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"I’m not interested."

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  • Interviewer: Hi. Thank you for accepting my interview.
  • Hi.
  • Interviewer: Could you tell me when were you born?
  • Interviewer: You don’t need to say the exact year; just the decade will do, such as “’60s,” “’70s,” “’80s,” etc.
  • I was born in the ’70s.
  • Interviewer: The '70s. Could you tell me where you were born and grew up in China?
  • I lived in Daqing, Heilongjiang [Province], in northern China.
  • Interviewer: Have you heard of the historical incident, the Cultural Revolution? Are you able to remember the first time [you heard about it]?
  • I feel like I know the term “Cultural Revolution,” but I cannot remember when I first heard about it or knew this term.
  • My feeling is that, as I grew up, there must have been people who’d mention this term, including during class time.
  • However, I do not have much memory about when I first started encountering this term or knew what it was.
  • Interviewer: Ah. You just mentioned you were born in Daqing.
  • Interviewer: So, have you ever heard the slogan, “Industry learns from Daqing; Agriculture learns from Dazhai; the whole nation learns from the People’s Liberation Army of China”?
  • I’ve never heard it.
  • I feel like...when I was growing up, my parents rarely mentioned the Cultural Revolution or talked about [whether] they had experienced any…shock or suffering, or anything like that.
  • It seems like what they talked about more was the “three years of natural disaster.”
  • During that time, they never had enough to eat and tried every possible way to find food.
  • I have a deeper impression of this. It led to my parents both being really hardworking and thrifty.
  • However, I don’t have many memories regarding the Cultural Revolution.
  • Interviewer: So you mean that if they talked about any historical event with you, it would be the “three years of natural disasters,” right?
  • Yes. Also, they said that they were always eating potatoes and tree bark.
  • They taught us that we should cherish food and be satisfied with our current life, since we can buy whatever we want to eat these days.
  • Interviewer: In terms of the Cultural Revolution, they don’t have too many negative memories, right?
  • Right. At least, I don’t have any recollection that they ever discussed circumstances during the Cultural Revolution with me.
  • I feel like, actually, I don’t have much of an impression. I’m not sure when I started knowing [about] the Cultural Revolution. It could be I saw it on television.
  • I just don’t have much of an impression about the Cultural Revolution.
  • Interviewer: I see. The slogan I mentioned before—“Industry learns from Daqing…”—really left a deep impression on [my generation].
  • Interviewer: Daqing had very high historical position during the Cultural Revolution.
  • Interviewer: So, you were born in this place, but maybe you don’t have much impression about this, probably because you were born later.
  • Interviewer: We all had a really deep impression [of Daqing].
  • Interviewer: So when you said you’re from Daqing, [I immediately thought], “Industry learns from Daqing.”
  • Interviewer: Now, if people bring up [the Cultural Revolution], do you have an interest in understanding more about it?
  • Actually, I don’t have much interest.
  • From my point of view, this is something that happened long, long ago, before I was even born. I’m not interested.
  • Also, among the people around me, my parents and my classmates, no one ever spontaneously brings up the Cultural Revolution.
  • At least, around me, that’s how it is.
  • Interviewer: You also do not have many opportunities to understand more about it.
  • Interviewer: Probably you are not engaged in historical research, social sciences and humanities, is that right?
  • Right.
  • Interviewer: I am glad to meet an interviewee who is from Daqing.
  • Interviewer: Thank you very much for accepting our interview.
  • You’re welcome.