By Horace Lu
Even though it seems China’s youth now follow the teachings of Sister Feng more than Lei Feng, a rhetorical tsunami of “learning from Lei Feng” broke out on Lei Feng Day yesterday, an annual day of remembrance that’s been going on since 1963.
Lei Feng, a solider who was said to do good deeds without return and to read a lot of Mao Zedong’s work, has been depicted as a moral example by China’s propaganda machine for dozens of years. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Lei Feng’s death.
Although there’s been an increase in cynicism surrounding Lei Feng, with some suspecting he was just a figure designed by the propaganda machine to make people loyal to the Communist Party, there are some people who actually did learn from Lei Feng.
Liu Guangjian (刘光剑) has been following Chairman Mao’s doctrine to “learn from Lei Feng” for 13 years by travelling around China and scrubbing people’s shoes for free. Amid people’s skepticism and even physical attack, he has been to 31 of 34 provincial administrative regions.
Below is a interview with Liu Guangjian:
Meanwhile, a Foreign Lei Feng has been living and teaching in rural Gansu for ten years, with various media profiles in China covering his story in the lead up to Lei Feng day. Funnily enough, the profiles generally fail to mention the fact the American Lei Feng is a devout Christian.
(Photos via Netease)