It's also time to share a new book that I truly enjoyed. The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane caught my eye on two counts. One, I love birds, so was interested in the address and the second was the ambiguity of the title. Who goes around being known as the "Tea Girl" and why?
The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane Book Review
Lisa See, the author has extensive knowledge of what is happening in the areas where China has taken over the lands that once belonged to some really isolated tribes. Such are the Akha, that lived in the high mountainous regions of Laos, Myannmar, Thailand and Yunnan province in China.
Map courtesy of Google Maps
As with many indigenous tribes, they are unaware of the political struggles or the ramifications of being overtaken by another government. They farm and cultivate their land for their own use. Daily life is difficult enough without worrying about politics. Rice, tea and poppies are their main crops. Opium, derived from their crops is sold to the outside world for medicines. They themselves have used opium for medicines for centuries. Tea is the other common denominator. They grow tea and cultivate the leaves of trees that are hundreds of years old. This tea is sought after by tea aficionados from around the world.
They are a land of people who have stayed together and lived according to the laws and customs of their "tribe". They have their own language, yet they are encouraged to learn Mandarin and leave their language behind. Education is minimal unless they show a talent for learning. Then maybe they have a chance at a better life. The question is, "Who's ideas of a better life will they follow?"
Each child can confirm their lineage for 7 generations. This is one of the most important things they know for sure. Girls and boys can recite their lineage and will do so when they find a mate. The elders of the community will give their permission to marry, based on that lineage! There will be no marriages allowed that are too close in family ties.
My Conclusion & Final Thoughts
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