Inheritance and patriotism in Macao students' drama

By Xing Xiaojing and Liu Zhongyin Source:Global Times Published: 2019/12/12 21:59:29

Macao university students in After Suffering Comes Happiness in Beijing on September 6. Photo: Courtesy of the drama crew

After Suffering Comes Happiness, a drama written and performed by macao students, kicked off its national tour in Beijing and the run will end in Beijing as well. The 30 macao university students and young adults will present the drama in over 30 cities in the Chinese mainland over the coming year.

It tells the story of a macao girl, Yingying, living with her father Yibo who migrated from the Chinese mainland. Through the experiences of the girl against the background of big national events such as the construction and opening of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics and the opening of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-macao Bridge, it interprets young people's view of Chinese family bonds and inheritance as well as Chinese patriotism.

Family cultural inheritance

Chinese are resilient and prepared to overcome all sufferings, which is why China could rise to become the world's second-largest economy after World War Two and the War of Liberation. 

Yingying's father uses different methods to encourage her to eat bitter gourds cooked in various ways. He wants to remind Yingying "we are Chinese and we can take a bitter time. After suffering comes happiness." Yibo himself is a practitioner of this life philosophy having left his hometown and working very hard in macao to give Yingying a better environment. 

The family's cultural inheritance is not only the spirit of enduring suffering but also patriotism. As Yingying says at one point, "we are Chinese because our parents are Chinese."

The play was initiated by macao university students. But the cost of running a national tour is high. The Global Times interviewed the director and scriptwriter Lin Qiwen, and Lin said that when the cost of the tour is divided by the participants, it would cost 60,000 yuan ($8.53 thousand) each. Where can they get the money?

Lin told the Global Times that most of the funds come from a team member's recently deceased mother, and there also the students' savings and money from their parents. This October, the team accompanied the ailing mother and watched the National Day gala. They felt proud when watching the splendid performance but were depressed after changing channels and seeing the riots in Hong Kong. 

"The Chinese National flag is a source of pride for all Chinese people. We were determined to do something at that moment," Lin said. So they raised the money for the drama tour.

Home and motherland 

Wang Linlin, one of the actors in the drama, told the Global Times that they want to let people in the Chinese mainland know more about macao and at the same time have a deeper understanding of new developments in the Chinese mainland. 

Upon their arrival, they got up early and went to Tiananmen Square to watch the flag-raising ceremony and then visited the Palace Museum.

They are concerned that Beijingers can't understand the drama very well because it is played in Cantonese. But the Global Times found that their performance was highly appreciated by audiences who kept applauding, laughing and were even moved to tears. 

The background song at the end of the drama is "Accompanying You in the Long Days," sung by Hong Kong singer Eason Chan. "The drama is presented to accompany the audience. Fathers accompany us. The motherland accompanies macao," Lin said to explain the choice of the song.

After the show finished, there was an interactive session between the drama team and the audience, and a WeChat group has been set up with the audience to communicate more in the future. The actors said they wanted to see pictures of snow covering the Palace Museum and to see what is happening in the Chinese mainland through their mainland friends.

The WeChat group has been very active. The Global Times noticed that one mainland university student said that "our living environment is superb compared with that of our parents. Our homeland provides such a good environment for us and it's our responsibility to make contributions to it. Family and motherland is inseparable." 

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