Exploring The Chinese Postnatal Tradition of Zuoyuezi: No Hair Washing, No Television, No Crying

 

For new Asian American mothers, the Chinese postnatal practice of zuoyuezi, or “sitting the month” — where bed rest is mandated, only certain foods can be eaten and you can’t even wash your hair — can be a confusing clash between Eastern traditions and Western conventions during those first critical 30 days after childbirth. But as Contributing Editor Ada Tseng learns, there is nothing wrong with a postpartum helping hand — whether it’s family or a zuoyuezi nanny for a month. In fact, when done in moderation, the ancient practice can serve as a more graceful transition into the daunting world of parenthood.

 

When I first told my husband about the postpartum tradition of zuoyuezi, he thought I was making it up. Literally translated to “sitting the month,” but sometimes referred to as “postpartum confinement,” zuoyuezi is a Chinese practice that encourages a new mother to rest in her home for one month after giving birth. During this time, there are many instructions on diet and recovery that range from drinking herbal soups and eating pork liver, to not washing your hair for 30 days and being confined to the house, room or even your bed, depending on how strictly one adheres to the tradition. In the meantime, family members, friends or hired help collectively pitch in to assist the new mother with cooking, cleaning and taking care of the baby so she can fully restore the balance to her body before attacking motherhood at 100 percent in month two.

“You just don’t want to do anything for a month,” my husband joked. He assumed that I, never one to be called maternal, was apprehensive about the drastic life change that motherhood would inevitably bring and was therefore excited about the idea of inviting anyone and everyone to come help us raise this baby. At least for 30 days.

This was only half true. Both my husband and I are Taiwanese Americans born and raised in California, and our links to our heritage can be traced more through our love of food (shaved ice and beef noodle soup), culture (Taiwanese films and karaoke songs) or general philosophy (respecting our parents!) than formal customs. Never in our years of knowing each other have either of us insisted on adhering to any tradition, so when I waxed poetic about this ancient zuoyuezi practice that dates back to the 1st century B.C., he wasn’t buying it.

That is, until he asked my OB/GYN, who happened to be Taiwanese American, about it, and she admitted that while the practice of zuoyuezi, which takes heavy influence from traditional Chinese medicine, was definitely not something that’s taught in medical school (most Western experts would argue that many of the benefits are unproven), her mother had made her do it when she gave birth to her own children.

I was surprised when my mother first mentioned that I should look into zuoyuezi resources partway through my pregnancy. At the time, my only knowledge of zuoyuezi came from the more extreme and divisive practices that get reported in the news — of the “look at the crazy things Chinese people do” variety. On one hand, it’s known as an antiquated tradition (some would say superstition) that’s more akin to torture than relaxation. The herbal soups you’re forced to eat are disgusting, you can’t wash yourself properly because you can’t risk any cold air touching any part of your body, you’re trapped in your own house, not allowed to watch TV or engage in any activities that will strain your eyes, and mothers or mothers-in-law are on your backs like drill sergeants to make sure you follow the often excessive and old-fashioned rules to a tee.

Alternately, several years ago, reports surfaced about a growing trend of luxury zuoyuezi postpartum confinement centers booming in places like mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, which paints zuoyuezi as, for lack of a better description, something that rich people do. Taiwanese celebrities went on talk shows to rave about these facilities that are basically boutique hotels with first-rate nannies and doulas on hand to take care of your baby while you and your husband rest, take classes about parenthood or even enjoy their spa and salon services. And Taiwanese talk show viewers, like my mother, in turn, raved about how these celebrities were able to stay beautiful, skinny and youthful, even after having multiple kids, because they took care of themselves properly after giving birth.

The first scenario seemed unappealing and the second unrealistic, but my mother assured me that there was a middle ground. She explained it to me like this: Western culture likes to glamorize the act of bearing children with phrases like “the miracle of birth,” whereas the Chinese see labor as one of the worst traumas that can happen to the body. Special care is required to help us recalibrate. My mother didn’t feel the need to follow every single rule — for example, many people nowadays who practice zuoyuezi believe that rules like not washing your hair for a month are outdated, harkening back to the olden days when you would wash your hair in the bacteria-laden river, putting your baby’s health at risk. It was more about practicing the “spirit” of zuoyuezi: resting so you can gain your strength back as quickly as possible, maintaining a healthy diet and relaxed state of mind so you can properly feed and take care of your baby.

Later, when I told my mother my husband thought I was trying to get out of work, she laughed. “You’re going to be responsible for and worried about this child for the rest of your life,” she said. “Us helping you out for one month doesn’t get you out of that much work.”

14-0510_EDU_Multicultural_Parent_Banner_HS_AudreyMag_BD1

Many immigrants from my parents’ generation who grew up in Asia but gave birth in the United States believe in zuoyuezi, not necessarily because they had done it themselves, but precisely because they didn’t do it. The Chinese believe that postnatal recovery is critical to maintaining long-term health, so as a result, many women of my mothers’ generation, now seniors, blame their current health issues — whether it be migraines, backaches or arthritis — on the fact that they didn’t properly rest during the month after childbirth. Perhaps it was because their parents and extended family were abroad and unable to pitch in, maybe their in-laws didn’t believe in it, or perhaps they just didn’t have the resources at the time to find a support network in the United States, where postpartum care is still, for the most part, glossed over in the mainstream. (Even now, babies are coddled and scheduled for multiple check-ups right away, but new mothers, even if they are recovering poorly, often don’t return to their doctors until six weeks later.) Because of such regrets, these experienced mothers often vow not to let their daughters suffer the same consequences.

There are many ways to practice zuoyuezi, and while the details vary, the general principles are consistent (see below). Many opt for the do-it-your- self version, where the grandmothers take it upon themselves to carry out the tradition for their daughters or daughters-in-law. While this is the cheapest option, it’s a lot of work to ask of someone, especially in this day and age where many of us wait until we are older to have children. And by the time we do, our mothers are also older and less capable (or willing) to do the hours of shopping, preparation and cooking in order to prepare specific meals meant to heal the body, restore blood loss, prevent swelling, promote production of breast milk, speed up uterus contractions, restore hormone levels and help the new mother get her pre-pregnancy physique back.

Another option is the postpartum center mentioned previously. While it’s more common in Asia, these “mommy hotels” do exist in the U.S., though they’re more underground, often only advertised in Chinese-language newspapers and television programs. Though they carry a stigma in the Western world — as the sites of the “birthing tourism” controversy, where foreign mothers give birth in the States to secure their children the American citizenship that they can’t get themselves — more and more Asian American citizens take advantage of these centers where the mother and husband can stay for a month, while their babies sleep in a separate room, looked after by a team of nannies, nurses or doulas.

Somewhere in the middle lies the option of using food-delivery services — nowadays, there are even tastings for expectant mothers — or hiring a live-in nanny (ah yi or “auntie”) who will cook all your meals and take care of the mother and baby, especially at night, so the new parents can get their rest.

After considering our own specific needs and preferences, we opted for the live-in nanny, who would stay in our house to help out for the first month.

While I can only speak from my own experience, the process of hiring a live-in nanny in the United States remains strangely shrouded in mystery, and looking back, required more last-minute improvisation and luck of the draw than most people may prefer. Because these services are not widely advertised online or in English, we could only depend on word of mouth. Friends, and friend of friends, directed us to a woman who ran a nanny referral service from the San Gabriel Valley in Southern California. (Later, we would learn that there are many different nanny referral services, but at the time, it seemed like all our inquiries led to the same woman and cell phone number.)

Without a website or even a contract that outlined how this would work, the woman told us that we couldn’t meet or interview the nannies in advance, because they were all currently working for clients 24/7 (many of these nannies are literally booked for back-to-back months with no break), but we would be assigned a caregiver based on my projected due date. We were assured that all the nannies were extremely experienced and had proper certification. That said, because zuoyuezi traditions vary from region to region (not only China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, but many Southeast Asian countries have adopted their own versions of the postpartum traditions as well), it’s hard to believe there’s any sort of consistency.

The only instructions we got were that we needed to prepare a bed for the nanny in the baby room and to call back a month before my due date to work out other logistics. During that phone call, I was told that I was in luck: she had two nannies that would be available during the week of my delivery date. “What if I go into labor earlier than that?” I asked. “Don’t worry so much,” she said. “Then I’ll find someone else.”

Under normal circumstances, trusting a faceless voice on the other end of the line — and, sending her a check for the referral fee to reserve my spot, no less — seemed to defy all logic. There were even rumors that nannies were often sent back by unsatisfied clients, and as an American not used to taking leaps of faith to uphold Chinese traditions, there seemed to be no guarantee that this wasn’t all a scam. But my mother trusted in the process, and I, valuing the promise of postpartum help above all else, had committed to the ride. As it got closer and closer to my delivery date, I had become comfortable with the notion that this could go a myriad of ways, taking solace in the fact that, worst case, we’d send the nanny back.


Sure enough, I went into labor eight days early, and the nannies she had been reserving for me were still out of state, finishing up their previous jobs. But sure enough, she was able to go through her contacts to find another nanny, who had just finished up a job the day prior and could be picked up at a location 20 miles away from us the next day.

Looking back, there were many ways things could have gone wrong with the prospect of allowing an unvetted stranger to live with you for a month — not to mention, trusting that stranger with the high-stakes task of taking care of your baby. One of the most complex and frustrating aspects of having kids — from pregnancy, labor, post-labor recovery, to parenthood — is that everyone from family members to professionals give often-conflicting advice, and adding in a zuoyuezi nanny with her own convictions just adds an extra variable to the madness.

Especially for Asian Americans, clashes of East versus West beliefs abound, from macro levels (in a sense, the entire philosophy of confinement clashes with Western medical science that does encourage rest but not extreme bed rest, which may cause your muscles to atrophy and, in turn, cause you to recover slower) to the micro-minutiae (Westerners tell you to drink lots of water to generate breast milk, whereas Chinese believe that water makes you bloated and less able to shed your baby weight, opting instead for herbal drinks and teas).

However, the zuoyuezi ah yi can also serve as a neutral third party who is able to dispense advice and reach compromises with a new mother, without the emotional baggage of a nagging parent or the unintended consequences of disobeying the wishes of a well-meaning in-law. As a result, the experience can be an exercise in trust and communication, with much less at stake.

In my particular case, our nanny — a middle-aged woman who, as is typical, didn’t speak much English — had certain principles about how to properly sit the month, but was flexible about other aspects, turning a blind eye when I slipped out of the house every so often to get some fresh air, when I spent the better part of the day watching videos on my smartphone when I was supposed to be resting, when my hair was clearly washed every other day, or even when my mother, who was responsible for grocery shopping, took it upon herself to not even buy ingredients (like the infamous pork liver) that she assumed I wouldn’t like or certain Chinese herbs that she thought would stink up the entire house.

In the end, it was like my mother said: We didn’t follow all the rules, but we captured the “spirit” of zuoyuezi. Not only am I grateful for the recovery time where my sole responsibility was to rest and bond with my baby, but I was given the gift of one month to observe someone who’s been taking care of babies for decades; to practice regular acts of breastfeeding, burping and changing under professional guidance until I was comfortable; and to soak up her advice that was catered to my individual baby.

Two months later, I can say that I feel fully recovered, but perhaps more importantly, now that nannies and grandparents have left the nest, I’ve learned to trust myself a little bit more and be confident that, if nothing else, my month of zuoyuezi sent me off into the abyss of parenthood in the right direction.

As for the long-term effects, will the fact that I was able to practice zuoyuezi keep my body strong and slow down the aging effects associated with childbirth? Will I regret bending the rules and wish that I had resisted washing my hair for 30 days? Find me in 30 years, and I’ll let you know.

 

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 2.53.41 PM

 

 

This story was originally published in our Fall 2014 issue. Get your copy here

 

Words Can Be Weapons: Powerful Chinese Campaign Links Teenage Crime to Emotional Abuse

 

It’s scary to think that a number of parents and adults don’t realize they verbally abuse children. It’s even scarier once we take a look at the potential consequences of this abuse. Some adults think they simply get carried away with anger when they scold their children, but they fail to realize that physical abuse is not the only way to harm a child.

In China, the number of juvenile crimes has doubled in recent years and when the Center For Psychological Research went to investigate this, they stumbled upon a disturbing realization: juvenile crime is directly tied to childhood emotional abuse.

“Verbal abuse of children is like setting off a time bomb. It explodes only much later, long after the original perpetrator has left the scene. And it is society that pays the price, as is evident from the rising rate of juvenile crime,” explained Juggi Ramakrishnan, executive creative director of the advertising agency Ogilvy and Mather. “We really needed to tell this ‘cycle-of-violence’ story in a way that will make people sit up and take notice.”

And so they did.

Words Can Be Weapons,” a multimedia campaign based in China, interviewed six teenagers in Shenyang Detention Center. During these interviews, the teenagers revealed the harsh words that were said to them as children. They were told that they were useless, garbage, morons, and in one extreme case, a mother constantly told her son to “go away and die.”

The campaign takes the words that haunted these teenagers and literally transforms them into the weapon which the teens used to commit their crimes. The message here is clear: these harsh words are weapons in disguise.

Take a look at the powerful video below.

 

14-0510_EDU_Multicultural_Parent_Banner_HS_AudreyMag_BD1

Fashion Shenzhen Turns Heads At Their NYFW Debut

 

Debuting at any of the four major fashion capitals (Milan, Paris, New York and London) during the renowned industry fashion weeks is considered a substantial success for any designer that has been pouring their life into creating garments that will impress top-tier editors and buyers. More work than we expect goes into a rather quick ten minute show. Years of planning and learning the trend and color schematic forecasting is a daunting task in itself because no one wants to make too much of an unfavorable misstep. Then of course pushing that success into a second year with critics all around shows strength in branding and design, which is why Fashion Shenzhen has many of us talking as they continue to make waves throughout the industry.

For the Chinese labels Lizzy, Haiping Xie and Ellassay (all collectively chosen to be shown together under the name Fashion Shenzhen), hard work is beginning to pay off after years of trying to garner a larger presence within the industry and showing in London quite often before New York. While Ellassay enters its sophomore year, it still carries the excitement of a first debut. The Director of Shenzhen Garment Association, Shen Yongfang stated during her interview with CCTV News last year when Shenzhen’s designs first walked the runways of New York, “China has a unique and ancient culture, and this is a great asset. Our designers are the best, so I don’t see why we can’t make it to the world stage.” To a full house, Shenzhen delivered unforgettable designs that represented their blend of Eastern and Western influences, but each with their own artistic nature.

14-0510_EDU_Multicultural_Parent_Banner_HS_AudreyMag_BD1

Haiping Xie kept to the flora and beauty of China’s rich history and culture. There was nothing subtle about Xie’s collection. Boldly printed dragon graphics were a powerful display to the flowing sea of organza and silk layers in just as powerful hues of blue and orange. While Lizzy presented sophisticated bead work in a stunning display of gowns with oceanic themes and fittingly cut in mermaid A-lines. The crystal work glistened with models’ movement and felt reminiscent to the intricacies of underwater coral colonies. Taking a step away from couture evening wear, Ellassay delivered modern dresses and trench coats that are easily wearable and fitting for our daily wardrobe. Opting for another interesting grid lined pattern once again, Ellassay’s trench coat can be used to amp up the simple elegance of the dresses shown.

With such an impressive showing in New York, these three designers help pave the way for the rest of Shenzhen’s growing design field and continue to bring the recognition that Shen Yongfang speaks of with such hopeful words. Personally, I feel they’ve already made it on the world stage and only good things will continue to come with such determination and drive to be at their best. I look forward to seeing what designers the Fashion Shenzhen group will present next season.

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 11.10.38 AM

Gown By Haiping Xie.   Image Courtesy Of Mediacenter.smugmug.com

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 11.15.53 AM

Gown By Haiping Xie.  Image Courtesy Of Nyfw.net

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 11.33.27 AM

Gown By Lizzy. Image Courtesy Of Fashionsdigest.com


Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 11.36.58 AM

Gown By Lizzy. Image Courtesy of Fashionsdigest.com

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 11.39.59 AM

Dress By Ellasay. Image Courtesy Of Missyonmadison.com

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 11.41.41 AM

Trench By Ellassay. Image Courtesy Wwww2.pictures.zimbio.com

 

– STORY BY MIN A. LEE

 

14MKT_IW_728x90

China Creates Separate Walking Lane For People Who Can’t Take Their Eyes Off Their Phone

 

Most of us are familiar with driving laws which prohibit drivers from talking on the phone while behind the wheel and texting while behind the wheel.  These laws are understandable of course– an overwhelming amount of car collisions occur due to drivers who are distracted with their phones. Now, apparently, the distractions of smart phones have gone beyond driving.

Last week, a city in China named Chongqing surprised their pedestrians by splitting the walkway in two. There appeared to be a designated cellphone lane for those who couldn’t keep their eyes off their phone and wanted to text, check social media or play games while walking. This lane read, “Cellphones, walk in this lane at your own risk.” The other lane specifically banned all cell phone use. Clearly, the lanes are meant to create a walking experience with less collisions.

So has it really gotten that bad? Are people so glued to their phone that they can’t walk without causing potential harm to others? Well, not quite.

As it turns out, this new cellphone lane is not the work of government officials. It’s actually painted by a Chinese property manager. Aside from showing off his sense of humor, the property owner did this to remind people of the dangers of walking while having their eyes glued to their phone.

Will people actually follow the rules of these lanes? Will these lanes be such eye-openers that more cities will think of integrating them into their walkways? Time can only tell. But for any of you who have accidentally run into a pole, trashcan, door or person while texting, this one’s for you.

cell lane 2 celle lane 3

Photo courtesy of NBC News and Rocket News 24

 

14MKT_IW_728x90

Futuristic Chopsticks Can Detect Spoiled Food & Will Even Count Calories For You

 

Remember the good ol’ days when chopsticks were just used as utensils? Okay fine, we may still be in the “ol’ days” right now, but if the Chinese company Baidu succeeds, we may be kissing the reign of plain chopsticks goodbye.

Last week at an annual tech conference in Beijing, CEO Robin Li revealed that Baidu has been working to incorporate technology into our beloved utensils. To everyone’s amazement, he announced that these chopsticks of the future can detect the nutritional makeup of the food it touches. Apparently, this means the chopsticks can count calories, determine salt content and provide you with all sorts of information that you would want to know about your food before consuming it. 

Many seem to be intrigued by the chopsticks’ ability to determine whether food has gone bad. The chopsticks can also be used as a thermometer to ensure that you are frying and cooking at the correct temperature.

So how can a pair of sticks tell us so much? Apparently the high-tech chopsticks will connect with an app that will give you all the information that the chopsticks detect.

By now, many of you are probably itching to get a pair of these. No more food poisoning for you! But unfortunately, these are nicknamed the chopsticks of the future for a reason. Apparently the chopsticks are still at the very early stage of development and all information regarding the price or release date of this product has yet to be announced.

Until then, check out this cool promo video.

Photo courtesy of rocketnews24. 
(Source

14-0510_EDU_Multicultural_Parent_Banner_HS_AudreyMag_BD1

 

 

 

 

 

Adorable Chinese Boy Does The Best Michael Jackson Impression EVER

 

We’ve found the perfect person to help make your Friday even better! Pan Cheng Hao the tiny toddler who made his debut appearance on China’s Got Talent will certainly put a smile on your face.

The panel of judges didn’t quite know what to make of Pan Cheng Hao when he ran up on stage. He begins by very seriously teliing them that he joined China’s Got Talent to train himself and his body. Of course, later he clears things up and admits that he took part in the show to try and get the other kids to play with him again (Awww). 

The second the music begins, Pan Cheng Hao snaps into attention. He nails everything from the moonwalk to MJ’s hip thrusting and even does an impressive amount of facials. This adorable and impressive dance pushes the crowd to their feet and Pan Cheng Hao walks away with a giant “yes” from the judges.

But not before striking a few more poses, of course.

 

 

Replacing Wrinkles With Muscles: Chinese Senior Citizens Who Are More Athletic Than You

 

Whenever I spend time with family members in their 50s and 60s, they like to remind me that my 20s are my prime years and physically, things will only go downhill from this point on. They usually follow this up with horror stories about joint and muscle pain, but I won’t go into that.

Now as it turns out, if I were talking to some of the senior citizens in Beijing, China, the conversation would be very different. In fact, I may find a few who would challenge me to a push up contest. And trust me– they would win.

Head over to Beijing’s Temple of Heaven Park and you will see it covered in senior citizens. No, they’re not there peacefully feeding pieces of bread to ducks (which would have been my initial guess). They’ve taken over the jungle gym to work out.

And these aren’t just tiny, delicate work outs either. Men are doing sit ups while hanging from metal bars, women are jump-roping and just about everyone seems to be able to do pull ups better than I ever could.

You may be surprised to discover that many of these athletic senior citizens didn’t actually exercise before retiring. With a job to maintain and kids to raise, many admit to not even caring too much about their physical fitness in their younger years. Now retired, the senior citizens finally have time to focus on exercise.

As expected, China’s life expectancy seems to have benefitted from this senior citizen hobby. Huffington Post notes:

Despite rampant cigarette smoking, suffocating pollution and some ghastly food-safety scandals, China compares favorably with other upper middle income countries on life expectancy. At 75.2 years, China’s life expectancy currently lags only 3.5 years behind that of the U.S., despite China having around one-eighth of America’s per-capita GDP.

 

Check out this video below and see their athletic skills for yourself. Keep in mind that nearly everyone in this video is over 60-years-old and retired. In fact, the man in the beginning is 86 and ran a marathon just four years ago.

 

China’s Bizarre “Face-Kini” Makes It To French High Fashion

 

Back in 2012, a Chinese beach accessory known as the “face-kini” began attracting worldwide attention.

The term face-kini gained online popularity years ago when Time Magazine showed off a picture of some Chinese beach-goers who wore the bizarre mask. Now, it seems the craze is back, but not in the way you’d expect. Recently, French magazine CR Fashion Book had their models sporting (you guessed it) face-kinis.

 

 

Despite the undeniable popularity of the face-kini, the beach accessory was never actually worn for the sake of fashion in China. The full head mask, often paired with a long-sleeved body suit, was a hit in China because of its ability to protect its user from the sun. The accessory helped with Asia’s questionable obsession with pale skin.

“I’m afraid of getting dark,” a face-kini wearer explained to The New York Times. “A woman should always have fair skin. Otherwise people will think you’re a peasant.”

 

fk 1

fk 2

 

While China used the mask as a way to retain paleness, CR Fashion Book, which was created by former editor-in-chief of French Vogue Carine Roitfed, saw the masks as an opportunity for fashion.

Check out the French fashion photos below and tell us what you think!

 

fk 3 fk 4

 

Heartwarming Video Of Chinese Soldiers Dancing With Young Yunnan Earthquake Victims

 

How does one pick up the pieces and resume his or her life after experiencing a traumatic earthquake with a 6.5 magnitude?

On August 3, this became the question for the thousands of Chinese netizens from Ludian County in Southwest China’s Yunnan province who had survived the powerful earthquake that killed more than 600 people, injured 2,400 others and destroyed thousands of buildings, as well as 80,000 homes.

 

 

In light of the major damage the earthquake caused, more than 10,000 soldiers and volunteers rushed to the scene to help. Some of the soldiers, however, upon meeting dozens of heartbroken children who had lost their homes and family members in the quake, took it upon themselves to try and lift the spirits of the children.

Together, they taught the children China’s famous “Xiao Ping Guo” dance, from a song that has gone viral since it was featured in the movie Old Boys: The Way of The Dragon.

 

 

This video, now circulating all over social media in China, has melted the hearts of netizens everywhere. One user commented, “Finding strength does not necessarily mean crying — optimism is the best weapon you can hold on to when facing difficulties. Thank you soldiers, for this little act of kindness and your warm and generous love!”

Feature photo courtesy of xw.qq.com

 

First Chinese Woman To Successfully Climb K2, One of the World’s Deadliest Mountains

 

For those of you unfamiliar with Mount Godwin-Austen, also called K2, it is the second highest mountain in the world following Mount Everest. With a peak elevation of 8,611 meters above sea level (28,251 ft) and subject to frequent, severe storms, it is also one of the deadliest and most difficult mountains to climb in the world. In fact, it is estimated that one in every four people die from trying.

Luo Jing, 39, however, recently became the first Chinese woman to successfully climb K2, which also makes her the fourth Chinese person ever to reach the summit. But this was no new challenge by any means for the single mom. Prior to the 41-day expedition, Luo already had seven other 8,000 meter level summits conquered under her belt. She even quit her job in the IT industry in 2008 to continue her lifelong dream of conquering 14 summits, the goal she set for herself.

 

 

As you can imagine, climbing mountains is no easy task regardless of gender and it is also the reason that Luo has developed a passion for this hobby.

Different from other sports, mountain-climbing has no female or male distinctions,” she tells China Daily. “Everyone has to face the same conditions and depend on themselves as soon as they start climbing, and no one can give you particular care because you are female.” She also admitted, however, that it has been increasingly difficult to persuade fellow females to embark on this dangerous journey with her. 

 

Feature photo courtesy of Women of China