US EUROPE AFRICA ASIA 中文

The Year of the Snake is theirs

( China Daily ) Updated: 2013-02-13 07:57:28

 The Year of the Snake is theirs

Huang Shaokuan moves slowly around her ward in Si'an Hospital in the city of Dongguan, on the Pearl River Delta in Guangdong province, always seeming to be waiting for someone. She was born in 1929, the Year of the Snake in the Chinese zodiac, and will be 84 this year. She was stricken with leprosy when she was only 8, and, at 24, was put into quarantine on Daqin, a remote island for sufferers of leprosy, near the city. Several years ago, the authorities moved all the island's patients to Si'an Hospital, which was better equipped to deal with their problems. Huang has eight sisters, four of whom came to visit her at the hospital, on Jan 13. She said it was the happiest day she'd had for years. Feng Yongbin / China Daily

Editor's note: As the Chinese New Year celebration brings in the Year of the Snake, China Daily's photographers and correspondents have been looking for people from across the nation who were born in the Year of the Snake to tell their tales.

One woman they discovered is a victim of leprosy who is spending her twilight years in a Guangdong province hospital. Another, a new employee, likes working on jigsaw puzzles and hopes for a bright future in Beijing. Yet another, a female migrant worker who is expecting, feels lucky that the new child will share the same Chinese zodiac sign with its mother. A fourth, a teenager in Sichuan province, hopes she will have little homework and more time to play during the New Year. A fifth one is a high school art teacher who wants to go to the countryside of Russia to do some painting and drawing. The sixth one is a basketball player from the United States, who plans to lead his team, Beijing Ducks, win another league title in China.

While these people are at different stages of their lives, they all share one thing - a birthday in this Year of the Snake. So, let's hear their tales and wish them all the very best on their shared birthdays.

 The Year of the Snake is theirs

Cao Xiaobao is a Beijing high school art teacher, seen here holding up a portrait of himself done by one of his students, on Jan 22, in his school's studio. Cao was born in 1953, so he will turn 60 this Year of the Snake. He's currently helping some seniors prepare for the national college entrance exam and is busy with his daily work, but quite happy. He says that, at his age, there's generally a feeling of peace and quiet when you face difficulties and he has almost no troubles to worry him. His one hope, though, is to be able to travel to the countryside of Russia, a place with beautiful scenery that can help him create some good art works. Wang Jing / China Daily

 The Year of the Snake is theirs