Why did the Chinese Women have a Secret Language?

When I was a student, I remember reading about a secret language known only to Chinese women.  I lost that article, and for many years, every time I brought it up in conversation, people would look at me strangely.  No one had heard of anything like this — that the women of a society would have their own language which their menfolk knew nothing about.  What more they had managed to keep this language a secret for a few hundred years.

I had almost forgotten about it, when last year, browsing through a bookstore, I came across the book Snowflower and the Secret Fan. It sounded sort of fairy-tale like (not my kind of book), so I almost put it back.  Then on an impulse I turned it around to read the synopsis.  And there it was — the evidence to what I had been seeking information for so long.  There did exist such a language and it was called Nu Shu. The author Lisa See based her book on her research about Nu Shu.  Read more about Nu Shu here.

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