Lift­ing the soul of the na­tion

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - COMMENT - — PEO­PLE’S DAILY

Speak­ing at Wed­nes­day’s open­ing cer­e­mony for the 10th con­gress of the China Fed­er­a­tion of Lit­er­ary and Art Cir­cles and the ninth con­gress of the Chi­nese Writ­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion, Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping called on Chi­nese artists and writ­ers to step out­side their own space and let their hearts beat in time to the rhythm of the peo­ple’s.

Call­ing peo­ple “the cre­ators of his­tory and sculp­tors of the times”, Xi said their “deeds on an epic scale are abun­dant, we just need the am­bi­tion to make epic works”.

He said the na­tion’s lit­er­ary and artis­tic works should be peo­ple­fo­cused, and artists and writ­ers should serve the peo­ple by in­spir­ing them with works that en­cour­age ev­ery Chi­nese per­son’s “sense of na­tional pride and honor”.

He called for works that cater to the times and fea­ture no­table Chi­nese ele­ments, which means artists and writ­ers should have a pro­found un­der­stand­ing of Chi­nese cul­ture and a high level of cul­tural con­fi­dence.

To re­al­ize the great re­ju­ve­na­tion of the Chi­nese na­tion, there is need for not only ma­te­rial de­vel­op­ment, but also for cul­tural works that re­flect the times, in­spire peo­ple and en­cour­age them to re­al­ize their dreams.

De­spite suf­fer­ing set­backs and dif­fi­cul­ties in its mil­len­ni­ums-long his­tory, the con­tin­ual sur­vival, de­vel­op­ment and pros­per­ity of the Chi­nese na­tion is in­sep­a­ra­ble from the vigor of its cul­ture.

Artists and writ­ers should drive home the knowl­edge that cul­ture and the arts are closely re­lated to a na­tion’s destiny. Cul­ture is the essence and soul of a coun­try and a na­tion, and without cul­tural con­fi­dence, a coun­try will lack an iden­tity of its own.

Vivid sto­ries are not in short sup­ply in China, but the key is to tell them well. “We should sing and hop be­tween the branches and leaves like lit­tle birds, and also fly and take a view from high above like ea­gles,” Xi said.

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