"Grandpa kiwifruit" story goes viral on Chinese social media
Days ago, Tian Qian met an older man selling wild kiwifruit at a morning market in Xi'an, the capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province. A short conversation between the two strangers later triggered a heartwarming story that has gone viral on Chinese social platforms.
"He's very amiable, so I talked with him and learned that he picked wild kiwifruit in the mountains in Lantian County. All the fruits he sold were grown in the wild," the 27-year-old woman recalled.
"I just mentioned that my old hometown was also in a rural area, and my grandparents used to collect wild jujubes (Chinese dates) for me when I was little. I told him that I missed that flavor," Tian said, adding that the old man said there were a few wild jujubes in the mountains now, but he would find some for me.
Tian hardly took the man's words to heart as she didn't even know his name. But the story didn't end there.
Tian was surprised when she saw the man two days later.
"He was waiting for me. He quickly stuffed a big bag of wild jujubes into my hands and a bag of wild honeysuckle flowers (a traditional Chinese medicine herb), telling me to keep healthy," Tian recalled.
"Don't pay me money," the old man repeated. "I promised you. Those are for you. I can't take the money. I won't give it to you if you pay me." Tian recorded the incident with her cellphone and later uploaded it on the Internet, attracting more than 600,000 viewers within hours.
Chinese netizens were moved by the man and praised him for keeping his promise and kindness.
"He wins respect as he lives up to the promise." "His actions warm the world and fill the world with love," netizens wrote.
"I was touched, as I didn't expect him to keep a word from a stranger in mind. I later bought a lot of wild kiwifruits from him so that he could finish his business and go home earlier that day," Tian said.
The man, Huang Yangsheng, is from Zhaijia Village, Lantian County.
The 69-year-old man said he was glad as Tian called him grandpa that day.
"She said she wanted to eat wild jujubes. So I thought I could find some for her since this kind of jujubes is difficult to buy from markets," Huang told Xinhua.
Huang traveled about 15 km with his electromobility vehicle and found some wild jujube trees in the mountain the next day. He spent one hour picking the fruit for the girl and went to the county to give them to her.
"Keeping one's word has always been a traditional virtue in China. I was touched by the story between the two strangers," a netizen named Haoqixin wrote. More netizens wished Huang a long and healthy life because of his honesty and warmth.