Chinese Still Admire Lei Feng's Spirit

Spirit of Lei Feng still alive
On her fifth birthday, Meng Zhaoyang walking home with her mother noticed a big picture on the Hufangqiao Street of Xuanwu District in Beijing. The picture was twice her height.

"Who is this uncle?" Meng asked her mother. Chinese children address young men as "uncles" and young women as "aunts" for courtesy.

Her mother replied that it was the portrait of a young soldier -- Lei Feng.

If Lei were still alive, he would now be called "grandpa" by children like Meng Zhaoyang.

In 1962 when Lei Feng was 22, he died after being hit on the head by a wooden column accidentally knocked over by another soldier .

However his spirit of always helping others has made him immortal.

Chairman Mao called on nation to learn from Lei Feng
In March 5, 1963 the late Chairman Mao Zedong called on the whole nation to learn from Lei Feng.

"We have always been moved by Lei Feng's stories," said Xu Jingying, 81, "we are willing to learn from him with all our heart."

Lei Feng's life was used as an example for 600 million Chinese at that time. The date March 5 was designated as the Day for Learning from Lei Feng.

Learning from Lei, Xu voluntarily taught elderly people English last year when Beijing was bidding for the 2008 Olympic Games.

Surveys show that most Chinese think of Lei Feng as a hero. Hisspirit has been carried with the people for years.

Learning from Lei Feng has a new meaning today
"Learning from Lei Feng has a new meaning today," said Jia Xueqin who has been a volunteer for more than 30 years. March 5was chosen as Youth Volunteers' Day by the Central Committee of Communist Youth League of China and the China Association for Youth Volunteers in 2000.

Shaan Xiao, a four-year college student who is an intern at Tianqiao neighborhood committee, was proud of being a volunteer for the 21st World University Games held in Beijing last year. "Being a volunteer does not simply mean helping others or doing good deeds," Shaan Xiao said, "it has something to do with environmental protection, assisting the poor, and helping the disabled. Tens of thousands of young volunteers are interpreting the Lei Feng Spirit in a far broader way with their actions."

It is estimated that about 100,000 volunteers in Beijing alone have been providing voluntary services starting from March 1 this year.

People's Daily Online ---