Chapter Five: Far from home, part 1


In part 1 of this two-part series, Clay and guest host Maggie follow Li and Suyi — two young Chinese individuals — and their stories of how they grew up and came to Shanghai. This episode explores what it’s like growing up on China’s economic periphery, removed from the ever-growing metropolitan areas along the coast, as well as some familiar stresses of growing up, how these experiences shape who we become, and the unfamiliarity of living in a new place.

12:09: Growing up in Guiyang

19:02: Respect through education

26:03: Pressures from the hukou system

35:22: The gaokao

Music credits:

Analytical Skeletons,” “Vaporize Me,” and “Crumbling Chia Pets,” by csus; “Wait What,” “Fake Mustache,” “Road Trip,” and “Sad Ending,” by Purrple Cat; “Hi,” by Dovi; “#001 – Free Chilled Lofi Beat – 70bpm,” by PATENT; “Me 2,” by LAKEY INSPIRED; and “cool nights,” by Dixxy.

Works consulted:

A tourism video of Guiyang; The origins and social consequences of China’s hukou system, by Tiejun Cheng and Mark Seldon; China’s Hukou system creating barriers to real urbanization, by Chong Koh Ping; Why are China’s little emperors getting so fat? Blame the grandparents, study says, by Ariana Eunjung Cha; One-child policy, by Kenneth Pletcher; and White and beautiful: An examination of skin whitening practices and female empowerment in China, by Evelyn Yueng.

Thanks to Mike and Nowness Shanghai for letting me use their recording studio.