In a bid to uphold and practice the Socialist Core Values, to inspire the faculty/students with the paradigms around them, and to fuel the construction of a high-level internationalized university, GDUFS News starting from this September has launched a series of coverage about “the most beautiful people at GDUFS” themed on four chapters, that is: “patriotism”, “integrity”, “friendliness” and “professional dedication”. “The most beautiful people at GDUFS” refers to role models among both on-campus faculty/students and alumni, who have made extraordinary achievements on various ordinary jobs. Characterized by integrity and altruism, they stick to their faith, abide by professional ethics, persist in improving themselves, put the interests of others before theirs and fulfill the filial duty to the best.
The following report about FENG Zhuoyi is a demonstration of “patriotism”.
The Most Beautiful People at GDUFS · Patriotism
FENG Zhuoyi: “Don’t Label Xinjiang with Terrorism”
This May witnessed the broad circulation of an article titled FENG Zhuoyi: Don’t Label Xinjiang as ‘terrorism’! I Request for the Return to Southern Xinjiang! on both Weibo and WeChat: the major Chinese social platforms. Drawing widespread attention from the Chinese social media, the story of how the young girl from Guangdong Province devotes herself to the voluntary service in Xinjiang, thereafter settling down to aid the development of the remote inland part of China, was continually covered by mass media such as News Broadcast of CCTV, the column of Visiting the Grassroots, People’s Daily and Guang Ming Daily. In the spotlight of social discussion, FENG is recognized and praised for her courage and fortitude, the dedication and patriotism she practices in the maintenance of national solidarity.
An undergraduate from the School of Legal Studies at GDUFS, FENG majored in Foreign Affairs. In 2011, she resolutely embarked on the assistance for the progress of Xinjiang after her waiver of the postgraduate recommendation and the valuable opportunities of working in Guangzhou. At the expiration of the two-year service, she was admitted as a public servant in Urumqi out of her wish to stay in the city. The gravely violent terrorist attack in Xinjiang on May 22nd, 2015 sparked her decision to make a difference. Three days after the disaster, she composed the article of 5ooo words and made up her mind to resume working in Kashgar, a southern city of Xinjiang. There she started a busy, yet flourishing career and life with residence in the compound for families of soldiers, where her husband takes military service.
A picture of FENG (left) with her friend from Xinjiang
Go Where Our Nation Needs Us Most
“While young, be ‘silly’”, remarked FENG in her QQ Space before she left for the frontier region in 2011.
Many people find it incomprehensibly silly to relinquish her hard-won opportunity of further study and working in a metropolis, and instead volunteer in a turbulent remote area with harsh living conditions. Nevertheless, in FENG’s mind, the so-called “silly” thing is, as a matter of fact, about following her own heart, materializing her ideals and realizing her values. She refused to fall into the routine with the mindset of 30 or 40-something in her 20s. “I don’t want to keep to the beaten track – find a job after graduation, then get married and raise children. We should try more and do more ‘silly’ things while still young”, said Feng.
Besides, she often encourages her friends to “Be yourself, follow your own heart and make choices that you’ll never regret”, which in her eyes means to “go to the West of China, to the grassroots, to the areas of urgent need”. FENG admires the soldiers and the diplomats who practice their patriotism via real actions. Just when she was about to graduate from the university in 2011, she seized the chance offered by “The plan for university students to volunteer in Western China” to dedicate her youth to the country. Deciding to “adventure in the West and fulfill life value”, she signed up for the program among the first team from our university to head for the voluntary service in Xinjiang. “The development of Xinjiang might have potential need for my talent”, she felt.
Appeal to Crushing Terrorism, Maintaining National Solidarity
As long as one is willing to give, he/she can make a difference anywhere. In response to doubts about her choice, she voiced: “some people prefer to work in the prosperous eastern cities, whereas some would rather struggle in the West. But both are the channels to fulfill one’s value. Beautiful flowers are not limited to the rose. Likewise, there is no limit to the way you live.”
In Xinjiang, FENG is assiduous and down-to-earth in every task she undertakes. She blooms into an exceptionally beautiful life based on her tangible contributions to the region. During her service there, Feng, apart from the completion of her daily routine, usually availed herself to weekends of educating the children about Chinese and English at the local welfare institution. Along with the knowledge came care and warmth to the kids when she was there being a playmate. Knowing about the absence of suitable books for the children, Feng with her teammates deliberately devised an event of books donation, which produced a total collection of over 600 books and set up, for the institution, a library of its own. In addition, FENG also visited the barracks from time to time with the aim of helping those non-local soldiers adapt to the new life more quickly. She shared her personal experiences with them, encouraged them and assisted them in settling down in the frontier. “She is helpful and generous. And she bears hardships without a single complaint.” commented Zinati Abuliekemu, the Deputy Director with Foreign-Related Administration under the Office of Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs.
Return to GDUFS reporting in June
Since working there, FENG has spared no effort to uproot the bias against Xinjiang. She vigorously introduced to the society via the Internet the conventions and customs of the region and everything she has encountered there. With Xinjiang’s reputation marred again by the violent attack on May 22nd, FENG felt deeply that it was urgent she did something. So in the article released online, on the one hand she rebuked the violent terrorism, and on the other hand, she appealed not to label Xinjiang with terrorism and called on efforts to crush terrorism and maintain national solidarity.
With deeper affection for the region, FENG confided, “I want to stay and make a difference.” In The Application for Working on Borderlands she wrote as follows: “I never forget my original intention, and I insist in returning to the Borderlands to dedicate my youth and passion. Hopefully I can harness my competence and talent to galvanize the progress of our Borderlands.”
Given Another Chance, I Would Still Choose the Same
While she admits that part of her is idealistic, she is mostly pragmatic. It is her belief that every little helps. Every tiny contribution she has made will finally bring change to the region. “So long as you persist in giving, it will pay off”, said the young woman. Once as a volunteer for the West Program, FENG shared with us her thoughts on years of work. It is her hope that university students can keep sober in front of the glorious title: “Volunteer for the West Program”. In one way or another, they can also contribute to the West and even settle down there. At the same time, they are expected to properly deal with the gap between dreams and reality, to adjust their mentality, to face the music, to do their utmost for the accomplishment of every little wish. With regards to obstacles, she said, “As long as you cling to your faith, there are always more solutions than problems. Even though we can’t make big moves, we can always succeed in small things, and this is a significant encouragement for ourselves.” For those students with the intention of reaching far into the remote areas, she advises them to take carefully every small step which “can potentially build up something great.” And she also encourages them to stick to their guns and be themselves, even when challenged by doubts and dissents.
Having been transferred back to Kashgar, FENG is now busy making adjustments to her house and the new job. She wants to put her current job on the top of her agenda for the future, probably followed by further study. Despite the bitterness of life and work in Xinjiang, FENG claims that she would still go there if given another chance to choose.
Chinese Report: 【最美广外人】冯卓怡：“不要把新疆恐怖化”