In the last few days nearly 200,000 Chinese people in Shijiazhuang, capital city of north China's Hebei Province, have paid homage to Norman Bethune and Dwarkanath S. Kotnis, two foreign doctors who volunteered in China.
Bethune, a Canadian, came to China and helped Chinese during the war of resistance against Japanese aggression in 1938, saving thousands of lives. In early 1939, he died of blood poisoning after his finger was pricked by a needle in surgery. His spirit of selflessness has been cherished by Chinese doctors and nurses.
Dwarkanath S. Kotnis, an Indian, also came to China in 1938 and contributed greatly to China's anti-Japanese war. He joined the Communist Party of China in 1942 and died of illness the same year.
Mao Zedong wrote an article commemorating Bethune, and called on Chinese people to learn from his great spirit of selflessness.
The tombs of Bethune and Dwarkanath were "buried" by flowers donated by Chinese people. Tuesday marks the tomb-sweeping festival, a traditional day for Chinese to pay homage to their ancestors and sweep their graves.
(Xinhua News Agency April 5, 2005)