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Kwong Yem Han

This is the text of Kwong Yem Han explaining that there are older and newer ways to write Chinese characters and she chooses to stay with the traditional style. This was recorded September 20, 2003 by Nicole Saylor in Pepin, Wisconsin.

When I went to Beijing in 1995 during the Women's Conference, this Chinese asked me to write my Chinese name and so I wrote Kwong Yem Han. 

And he looked at my character and he said, "You write the feudal way."

And I said, "What do you mean?" 

He said, "Before the Communists took over, the elite educators wrote the way I wrote the traditional writing." He looked at me and said, "Why are you writing your name the feudal way? Iíll show you your name simplified."

And it was just very short, simple strokes. 

I looked at him and thought, "Well, yes, I could do that but I would feel like Iím losing out if I donít know the traditional calligraphy." 

Mao Tse-tung, when he ruled China, which is Communist now, he felt that the Chinese people must learn to read and write, and so he simplified the Chinese characters so that all people can read.  

Back to Kwong Yem Hanís Resources Page

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