Two Manchu stories

An old man, riven still -- thirty years later -- by survivor's guilt, recalls events he witnessed aged only twelve, in distant Myanmar: the last Ming empress's suicide: she cut her throat using a shard from a broken piece of porcelain. Why did he not also die with her? A man can have only one master.

The whole devastating chapter is to be found here.

From Lynn A. Struve, Voices from the Ming-Qing cataclysm.

And speaking about Qing, here is an incredibly moving story about Manchus trying to be Manchus again:

Dekjin, a 28-year-old teacher, turns to the whiteboard and in a blue marker writes in Manchu script a word. Next to it she writes in Roman letters the way the word is spoken: m-a-n-j-u; Manchu.

Then she turns to the class and says, "This is who we are."


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