Skip to content

The secret language of Chinese women

June 9, 2008
I am confused.
clipped from
clipped from

(02-29) 04:00 PDT Pumei Village, Hunan Province, C
Nowadays, it would be called empowering women. But back then,
centuries ago, it was just a way for the sworn sisters of this rugged and
tradition-laden Chinese countryside to share their hopes, their joys and their
many sorrows.

Only men learned to read and write Chinese, and bound feet and social
strictures confined women to their husband’s homes. So somehow — scholars
are unsure how, or exactly when — the women of this fertile valley in the
southwestern corner of Hunan province developed their own way to communicate.
It was a delicate, graceful script handed down from grandmother to
granddaughter, from elderly aunt to adolescent niece, from girlfriend to
girlfriend — and never, ever shared with the men and boys.

So was born nushu, or women’s script, a single-sex writing system that
Chinese scholars believe is the only one of its kind.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: