I grew up in a traditional village in Hong Kong. It was a place where almost everyone shared the same last name and was related to each other to a different degree (I still don’t understand how exactly. I just remembered I had to call this person my remote third cousin and that my second paternal uncle even though he was not my father’s biological brother.) In our village if you were a boy, you would receive a share of the profit whenever the elders sold a piece of land that belonged to our village. This practice is also prevalent at other villages with people of the same family name.
This is just one of the reasons Chinese parents prefer to have boys than girls. The blatant sexism in countries like China, India, and Japan is of course not a secret to the world. Chinese parents prefer boys because boys can provide better labor and, most important of all, carry the family name since when a Chinese girl gets married, she automatically assumes the last name of her spouse and is no longer a part of her biological family but her husband’s. There is an old saying in Chinese, “giving away your daughter in marriage is like splashing a bucket of water; you can’t get either back”, that pretty much sums up the mentality of Chinese folks.
Why am I bothering you with my left-over childhood bitterness? Continue reading