Linyi students attend a Party history learning activity. PROVIDED TO TEENS
Linyi in Shandong province is one of China’s oldest revolutionary bases. Many Linyi locals have heard a lot of the revolutionary stories since they were young. The local revolutionary spirit known as the Yimeng spirit has been carried on from generation to generation.
Liu Shuyu, 29, is a Linyi native, who is now a primary school teacher in Beijing. During her primary and middle school years, she attended many Party education activities, such as listening to revolutionary stories from former militias.
“I think the Yimeng spirit represents hard work and self-improvement,” Liu said. Ever since Liu was a child, she was taught to be thrifty and unafraid of hardship. “For example, my grandparents never complain no matter how hard they work, and they never waste food.”
Many schools in Linyi attach great importance to learning the Party’s history. According to Chen Jingshan from Linyi Education Bureau, Party history education – especially their local Yimeng spirit education – has been included in the syllabus of primary and middle schools. It requires schools in Linyi to arrange no less than five hours of Party history learning courses each semester.
Chen Ping, a teacher from Linyi No 4 High School, joins the Party education programs almost every year. The school organizes various activities including themed speech contests and recitation competitions of revolution-related classics.
According to Chen, students from Linyi are getting more confident, which is inseparable from the Yimeng spirit. “As a result of increased Party education, the young generation feels more proud of their local heroes, and these stories have given them the faith to strive for a better future.”
There are also many young people who are determined to inspire their peers with the Yimeng stories.
In 2016, Li Wei, who was studying at Shandong Vocational and Technical University of International Studies, launched a campaign to spread the Yimeng stories among universities. Together, with about 460 volunteers, they have held themed events in more than 280 universities, according to China Youth Daily.
“We couldn’t live such a happy life if there weren’t any efforts or sacrifices of our revolutionary pioneers. The young generation should be guided by the right values like the Yimeng spirit, which can be a beacon for them,” he told Langya News.