Our guide in Xi’an, Leo, told us his fascinating family story.  His grandparents and parents were moderately well off farmers in Shaanxi province – not rich, but prosperous.  Then Mao’s Great Leap Forward happened, and Communist officials swarmed their village and kicked the family out of the house, making them work their own land, now as virtual slaves on the Commune.  They became very fearful that their lives were becoming at risk, so in the dead of night, they fled their village and moved to Xi’an. Continue reading