Disability

The Blind Egg Seller

The Blind Egg Seller

Disability in China is unseen.  Elderly people in wheelchairs are becoming more common, but those people born with serious disabilities are more likely to be abandoned (the orphanages are full of disabled children and girls), or hidden away in homes, seldom seeing beyond their four walls.  Disabled children  are rarely educated; recent statistics show that 28% of disabled children do not receive education at any level.  So the place where it is most likely to see people with disabilities is begging at the big tourist sites.

But, over my years in China I have seen the Blind Egg Seller many times in Xi’an’s Muslim Quarter.  No-one seems to know his name, but he has been working the streets selling his eggs for over 20 years.  He trundles his cart through the streets, selling to local restaurants and residents, feeling the markings on his home-made scale, and carefully selecting eggs, and just as carefully placing them in plastic bags.  He never seems to raise his head, but focuses on the road by feel.

The locals accept his presence and generally the tourists seem not to notice his disability.  No-one tries to cheat  or attack him – over the years he has managed to carve a niche for himself, where he can survive and gain a certain level of respect.  The Blind Egg Seller has become a local institution.

Posted by DeborahH in China, Daily Life, Disability, Photography in China, 1 comment