"Gateway to heaven"
Extracts from this essay...
Creative writing: "Gateway to heaven" "Ouch, je je I'm telling mamma!" I yelled in agony, rubbing the imprint her book left on my head. "No you're not, she won't believe you; I'm older," snickered my sister, and with that she ran up the crowded walkway; which in the morning hour, looked much like a stampede of bulls. As I walked toward school, I listened to the distinctive chatter of my fellow civilians, smelled the exhaust fume filled air and listened to the bells and whistles of another pristine day. This was Beijing, China on another busy workday, no time to talk, money is to be made, there is always somewhere to go and some place to be. It seems that this is the ideology of all Chinese; as I looked ahead, all I can see is a sea of black hair moving from side to side, up and down, in unison, everyone trying desperately not to drown. I tread toward the edge of the curb and am taken into a world of raging machine's, streetcars, bicycles, and automobiles, racing down the street carrying even more people to some important place. I see a void in the racetrack and take a chance to run across the street to school. I am in my last year at Mao Tse-Dung Middle School, it is full of long maintained rivalries between its top students, all of us are supposed to be the best, we are to make our families proud in any way possible and build a prosperous future; because our parents and previous ancestors worked so hard so that we could have this exclusive chance. I have always been an exceptional student, always attending the after school classes and always being at the top of my class in all the major subject categories. After the examination, when my fellow students and I had swarmed the student standings list, I always would read my name in the top three; endlessly hearing criticism from my competitors.
Mamma is very superstitious, she and many other Chinese believe that if the shoes are inside the house and left at the door, this "vicious act" would bring bad luck to the family. We also keep a bat gua, which resembles an octagon with a mirror in the center, nailed to the top of the front door to keep bad spirits away from us. When you turn the knob on our door and push it open, you walk straight into an atmosphere of peace and unity. Mamma is also very devoted to Feng Shui, which is the practice of the proper placement of objects in their surroundings so that "chi" can flow, allowing prosperity and knowledge reign supreme. "Mei ling, don't you forget to bai sin a goong" nagged mamma from the kitchen "Okay, I will" and with that I took 3 steps left to a goong's alter and bowed 3 times, showing my utter respect for him. A goong died before I was even born, he was a dormant member of the CCP, so my father had no respect for him, but since my father is the oldest of his 8 brothers, he's responsible for keeping the altar. Baba is a typical Chinese father, never happy with anything, not even his own children. He rules over our family with an iron fist, as I said before he is the last word on everything, even the décor of the house. The walls are covered with banners with 'good luck' messages written in lucky Chinese red, we also have an overwhelming amount of tapestries made by some of China's most famous artists. The furniture in our living room is so precious that it is not meant to be used; strange that our furniture is not meant to be sat on, but is only meant to sit, collecting dust and being admired. It doesn't matter anyway, the wood backing is too hard and the seat cushions are like rocks, it is old Mao furniture.
I went to my je je's dusty side of the room. I looked under her mattress and found the book that she gave to me the day that she walked out of my life. I picked it up, it was a book of poetry and Je je had marked one in particular and left a note, I read "Bye now my mei mei, I am gone and you are probably wondering why, read these and you will find the key to our country's pain." I sat on her bed and opened up the marked poem and read it The Internationale Arise ye workers from your slumbers Arise ye prisoners of want For reason in revolt now thunders And at last ends the age of cant. Away with all your superstitions Servile masses arise, arise We'll change henceforth the old tradition And spurn the dust to win the prize. So comrades, come rally And the last fight let us face The Internationale unites the human race. So comrades, come rally And the last fight let us face The Internationale unites the human race. No more deluded by reaction On tyrants only we'll make war The soldiers too will take strike action They'll break ranks and fight no more And if those cannibals keep trying To sacrifice us to their pride They soon shall hear the bullets flying We'll shoot the generals on our own side. No saviour from on high delivers No faith have we in prince or peer Our own right hand the chains must shiver Chains of hatred, greed and fear E'er the thieves will out with their booty And give to all a happier lot. Each at the forge must do their duty And we'll strike while the iron is hot. I cried, this is what they were fighting for; they were fighting so that we could have a future, so that we would be able to read beautiful literature such as this and have a voice in our own destinies.
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