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New Left Review I/30, March-April 1965

Jan Myrdal

A Chinese Village

The Rhythm of Life. Long talks with Ching Chi and the Old Secretary, Li Yu-hua, and shorter ones with practically all the women of Liu Lin

The mothers of Liu Lin suckle their babies until they are two or three. Many go on even longer, especially if it is the last child, or if the mother wants to avoid having any more children for a time. If a mother does not herself have milk, she does not get another woman to suckle her baby. Here, in north Shensi, a woman does not suckle another’s child. In these cases the baby is given goat’s milk. Some children drink milk up to the age of seven, but never after that. ‘Milk is bad for your health.’

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Jan Myrdal, ‘A Chinese Village’, NLR I/30: £3

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