Published online by Cambridge University Press: 14 April 2022
These two words are the ones most often used by grandmothers to describe their grandchildren. Until recently these were the children of thir sons; maternal grandmothers were not involved with their daughters’ children. The words express boundless love and joyful acceptance of devoting their lives to grandchildren. This is as true in the present, when women retire at fifty to care for their grandchildren, as it was in the past when women were often grandmothers in their forties.
There were great rewards for devotion, love and lifelong attachment to grandchildren. The love shows in the deep attachment of the Lady Dowager (Jia Mu) to her grandson Jia Baoyu, in the Dream of Red Mansions, and equally in the 2019 film The Farewell, whose director Lulu Wang and star Awkwafina were both raised by grandmothers.
The love and warmth of gradmonthers is contrasted to the stern discipline of ‘Tiger Mothers’.
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