Soapy, a university graduate, graduated from his Alma Mater in 1968 when the Cultural Revolution was in ascendant and became a teacher in a small middle school, which was affiliated to a large coal mine.
Already in his late twenties, he should have already been married according to the Chinese marriage standard. However, due to the Cultural Revolution happening at the time, he remained single. As a single man he was ridiculed, laughed at, and discriminated against in the whole district of the Coal Mine.
Disheartened and disappointed, he set out to extricate himself from the predicament he found himself in. Along his journey of wooing, the majority of his successes and failures boiled down to him being a Stinking Old Ninth.
A Moving and Funny Read exhibiting aspect of what really happened during the Chinese Cultural Revolution!
The Stinking Old Ninth (A Tale of The Coal Capital) by Yu Jihui
PUBLISHER: Blazing Heart Publishing
RELEASE DATE: June 27, 2019
GENRE: Blazing MF, Mainstream Historical Romance.
WORD COUNT: 83,287 words
PAGE COUNT: 287 pages
During the Chinese Cultural Revolution, there were "Nine Black Categories". They were: Landlords, rich farmers, anti-revolutionaries, bad influences, right-wingers, traitors, spies, capitalist roaders and (ninth) intellectuals.
The first eight were class enemies. The last one, intellectuals, were identified as the ‘stinking old ninth’, who was only one step away from the class enemies. A university graduate, no doubt, was an intellectual. So, I was a Stinking Old Ninth.
In July 1962, I completed Gao kao, the national university entrance examination. In August, I received an admission notice from a teacher’s university in Shenyang, the largest city in the Northeast. I was given a place in the foreign languages department to major in English. Our class was small. There were only twenty students.
The students in our class were mostly around 18 or 19 years old. But I was already 21 - two or three years older than my classmates. They humorously called me Lao Da Ge (old elder brother). I was older than my classmates not because I had gone to school late, but because I played professional basketball for two years.
In 1962, I quit the basketball team, took the national university entrance examination and satisfactorily became a university student. I was very happy and proud of myself to be a university student. A university was the first step on the ladder to an iron rice bowl; once admitted by a university, the students were guaranteed to have jobs. That’s one of the benefits of socialism. The length of schooling was four years, so I should have graduated in August 1966.
During the four years, every day I would look forward to the day when I could graduate. I was eager to get a job and make money to support my family. In the spring of 1966, on the eve of my graduation, I was very happy and was full of hope for my future. But to my dismay, in May 1966, Mao Zedong launched the Great Cultural Revolution. It broke in like the mountain torrents rushing down with a terrifying force.
With the advent of the movement, schools were thrown into great confusion and classes were suspended. I was not able to graduate from school on schedule and had to stay for two more years due to the revolution (before the Great Culture Revolution, all the universities in China were boarding schools). So, altogether, I had been in the university for six years - four years to study and two years during the Cultural Revolution.