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Guides explain Communist Manifesto

By CAO CHEN in Shanghai | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2020-07-02 07:26
Lu Tingting, a doctoral student at the School of Marxism of Fudan University, guides visitors at an exhibition on The Communist Manifesto at the Shanghai-based university on Tuesday. LIU YING/XINHUA

A team of 30 members of the Communist Party of China has been volunteering at an exhibition on The Communist Manifesto at Fudan University in Shanghai for over two years.

In replying to a letter from the team that was unveiled on Tuesday, Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, encouraged CPC members to build firm ideals and convictions and strive to fulfill the Party's original aspiration and mission.

He called on all CPC members, especially young members, to conscientiously study Marxist theory and the histories of the Party, New China, the reform and opening-up and the development of socialism so as to cultivate firm ideals and convictions and fulfill the Party's original aspiration and founding mission.

The Fudan team consists of members in different industries-such as arts, medicine and engineering-with varied backgrounds, including teachers and students.

However, all team members are focused on a common goal-telling the story of Chen Wangdao in an effort to seek truth and popularize Marxist theories.

Chen is a late scholar and educator who completed the first Chinese translation of the groundbreaking work The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels a century ago.

The team was established in May 2018, when the exhibition was open to the public in the house adapted from the former residence of Chen, who served as president of Fudan University from 1952 to 1977 and lived in the residence from 1956.

The team has served nearly 50,000 visitors so far, providing demonstrations and instructions over 700 times per year on average.

According to the university, it is set up to cultivate talent that can popularize the spirit of the manifesto through qualified narration and conduct solid research on the subject.

"We do not merely lecture the audience, but also offer history education, theoretical interpretation and value guidance," said Qian Weicheng, team leader and a doctoral student in journalism.

In order to give the visitor a deeper understanding and appreciation of the exhibition, all volunteers are trained.

Before the job, team members will read books related to The Communist Manifesto and report their feelings to their tutors.

They will study the analysis of the manifesto by scholars and experts as well. Moreover, they must pass three rounds of assessments, including written tests on the history of the CPC, oral tests and the final round in which they provide educational services at the exhibition.

"Passing the assessments is only the first step in our journey as a guide, and what's important is to learn and practice more next," said Lu Tingting, a doctoral student at the School of Marxism.

Lu said the team borrows insights from professional museum guides and communicates with relatives of Chen for more details and stories.

"We also get a deeper understanding of Marxist theory every time we educate the audience and learn from their feedback," said Lu, 28.

Repeating similar content may cause boredom, but Lu has come up with a way to keep the service meaningful and fresh.

"For instance, we can consider whether we speak more fluently today than yesterday or not, if the interaction with the audience has become more natural, or if we provide a broader understanding of the exhibition than ever," she said.

Wang Jingyi, a team member, said she once met an elderly man who visited Chen's study room alone, reading a guide book in hand. When Wang approached him, the man asked her about the details of the exhibits in the room and was very happy when she explained the information comprehensively.

"It showed the value of our work and inspired me to keep improving," she said.

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