precious photographic memory in china

chinese women with photo of her motherLooking at the wisdom and warmth in those eyes, you know this women must have a thousand stories to tell. That’s the impression you get when you first see this wonderful photo taken by Jonathan Lewis. And it turns out there is a great tale attached to this special travel photo…

“In 1976 my friend visited a small village in rural China and photographed an elderly lady who he made friends with. We hiked back up the village in 2011 and my friend brought his photograph along, just in case someone recognised her.

Initially we had no luck, but we stopped off at a shop for a drink. Three elderly ladies came out and sat outside the shop and we showed them the photograph. One of them got very excited and pointed to her earrings and then back to the photograph.

With the help of the shopkeeper, who translated from the local dialect to Mandarin, we discovered that the lady in the photograph was her mother. Her mother had passed away five years earlier and this was the first photograph she had seen of her since. She was wearing her mother’s earrings, hence the pointing. We left her clutching the photograph, with a big smile on her face. It was a fantastic experience and one I will never forget!”

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* photo by Jonathan Lewis – Intrepid Photography Competition

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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