Re­searchers run a race against time

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By HOU LIQIANG and ZHOU LI­HUA

For many peo­ple, re­tire­ment is a time to for­get about work and de­vote them­selves to leisure ac­tiv­i­ties.

That’s not the case for Li Min and her col­leagues, how­ever. In­stead, they are rac­ing against time to research the rev­o­lu­tion­ary history of Macheng, Hubei prov­ince, to pre­serve the lo­cal rev­o­lu­tion­ary, or ‘red’, cul­ture and pass it on to fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

In 2013, when Li, a 67-year-old re­tired of­fi­cial, started an as­so­ci­a­tion to research Macheng’s red cul­ture, the first thing she planned to do was to col­lect and record rev­o­lu­tion­ary songs from the city, lo­cated in the for­mer rev­o­lu­tion­ary base of the Da­bie Moun­tains.

“When I came to Macheng in 1986, I had al­ready seen a collection of rev­o­lu­tion­ary songs from nearby Hon­gan county. There were also a lot of rev­o­lu­tion­ary songs in Macheng, but we didn’t have a collection of them,” she said.

The lo­cal gov­ern­ment has granted the as­so­ci­a­tion about 20,000 yuan ($3,000) for research and collection work, and 100,000 yuan to pub­lish books about the topic.

“Though the fund for research and collection is far from ad­e­quate, many like-minded peo­ple have con­trib­uted with­out ask­ing any­thing in re­turn,” she said.

“There was no spe­cial record of red songs in the ar­chives, but a lim­ited num­ber showed up in other ar­chives, which made collection very dif­fi­cult,” Li said, adding that the task is ur­gent be­cause the peo­ple who ex­pe­ri­enced the revo­lu­tion and know the songs are fad­ing fast.

One of the vet­er­ans was el­derly and un­well when Li and her col­leagues visited her. How­ever, de­spite her frailty, the se­nior in­sisted on singing about 10 songs, ac­cord­ing to Li.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.