Sharing work and laughter with Chinese peasants


Among my happiest times in China were my stints of physical labor with the peasant team at the Evergreen Commune (Sijieqing Gongshe), where I felt very warmly welcomed and was patiently helped. I felt that we all became friends, despite language limitations. I admired the stamina of the peasants, who worked hard from early to late each day, and were impressed by their practical knowledge and the diligence with which they tried to improve their crops. They spoke frankly and enjoyed a good hearty laugh. I was invited into the peasants’ homes, including for a meal that was probably the simplest I’ve ever eaten, generously shared.

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