6. The strict Mother

Yu Wen’s wet nurse, Wong Ma, took care of her ever since she was a newborn baby until the day she married.

Yu Wen’s from childhood to grow up, Wong Ma took care of everything of hers. Besides nursing her, she watched her starting crawling, to make sure she will not get dirty. Ever since she stepping out her very first baby step, Wong Ma was with her to make sure Yu Wen would not fall on something that might hurt her. To see what’s the suitable cloth for her to wear every morning and dressing her. Combing her thin hair.  Wong Ma knew what was Yu Wen’s  favorite cloth, and foods. Whenever Yu Wen was going out, Wang Ma was with her. There were always some long-term workers around her to make sure she was well secured.

Yu-Wen lived like a princess. But whenever she was with her mother, she became a little mouse who saw a cat!  She must be very cautious with her manners. She should stand as straight as a pine tree. But never swing. Never lean on the table or against the wall, chair or anything. Her mother said that looked low and degrading not only herself but also her family. People would think her mother never taught her manners. When she sat, she should be sat as straight as an old grandfather clock!   In bed, she should sleep on her side as a bow. Never facing up. Fortunately, her mother seldom came into her bedroom at night, unless when she was very sick.  Wong Ma would never mind how she slept! All she cared was if Yu Wen slept well and comfortable. If accidentally her posture was incorrect, her mother would knock on her forehead with the most pointed place of her fist. and left a  bump on her forehead. The sharp pain would be with her for days.  Ever time when it happened, Yu-Wen felt her head shrieked until nothing left but the pine. She even forgot how to cry. But tears streamed down her checks. Until she and Wong Ma got into her room old she threw herself into Wong Ma’s warm chest and start to cry hard.  Wong Ma would say to her with a cracking voice: “Oh! My poor lady, Oh! My poor lady, next time try your best to be careful!” Wong Ma’s cracking voice and her gentle rubbing always worked as pain-killer but temporarily.

She would never be able to act as a spoiled child with her mother. She did not even dare to dream of it!

Gradually the fear of her mother getting more than yearning for being close to her.

Based on the Manchurian lifestyle, Mrs. Lyan wanted to educate Yu Wen to be a real noble Manchurian lady. Therefore her demands get more and more strict. Yu-Wen found out in the later days that in the royal families, boys were always more privileged to enjoy their life freely than the girls. Whatever boys did were acceptable because they were shield by their fathers. But for girls, their parents wished to look for a good match for their daughters. Therefore the girls must behave well as a perfect lady.

They must well rememorize all the “The three Obeys” and “the Four Virtues”  when they were very young.  No matter young and old all females should keep these teaching in their mind and in their daily life.

The Three obeys:

Obey your father before you married.

Obey your husband after you married.

Obey your son if your husband died.

The Four virtue:

1. Good behaviors.

2. Good appearance; clothing, headgear, and footwear should always wear properly.

3. Speech – when you talking with people, should agree what they say, be understandable, should always realize what you should or should not say.

4. Should be good in Chinese traditional women’s skills, such as needle works, cooking, housekeeping etc.

For cooking and housekeeping to a ladylike Yu Wen was not necessary. Those were taken care by long-term workers. For needle works and all the others, everyone is a “Must”.

In the olden days, the cultural background of China was very different. Every lady wish to be a model lady! The rebellion was rarely heard of. Nowadays I believe, we still value a woman with some of those standers now!   

Yu-Wen loved needled works since she was a little girl. This pleasing her mother very much. She provided Yu Wen all chances to practice her needlework. You can see Yu Wen’s needle works everywhere at Lyan’s residence. such as window curtains, door curtains, tablecloth and chair covers, bed sheets, pillowcases. She made her own designs based on her love of nature. Her needle works were different. Highly admired and welcomed among her friends and relatives. Especially her father’s appreciation encouraged her a lot.

Everlasting Blossoms was built on her enthusiasm and devotion of nature and crafts, The Chinese old tradition fine art, embroider, unlocked her talent.

—To be continued.

  1. The Princesses Etiquette is on the way
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6 thoughts on “6. The strict Mother

    1. Well, at that time, girls who wish to have a good marriage may not think it was too hard for them! My mother kept those rules deep in her heart. But she refused the the marriage her mother arranged for her. Married a person who was not approved by her mother. You will read the story in the latter chapters.

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      1. OH wow – I imagine that was very brave at the time Myra and I look forward to reading about it in the future.. This is a lovely series and really lets us in to a bygone time and different culture.. Thank you! x

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      2. Wendy. I’m glad you enjoy reading my momo’s story! She was a very different lady! i’m very proud that I had such a wonderful mother.
        Thanks to Gad for giving me to her.
        I have not decided the name of this story yet. Maybe after you read the whole book, you can help me to name it.

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      3. It’s fabulous that you are capturing this wonderful story about your mum Myra – well done to you – I suspect you have the same strong character as your mum!! I’d be very proud to try and help you with the title and I’ll keep this in mind as I keep reading. xx

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