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Summer 2004:

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Opposites attract (5/26)

Mission Impossible (5/24)

Rules for a new mother (10/24)

Brocade Museum (10/24)

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Fujian Earthen Houses (2/14)

Zhangzhou Puppets (2/14)

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Virginia Baptists arrive for 2002 SEP, Shanghai - Nanjing

Part 2: in Jining, the program begins

Inner Mongolia's grasslands

Baotou and Wudang Temple

Abby and Sarah in Xi'an

Discovering the Nestorian Pagoda

Eating Zongzi June, 2002

Mary Washington comes to China, Part 1
Part 2 May/June 2002

Xi'an May 2002
   
Update
  
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Terracotta soldiers
   The Nestorian tablet

 

Links

www.amityfoundation.org

 

Rules for a new mother

Chinese culture includes many rules for new mothers and their babies.

First of all, concerning the baby, Chinese babies are traditionally wrapped like a cocoon at birth. The cloth is square, with the babyís head placed in one corner; each of the other three corners, beginning at the bottom, are folded over to enclose the baby, and then tied in a criss-cross pattern with string. Of course, the wrapping has to be removed periodically for obvious purposes, but apparently this wrapping custom is followed for one month. These days, I gather maybe most babies are not kept in this kind of cocoon after coming home from the hospital or, anyway, not for a month. The baby of my friend, pictured above, was not quite three weeks old and he is wearing a store-bought baby jumper I had sent before he was born.

But many customs regarding the motherís limitations are still followed. According to several of my student sources, they include:

 CARE OF MOTHER

  • Stay out of direct wind, even that of a fan or an air conditioner (of course, this applies to the baby also)

  • Canít sit for a long time, or else when they get older they may have backaches

  • Bathe with water that has been boiled (Iím sure this would also apply to the baby)

  • Wash hair in a basin of boiled water

  • Canít touch cold water; water should be at least tepid

  • Canít use a comb to comb hair for fear hair will come out (just gently arrange washed hair with fingers)

  • Canít cut fingernails for one month

  • Cannot brush teeth with a toothbrush for one month (can swish boiled water around in your mouth and use finger to clean teeth)

  • It is important not to become ill during the first month; it is believed that this illness, or the tendency for this illness will persist for the rest of your life

FOOD

  • Eat nutritious foods, such as fish, pigís liver, soup, Chinese date soup, brown sugar porridge for a few days after coming home

  • New mothers are pampered with delicious foods and often gain weight, my sources said

  • Food to be rather bland, with less salt, not spicy, soft, not hard, not cold

 EMOTION

  • Keep in good spirits, canít be angry

ACTIVITIES

  • Most new mothers will stay in the hospital for a week

  • As much as possible, stay in bed for one month; cannot go outside

  • Canít watch TV (can listen), or read newspaper or book (in other words, they canít strain their eyes in any way)

  • Donít hold the baby for a long time at any one sitting

CELEBRATIONS

  • when a baby is born, give everyone an egg dyed red (used to be only with boys, but now with any baby)

  • One-month birthday party is held for friends and relatives to celebrate the new baby; in the countryside, this party will be quite elaborate, involving the entire village. There will also be six-month and one-year parties