Women and jewlery

Here is a great picture of Madame Chiang Kai-shek via Getty

Madame Chiang Kai-shek (Song Meiling) h‰lt eine Rede vor 10.000 chinesischen Frauen am Internationalen Frauentag. In ihrer empor gestreckten Hand h‰lt sie eine Silberkette, die von einer indischen Frau der chinesichen Kriegskasse gespendet wurde. Chungking. China. Photographie. 8.M‰rz 1939 Madame Chiang Kai-shek (Soong May-ling) holds a speech in front of 10.000 Chinese women at the International Women's Day. In her up-raised hand, she holds a silver chain that was contributed by an Indian woman to the China's war chest. Chonquing. China. Photograph. March 8, 1939
CHINA – MARCH 08: Madame Chiang Kai-shek (Soong May-ling) holds a speech in front of 10.000 Chinese women at the International Women’s Day. In her up-raised hand, she holds a silver chain that was contributed by an Indian woman to the China’s war chest. Chonquing. China. Photograph. March 8, 1939 (Photo by Imagno/Getty Images)

it’s an interesting picture,  at least for me, since it ties in with a couple of interesting things. One, it’s from an Indian woman, and very little has been done with GMD attempts to connect with Indian nationalists during the war, although they were definitely doing that. 1 More interestingly it is jewelry.  Drives to collect jewelry were common in lots of wartime societies, but I am not quite sure how  to understand this. Is giving up your jewelry and act of giving up your frivolity and modern female unseriousness? Maybe. On the other hand, jewelry was a common store of value for women in traditional societies. Maybe this is a sign that even the most traditional of peasant women are mobilizing their wealth for the nation? Maybe someone can dig up the text of what she said and find out how she explained it.

 


  1. The only work on this topic I know is Yang Tianshi “Chiang Kai-shek and Jawaharlal Nehru” in Ven, Hans van de, Diana Lary, and Stephen MacKinnon, eds. Negotiating China’s Destiny in World War II. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 2014.  

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