Town and Gown of USC members were enthralled by the tales of a secret-code language used by Chinese women for thousands of years. The language, nu shu, was developed by women in a remote area of southern Hunan Province and is believed to be the only written language in the world created by women exclusively for their own use. Lisa See, author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, shared her experiences interviewing the oldest speaker of the code, a 96 year-old woman with a remarkably forthright attitude about speaking her mind. This unique code allowed repressed women to share their inner-most thoughts in a sisterhood that spanned centuries of time and connected women across distant villages. Their common bond in many cases was desperate loneliness and the agony of footbinding. Friendship among these Chinese women was a deep love that offered the compassion and understanding so needed in an era when women were not expected to have a thought or emotion. Ms. See has written numerous books, often about her Chinese heritage, and is a freelance journalist and historian.
Town and Gown will host the annual benefit luncheon on April 17th at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Huell Howser, host of the favorite PBS series California’s Gold, will be honored at the event. For further information, visit the group’s website www.townandgownusc.com.