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Learning to be a perfect lady proves fruitful (4)

(China Daily)

09:51, May 31, 2013

He Peirong demonstrates flower arranging at Institute Sarita, a finishing school in Beijing. Wu Hailang for China Daily

Outdated expectations?

In 2006, Zhao Ruoqiong, a 42-year-old in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, spent about 40,000 yuan to send her daughter, then aged 8, to a private school to attend a course called "Becoming Little Ladies". The girl learned ancient Chinese poems, played chess and studied embroidery.

"I don't care what she really learned," said Zhao. "Personally, I think peeling oranges with a knife and fork and walking around with books on the head are too flashy. I just hope that she can grow up to be an adorable, elegant woman who knows how to treat the people around her properly. You can't choose your appearance, but you can choose what kind of person you want to become," she said.

Zhao, a successful real estate developer, added that, like many women of her generation, as a child she was taught to act like a boy and ignore her female characteristics.

"I didn't enjoy my childhood and adolescence, and that is part of the reason I want my daughter to receive an education designed for girls, to fully develop her nature and show her femininity," said Zhao.

"I've forgotten most of the etiquette I learned when I was little, but there are some things I'll never forget," said Zhao's 15-year-old daughter, Chen Can. "It was the beauty, the politeness and elegance that impressed me the most, it wasn't pretentious or stiff, but genuine and comfortable."

Chen said that the course also opened a new world for her. "I learned how to make Chinese ink paintings and play the violin, which are so much fun and make my life so fulfilled."

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:GaoYinan、Chen Lidan)

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