Source: youth.cn/Translated and edited by Women of China
Song Xiuying, 96 years old, is affectionately referred to as “Pickles Granny” by the local people in Zhengzhou, capital of central China’s Henan Province: Despite being four years shy of the century mark, she still keeps busy selling pickles at a local market.
Setting up a shop in one of the market’s corners, Song is always seen smiling to each of her customers, old and new. She handles all of the transaction tasks — including weighing and calculating the orders — swiftly and accurately. If any customers express interest in making pickles of their own, she is more than willing to share with them her skills and long-accrued expertise. And during the lulls in her day, she will often be found chatting with people around the market.
When Song was a young woman, her husband passed away, leaving behind seven children for her to raise and nurture alone. “She would [back then] make several tons of pickles a year, attracting customers from surrounding villages from dawn to dusk,” said an acquaintance. Through her painstaking efforts, Song successfully brought up her children and now sits proudly atop a family tree that has grown to over 60 below her. Still, she sticks to her pickle business and stays by her stall in the market every day. She even wants to run a company and sell her pickles in foreign countries, said her son.
In her house, dozens of large vats are full of various kinds of pickles, all hand-made with care on her own. “See, I’m old, but I can still see and hear clearly,” she said proudly.
“I have been selling pickles for over 50 years and have never cheated my customers. The daily sales can reach one or two hundred yuan. I’m really happy!”
All financially capable, Song’s children intended to let their mother stay at home and enjoy her elderly years in peace and calm — but their intentions were met with the firm refusal of their mother. “Everybody is busy making money; I can’t just stay at home doing nothing.”
“My mom is very happy in making and selling pickles, and we’re also happy about that. We can’t force her to do things she doesn’t want to do,” said Song’s eldest daughter.
“‘Pickles Granny’ doesn’t sell pickles only for the money. She gets to exercise and interact with others, and that may very well be the secret to her longevity,” revealed Song’s nurse.