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Family photo album stirs up public emotions

By Zheng Xin (China Daily)

13:36, August 24, 2012

Zhao Mengmeng of Beijing in family photos with her father when she was 1 and 30 years old. [Photos provided to China Daily]

A daughter has set off an outpouring of emotion among netizens after posting a private gift to her dad online.

On Father's Day, June 17, Zhao Mengmeng, a 31-year-old editor in Beijing, gave her dad a digitized collection of old family photos of the two of them taken over the past 30 years - two permanent protagonists in different settings.

"It's a family tradition to take a picture every year around my birthday," said Zhao. "I also write down the captions for each picture and the story behind the lens."

However, she said she was "shocked and overwhelmed" by the public response to the collection after she posted it on Sina Weibo, one of China's largest micro-blogging platform.

Zhao posted the photo album in June, and as of Thursday, her personal post had been forwarded 34,700 times, including by actors and TV presenters. She has received more than 11,580 replies and blessings from friends, acquaintances and strangers.

But the photos really came to the attention of the public on Tuesday when it was forwarded by Shanghai Morning Post. The newspaper's post was then forwarded 178,740 times and received 26,800 comments in less than two days.

"I was very excited about the precious gift my daughter sent to me, as well as the blessings from strangers," said Zhao's father, a 63-year-old retiree who wished to remain anonymous.

"I didn't sleep the night I heard about it. I have now memorized some of the comments on the collection of pictures."

The photos have moved people to tears and prompted many netizens to express their regret that they do not spend enough time with their parents.

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