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Mao Zedongs Intellectual Youth Career Essay

30. Intellectual Youths December 31, 1968, the day was so gloomy, the wind was so bitter, but also tucked snow. Tomorrow would be the New Year’s Day, but those of us junior high school “graduated”Intellectual Youths” faced with important choice, decision, must act, could not wait. Mao Zedong’s the highest order of “the intellectual youth moves to the countryside, to accept the poor and lower-middle peasants re-education” had already seen in various newspaper headlines. Huge banners, sharp slogans were posted everywhere. Every family, every one knew that the “Intellectual

Youth” go to the countryside to live and work with peasants had become a trend, unstoppable. Ancient city’s junior high school graduated students were all on the list. Some of them at first held a fluky psychology, tried to escape, avoid to be sent to the countryside. But soon the news came, if not move to the countryside before the end of the year 1968, then they would be forced by gunmen, escorted to the poorest, most bitter countryside. Although half believed and half doubted, but still worried and afraid. December 31, the last day of the year 1968, all the “Intellectual Youths” in the old town were summoned to the “People’s Hall” (i. . , the old Guan Yu Temple) for the “Intellectual Youths move to the countryside” General Assembly.

At the meeting, district leaders loudly red Chairman Mao’s highest instructions and announced the Intellectual Youths names. Youth representatives also took oath: firmly response to the call of Chairman Mao, move to the countryside, rolling a suit with mud, practicing a red heart, rooting in the countryside for a lifetime. An irresistible trend, we resigned to fate, at the mercy of others. After the General Assembly, hundreds of “Intellectual Youths” ere put on a few pickup trucks that came from the new county city.

Faced the knife like north wind and pricked faces snow, we bound for the rural. The trucks bumped on the rough, big pits dirt road, swayed badly. My friends and I all were frozen in a cloud, kinked in the pickup truck carriage, dejected, despondent and puzzled. After arrived the commune headquarter, the secretary of the commune Communist Party Committee gave a short lecture, then the hundreds of youths were divided into small groups, each one with five or seven persons. Our five closed friends made a group, picked up by the production brigade and the roduction team leaders, carried luggages, walked tens of miles to the village.

By the time arrived, it was already very late at night. We finally caught up the last minute in 1968, escaped being forced by pressure to the poorest, most bitter villages. Rural village was first time to accept the Intellectual Youths, no any preparation. The first night, we casually ate some food, crowded slept in the production team leader’s home. From that moment, none of us teens (15 to 17 years old) even completed junior high courses, overnight were transformed into “Intellectual Youths”, began a countryside youth career. Our arrival, let the 60 year old captain Zhang — the production team leader a mixed feeling.

Joy was that five young men would be a few good laborers, used properly, could help the team a lot; worried the housing, buying working tools and living facilities. The production team was poor chink, did not know what to do. The next day, also was the New Year’s Day of 1969. The first day of the year, God was a doleful frown, overcast, continued to blow wind, flutter snow. Captain Zhang took us for a tour, on the ridge, bank of canal, cotton field, rice around the village, introduced the production team situation. Captain Zhang with black skin, wrinkled face, was looked as a honest, weather beaten old farmer.

Of course, he was the ddies, walked member of the Communist Party, the agrarian reform roots (special term for those were the main driving force in 1950’s communist land reform), knew the party’s policies. Gave us information about the production team, class compositions, who were landlords, rich peasants, who were poor peasants, farm laborers, and asked us a firm class stand. The production team had more than one hundred people, two hundred acres of land, grew cotton and rice both, belonged to the lake plains. Compared to the mountainous countryside, it was not the poorest.

The production team had a basketball court size central site called “Rice Squeal” for drying rice, cotton and wheat by the sun. On the north side of the squeal, there was a row of huts, left half of it was cowshed, right half was the pig pen. A small room in the middle, had a soil stove for cooking baby pig food. West side, a large hut, was the storage house, mainly used for temporary storing cotton, rice, working tools, etc. In the winter or rainy days, the production team meeting was held in this house too. Farmers called it “Team House”.

There was a large tree in front of the Team House, a broken shabby iron plow was hung on its branch, by beat this plough share to start work, take a break, called it a day or hold a meeting. Accommodation and meals were the first problem needed to be solved. Captain Zhang recommended that turn half of the bullpen to our sleep room, the middle small room originally for cooking pig diets for our kitchen. Five of us young guys were moment all silliness. The left, in the barn had three, four buffalos, an old ox, its ground was covered with cow dung, urine mud, stinking smell assaulting nostrils.

The right side , pig sty, a ozen of pig hum cried loudly, full of pig excrement, urine, stink to high heaven, disgusting. The pig diet cooking room, a rusty iron wok on the soil stove, no chairs, no eating table, no furniture, no cooking utensils. We all had a long face, did not know what to say. Captain Zhang looked at us in silence. We muttered, saw such a situation, there was no choice. The next day, we started working, first drove the cows to one side, then dug out the cow dung mud, barefoot walked on the mud to and fro, shouldered a load after a load, one soil dustpan after one, carried bullshit dung out off the barn.

After spent two days, cleared the half of bullpen, then we went to a rice field to get big cob bricks that had been made by production team before. A mason helped put a half-height wall in the middle of the bullpen to separate the cattles. After that, went to the nearby field to dig up some new soil, covered the years of deposition of bovine urine smell bullshit. The first time to do such a tired and dirty physical labor, not long, our hands, feet and shoulder skin were blisters, sores, worn and backache. Fortunately, we all were young and born in poverty, used to help the family work, be able to bear some ardships and stand hard work.

Worked very hard for five and six days, finally had our own “house”. Then used the cub bricks piled three bed seats, put the branches, bamboo sticks on it, covered with straw, opened our luggages, blankets, two people shared a “bed”. After a hard day down, all of five boys laid down and fell a sound sleep on hitting the pillows, snores liked thunder. Woke up in the middle of the night, heard next door buffalos “wheezy, wheezy”, “Hu Chi, Hu Chi” breathed, “Hua Lala” pissed, and the sounds of “Pa! Pa! ” as buffalos’s shitting fell on the ground. The smell of buffalos urines, dungs, nostrils .

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