Daisy J. Lin

Award-winning filmmaker and journalist

Firecrackers, dragon dance and red envelopes filled with money are all part of Chinese New Year celebrations, which begin on February 10th this year, but the most important ritual is honoring departed relatives who laid the foundations for your present life. I immediately think of my grandmother, my best childhood friend, and the big drops of tears rolling down her face when my parents told her we were leaving Taiwan and moving to America.

Twenty years later, I returned to Taipei to screen my documentary, Yours Truly Miss Chinatown, and found out something I didn’t know about my grandmother. My aunt told me that my grandmother started to get her feet bound as a child — a practice popular in China in the 19th and early 20th century. What usually happens is the adults bend your toes under your feet and wind…

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