Pedicurist and NPC Deputy Lu Qin
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Pedicurist and NPC Deputy Lu Qin
Lu Qin and her father left their home in northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and moved to Yangzhou after Lu graduated from high school. Her first job as pedicurist was in a public bathhouse.

Although pedicurists remove the misery of corns, calluses and other foot ailments, the job nevertheless often carries negative associations. During Lu's first six months of work at the bath house, she was paring the feet of a man who had beriberi one day when his wife burst in and began abusing her. Many of the men Lu’s friends introduced her to also lost interest when they heard she was pedicurist.

But Lu Qin found love in the person of Chen Yuchun, who had no objection to her job. After they married, he also trained to be a pedicurist.

Lu Qin soon established a reputation as one of the country's best service industry workers, and so elevated the status of her occupation to one commanding respect. Clients now come to Lu from all over China.

When President of Jiangsu and Zhejiang Clansmen Association in California, USA Mr. Xia brought his family to Yangzhou he specifically asked Lu Qin to pare each of his family member's feet. The Xia family have since visited Yangzhou twice every year.

Lu also has a sizable clientele in Hong Kong. Media mogul Sir Run Run Shaw invited her to his home to pare his feet on June 2, 2000. He was so impressed with Lu's skills that he recommended her to many of his friends in the media and entertainment business.

Lu Qin expanded her accomplishments in Hong Kong to include manicure, and in 2001 won first prize at a manicure contest held in Jiangsu.

When an American manicurist told Lu Qin that she could earn $500 an hour in the US Lu Qin thanked her for her advice but said she was not tempted, and that there is no need these days for Chinese to go overseas to achieve success, taking into account China's 1.3 billion population and the huge market it provides.

The two books on pedicure Lu has published are used in courses at Yangzhou Vocational School. Pedicure is one of Yangzhou's three main folk occupations, the other two being cooking and haircutting. Lu is the first pedicurist to have documented foot diseases she has encountered and the relevant treatment. She hopes her books will encourage more young people to take up the skill.

Lu Qin's title of best service industry worker and excellent female worker in the country resulted in her being elected in 2004 as deputy to the Tenth National People's Congress and to the 11th NPC.

Premier Wen said to Lu Qin when he attended the Jiangsu delegation discussion in 2004: "I have heard of you through newspaper articles. You have set a good example and proved that success can be won with will and courage." Premier Wen added, "I will consider your proposals about protecting traditional occupations and crafts, and the reemployment policy of laid-off workers."

Lu Qin now runs a pedicure center in Yangzhou.

(Source: by

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