Chinese sing the songs of Chairman Mao's day (2)

13:49, June 30, 2011      

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Red old days

The red campaign seems to be well supported by people who grew up before the 1980s when revolutionary songs and dances were among the few entertainment available -- there were virtually no pop songs or rock' n' roll. Young people joined various choruses organized by party cells or tuned in the radio looking to learn the revolutionary songs.

"Every time I sing these songs, I am reminded of the old times, " said Wei Anliu, a laid-off worker in the city of Changsha, capital of Hunan.

Wei is among the estimated tens of millions of urban youth sent to the countryside from the 1950s to the 1970s, a mass campaign in which Chairman Mao ordered young people from cities to learn from the peasants by eating, working, and living together.

Back then, Wei was a top student who strictly followed the party's call and immensely loved arts.

"We had almost nothing, but we were truly happy and sang the red songs in high morale," said Wei, who has been laid off for seven years from a cradle-to-grave style factory closed amid market competition. "The time when the whole society is upbeat is worth remembering," she said.

Zhao Baozhu, a retired factory worker in Beijing, agreed.

"The passionate tunes remind me of my youth, and at that time, people sweated blood but felt full of energy," Zhao said.
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