China / CPC and World

We should cherish the lives we lead now

By Du Juan (China Daily) Updated: 2016-06-28 07:38

After undergoing five days of training in the cradle of the Chinese revolution, I realized that the "youth version" of a Party school was completely different from what I had imagined.

The National Youth Education Center for Revolutionary History in Jinggangshan, Jiangxi province, provides education about the Communist Party of China, mostly to domestic students and young people who work for the government.

The wide range of classes on offer in the curriculum caught my eye immediately because there were few lectures, addresses or speeches.

We only had four lectures in the classroom. The rest of our time was spent out of doors, in martyrs' memorial parks, the mountains where the Red Army once walked and in villages inhabited by the descendants of revolutionary elders.

One day, my class - composed of about 40 students - was divided into four groups. Each group was assigned several guns weighing about 8 kg each and a 30-kg ammunition box before we set off on a 4-km forced march.

We should cherish the lives we lead now

Using a simple map, we had to complete the march in the remote mountains within a set time, while also undertaking tasks, such as finding hidden items and locating specific herbs along the way. The June sun blazed down and soon everyone was sweating.

As soon as the march was over, a trainer showed us how to carry and use laser guns. So, with no time to rest, we began a laser-gun battle in the forest.

The march was exhausting, and the laser battle was fun, but tiring.

I know that this hardship was nothing compared with what the Red Army faced during the Long March from October 1934 to October 1935, when Mao Zedong led his troops through 9,000 km of tough terrain to avoid the Nationalist army. However, at least we gained a little insight and understanding - far more than if we had simply stayed in an air-conditioned classroom listening to a lecturer telling us how hard life had been for the communist troops.

We went to martyrs' memorial parks and listened to stories about the people buried in them. We visited villages where we met the descendants of Red Army soldiers and listened to their stories about the events of the last century.

History felt closer, and made me feel that we should cherish the lives we have now. That may sound childish, but we sometimes forget to be grateful for what we have.

The school even taught us how to make straw sandals, like the ones Mao Zedong made during his stay in Jinggangshan when the Red Army was short of supplies.

The history and theory of the Communist Party is at the core of the training, but knowing is just one aspect, while feeling and believing is another thing entirely - and more important.

Wu Jiasong, president of the Youth Federation of the Organizations under the CPC's Central Committee and head of training at Jinggangshan, said that despite differences in ages and backgrounds, there is always a group of people who live for the public interest and noble ideals instead of only thinking of themselves.

"These people are always respected," he said.

(China Daily 06/28/2016 page6)

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