Home alone in rural China

The lonely life of 12-year-old Xie Xiang Ling.

    The benefits of China's booming economy have yet to trickle down to the millions left behind

    China
    is a country on the move. Millions have left their homes in the country's rural interior to seek work in the booming cities.

     

    But not all of them can afford to take their children with them.

     

    Xie Xiang Ling is one of those who has been left behind. Here she tells Al Jazeera her story:

     

    First person

    Xie's parents are often away
    for weeks at a time
    My name is Xie Xiang Ling. I'm 12 years old and I live in Anhui province in China.

     

    My parents work in the city and I take care of myself.

     

    Sometimes they come home at the weekends; sometimes they don't come home for a month. I call them and ask them to come home.

     

    I've visited Hefei – the city where my parents work selling fruit, seeds and nuts.

     

    There are so many people there!

     

    There are so many cars too – at night I can't go to sleep it's so loud.

     

    Sometimes it's hard to wake up in the morning and then I get up I don't want to go to school.

     

    Video

    Click here to watch Xie's story in video

    But when I get up I'm motivated again. I just want an alarm to get me up.

     

    For food sometimes I reheat leftovers from last night, or I cook up some cabbage and then have some fruit.

     

    My aunt sometimes asks me to help on their farm. I pull the vegetables or dig holes and plant the seeds. 

     

    At school I love language classes and maths, but I don't like English class – that teacher always screams and hits the students.

     

    I want to go to college, attend the best university, and make lots and lots of money.

     

    But my family won't have any money to pay for college, so I might just move to Hefei when I'm older to work there.

     

    I miss my mother and father, and that's where they are.

     

     

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Holding onto Hoxha: Guarding the last statue of communist Albania

    Holding onto Hoxha: Guarding the last statue of communist Albania

    In the basement of an old museum in a village in Albania, a 78-year-old woman protects the last remnant of a dictator.

    Still Here: A story of incarceration and gentrification in the US

    Still Here: A story of incarceration and gentrification in the US

    Many formerly imprisoned women of colour return to neighbourhoods transformed beyond recognition. What awaits them?

    The 'risky business' of tracking Rwandan fugitive Felicien Kabuga

    The 'risky business' of tracking Rwandan fugitive Felicien Kabuga

    The former chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda discusses the hunt for genocide suspects.