Guest Assembly by Mrs. Karen Engst



On December 30th the IHS students had the opportunity to meet a very unique person, Mrs. Karen Engst born of American parents in Communist China and who grew up as a Chinese citizen. Her father was an American dairy specialist who worked in one of the UN programs in China in the middle of the 20th century while her mother, Joan Hinton, an American pacifist, was a nuclear scientist who left the US in protest against the use of nuclear bombs.

Mrs Engst shared her experiences of living in the era of the famous Mao Zedong and Chou En Lai and the impact they had on the Chinese people. She told us about some awkward situations she and her family found themselves in given that they were white Americans living in the country side of China and despite their ability to speak Chinese fluently they still were not able to fully integrate in that society. She spoke about many issues including Tiananmen Square episode in a manner that was not accusatory or defending the Chinese government which gave us a well rounded picture of the times. The students appreciated this session which was hosted by Ms Cristina Dragomir who was teaching them the art of interviewing guests.