My grandmother has no name. I once was angry. How can anyone have no name? Then my brother explained that it was not an insult, not a neglect. Just was. There was a place for a culture where people were known as themselves, without a label called a name. That place was not far from Cassia Forest.
My grandmother is a Zhuang, a minority group in China. We know her last name is Ben. Tickets in hand, I am about to start a journey back to Cassia Forest. I want to find my grandmother’s village. Without a name, how do I do a google search? Maybe I can walk around villages with her last name, and see if I can see faces that look familiar, like my father, my aunt, brothers, sister and cousins.
I travel often, but never travel without knowing the next destination. There are some level of anxiety, and come with it more excitement than usual. Cassia Forest is a beautiful place. Zhuang culture is fascinating, and may be I can stay long enough to learn a few sentences, a few songs and the way of living. In a place where anonymous was the norm, I’ll travel without a known destination.