebel faction in your area?
  • Yes. They did their revolution and rebellion. We did our work.
  • Interviewer: So you were working, but you saw the rebels.
  • Yes.
  • Interviewer: Did you see the Red Guards?
  • Yes. The Red Guards were all over the countryside, making revolution.
  • Interviewer: Were they local Red Guards or did they come in from other regions?
  • They were local.
  • Interviewer: So they weren’t doing agricultural production work, were they? Were they the children of the peasants, too?
  • Right, they were peasants’ children, too.
  • Interviewer: So, peasants' children also became Red Guards and rebelled. Who were their targets?
  • Whatever cadres had gotten mixed up in some trouble, such as taking bribes. The cadres were tied up and beaten.
  • Interviewer: So they targeted the cadres.
  • Yes, the cadres.
    Even if the masses weren’t right about it, they
    still did it --
  • [interviewee's husband, off-screen]: [They targeted] "those in power."
    [interviewee]: -- landlords and others were still targeted.
  • Interviewer: Oh, they targeted landlords. Did you actually witness that?
  • Of course. We farmers worked in agricultural production all day, so in the evening, of course we saw the Red Guards' [struggle meetings].
  • Interviewer: I see. What about your material life during those 10 years?
  • The Red Guards were rebelling. But life was okay -- it was just that agricultural production was ruined.
  • Interviewer: So they did their rebellion and you did your work. You worked your land.
  • Yes.
  • Interviewer: So there was enough grain for you then.
  • Yes. There was enough grain. 1959 and 1960 were tough times.
  • [husband, off-screen]: You're intellectuals, you...
  • Interviewer: So you didn’t have enough food in ’59 and ’60?
  • Right. Since there wasn't much to eat, some people starved to death.
  • Interviewer: But between ’66 and ’76, you had enough to eat?
  • Yes.
  • Interviewer: Very well. Thank you. Can you tell me if you are literate? Did you go to school?
  • No, I didn’t go to school.
  • Interviewer: But you remember you saw the rebel faction in those years.
  • Yes. [At the time we saw the] rebel faction, we were in our 20s and 30s. I was in my 20s then.
  • Interviewer: But you didn’t join the Red Guards yourself.
  • No. We were really busy farming. Generally, Red Guards were kids or unmarried young men.
  • Interviewer: Sorry? What kind of young men?
  • Unmarried.
  • Interviewer: Oh, young unmarried men.
  • [husband, off-screen]: At that time, people in their teens and twenties were traveling between counties under the banner of the Red Guards, because the Red Guards could get everything for free.
  • Interviewer: It wasn’t called travel at the time. It was called “great networking.”
  • Right, "great networking."
  • [husband, off-screen]: Right, the time of the "great networking."
  • Interviewer: All right. Thank you very much for accepting my interview. Very good.