2018 Shih-lien Eugene Yen

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lunar new year's fest

In Chinese traditions, the wife/mother/daughter-in-law become a member of the paternal family through marriage, which is to say, the woman does not belong to her biological family from the day of the ceremony. She now worships the ancestor's of her husband, and even after death, it is most common for her ashes and perhaps spirit to stay with the marital family. However, contrary to actually being accounted as an equal member of the new family, a somewhat invisible, yet obvious, line is drawn between her and the others. Being seen as the outsider, and in most cases, free legal labor, the daughter-in-law carries some of the heaviest burden and responsiblity when it comes to taking care of her new family.

This gesture takes a look into the role of mother in Ibsen's Ghost through a Chinese cultural perspective. Using the annual Lunar New Year's Fest as the background scenario, which is often viewed as one of the most stressful event in the year for the mother/wife/daughter-in-laws. Their efforts and duties will be examined on this day by all other members of the family, which she sometimes feel estranged.

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