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The secret language of Chinese women

June 9, 2008
I am confused.
clipped from www.lisasee.com

http://www.lisasee.com/images/nushu-example.jpg
clipped from www.sfgate.com

(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.

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