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Hermit couple lives in cave for 54 years

(People's Daily Online)    15:08, October 18, 2016
Hermit couple lives in cave for 54 years
Li Suying (left) and Liang Zifu at their cave home

Half a century ago, Liang Zifu and his wife, Li Suying, moved into a cave. They have lived there ever since.

Living an extremely traditional life, Liang and Li turned the cave into a comfortable home over the last 54 years. The accomplishment they are most proud of is giving their children a better education. Two of the couple's children attended university.

Located near the village of Lingyinsi in Nanchong, Sichuan province, their 200-square-meter bamboo and rock "house" has three bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen and a storage room. The furniture is all made of wood, and the stove is built out of clay and stones.

Liang and Li moved into the cave in 1962 because it was the only home they could afford. At that time, there was only one cottage for seven members of Liang's family. They made a living by planting wheat and corn. In addition, Liang planted orange, peach and walnut trees on the mountains nearby.

Liang said he initially wanted to live in the cave for just three years. His plan was to accumulate enough money to build a cottage for his family. However, with the successive births of four children, his financial burden became increasingly heavier, making his dream impossible to realize.

Although it forced them to live in extreme poverty, Liang and his wife chose to spend all their money on their children's education. Two of his four children have received higher education. His eldest son, 54, is an engineer working in Chengdu. His eldest daughter is a middle school teacher.

"My grandson is a PhD candidate," he related merrily.

Having gotten used to the lifestyle, the couple now refuses to move out of their home, though their children often try to persuade them.

"If we leave, who will take care of the chickens, dogs and fruit trees?" Li said.

Liu Zongfu, party secretary of Lingyinsi, said the village leadership also tried to get the couple to move out of their cave, but they refused to leave. To at least make their lives easier, the village has provided them with electricity and water.

“I can eat two bowls of rice with each meal. I want to live to be 100 years old in this cave,” Liang said. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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