Com­mu­ni­ties Take on Har­mo­nious Shape

Beijing (English) - - CONTENTS - Trans­lated by Wang Hui­hui, pol­ished by Mark Zuiderveld, pho­tos by Chen Shuo, Ma Ke

Yue­tan Sub-dis­trict has be­come ex­em­plary for strength­en­ing its civil­i­sa­tion, pro­mot­ing so­cial­ist core val­ues, and build­ing har­mo­nious com­mu­ni­ties.

Yue­tan Sub- Dis­trict launched its sev­enth book, Jian­shou de Chengnuo (“prom­ise of per­se­ver­ance”) of the Chuan­guo Xingfu Shicha (“through the happy time dif­fer­ence”) se­ries in 2017. Cen­tring on a cer­tain theme, the sub­dis­trict doc­u­ments com­mu­nity models and touch­ing sto­ries each year, in­clud­ing a “pre­mier of the al­ley” com­mit­ted to com­mu­nity af­fairs, “Yue­tan good man” who is al­ways ready to help oth­ers, and the “un­for­get­table his­tory” event to com­mem­o­rate the 70th an­niver­sary of the War of Re­sis­tance against Ja­pan (1931–1945).

To in­herit a re­gional spirit and tra­di­tional cul­ture, and by pro­mot­ing so­cial­ist core val­ues, Yue­tan has pub­lished the Chuan­guo Xingfu Shicha book se­ries since 2009. With strong role models and touch­ing sto­ries, the spir­i­tual and cul­tural qual­ity of lo­cal res­i­dents has be­come more in­flu­en­tial.

Presently, Chuan­guo Xingfu Shicha have be­come a cul­tural brand of Yue­tan, through which role models and their typ­i­cal deeds have be­come more wide­spread. Yue­tan's suc­cess­ful ex­plo­ration and prac­tices has be­come an ex­em­plar for strength­en­ing spir­i­tual civil­i­sa­tion, pro­mot­ing so­cial­ist core val­ues, and build­ing har­mo­nious com­mu­ni­ties.

Touch­ing Sto­ries

On Fe­bru­ary 14, 2017, a special “date” for the book launch of Jian­shou de Chengnuo— was held in the Cap­i­tal Mu­seum. Of­fi­cials,

Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress rep­re­sen­ta­tives, Chi­nese Peo­ple’s Po­lit­i­cal Con­sul­ta­tive Con­fer­ence mem­bers, Peo­ple’s Armed Po­lice and res­i­dents' rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Xicheng Dis­trict Yue­tan Sub-dis­trict at­tended the event.

“Hey, is this your wal­let?” “No. Maybe it be­longs to the pre­vi­ous cus­tomer.” Three jour­nal­ists from Yue­tan Sub-dis­trict rep­re­sented a story of in­tegrity at the book launch, adapted from doc­u­mented deeds in Jian­shou de Chengnuo. The au­thor is Yu Yue, a jour­nal­ist with Ren Wen Yue Tan Weekly for 10 years. Yu said, “There's a gro­cery near my home. Once a cus­tomer’s wal­let was left on the counter, and the gro­cery owner kept wait­ing for the cus­tomer to re­turn, which left a deep im­pres­sion on me.”

Fifty-seven sto­ries themed on in­tegrity have been in­cluded in the book, with char­ac­ters such as work­ers, res­i­dents, vol­un­teers and sol­diers in Yue­tan Sub­Dis­trict. When it came to choos­ing in­tegrity as a theme, Zhang Ying, di­rec­tor of the Pub­lic­ity Depart­ment of Yue­tan Sub-dis­trict Work­ing Com­mit­tee, said, “With so many role models, we hope to mo­bilise more peo­ple to de­vote to work and stick to in­tegrity through role models and their ex­pe­ri­ences.”

In Septem­ber 2009, Yue­tan Sub­Dis­trict pub­lished the first book of the Chuan­guo Xingfu Shicha se­ries— Ting Yue­tan Laoren Jiang Gushi (“lis­ten­ing to el­derly peo­ple’s sto­ries of Yue­tan”)—as a gift for the 60 an­niver­sary of the PRC. The book doc­u­ments the leg­endary ex­pe­ri­ences of 60 el­derly peo­ple who ex­pe­ri­enced the rev­o­lu­tion­ary era in the flesh, re­flect­ing so­cial changes dur­ing the past 60 years af­ter the found­ing of the PRC, es­pe­cially Yue­tan's achieve­ments af­ter re­form and open­ing-up in 1978. In June 2011, Yue­tan pub­lished its sec­ond book Hongse Gushi Hui (“rev­o­lu­tion­ary sto­ries”) to cel­e­brate the 90th an­niver­sary of the CPC. It tells sto­ries of 90 CPC mem­bers who love the Party, China and their fam­i­lies.

Aside from documenting his­tory, telling sto­ries of the War of Re­sis­tance against Ja­pan, and show­cas­ing great changes then and now, the Chuan­guo Xingfu Shicha se­ries be­gins to fo­cus on or­di­nary peo­ple. Groups of com­mon­ers and their ex­tra­or­di­nary deeds have been in­cluded in the book se­ries.

Zhang men­tioned that the book se­ries are based on Yue­tan's peo­ple and their deeds. The theme of each book is aimed to pro­mote so­cial­ist core val­ues, as well as true, good and beau­ti­ful qual­i­ties in ac­cor­dance with so­cial de­vel­op­ment. In this way, role models and mer­i­to­ri­ous deeds that re­flect Yue­tan's pos­i­tive at­ti­tude have been fos­tered, cre­at­ing a favourable at­mos­phere for car­ry­ing for­ward Yue­tan's spirit of pa­tri­o­tism, de­vo­tion and vol­un­teerism. The book se­ries will help Yue­tan to build a cul­tural brand and mo­ti­vate cul­ture in the re­gion.

“These seem­ingly or­di­nary peo­ple and triv­ial things recorded in books are not as shiny as greater fig­ures with sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions, but their deeds are wide­spread, with a spirit passed down among us,” said Zhang. “It is these ‘no­bod­ies’ who im­press us most, be­cause their ex­pe­ri­ences are real and em­blem­atic, an ac­cu­rate re­sp­re­sen­ta­tion of us. We hope that these deeds will move more to pass down true and beau­ti­ful ideals of life.”


Af­ter in­ter­view­ing Cao Huan­rong, di­rec­tor of the First Neigh­bour­hood Com­mit­tee at San­lihe Com­mu­nity, who al­ways thinks of oth­ers, Ding Zhen and Huang Changjian from Bei­jing Uni­ver­sity of Civil Engi­neer­ing and Ar­chi­tec­ture was deeply touched. “The grey-haired Grandma Cao has been re­tired for years, but we can still sense her pas­sion for com­mu­nity ser­vice in her 80s, and her ex­cel­lent qual­ity and ideas as a CPC mem­ber. As the younger gen­er­a­tion, we can learn a lot from Di­rec­tor Cao. Her spirit in­spires us to serve the peo­ple with heart and soul, al­ways pre­pared to spread good deeds.”

Nan Guox­ing, founder of Yan­jing Cor­re­spon­dence Med­i­cal Col­lege and who once took part in the War of Re­sis­tance against Ja­pan, then de­voted to build­ing the cap­i­tal and med­i­cal teams, which im­pressed Liu Yang from Bei­jing Union Uni­ver­sity. “Di­a­logue with Nan is more like re­ceiv­ing ed­u­ca­tion about an out­look on life than lis­ten­ing to leg­endary sto­ries. In spite of talk­ing about views of life and value, have we hon­estly de­vel­oped ma­ture views of life and value? In anx­i­ety and sor­row, how should we de­velop our view of life and value as a gen­er­a­tion grow­ing up un­der so much care and pro­tec­tion?”

In the course of so­lic­it­ing con­tri­bu­tions for the Chuan­guo Xingfu Shicha book se­ries, Yue­tan in­vited col­lege and uni­ver­sity stu­dents to take part. A group of post90s col­lege stu­dents from Bei­jing Union Uni­ver­sity, Bei­jing Uni­ver­sity of Posts and Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions, Bei­jing Uni­ver­sity of Civil Engi­neer­ing and Ar­chi­tec­ture, Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Uni­ver­sity of China and Hong Kong Polytech­nic Uni­ver­sity en­tered com­mu­ni­ties, and spoke to Yue­tan res­i­dents face to face. Most of the char­ac­ters in the book are el­derly peo­ple, so com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween the young and el­derly is like a bap­tism cer­e­mony for post-90s gen­er­a­tion.

Col­lege stu­dents from Hong Kong Polytech­nic Uni­ver­sity par­tic­i­pated in in­ter­views and com­pi­la­tion of the fourth book Yue­tan Zhiyuanzhe zhi Ge (“song of the vol­un­teers in Yue­tan”) of the Chuan­guo Xingfu Shicha se­ries. From a unique per­spec­tive, they felt not only dif­fer­ences be­tween the Chi­nese main­land and Hong Kong, but also the pro­fun­dity of vol­un­teerism.

In the process of field in­ter­views, vol­un­teerism of in­ter­vie­wees im­pressed the post-90s col­lege stu­dents. Zhang Ying re­called that stu­dents at Hong Kong Polytech­nic Uni­ver­sity showed a great sense of re­spon­si­bil­ity and pro­fes­sion­al­ism when in­ter­view­ing role models. Due to a tight sched­ule, they were not fa­mil­iar with the lo­ca­tion of each com­mu­nity and had to find routes and ask di­rec­tions be­fore the in­ter­view. Zhu Jian­wen once vol­un­teered to in­ter­view a role model alone on a hot sum­mer day. He al­ways took a voice recorder with him to record con­ver­sa­tions

as he didn’t have a good com­mand of Man­darin. Af­ter fin­ish­ing the in­ter­view, Zhu had to lis­ten over and over again to tran­scribe the in­ter­view till late at night. Yet he never com­plained about it. “To tell the truth, I like to chat with these kind el­derly peo­ple, be­cause they teach me a lot and care about me. I can feel their pos­i­tive en­ergy, and I’ve made up my mind to help pro­mote their vol­un­teerism in Hong Kong.”

Ex­em­plary Power

Liu Ji­aqi, a shoe­maker with a sin­cere smile and Sichuan ac­cent, is known for his su­perb skills in Yue­tan Sub-dis­trict, known as “Deft Liu” among res­i­dents and cus­tomers. Now he is also a mem­ber of the Langyue Qingfeng Pub­lic­ity Team. Be­fore his sto­ries were in­cluded in Jian­shou de Chengnuo, Liu and his deeds had been wide­spread in Yue­tan Sub-dis­trict.

Liu, 54, came to Yue­tan Sub-dis­trict San­heli Sec­ond Com­mu­nity from a re­mote moun­tain vil­lage in Sichuan Prov­ince in 1985. Work­ing in shoe re­pair for over 30 years, Liu is good at re­pair­ing all kinds of shoes with­out ru­in­ing their orig­i­nal ap­pear­ance. His skills even at­tracted a Rus­sian cou­ple, who later be­came friends with him.

In 2016, Liu be­came a mem­ber of Yue­tan Sub-dis­trict's pub­lic­ity team, and was sent to join the mu­nic­i­pal team to preach all over the city on be­half of Xicheng Dis­trict. Liu has been in­cluded in the pub­lic Wechat ac­count “Sto­ries of Xicheng” of the pub­lic­ity team, and won praise of count­less cit­i­zens, neigh­bour­hoods, cus­tomers and home­town friends.

Aside from “Deft Liu,” there are many skilled work­ers, self­less vol­un­teers and role models in Yue­tan. Their deeds and spirit have spread and passed down through book pub­li­ca­tions, pub­lic preach and pub­lic Wechat ac­counts, reach­ing out to more read­ers.

On Novem­ber 30, 2016, the death of Wang Shil­iang, sec­re­tary of the CPC Qi­nan Com­mu­nity Com­mit­tee, di­rec­tor of the Neigh­bour­hood Com­mit­tee of Qi­nan Com­mu­nity, and pres­i­dent of Yue­tan Ag­ing As­so­ci­a­tion, caused sad­ness among many. Ren Wen Yue Tan Weekly is­sued a special edi­tion, and many of Wang’s friends and col­leagues wrote ar­ti­cles to com­mem­o­rate him.

Wang once was an army di­vi­sion com­man­der, and served as di­rec­tor of the Neigh­bour­hood Com­mit­tee of Qi­nan Com­mu­nity af­ter re­tir­ing from the army. In 2004, he founded Bei­jing’s first open nurs­ing home at Qi­nan Com­mu­nity and in­tro­duced var­i­ous so­cial in­sti­tu­tions, pro­vid­ing can­teens, care, house­keep­ing, hair­cuts and hos­pi­tal regis­tra­tion ser­vices for the el­derly, in­clud­ing con­ve­nient home ser­vices. This pat­tern for el­derly care has in­te­grated so­cial re­sources, rev­o­lu­tionised nurs­ing. These ini­tia­tives ap­peared much ear­lier than the “home-based el­derly care” con­cept pro­moted by the mu­nic­i­pal gov­ern­ment, caus­ing ex­ten­sive at­ten­tion.

Jin Chun­y­ing, a friend of Wang, had in­ter­viewed and re­ported on Wang’s deeds many times, and was sad­dened af­ter learn­ing of Wang’s death. Think­ing of the good things Wang had done for com­mu­nity res­i­dents, Jin wrote a prose poem in mourn­ing of his friend.

Eighty-year-old He Guifang, who once worked with Wang at Qi­nan Com­mu­nity for nearly 30 years, just had a lum­bar surgery and has dif­fi­culty mov­ing around. How­ever, she en­dures the pain and con­tin­ues Wang’s un­fin­ished cause. When we in­ter­viewed He, she was or­gan­is­ing com­mu­nity vol­un­teers to pay reg­u­lar vis­its to res­i­dents.

Wang set up a com­mu­nity vol­un­teer ser­vice team con­sist­ing of com­mu­nity CPC mem­bers in their 60s, 70s and even 80s. Even though they have el­derly spouses or fam­ily mem­bers to take care of at home, they choose to ful­fill the com­mit­ment of Wang and serve com­mu­nity res­i­dents.

The wal­less nurs­ing house pat­tern es­tab­lished by Wang now has been ap­plied, de­vel­op­ing five day­time home­based el­derly care cen­tres in Qi­nan, Qibei, Muqinju, Erqi Juchang Road and Rongze com­mu­ni­ties. In the mean­time, ser­vice and fa­cil­i­ties have also im­proved, en­abling el­derly care cen­tres to pro­vide el­derly with home- based care, cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties and pol­icy sup­port. These cen­tres have been pop­u­lar with com­mu­nity res­i­dents, be­com­ing their “con­sid­er­ate ten­ders.”

Wang Qi, sec­re­tary of Yue­tan Sub­Dis­trict Work­ing Com­mit­tee, said, “Role models have enor­mous in­flu­ence on oth­ers.” A role model can of­ten in­flu­ence and mo­ti­vate oth­ers. Help­ing oth­ers is ac­tu­ally an in­ter­ac­tive process—giv­ing a

help­ing hand and re­ceiv­ing grat­i­tude. As role models spring up in the com­mu­nity, res­i­dents in Yue­tan try to em­u­late those to bet­ter them­selves, demon­strat­ing mo­ti­va­tion in so­ci­ety.

A Non-stop Cause

Seven books of the Chuan­guo Xingfu Shicha se­ries man­age to record more than 330 fig­ures, yet fail to tell the sto­ries of the Yue­tan peo­ple. In the pref­ace to the fourth book Zhiyuanzhe zhi Ge, Wang Qi wrote, “When col­lect­ing vol­un­teer sto­ries from de­part­ments and com­mu­ni­ties, we en­coun­tered the trou­bles of hap­pi­ness. Vol­un­teers are in­volved in var­i­ous ser­vices, such as el­derly care, le­gal ad­vice, so­cial sur­veys, en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion and en­ergy con­ser­va­tion. Nearly 100 vol­un­teers have been rec­om­mended to us, and we have to se­lect 40 vol­un­teers from the can­di­dates, a dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion for us.”

Wang Qi said though he has no idea of the ex­act num­ber of Yue­tan's vol­un­teers, and he is sure that their good deeds can be seen ev­ery­where. It is Yue­tan's spirit in vol­un­teerism, cul­ture of good deeds, pa­tri­o­tism and ded­i­ca­tion that pro­motes con­tin­u­ous de­vel­op­ment of cul­ture in Yue­tan. Presently, civil­i­sa­tion, har­mony and kind­ness pre­vail here with pro­found cul­ture. In re­cent years, Yue­tan Sub-dis­trict has won many hon­ours and ti­tles, such as “World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion Se­cure Com­mu­nity,” “Star of China's SubDistricts,” na­tional se­cu­rity com­mu­nity, and a na­tional learn­ing- ori­ented sub­dis­trict model.

“This is the power of the masses, the glory of Yue­tan, and the im­pe­tus of us in forg­ing ahead,” says Zhang Ying. This year, Yue­tan will fo­cus on fos­ter­ing so­cial­ist core val­ues, strive to pro­mote fil­ial deeds, and pre­pare to pub­lish the eighth book of Xiao­lao Aiqin zai Yue­tan (“fil­ial deeds of Yue­tan”) of the Chuan­guo Xingfu Shicha se­ries, in hopes of pro­mot­ing a har­mo­nious fam­ily cul­ture, pass­ing down piety and friend­li­ness, and cre­at­ing a har­mo­nious Yue­tan.

Build­ing a civilised and har­mo­nious Yue­tan is in full swing, with Yue­tan's spir­i­tual civil­i­sa­tion on the rise.

Af­ter over seven years of suc­cess­ful prac­tice, the Chuan­guo Xingfu Shicha book se­ries is like beau­ti­ful scenery dec­o­rat­ing Yue­tan Sub-dis­trict. Yue­tan will not only ef­fec­tively build a har­mo­nious and civilised com­mu­nity, but also ex­plore new meth­ods to pro­mote com­mu­nity spirit for the whole coun­try. This ex­plo­ration will ex­pand; moral civil­i­sa­tion will pre­vail; a more har­mo­nious neigh­bour­hood re­la­tion­ship will take shape; com­mu­nity con­struc­tion will be­come more stan­dard­ised; with a har­mo­nious so­ci­ety and beau­ti­ful China just around the cor­ner.

A vol­un­teer demon­strates us­ing kan­hu­tong, an in­tel­li­gent ter­mi­nal about el­derly ser­vices.

Yue­tan Sub-dis­trict launched a home-based el­derly ser­vice, giv­ing se­niors a chance to read or play mahjong at the Erqi The­atre Road Ser­vice Sta­tion.

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