Communities Take on Harmonious Shape
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.
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.”
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.