Across China: Good Samaritan spirit breathes new life into cultural relics

TAIYUAN, March 5 (Xinhua) -- Residents in the Liangcai Village, located in the city of Changzhi, north China's Shanxi Province, used to offer prayers for rain in the local Temple of King Dayu, a mythological figure who is believed to have tamed floods in ancient China.

In recent years, however, the temple has been plagued by an existential threat from decades of decaying due to rainwater leakage.

"The temple has been leaking for more than 20 years," Wang Hongrui, a Party official in the village, said of the only immovable cultural relic in the village.

But, thanks to the efforts of a volunteer team, Wang has managed to raise more than 3,000 yuan (463 U.S. dollars) worth of funds to help protect the temple.

The team came to the public fore on Friday, as China observed "Lei Feng Day" by showing goodwill and helping others in remembrance of the soldier renowned for his generosity and altruistic deeds.

Dubbed "Museum of China's ancient buildings," Changzhi is situated in the southeast of Shanxi and is home to more than 3,500 ancient architectures. The city is surrounded by the mighty Taihang and Taiyue mountains.

However, due to various reasons, many immovable cultural relics are decaying, prompting relic enthusiasts to come to their rescue.

He Yanjun is one of the conservation volunteers. He helped set up a volunteer team for relic protection in 2017, and two years later, the team received official approval. Currently, it has about 300 members from various walks of life. They either donate, patrol, or create public awareness of relic protection.

Over the past two years, the team has renovated or repaired about 30 ancient buildings by working concertedly with officials. Their efforts have been hailed by the public.

Niu Songlin, a 72-year-old volunteer, has been calling on the local TV station in the county of Pingshun to help raise public awareness of cultural protection. He particularly wants to save an ancient opera stage from decaying.

"I remember watching operas and even performing myself on the stage," said Niu, who used to be a teacher in Daduo Village. "The ancient opera stage is a symbol of the hard work and wit of our ancestors, and we cannot let history crumble into ruins."

Many volunteers echo similar thoughts. Song Xuguang, a local official, said that when they decided to renovate the stage, they received more than 10,000 yuan in donations.

"I think the volunteer team really brought social capital into relic protection," said He Yanjun, the founder of the team. "We need to call on the public to protect the relics together, which is one of the major responsibilities of the team." Enditem

[ Editor: JYZ ]