An essay written by a migrant worker about her family went viral on Chinese social media, as her plain, vivid and humorous words resonated with many readers.
Fan Yusu, 44, from a village in Xiangyang, Hubei province, is a housekeeper in Beijing. In an article headlined "I’m Fan Yusu", which was published on Monday on WeChat, she tells her story.
"My mother was elected as a village official of women’s affairs in 1950 and stayed in power for 40 years, even exceeding the reign of Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi," Fan wrote.
But her life didn’t sound as easy as her writing style. A high fever left Fan’s elder sister mentally impaired, and her other sister contracted polio.
She moved to Beijing to work at age 20 and married a man two years later, but Fan said they were divorced recently because of his alcohol abuse and domestic violence. She cares for her two daughters alone.
The story attracted more than 100,000 views in a day and more than 20,000 comments were posted.
"I see an extremely strong mind behind the small body of a mother," one reader wrote, while another added: "The most touching words in life are not the rhetorical ones but the plain ones refined by life."
In an interview with Beijing Youth Daily, Fan said she used to read the masterworks of renowned writers from China and other countries.
She said she did not expect the article to be so popular: She only wanted to earn some extra money to support her family.
"What happened to me after the story was published is beyond my imagination. Anyway, I make a living through manual labor, not with writing," she said. " I can barely use a computer to write."