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Survival In The Midst Of Suffering

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Chapter Summary

The people of Xiangye yearned for a safe environment, always vulnerable as they were to invasion from outsiders. The village was situated in a mountain valley. The most terrifying event of the year for the people of Xiangye was the annual conscription. Men feared being forced away from the warm and familiar community of their clansmen, to enter strange and dangerous environments. Another kind of suffering came from the neighbouring cities and towns in the form of people referred to as 'guests' or 'Han people'. These people did not collect taxes or conscript, but entered the village as fraudulent guests. At weddings and celebrations for the birth of a son, when responding to the congratulations of the guests, some hosts burst into tears, because they realized that they survived only through suffering and servitude. Their lives brimmed over with suffering.

Keywords: servitude; suffering; Xiangye

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