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Photographer captures familial ties

( chinadaily.com.cn ) Updated: 2014-05-25 11:32:13

Photographer captures familial ties

Cui Yanru (right),83, and her husband Zhang Yunsheng hold up two photographs-one from their wedding and one from their 25th anniversary. Photos by Pan Songgang / China Daily

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Sanlitun is an international community in Beijing. Many embassies to China are here, and faces of different skin colors can be spotted in this modern part of Beijing. Every night, the neon lights of bars and pubs shine bright, and every morning, retirees use public exercise equipment for their daily workouts. Sanlitun is a cosmopolitan setting, a home to Chinese, foreigners, the haves and the have-nots, all alike.

A photographer has visited more than 150 families of various nationalities and backgrounds in the area to portray how love extends beyond borders.

May 15 marks the 21st International Day of Families. The United Nations has set the theme for this year's event as "Family Matters for the Achievement of Development Goals; International Year of the Family +20." China is celebrating this special day in its own way, under the theme "Health for all and happiness to all."

The term "happiness" has different meanings to different families. For 78-year-old Zhang Aqin, happiness means being with her grandchildren. For Michel, who is married to a Chinese woman, happiness means the smell of lavenders at home. For subsistence allowance receiver Deng Hua, happiness means the awards her daughter hangs on the wall. For worker Hu Jiaming, happiness means to sell a few more kilos of fruit. For Bai Yunlong of the US, happiness means to be referred to as the "foreign Lei Feng."

Every family has its own interpretation of happiness. At different stages in life, happiness may also mean different things. As an old Chinese saying goes, "If the family lives in harmony, all affairs will prosper." German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said, "He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home." On this International Day of Families, we wish you all love and peace.

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