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Blind Masseurs from China

Diego Herculano | China

Liu Dingsheng, 40, is seen without his glasses. He said that people find her eyes ugly and that's why she rarely stops wearing her sunglasses. Canton, China, April 23, 2021.

After a chronic blindness that led him to almost complete loss of vision at the age of 30, and in search of work, three years ago Xinhuo Liao, 42, decided to move to another city and opened a massage clinic with two other friends, also blind: Liu Dingsheng, 40, and Xiao Dong, 26. They moved to Guangzhou and started their own business.

Before, the visually impaired in China worked mainly as storytellers. Over time and with the decline of this art, they began to migrate to other areas, such as piano tuners and voice actors. But it was only in the 1950s that massage courses for the blind, organized by the government, helped these visually impaired people to find a new source of income and, in just over 10 years, these professionals were already widely known, transforming massage from blind in a feature of Chinese culture.

According to a statistic published by the BJ News newspaper in October 2020, there are more than 17 million visually impaired people in China and 8 million blind people across the country, 120.000 of whom live off the work of massage therapists.


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