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Meihui Huian was a woman born in the Ming and Qing period. Her first name Meihui meant beautiful wisdom while her last name Huian meant obliging and quiet.
In the context of her family background, she was born in a humble family of four children. She had two brothers and one sister. She was the elder of the siblings. This gave her several responsibilities among the family members. As a family, they used to live in the south part of the country. They were well up and were financially stable since her parents were educated and worked in institutions under the dynasty government.
During her childhood years, she underwent foot binding. Foot binding was a tradition in China where the feet of young girls were tightly bound in order to prevent the feet from growing further. Meihui happened to undergo this painful process. During the dynasty days, foot binding was considered a very important tradition. The society supported it since bound feet were perceived to be intensely erotic.
A woman who had bound feet was probable to make a prestigious marriage. Meihui was a beneficiary of the trait gained from bound feet. It was believed that women with bound feet had a swaying walk.
This was due to the tiny steps they took while walking. Many men found this effect very erotic. When Meihui underwent the process of foot binding, she did not like. However, after growing up and learning more about the process, she felt right concerning it.
In the context of marriage, she was married by a local resident. Her marriage occurred while in her late teenage. As she grew into a beautiful woman, the interest from men grew. The men came to home to inquire about her availability for marriage. However, her father valued her and felt that she will be married when she decided it was right. When time was right for her, she met a man that she felt love and affection for him.
It was agreed that she has made the decision, and a marriage was set. She was married in a traditional Chinese marriage. The ceremonial ritual took place involving a marriage that was established on the basis of pre-arrangement between the two families. There were several factors that were considered before the marriage. This included religion, culture, reputation and wealth (Ebrey 35).
In the process of getting married, there were several traditional marriage rituals that were conducted. The key rituals were bride price, wedding gifts and the wedding ceremony. The marriage of Meihui was a ceremonial and colorful event. On the day of marriage, there was traditional band from Meihui’s home to her husband’s home. This included Meihui’s sedan and her maids of honor sedan.
This was part of the wedding procession. They stopped at the door of her husband and ceremonies were conducted to welcome her into her new home. The ceremonies were a way of welcoming Meihui and her family to the bride’s home. The ceremonies include being offered wine and tea. All the wedding expenses were catered for by the groom’s family. Then finally came time to exchange vows (Ebrey 70).
In her natal family, she played the role of training her siblings on the societal and cultural values. She was noticed to have good morals in her early teenage age hence her parents wanted her to pass these values into her siblings. She educated her siblings on the importance of being responsible and having good morals.
While growing and becoming mature, she believed that there were womanly qualifications for a woman to be an ideal woman and thus she had to have these essential credentials in her life. The womanly qualifications mainly reflected on the woman’s behavior, manners and character. She reflected on implicit obedience (Ko 143).
In her marital family, she played the role of a wife. She took the proper roles of a woman. She had a strong affection and selfless dedication to her husband. She had respect to her husband. She worked hard and was submissive towards her marital family. Towards her marital family, she played the role of a moral woman by displaying proper conduct, proper virtue, proper speech and proper countenance.
These virtues were viewed as morally upstanding qualities. They added individual greatness on the women who gained them. Through the knowledge she had, she maintained the precepts for women. These guidelines for women were mainly principles relating to the virtue, speech, manner and merit of a woman. All these were associated with the behavior characteristic of women.
Concerning her virtue, she was reserved and did not express her intelligence and outwardly beauty. Also, she did not outdo others with her skills. Towards her marital family, she showed respect to both the mother and father-in-law. She was obedient to the mother and father-in-law. She observed the role of the father-in-law and mother with full respect by obeying them (Ebrey 21).
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During her marriage, she faced family tension. Though she observed key virtues that a woman must perceive, family tension was still evident. The family tension was mainly caused by her husband who at times did not show respect to her marriage. She also faced issues with her in-laws at times. Her family difficulties while in marriage were a challenge to her and her marriage (Ebrey 41).
In the target of coping with the family tension, difficulties and crises, she showed humility, whole hearted devotion and implicit obedience in her marriage. She practiced the value of having or showing respect towards other people. This described the positions between her and her husband. She considered being more humble while in her marriage and thus she reflected on her life and that of her husband.
She viewed the main role of a woman being a wife was to attend her husband. She believed that the woman was supposed to serve her husband in everything that he required and do all the activities that her husband wished to be accomplished. She alleged that respect and caution were key elements in marriage. As a wife, she showed full respect towards her husband. She offered respect and created a feeling regard towards her husband.
As a wife, she had full dedication towards her husband. She expressed her whole hearted devotion through love and loyalty to her husband. When she faced family difficulties with her in-laws, she viewed the father-in-law and mother as particularly eminent people to her and the family context hence she showed acknowledgement and submission to them (Ko 144).
She enjoyed her marriage a lot and was happy to be married despite her family tension and difficulties. She enjoyed being a wife and also the duties that were delegated to her. She adored showing her womanly qualities that gained her respect among many.
The biography I created is a reflection of Meihui Huian who was a Chinese woman character that I created. On reflecting on her as a woman and a wife, I believe that she had a solid idea and opinions in her life that could act as role models to other women.
She also created the precepts for women with the target of guiding herself to live properly. I chose to discuss her because she had a significant influence on the lives of other women and their lifestyle.
The significance about her story is that it is a unique inspirational story. The story about Meihui Huian reflects on having value as a woman and maintaining that quality. As a woman in the dynasty periods, she showed several sensibilities.
These sensibilities were both aesthetic and spiritual. She was seen to be intellectual in activities that she was involved. This was evident through her good morals and respect to all. She also had good ideas, thoughts and opinions in matters that concerned women and family (Ko 144).
Meihui Huian reflected on using conservative reaction in order to create peace in her life and marriage. Her lifestyle was intended at improving the perception of a woman. She wanted to show other people that living with certain qualities were fruitful and beneficial.
In her life, she showed that a woman was to be a being with womanly qualities in order to create a good impression concerning her. She was also involved in the well upbringing of her siblings since she was the one who gave them lessons on virtues and good morals.
Ebrey, Patricia B. The Inner Quarters: Marriage and the Lives of Chinese Women in the Sung Period. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993. Print.
Ko, Dorothy. Teachers of the Inner Chambers: Women and Culture in Seventeenth-Century China. Stanford, Calif: Stanford University Press, 1994. Print.
Mann, Susan, and Yu-Yin Cheng. Under Confucian Eyes. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001. Print.