Red tourism rising

China Daily
Chen Zhuo
2019-09-06 17:27:13
A martyr's descendant (right) introduces local history to visitors in Shenshan village, Jinggangshan last month. WANG JING/CHINA DAILY

Better than books

Twenty-year-old Li Zhaoning from Anqing Normal University in Anhui province is one of the boot camp members to experience a day as a Red Army soldier. The camp usually lasts seven days.

Shortly after midday on Aug 24, Li and his "comrades" flocked into Xiao Fumin's courtyard. They were all in Red Army uniforms, with red neckerchiefs and caps emblazoned with crimson stars.

Everyone was sweating after a morning of simulated attacks on a training field on a nearby mountain. The university students, all in their 20s, needed to serve themselves from a wok wider than their bodies.

"We tried red rice and pumpkin soup for lunch yesterday," Li said, explaining they were typical Red Army dishes.

"They tasted fine because we had good seasoning. But the Red Army ate them without other ingredients or condiments. It was the only food they had at that time."

During their stay, the students also tried weaving straw into shoes and trekked a section of the Long March in the mountains, carrying replica rifles and packs of explosives and poles weighed down with necessities.

"We wear sneakers," Li said."Just imagine the Red Army went on the march in straw shoes. It was really hard making the shoes, and they were also very prickly."

During the camp, many martyrs' descendants gave lectures and told of their ancestors' sacrifices.

Li said before he came to Jinggangshan, he had only read books about how important it was to participate in the Chinese revolution.

"Many stories in books are quite abstract and almost seem unreal to me," he said.

"But when I actually heard the martyrs' descendants telling those stories in front of me like an old father, tasted the rough food and had the training, I just felt deeply touched by their perseverance and faith."

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