Spring Festival means a personal journey home for many Chinese

China 24

Spring Festival means a personal journey home for many Chinese

Everyone’s Spring Festival journey is personal, reuniting with family and friends leaving the troubles of work behind.

CGTN’s Nathan King follows one young man in Sichuan down on his luck and longing for home.

Spring Festival means a personal journey home for many Chinese

Spring Festival means a personal journey home for many Chinese

Everyone’s Spring Festival journey is personal, reuniting with family and friends leaving the troubles of work behind. CGTN's Nathan King follows one young man in Sichuan down on his luck and longing for home.
Download Video

For most of the time, home for Qiu Zhongjun, is a dormitory that sleeps five other men.

Playing his guitar, Qiu longs for his other home, high in the hills of rural Sichuan where a family he rarely sees depends on him

“No matter how hard or difficult it is, I have a kid to raise and parents to take care of, after all. At least the pay from this job makes me able to cover my expenses and my family’s,” Qiu said.

But that job as a deliveryman is ending. His bosses are letting him go after customer complaints and the theft of a scooter.

This Spring Festival he barely has enough money to get home. But he goes anyway.

“I’m now feeling very excited. After working several months outside, I’m going to reunite with my family members. It’s such a good thing that I’m going back home for Spring Festival,” Qiu said.

Hours and hours on the road, then a hike up into the hills, scenic Sichuan at its best.

And at last a reunion with his five-year-old son. Qiu’s whole family and village have turned out to greet him.

A pig is killed for a feast. This is a highlight of the year in this rural community. It will feed all these people, not just for today and Spring Festival, but all year. This meat will be smoked for three months using traditional cooking techniques.

It’s a special place in Qiu’s heart.

“When I was a child, I used to run around this mountain. It has definitely built a kind of connection with the environment. I know every corner of this mountain.”

Back in Chengdu, Qiu may feel like a loser but here, he is important, the center of a family and village.

Taking charge, he prepares the pork in traditional Sichuan style. The wood-burning stove blazing, the whole family prepares the feast: spice, sizzle, and smells engulf the farmhouse.

“Working outside on my own, I feel very lonely, it’s such a pleasant thing to come back home and reunite with family members. This type of feeling is what I’ve been longing for, and today I fulfilled my dream.”

The meal is served, generations united for the first time in months. They celebrate the bounty they have made with their own hands.

So whatever troubles Qiu is facing in the future, now is a time to forget them and come together as a family. The pig has been killed, the eating has begun, and so has Spring Festival.