Young Practitioners' Tales: Little Shan Shan

A Falun Gong Practitioner

PureInsight | November 28, 2005

[] Little Shan Shan is my granddaughter. She was born in Thailand on December of 2003. Her father is a French doctor and works in Cambodia to help prevent epidemics from breaking out there. When my daughter was pregnant with Shan Shan, my daughter was worried something unexpected might happen during delivery and she didn't feel comfortable giving birth in Cambodia because of the poor medical conditions there. So she went to Thailand and stayed there until she gave birth. Something unexpected did happen when she went into labor, and she ended up having a Caesarean birth.

Little Shan Shan is very bright. She came to Argentina for the first time when she was four months old. Even at that age, she already showed that she was quite intelligent. She was a happy little girl. I never heard her cry. She always smiled. When she woke up, she always smiled first. She was always curious about everything and always looked around and didn't like to go to sleep. It seemed that she was afraid of missing out on things while she slept. I felt that she could not wait to grow up. She could crawl around on her stomach when she was four months old. After she returned to Cambodia, she learned to walk when she was only nine months old.

When she came to my home to visit me at the age of four months, whenever I carried her and stood in front of our Master's picture, she always stared intently. When she was in front of Falun paintings, her hands would move around as if she was trying to grasp things in the air. Her hand sometimes went up, and sometimes went down. Sometimes she looked at the ground. It seems that she saw something and she just wanted to catch it. One time only Shan Shan and I were home. My daughter had gone out and hadn't come home. Shan Shan was hungry and started to act up. It was time to send righteous thoughts. So I put her on my lap and started to send righteous thoughts. During the first five minutes when I cleaned up things in my own dimension, she was very quiet. Late on when I started to hold one palm erect, she started to cry out loud. You can tell that she was terrified. So I stood up to hold her. But she did not stop crying. I carried her and walked around. She held onto me tightly. It took a while for her to calm down. She probably saw something. Later I realized that I should not hold the baby when sending righteous thoughts.

When she was ten months old, I visited Cambodia during my trip to Taiwan. I brought the Taiwan New Years Gala DVD with me. When I played this DVD in my daughter's home, Shan Shan was playing outside. When she heard the music, she came to the room right away. She sat down quietly and started to watch the show. Her face looked serious. I thought that she was very interested in this, so I showed her our Master's picture and the Falun from Zhuan Falun. She especially liked the small sized version of Zhuan Falun. It was probably because she is also small. Every time she saw the small Zhuan Falun, she always took it from me, sat down on the other sofa, and started to read, page by page. I do not know what a ten-month-old girl can read. When I asked for the book back, she did not want to return it to me. She even tried to run off with the book.

When she was 15 months old, she came to visit me again with her mother. Including the time spent at the airport waiting for connecting flights, the total trip took almost 40 hours. She did not sleep well and did not eat well on the road. But during the whole trip she still showed a lot of interest in everyone and everything around her. When she arrived in Argentina, she looked very happy and still kept looking around even though she was very tired.

One day, I took down Master's picture and paintings of Faluns in my room to clean. She kept staring at them. I told her that this is Master and that is a Falun. I repeated several times. She tried to repeat after me. But she could not pronounce "F". She called Master (Shifu in Chinese) "Si Si", and Falun "Alun". I also taught her how to heshi. She tried to imitate me. Even though she could not position her hands that well, it was close enough. She also said "A Shi" (heshi). Because of her, I did not hang Master's picture and the Falun paintings back up. After she woke up in the morning, she always ran to the living room and stood in front of Master's picture. Sometimes she touched Master's face with her hand. Sometimes she touched her face against the picture's glass frame, said something nobody understood, or kissed our Master's picture. Then she would go to the Falun paintings. She touched one Falun painting using her small finger, then the second Falun painting. The interesting thing is that she never changed the sequence even though Master's picture is behind the two Falun paintings. She always went to Master's picture first, then the two Falun paintings.

My study room has another picture of Master. Because of her, I put the picture in a lower place, too. She always walked over to touch the picture with her hands or kiss Master's picture. So the picture's glass frame had her fingerprints and traces of her saliva. One day, I saw she was touching Master's picture again and I noticed that the glass was dirty. I told her, "Your saliva has made the glass so dirty." She looked at the frame for a while and ran out quickly. A few minutes later, she came back to the study room with a rag in her hand. She started to wipe the glass of the picture frame. She wiped Master's face first, and then she wiped the parts below. She did it very seriously and slowly. I tried to take a photograph of her. I called out to her but she didn't answer me. She just kept on wiping the glass.

The funniest part is that she is very humorous. Sometimes she offered her milk bottle or pacifier to Master's photo. Sometimes she whispered to Master's photo. After she finished the secret chat, she would be very happy and laugh for a long time.

She also liked to watch Teacher's nine-day Fa lectures video. She could sit there quietly and watch it for quite a while. Of course, a 15-month-old girl could not sit still for a long time. But she could sit there watching lectures for more than half an hour.

Usually, a 15-month-old baby couldn't talk much yet. But Shan Shan already understood four languages. Her mother talks to her in German and a little Chinese. Her father speaks French. People around her speak Cambodian and English. After she came to Argentina, she started to pick up Spanish and Chinese that I talked to her in. When I was in Cambodia, I noticed that she seemed to like eastern languages more because she liked to repeat things from the Cambodian language a lot. Her father really wants her to speak French well. But whenever she heard Chinese, her ears just perk up and she would listen intently. What she liked the most are the Chinese nursery rhymes that I brought for her from Taiwan.

She gave everyone a name she invented. One day, I just got home and talked to my husband. She ran to me and hugged my leg. She grabbed my skirt and called me something I did not understand. At the beginning, I did not pay attention to what she said. Later on, when I sat down on the sofa, my daughter told me that Shan Shan was calling me. From that day on, I was called "Ma Mu". She called her mother and father the names they call each other. My daughter tried her best to teach Shan Shan to call them Mom and Dad, but she did not listen. She never called my son by his name because my son is not in Argentina. When I asked her where Uncle Tommy is, she would run to get his picture and kissed the picture. After their whole family was back in Cambodia, my son went to visit them. Afterwards, he called me and asked me if I had taught Shan Shan the words "little brother" when I showed her his picture. I said that I had never done that and I had only taught her "Uncle". But my son told me that she did not call him anything for the first few days. Then one day, she looked at him for a while and suddenly called him "little brother," "little brother." At least it sounded like "little brother." She does not have any brother. She only has one younger sister. My daughter never taught her the word "little brother" in Chinese. I really do not know how she learned the words "little brother" in Chinese. Two months later, my son went to Cambodia and visited them again. This time as soon as Shan Shan saw my son, she recognized him and quickly called him "little brother, little brother." So now my son is known as my granddaughter's little brother.

My daughter tried very hard to convince her husband to give their second daughter a Chinese name, just like what she did for Shan Shan. The two of them argued over it and didn't even speak to each other for several days. In the end, my daughter did successfully convince her husband and register a Chinese name for their younger daughter as Zhen Zhen. Now, our home has one Shan Shan and one Zhen Zhen. When they understand language a little bit more, I will explain to them what Zhen is, what Shan is and what Ren is.

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