An Unexpected Strike of Homesickness 遊子吟
Today my sister in China sent me a photo, saying that she had met a classmate of mine recently whose surname was Zhang. She said Mr. Zhang asked her to pass on his greetings to me, but she had somehow forgotten his first name. She assumed that I would know who he was when I saw his photo.
I looked at the photo of a grey-hair man with a lot of wrinkles on his face for a long time, but couldn’t remember who he was, or what his name was whatsoever. So I replied to my sister and jokingly said, “Sorry, I don’t know this grandpa. Please thank him for me and don’t tell him this…”
Then I remember that another classmate told a while ago that 2018 would our 30th anniversary of graduation from Peking University. Some alumni were preparing a big “go back” gathering in Beijing, and all alumni who graduated in 1988 were invited.
I said, “Oh, how exciting! But, I’m afraid that I will have to miss it because…”
He didn’t ask why, as he knew the answer. He knew that because I practiced Falun Gong, I couldn’t go back to China, because the persecution is still going on.
But I didn’t feel particularly upset then, not until today, when I saw a photo of a classmate who looked like a “grandpa”, and whom I couldn’t recognize. Then I realized for how long I had been driven out of my homeland, for how long I hadn’t been able to see my old friends and classmates, and for how long this persecution had lasted…
And I ask in tears, “China, my dear China, when will you allow me to go back?”