When Mao Zedong was born on December 26, 1893, his father—a farmer who wanted to become the richest man in the area—only wanted his son to learn to read and do math. He had no idea that his son would change the history of China.
Every Chinese person who has witnessed Mao’s time remembers him in different ways; he was a versatile man. Thirty four years after his death, national and local commemoration events will bring these memories back to life. There will be calligraphy exhibitions, as his brush strokes were handsome; poetry contests, as he was a successful poet (his piece “Ode to Snow” is still printed in high school textbooks); and there will even be winter swimming in the Yangtze River, as he popularized the sport. Of course there will also be parties where people sing revolutionary songs with titles such as “The Sun Is the Reddest and Chairman Mao Is the Dearest.” – H.Y.