“Spare the rod, spoil the child”, Chinese have long followed the tradition of “棍棒底下出孝子” right up until today where family violence is frowned upon. Though heavily criticized, many parents still believe that the most effective method to make their children learn from mistakes is giving them a good beating. Even though physical punishment has decreased in usage, the majority of Chinese probably remember being beaten when they were kids. Yesterday, a shocking event shook Chinese media and led to a wave of condemnation regarding domestic violence: an 11-year-old girl in Hangzhou was beaten to death by her father.
The little girl was already unconscious and extreme danger when she was sent to the hospital, according to Zhejiang Online‘s report. The girl’s father, a security worker surnamed Zhang, knelt wailing in front the ER room. Zhang told the doctor that he beat his daughter because she had copied her classmates’ homework again. On finding out, he was furious and dragged her to the bicycle shed to beat her, at around 8 pm on May 19th. Zhang claims he hung her up with a rope, only beating her legs with another rope for about minute, before leaving the bike shed. But, when he returned half an hour later, his daughter was on the verge of death.
The girl was announced dead yesterday afternoon. The father, contrary to much speculation, was said to love his daughter and spoiled her from time to time. Family relatives, the daughter’s teacher, and the Zhang’s colleagues, all said he was a good and caring father, and that it was only when it came to his daughter’s studies he would hit her.
Chinese netizens, of course, had a lot to say on the matter:
Tancy有纸灰机: “To me, who has been beaten from five until I was in senior high, (physical punishment) leaves trauma. True, sometimes I got a beating for doing wrong things, yet other times it was only an outlet when my parents were in a bad mood. I can understand the parents’ high expectation on their child, but how could the harm in my heart be cured.”
田庆兵: “This is a tragedy brought by the exam-centric education system. Poor parents, no one wants their kid to lose at the starting line. “
Joanna-Z: “I believe the father must have loved his child, perhaps in the wrong way, or he was too impulsive, which led to tragedy. At this moment, the father feels more pain than anyone else. Don’t condemn him. The daughter would forgive her father in heaven as well. We need to think about how to release societal pressure and say no to family violence. “
d0_0b-Moko: “I was raised up being beaten. In my world, the word “father” is a strange vocabulary. So-call ‘I beat you but I actually love you’, it’s all bullshit. How could kids understand your thinking? When I see fathers and sons being buddies on TV, I really can only look.”
蕾特尼希娅：This has nothing to do with copying homework, just a bastard father who found a reason to abuse his daughter to death. Perhaps it really was deliberate murder.