A Warming Chinese New Year with Hometown in the Heart
A young couple from Jiangsu celebrate Chinese New Year in Changde
On February 13, the second day of the first lunar month, Jiangsu native Qu Huajie took a family portrait after having breakfast with his family in Changde. After taking the photos, he and his wife took their family to the Wyndham Grand Plaza Royale Hot Spring Hotel in Taohuayuan to soak in the hot springs and take the children to play in the amusement facilities. The family were bathing in happiness. This year, many people responded to the call for "Celebrating Chinese New Year in work place" and spent a special New Year far from their hometown. Qu Huajie and Ma Qian, a young couple from Jiangsu who live in Tianyuan Star City, is among them.
Qu Huajie and Ma Qian are from Taizhou, Jiangsu Province. In 2007, they came to Changde and ran a spice wholesale and retail store in Meijiang Market in the city. The couple are diligent and have a good sense of business. They bought a house and car in Changde, and their children and daughters also went to school in Changde. In the early years, Qu Huajie took his parents to his side. In the past two years, his living conditions have improved a lot. His wife also took his father-in-law to Changde and bought a house for them. Although the whole family is in Changde, in accordance with the convention, they must return to their hometown during the Chinese New Year. In the past, at the end of each year, Qu Huajie would close the store and drive his family to his hometown thousands of miles away from Changde for the celebration of the Chinese New Year. The family would stay there until the fifth day of the first month before driving back to Changde.
Due to the epidemic situation of COVID-19 this year, many provinces proposed celebrating the New Year on the working spot, which also made Qu Huajie's family press the "pause button" of the returning trip to Jiangsu. This is the first time they have chosen to spend the New Year in Changde. As early as February 6, Qu Huajie began to send messages on WeChat, "Our store will be closing on February 8th to February 18th. I wish all customers a happy New Year of the Ox." After closing the store for a rest, the couple did not have a leisure time. They started cleaning glass, cleaning furniture, washing curtains... making full preparations for Chinese New Year in Changde. Ma Qian purchased candies, beverages, snacks and other New Year goods, and asked entrusted friends to send hometown specialties such as shredded buffalo beef, hairtail, and braised lion head (meat balls) to Changde. With all this management, even in the New Year in Changde, the whole family can eat authentic dishes marked Taizhou Cuisine. Qu Huajie and his wife also arranged their family's itinerary fully. On the first day of the first lunar month, they brought gifts along their children to their father-in-law and mother-in-law. On the second day, the family went to a hot spring. On the third day, they took their children to Changde Kale Planet. "They are usually busy with business and rarely accompany their children." Qu Huajie said frankly that they took their children to embark on an adventure together, crossing into the "dinosaur world" and enjoying parent-child time. On the fourth day, they took their family to Wanda Plaza for shopping.
When the reporter asked if he missed the relatives and friends in his hometown for the Chinese New Year, Qu Huajie said frankly: “Of course I do, but everyone can understand our choice of celebrating the New Year in Changde this year in response to the call of the country.” Qu Huajie said, this year they can’t go back to their hometown to pay New Year greetings to their elders, so they send their WeChat red envelopes and video connections to the elders, with the“online family reunion”.
Changde Government distributed RMB 160 million yuan as "big red envelopes" to the needy people
On February 19, the reporter learned from the Civil Affairs Bureau that during the Spring Festival of 2021, the bureau distributed RMB 120 million-yuan as guarantee funds for the city’s 189,000 subsistence allowances and extremely poor people, and a temporary relief fund of RMB 6.02 million-yuan to 13,376 people in difficulties. In all, the Civil affairs departments at all levels have invested a total of RMB 3.3 million yuan in condolences.
Before the Spring Festival, government members earnestly carried out home-visits and condolences to the needy people, mainly the urban poor, low-income families, the poor in scattered support, children in distress, fishermen in difficulties, families in poor living conditions due to disease, disability, disaster, and epidemic, the empty-nest elderly and left-behind children who cannot be reunited with their families in response to the call for Celebrating the Chinese New Year in work place initiative, and other marginal households in difficulties. During the Spring Festival, civil affairs departments at all levels also took the form of "cash + materials + services" to give condolences to those needy people. In forms of temporary relief, material condolences, love donations and others, the aid will deliver the New Year's condolences and warm winter supplies to those badly in need.
Film practitioners from Changde keep their posts during the Chinese New Year
"Grandpa and grandma, this year is the first Spring Festival file I have experienced in my work, and the country has also advocated celebrating Chinese New Year in work place. I will stay in Beijing this year and I will come back to see you when the epidemic subsides..." On the eve of the Spring Festival, Zhang Hanrui, who works in Maoyan Entertainment, sent a message telling her grandpa and grandma far away in Changde's hometown that she would stay in Beijing in response to the call to "Chinese New Year in work place" and work overtime to stick to her post.
Since graduating from university, Zhang Hanrui has been working in Beijing for 5 years. This Spring Festival, her original plan was to go back home in Changde, taking a year’s full harvest for the celebration of the Chinese New Year. However, due to the increase in sporadic cases in various places whether the Spring Festival session can even start smoothly was still unclear. That "Spring Festival stalls" made her think about going home. After giving it a consideration seriously for a long time, Zhang Hanrui couldn't imagine a “safe path” of going back Changde. "During the Spring Festival travel season, traveling in different places increased unnecessary risks for myself and others. My parents sent me New Year's goods early, so even if I didn't go home, I could have a "reunion" with my family." Once Zhang Hanrui and several colleagues finished the discussion, realizing that his job is an "export" for related industry data, he completely dispelled the idea of returning to his hometown and decided to respond to the country-wide initiative and stay in Beijing, stationing at the company.
Although the spring is very cold right now, the movie Spring Festival file for the Year of the Ox can be described as bullish. Zhang Hanrui and his colleagues are also very busy. She told reporters that Maoyan Movie is the largest movie ticketing platform in the country. According to the company's Maoyan Professional Edition data, as of 17:30 on February 19, the box office of the 2021 Spring Festival movie has exceeded 9 billion yuan, and the popular movies are still continuing to bust the box and break the record of single-chip box office growth. "It is precisely because I did not go home for the New Year this year; otherwise I could not feel the hot market environment this year." Zhang Hanrui said that the company has distributed New Year gifts to everyone in the team. Spring couplets have been posted on the apartment door, and the kitchen is also full of hometown-made new year's goods such as bacon and dried fish, sauced duck and pickles. "It is a bit regretful not to go home for the New Year of Ox. But to celebrate the Chinese New Year at a post, it is witnessing the opening of a new trend for Chinese film and television industry. Very busy, indeed, but it is very meaningful."
Zhang Hanrui’s parents sent her many local specialties from Changde.
A thousand miles of nostalgia with a Chinese New Year in Shenzhen
"In the first place, at the end of this year, the family planned to return to their hometown from Shenzhen to celebrate the New Year, but the current epidemic prevention and control situation is still complicated. In order to respond to the call of the government, the family decided not to return to Anxiang for the New Year!" On February 15, the fourth day of the Chinese New Year, Lei Mingjie, who was celebrating the New Year in the work place in Shenzhen, told reporters his thoughts.
Lei Mingjie is a native of Anxiang County, Changde. He works in Shenzhen and works part-time in the Working Committee of the Communist Youth League in Shenzhen. He loves literature and has a cheerful personality. In his spare time, he often organizes fellowships and charity activities in Shenzhen. During the Spring Festival of previous years, in order to facilitate the safe return of Hunan workers in Shenzhen, Lei Mingjie actively cooperated with the Hunan Provincial Communist Youth League Working Committee in Shenzhen to participate in the organization of the "Youth Express: Let's Go Back to Hunan" charity event. More than 1,300 Changde fellows took the caring bus home for the 2020 Chinese New Year Celebration for free. In 2021, the public welfare activity of returning from Shenzhen to Changde by caring bus is suspended. Lei Mingjie not only spends the New Year in Shenzhen himself, but also advocates that the Changde villagers spend the New Year in Shenzhen.
A few days before the Chinese New Year, Lei Mingjie recorded a video advocating "Chinese New Year in work place" and posted it on WeChat Moments. It was praised by many Changde villagers. In just a few days, the video was viewed by nearly 20,000 people, and the digit grew bigger and bigger. Changde fellows left messages below the video, and some also joked about "Learning from Secretary Lei". In the message area, you can also see that many Changde villagers spend the New Year in the work place in Guangdong, Chongqing and other places. Seeing a lot of people enjoy watching it and showing the approval with the point, Lei Mingjie joked that he did not expect to become an internet celebrity accidentally.
There is also a special flavor in Shenzhen for the New Year. On the Chinese New Year's Day, the Lei Mingjie family simply cooked some dishes, which tasted not less delicious. Lei Mingjie went to visit relatives and friends in Shenzhen on the first and second day during the New Year Holiday, and went to the Deng Xiaoping Portrait Square on the third day of the first lunar month. By the way, he once again experienced the great changes in the special economic zone for 40 years. He also visited major attractions in Shenzhen for the rest of the holiday. During the Lunar New Year in Shenzhen, the government also provided some benefits to those who followed the initiative "Chinese New Year in the work place", such as free masks and some platforms to draw gift certificates and other benefits. Lei Mingjie drew a coupon for the Shenzhen Federation of Trade Unions to stay on the platform of the New Year event.
Usually, they are busy with work except that the Spring Festival every year grants the opportunity for them to go back hometown. Although Lei Mingjie failed to return to Anxiang during the Spring Festival this year to meet relatives and childhood friends, he would make phone calls and chat online with some good friends in his hometown every day during the New Year in Shenzhen.
"I hope the COVID-19 epidemic will end as soon as possible and life will blossom in spring soon!" Lei Mingjie said.
Lei Mingjie poses in front of Deng Xiaoping Portrait Plaza on the third day of the Chinese New Year 2021.