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        Village life is simpler but never dull, says official who worked as volunteer teacher

        By Zou Shuo in Changsha | China Daily | Updated: 2024-05-03 06:00
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        When Liu Qiwei graduated from Hunan Normal University in 2019, she signed up to teach as a volunteer for a year at a middle school in Jishou, Hunan province.

        Raised in Xining, the capital of Qinghai province, the experience enriched her understanding of how people live in the countryside.

        "One year was not a long time, but it is definitely a memory worth remembering for my whole life," she said. "There was a spark in my students' eyes and their yearning for knowledge made them look like shining diamonds, waiting to be discovered."

        Her students' grades improved over the year and she also developed, she said.

        The happiness and fulfillment she got from teaching at a county school is also why she chose to work as a government official at a village in Jiahe county, Hunan province, when she finished a master's degree in Marxism at the university last year.

        She had lengthy discussions with her parents about her choice as they wanted her to work near her hometown in Xining or in a big city, but they finally supported her decision.

        Although she is not from Hunan, her time studying in the province has made it her second home.

        As she majored in Marxism for her postgraduate studies, she feels working in a village is the perfect way to put what's in the textbooks into practice.

        Every day, she deals with the real problems of villagers, such as electricity being cut off by a falling tree, issues with their farmland, funerals, weddings, and the development of the local rice industry.

        "I feel I have rapidly learned how the basic unit of Chinese society functions. It is a living example of what I have learned from the textbooks," she said.

        She also learned to speak the local dialect so she could better explain government policies to villagers. There are many elderly people living in the village whose children work in cities, so it is important to talk with them like family members so they can better support the government's work, she said.

        "Life in the villages is not dull as you face new challenges every day, but it is also not as busy as living in a city where you need to race to catch the subway," she said.

        "You can learn a lot about how to live a simple life from the villagers. They do not want big houses, fancy cars or designer bags. They just want their crops to grow healthy and lives to be stable. That's happiness for them and from them I have seen what true happiness is like."


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