The story appears on

Page A4

November 30, 2011

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro » Entertainment and Culture

After 65 years, playmates chat

Zhou Huizhen, 70, leaned toward a laptop screen to see the smiling face of her childhood playmate, Vera Sasson, now a 73-year-old Jewish American, yesterday morning and greeted her for the first time in 65 years.

"Nonghao (hello) Sister Vera, it's been such a long time," Zhou said in Shanghai dialect which she taught Sasson to speak when they were kids.

"It is, my little sister, but I promise we won't wait another 60 years before we meet again," said Sasson from Florida, in the United States.

It's a dream come true for both women after they saw and heard each other 65 years after they parted. Sasson promised Zhou that she would return to Shanghai soon to meet the family face to face.

For the past few decades, Sasson has been looking for Mr Chu, her "Shanghai Uncle," as she called him, and his relatives to show her gratitude for the help they gave to her family after they came to Shanghai as refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe.

Now seeing the face of Mr Chu's daughter on the computer screen, Sasson's search had a happy ending.

The two ladies recalled their happy childhood of living and playing together in an old Shanghai lane.

"I still remember the unique hairstyle the Jewish family created for me, but after they left my parents could not do my hair that way and I cried loudly," said Zhou.

"I remember that your grandparents used to play mahjong all night in the next door apartment," said Sasson.

During their online chat, both Sasson and Zhou said they wrote letters to each other for a few years until both families moved to new addresses and they lost contact. Some letters never reached the two families as they were constantly on the move.

Sasson told Zhou she visited her childhood residency at 423 Kunming Road in 1989 but failed to find her Chinese neighbor. Zhou said they just moved to a house in the next lane in the same year.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend