My wet nurse Jin Quanzhen 金全真

Gold the Totally True (? – Beijing, Oct 2003) was born Wang Qingzhen 王庆真 in Anhui, sold to the Jin 金 when she was 12 years old as TongYangxi. The third son 金全明 Jin Quanming would be her future husband, so they changed her name to Jin Quanzhen. Quanming’s Dad was Jin JiJia 金际甲, his Mom was the second older sister of my great grandma 孙琼. Because of my great grandpa held high position in Beijing, Jin JiJia took his third and fifth sons to Beijing in 1940 from Anhui looking for job. Quanming was educated in Beijing. When it’s time to yuanfang 园房, marrying his tongyangxi bride, Quanzhen came to Beijing and consummated the marriage.

Quanming would return to Anhui after the birth of their first child, Kegang (around or after 1949). Quanzhen refused to followed him back to Anhui due to the hardship she experienced. She and her son lived with my family, they called my Popo as 表娘. After a year, Quanming came back to Beijing again, also due to the hardship in the countryside. This time, the only job Quanming could find was pulling rickshaw. They lived, largely with my family and Popo was very charitable toward them. Quanzhen used to cook for Jiujiu and Xiaoyi (Mom was in the army). And when I was born, Quanzhen’s youngest child, KeJian was one year old. She waned him and became my wetnurse. The story about her is published on the Useless Knowledge.

I hadn’t been back to China since settling in New York more than two decades ago, but even before I touched down in Beijing the summer of 2003, Jiujiu, my mother’s brother, had drawn up a list of relatives to whom I should be paying respects. This was not wholly unexpected, and I was very happy to let Jiujiu take the burden away from me. God forbid I forget to call on someone of importance. What did surprise me, however, was seeing who was on top of his list of VIPs: my wet nurse 金全真. It never occurred to me that an ex-servant would trump all my aunts, uncles and cousins, yet Jiujiu was adamant that I go.


Quanzhen had three daughters and three sons. They originally names the girls as Yalan 雅兰, Yali 雅丽 and Yaling 雅玲.
Mom and Xiaoyi suggested to rename them to, Yaxuan 雅暄, Yayue 雅月 and YaMei 雅梅.
The 3 boys are Kegang 克钢, Keqiang 克强 and Kejian 克坚.
It was Yamei and her husband who drove us to visit Quanzhen in 2003, and treated us for lunch afterward. I fought for the bill fiercely but lost the battle. I never stood a chance, they or she was determined to repay the ‘debt’ from Popo.

4/15/2011 my first article for Useless Knowledge
Her second son Jin Keqiang , 金克强


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1 Response to My wet nurse Jin Quanzhen 金全真

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