With the increasing numbers of migrant workers, in many rural families the women stay at home and the men go out of the hometown to find work. The wives account for 50 percent of 87 million the people who are left behind. They often withstand the burden at home and live in loneliness. And with the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) coming, they look forward to their husbands' annual trip home.
On Oct. 3, 2014, with the sun set, the village in Anhui is shrouded in silence. Like other families, Zou Yanbin's husband went out to work at the twelfth day of the first month of the lunar calendar and has never gone home. Zou Yanbin has lived alone like this for five years.
Zou Yanbin (28) is busy cooking, teased by her crying son. Zou has to wash clothes, keep clean, pick up her daughter from kindergarten, take care of her son, and cook breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. At the same time, her husband is also busy earning a livelihood for the whole family in Shenzhen, thousands of kilometers away from home.
After finishing dinner, Zhou Yanbin called her daughter for dinner. Zhou says that her husband often leaves home after the Spring Festival and comes home before the Spring Festival. Last year, her husband came home in the middle of the year because she has a child, while they have to get together at Spring Festival this year. When asked why she doesn't stay with her husband, Zou says that the distance is too far as well as the costs too high.
As the husband has left home, the father-in-law farms the home land. Zhou Yanbin and her children and father-in-law live in this big yard. Zhou says she feels alone and her husband is alone too. She is not worried that her husband will betray her and she believes in him because she loves him.