shop

traceability

impact

flow

ask august

say hello

JOIN THE #INNERCYCLE
JOIN THE #INNERCYCLE
JOIN THE #INNERCYCLE
JOIN THE #INNERCYCLE
JOIN THE #INNERCYCLE
JOIN THE #INNERCYCLE
JOIN THE #INNERCYCLE
JOIN THE #INNERCYCLE
JOIN THE #INNERCYCLE
JOIN THE #INNERCYCLE
JOIN THE #INNERCYCLE
JOIN THE #INNERCYCLE
JOIN THE #INNERCYCLE
JOIN THE #INNERCYCLE
JOIN THE #INNERCYCLE
JOIN THE #INNERCYCLE
JOIN THE #INNERCYCLE
JOIN THE #INNERCYCLE
JOIN THE #INNERCYCLE
JOIN THE #INNERCYCLE
YOUR BAG
Your bag is empty
Shop
SHOP OUR FAVES

SHOP OUR FAVES

SHOP OUR FAVES

SHOP OUR FAVES

SHOP OUR FAVES

SHOP OUR FAVES

SHOP OUR FAVES

SHOP OUR FAVES

SHOP OUR FAVES

SHOP OUR FAVES

SHOP OUR FAVES

SHOP OUR FAVES

SHOP OUR FAVES

SHOP OUR FAVES

SHOP OUR FAVES

SHOP OUR FAVES

SHOP OUR FAVES

SHOP OUR FAVES

SHOP OUR FAVES

SHOP OUR FAVES

A Conversation about Culture and Periods with Maiqi Qin and her Mother Xiaomin Oney (麦小敏)
Maiqi Qin (she/her)
|
7.15.2021

An interview by Maiqi Qinwith her mother Xiaomin Oney (麦小敏).

Introduce yourself and tell us where you're from

My name is Xiaomin Oney (麦小敏), I’m 47 years old, and I grew up in the suburbs of Nanning, Guangxi, China.

Where did you first hear about periods?

I was in fifth grade at my elementary school — one of my classmates had just gotten her period and her pants were stained bright red! No one knew what had happened and I remember she was really scared that she was bleeding. Then our teacher explained that she got her first period and calmed everyone down.

Were periods discussed in your family?

No, never. When I finally got my period at 13, my older sister was the one who taught me how to use period products and how to care for my body during my cycle. Besides that one instance in elementary school, none of my teachers ever touched on the topic of periods.

Do you think that growing up in China affected your perception of having a period? Was there a difference between rural and urban regions?

In China, periods are a very private matter and it’s heavily stigmatized. I felt very ashamed to talk about anything surrounding periods and menstruation. I think that there’s definitely a generational gap, because nowadays parents in China are more open to talking freely about periods, especially compared to older generations. There was definitely a significant difference in rural vs. urban areas. I lived in the suburbs of Nanning, which is one of the biggest cities in southern China. In the city, period products were easily accessible. However, if you went to the more rural villages, the way periods were approached was entirely different. For the villages, people would visit a market in a nearby town or city where people could buy/sell goods. Oftentimes, these markets carried hygienic products, including period products.

What are the most-used period products in China?

When I was growing up, handmade, sanitary, washable cloth pads were the most common — these were attached to belts that tied at the waist. When I got to high school, people started using sanitary pads. I remember the craze around them and how excited everyone was to use them, since it was easier and more comfortable to wear when compared to the handmade cloth pads. However, tampons were very uncommon in China when I grew up. Even now in China, pads are more commonly used than tampons. I think the reasoning is because Chinese people believe that using tampons will cause you to be more susceptible to bacteria and diseases, and they didn’t like the concept of having something inside one’s vagina.

How did your relationship with periods change once you moved to North America?

I was already 37 when I moved to America, so I was already educated on most things surrounding menstruation, especially since I lived in a developed city. I think immigrating here would’ve had a bigger impact on my relationship with periods if I had moved younger. My relationship with periods didn’t shift much after I became a parent and made friends here in America, but I do feel more comfortable talking about periods in public or non-menstruators! To me, I’ve always thought of periods as a necessary and natural bodily function and nothing to be ashamed of.

Were you comfortable talking to me (her daughter) about periods when it was time?

Yes, of course! I was proud to be able to speak to her openly and educate her on menstruation — an experience I didn’t get to share with my own mother. I feel more comfortable educating her on everything around periods here in the U.S. I think there’s still room to grow but conversations about periods are definitely more accepted here.

What are some aspects of periods that you wish you had learned and made sure to teach me?

I had no health or sex ed classes growing up; I wish I had a greater understanding about periods and menstrual/reproductive health in general. I had so many questions such as: how is this happening to my body? What is the science behind it? Why does it come every month and why does it come with these horrible symptoms? My sister educated me on how to take care of myself and the blood, but even she didn’t have the answers to these questions. When I became a parent, I made sure that I knew the answers and was able to provide my daughter with guidance and love through this process. Oh and also I made sure she had a heating pad for the cramps!

AUGUST

AboutAsk AugustFlowTraceabilityImpactJoin Our Inner Cycle

SOCIAL

© 2021 TPC Inc. All Rights Reserved