CPPCC member: China must preserve oral histories of its role models

By Cui Can
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, March 8, 2022
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Liu Jiacheng, a member of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, delivers a speech at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 7, 2022. [Photo provided to China.org.cn]

A national political advisor advocates collecting oral histories of role models from all walks of life in China to give their first-hand experience and vivid account of the country's development.

"What we are doing today to collect oral histories will benefit generations to come," Liu Jiacheng, a member of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said in a recent interview with China.org.cn.

"The spirit of role models should be preserved," Liu said, adding that with their oral histories, those people who have made significant contributions to China's development in various fields will have a chance to make their voices heard.

Liu, also a TV drama director, recalled when he was shooting a TV drama series about Chinese Navy fighter pilots. To better understand Chinese pilots, he researched the oral histories of Chinese veteran pilots who had engaged in combat with U.S. pilots during wartime.

These veteran pilots recounted, in the first-person narrative, the hardships people went through at that time, along with some of the touching moments, he said.

"These individuals' memories could become the treasure of our nation," he said, adding that more stories of Chinese people with blood, flesh, and feelings struggling to make the country a better place should be told to the world.

Oral history is a field of study that preserves and interprets the voices and memories of people that participated in historical events. It reflects first-hand and personal opinions offered by the narrator, and provides valuable insight into history.

Liu believed that the core of oral history is authenticity, which means that an objective and vivid account of history will make it more reliable for an overseas audience to accept.

"Oral histories of Chinese role models could open a window for the world to understand the real China," Liu noted.

All movies and TV drama productions should respect history and culture, reveal their characters' inner lives, and depict actual Chinese society, Liu said. "Only by doing so can they win the hearts of both Chinese and overseas viewers."

He also pointed out that collecting oral histories of role models is a professional task, which should be done systematically and scientifically.

In his proposal, he suggested building a national platform that pools government and social resources to advance major television documentaries on oral histories of role models.

In particular, Liu mentioned that it is imperative to collect oral histories of role models while they still live with us.

"They bear witness to China's historical development, and it would be a great pity if we failed to preserve their stories while we still can," he said.

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