Chinese paper wristbands australiasisters reunite after 79-year war-separation

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NANNING — Bursting into tears, Que Bamei tightly held her older sister, with whom she had lost contact 79 years ago amid the turmoil of the Japanese invasion.

Que, 87, was born into a large family in Qinzhou city in South China"s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. When the Japanese invaded the city in 1939, eight-year-old Que had to part with her eight siblings and followed other family members fleeing to neighboring Guangdong province.

She was adopted by a family in Zhanjiang in Guangdong, and had never returned to hometown or met with any relatives since.

Decades later, Que"s memories of hometown faded to a few blurred pictures — "a big courtyard with a pool in front, besides the pool is the grave of grandpa."

However, the desire to revisit hometown and see old relatives is always rooted in her heart, growing even stronger as time passes.

In February, Que received surgery for gallstone and frequently talked about going back to her hometown

Realizing there was not much time to waste, her 33-year-old grandson Huang Guangpeng decided to help his grandma to fulfill her dream. He used online charity platform baobeihujia, which is dedicated to helping lost relatives to reunite.

With limited messages from Que, volunteers on the platform found it extremely difficult to locate her village, not to mention her lost relatives.

Que, illiterate, was unclear as to the exact character for her family name and initially gave it as "Ji," but the volunteers were first informed that there was no one with that name in the area.

After searching for a while, the volunteers found a household with the family name "Que," which bears a similar pronunciation to "Ji" according to local dialect. There were similarities with Que"s description

The volunteers investigated further and confirmed that Que was born at Dashigu village in Shabu town of Qinnan District. Her father Que Mingguang, an officer, died in battle for the motherland and her five brothers were lost in the war.

However, her three sisters were later married in Qinzhou, though two had died, but her half-sister Que Qijie is still alive.

Before meeting in person, the sisters spoke over video chat; amid tears they promised to meet as soon as possible.

On March 29, accompanied by her children, Que Bamei arrived at Dashigu village after a four-hour ride from home.

Though the bamboo wood, orchard and old houses have much changed,childhood memories came flooding back, and Que Bamei"s eyes turned red with tears.

Anxious to reunite with her younger sister, Que Qijie had been sitting in front of her house long before Bamei"s arrival.

When Bamei arrived, neighbors set off firecrackers in celebration. The two sisters held each other and cried for a long time without uttering a word.

"Finally I have met you again," Que Bamei murmured in an unfamiliar Qinzhou dialect.

They stayed together that day and talked late into the night.

"Thanks to the convenience offered by the Internet and the efforts of volunteers, my grandma and her sister now have less regret in their life," said Huang Guangpeng.

Huang said his grandma used to be a silent person, but becomes much more talkative after the reunion, speaking about her childhood stories and family history she had learned from her "new" sister.

The two sisters plan to meet soon and make up for lost time.