Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The colour of her skin

When we were in China, almost a year ago, it was evident Lydia looked different than many other Chinese. Most of these differences are subtle to our western eye, but evident to many of the people we met in China. While we were in Guangzhou one woman working at the pearl market even excitedly pointed to Lydia and repeated over and over "Guangxi Baby" as she called over her coworker to look at Lydia as we passed.

While we know Lydia is from a Chinese ethnic minority, we haven't really thought much about it since China. We did some research before we left for China, but parenthood has been overwhelming and we've not done much more exploring about the Zhuang since coming home.

Recently though we went to the Nashville zoo and while there we ran into a large group who adopted about a year before we did from different agencies who shared a common DTC and formed a support group. The children all had darker skin and hair than Lydia. They all had that familiar Han look and they all commented on how different Lydia looked and how pale she was. It reminded me that not only is my daughter Chinese, my daughter is Zhuang and how important it is she know about their sub-culture. So, while we continue to research and embrace China in general Russell and I are now on a Zhuang quest of sorts. We are looking for information about the Zhuang to share with Lydia. We feel it's important she know who she is so she can love herself as much as we love her.


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