Visit the People, Benefit the People, Bring Together the Hearts of the People: The Culture of the Work Team of Koktoqay County Propaganda Department Leads to Gladdened HeartsDecember 06, 2017
“What did you do?” “What did you bring to the masses?” “Years from now, will you have a clear conscience for what you are doing right now?” These three rhetorical questions are the Koktoqay County Propaganda Department Work Team’s self-inflicted torture, a ladder of progress in which the team continuously encourages itself to do good deeds. Even more, they are a “magic weapon” uniting the village’s “two committees,” concentrating the grassroots’ fighting power and consolidating the grassroots’ foundation.
The work team of the Koktoqay County Propaganda Department stationed in Ku’erte township’s Dala Awuzi village leads with modern culture. Through the five good activities—raising well the flag, publicizing well the policies that benefit the people, popularizing well laws and regulations, telling well stories of ethnic unity, serving well as citizens of the country, and through serving the people, visiting them in their homes, and exploring new ways to do good ideological and cultural work under the new situation, they irrigate the land with positive energy as if they were rain on a spring breeze, leading villagers to fervently love the motherland and staunchly follow the Party. They subtly concentrate the spirit and strengthen the foundation.
The work team also made full use of the summer vacation time to organize returning college students to carry out the “six ones” activities, that is, to take part in an exchange symposium, to “raise their voices and flash their swords” under the national flag, to take part in a home visit, to volunteer, to participate in a propaganda competition, and to teach a Mandarin language class. The team guided returning college students to use their newly-acquired knowledge to actively participate in the construction of their hometowns and make a modest contribution.
Kulemila Aiman, who is majoring in Chinese language and literature at Hunan University, returned to her hometown during the summer vacation. In the “live up to the mission, speak out bravely, youth carry the Chinese dream“ speech contest organized by the work team, she said excitedly: “The mentors and friends I have gained over the course of my studies come from all ethnic groups. They have given me a lot of help and encouragement. All ethnic groups are one family, and the family must live a good life. Today I am proud of the village, tomorrow the village will be proud of me.”
How can we unify the thoughts and pace of the majority of villagers? How can we mobilize the whole village to focus on the “general goal” to the greatest extent possible? How can we inspire deep feelings of patriotism and gratitude in the hearts of the people? This series of questions always lingered in the mind of every work team member.
Repeatedly analyzing the conditions of the village and the people, the work team was problem-oriented, identified breakthroughs, and flexibly explored the propaganda formats most appealing to the masses. This was through the “six lectures” methods – namely, lecturing at the weekly flag raising, lecturing during visits to “key” households, lecturing while modeling and demonstrating, lecturing during cultural activities, lecturing while going about the neighborhood, and lecturing during dispute resolution. The team also gave full play to local cultural talents performing the new kind “Aken” musical concert, integrating the themes of the Party’s kindness and changes to one’s hometown into brisk melodies. With catchy rhymes, they align with the common people’s “tastes,” celebrating the good life in song and greatly enhancing the masses’ sense of having gained something. These methods broke through the bottleneck problem of local audiences not fully grasping the theory and policies presented to them on the stage.
The work team also invited Madingbieke Mulatihan, a national model of national unity and progress, to come deliver a focused lecture on “de-extremification” to the village committee, and invited key business leaders from the ethnic and religious United Front to tell their own personal stories as examples, allowing the majority of villagers to better recognize the dangers of the “three evil forces” and “religious extremism,” to enhance their ability to understand the truth and distinguish right from wrong, and to inspire them to focus on the “general goal” and consciously participate in the village-level stability maintenance work.
In order to truly convey the voice of the Party to the farmers and herdsmen and to the hearts of the people, the work team compiled a series of important speeches by General Secretary Xi Jinping, major decisions of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Party Committee, policies that benefit the people, and similar items into a booklet. This bilingual Mandarin-Kazakh “propaganda manual” is interspersed with the propaganda slogans, images of the village, folk customs, and wonderful pictures of production and life. The booklet is distributed to villagers during household visits. The pictures and texts are simple and clear. It is convenient for the common people to take it out anytime, anywhere, repeatedly reading and understanding it, carefully learning through experience how much the Party cares. It has been well received by the villagers. Village elder Tabalake Hazibieke said: “I will leave the small blue book (propaganda booklet) to my children and grandchildren after reading it, so that the next generation will know how much the Party and the state cares for us, and encourage them to study hard and repay the motherland.”
Since the work team was stationed in the village, it has always insisted on using the masses to guide the masses, using “people around you talk about things around you, and using things around you teach people around you.” It has actively taken recommendations from organizations, from villagers, and from mass votes to select each season the top ten villagers for doing things such as “respecting the old and loving the young,” “maintaining stability and guarding the border,” and “raising the flag.” Those selected are given priority to be included in the “civilized households” and “safe families” selection. These advanced models and model figures are brought together at the Monday national flag raising ceremony, are vigorously commended, giving full play to their role as shining and motivating exemplars, and stimulating the villagers’ enthusiasm to “learn from the advanced and be a model.”
From the ranks of these advanced models, from farmer and herder Party members, and from returned college students, the work team formed a village-level propaganda squad, selecting “grassroots” preachers with strong expressive abilities, good Mandarin proficiency, a clear-cut stance, and a resolute viewpoint.. The squad comes from the grassroots and serves the grassroots, “accumulating small goodness for great goodness, and accumulating small virtues for great virtue.” They use “grass-roots language” to promote “the true, the good, and the beautiful” and to criticize “the false, the evil, and the ugly,” eloquently telling their own stories.