The Seventh Original Writing Competition
Primary School Group
Platinum Award


Written by Lv Shuo,
Xiu Shui Primary School of Shang Yi County, Hebei Province
Date: October, 2019


Winter in the dam area is always something of tough with heavy snow and piercing cold wind. At this time, the most delightful thing is the smoke from the farmhouse chimneys. Mixed up with heat and rice fragrance, it warms you deeply into the heart in winter. This is grandma’s village.

The most distinctive thing of the dam-area village in winter is the heatable adobe bed (kang in Chinese). In spite of its simple and square shape, there is a lot knowledge behind it. Kangs come in different sizes and lengths. They are divided into front, back and other types according to the direction and size of the house. As for the specifications and height, grandma told me that the bed shall not be built at will. Instead, it has to comply with certain rules. Since the bed must be connected to a big hearth and it can only be heated through the hearth, the degree of warmth and smoke exhaust condition will depend on the height of both of them. Therefore, there is common saying that three fifths of a meter for the hearth and two thirds of a meter for the kang while it’s comfortable to put your elbow on the windowsill.

I like the kang of grandma’s. No matter how freezing the winter is, grandma can always burn up the kang to make it so warm. Sitting around on the kang, all the families dine and chat in happy and cheerful mood. I like the kang of grandma’s house also because this little kang embodies a lot of cultural atmosphere. Various styles of drawings are painted on the side walls of kang, such as Phoenix Playing with Peony, Lion Pushing around Silk-rolled Ball, etc.; all of which present different appearances and graceful styles!

Winter is the most cheerful time in the year for the village when people can finally take a rest after working hard for almost a year. They drop into neighbor’s houses, playing cards and talking about their harvest of the year in happy laughter and cheers, while the kids are running and playing in the snowfield, which is a natural amusement park when it snows heavily in winter. It has just snowed, so we could have a snowball fight, paying no notice to the chilly snowflakes that slide onto our back and get our clothes and shoes wet. The most interesting thing in the snowfield is making a snowman. We dress the snowman as our favorite looks like carving a work of art. We look our masterpieces up and down as a sense of accomplishment well up in our heart.
There is a pond of moderate size in front of grandma’s village. After the Winter Solstice, the ice on the river becomes solid. At this time of every year, my parents would take me away from busyness and tension of daily work and study and throw ourselves into the gift of nature. My father and mother are running on the ice like a child. We would stand in a line and count down in chorus, “one, two, three... go!” After a swish, we would have slid along the ice for a long distance and then decide who has slid the farthest. My parents would also hold me between them hand in hand. I would squat down and let them pull me on the ice while running, without caring about how many times we fall down. Our laughter over every fall would spread quite far and far…..
I like grandma’s village. It’s so beautiful there. The beauty lies in the cozy kang in winter, in the pure white snowfield in winter, and in all the warm and unpretentious faces in winter!

Expert comment 1:

An ordinary village reveals the leisure and warmth of winter. Precisely because of the freezing weather, people are more attached to the kang, which offers the busy peasant family a breathing space. The happy reunion, snow-playing, and little leisure time centering on the kang, portray a peaceful and beautiful scenery of the simple countryside.

Expert comment 2:

The article connects the people and things of the village with winter in the dam area. Delicately stringing together the rural life, snow scenery and warm human feelings in winter, it not only vividly portrays the season and the story, but also describes the local conditions, customs, and features. The description of affection is also done appropriately. Grandma’s village is just like the cozy kang in winter that warms people thoroughly and reminds people of the simple and warm villagers. The content is rich in levels.