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Working with a song in her heart

By Joseph Catanzaro | China Daily | Updated: 2014-05-11 16:00

Working with a song in her heart

Photo by Wang Zhuangfei/China Daily

On a bustling Beijing footpath, young men and women assemble in three ranks, standing to attention with their backs straight and eyes fixed forward.

At 9:30 am on the dot, in absolute unison, they raise their voices in song.

"I promise I will strive for excellence and have no fear of difficulty," they sing. "We need to cooperate with each other and work together to make a brighter future."

This is Hu Jinjuan's favorite stanza of the song that all Homelink employees sing to inspire them for a day of selling real estate in Beijing's property market.

"The lyrics are about our dedication and achieving our hopes and dreams for the future," she says.

Hu, 28, is a migrant worker from Hebei province who grew up in a small village only a few hours drive from Beijing; back then her dreams seemed impossibly far away and out of reach.

"My hometown is warm and friendly, but very poor," Hu says. "Even though it's getting better now, there is no industry, and very few opportunities for young people. Many people there think there is no need for a woman to study, that they should just stay home and look after the family."

Hu says she owes her own avoidance of this fate to her parents, who went against the grain in their conservative hometown and encouraged her to study a bachelor's degree in law at Hebei University of Economics and Business by saving up enough to cover part of her tuition fees. A scholarship for academic excellence covered the rest of her tuition.

There is passion in Hu's voice when she talks about gender equality, and her strong belief women can have a rewarding career as well as children.

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