a Chinese mother in Italy

PhotographerMargrieta Jeltema
PrizeHonorable Mention
Entry Description

Weng Jing and Hong Xia in the entrance of their house in the parish yard (with the parish banner just above their entrance), Weng Jing with her 'garden', Sissy and Sonia looking at the television in Hong Xia's room and Sissy and Sonia in the kitchen.


Ten years ago Hong Xia came to Italy. She left a little daughter, now fifteen, in China. After some time she came to live with Weng Jing, her second daughter now four years old, in a small village near Milan. She found here a place in a home for extracomunitarian single mothers with their children. Last summer she moved from the community house to a small apartment in one of the houses that belong to the parish-house. Her apartment is in a bad state and she is not allowed to make any serious refurbish nor to have male visitors. In exchange for admittance of Weng Jing to the parish school, she cleans the school and does other works, (though the local public school where she had wanted to send her daughter, would have been entirely free). I have come to admire Hong Xia for her optimistic and gentle nature while I see her struggling with her daily problems, especially in the winter, in the cold and dark house that she so bravely decorates. She affronts her days going out to work, taking care of her daughter and is full of dreams for a better future.