Volunteers serve at Xuhui cultural landmarks to boost 'soft power'

Yang Jian
They help visitors understand the significance of early pioneers' contributions to the development of the urban district.
Yang Jian
Volunteers serve at Xuhui cultural landmarks to boost 'soft power'
Ti Gong

Volunteers from all walks of life at Longhua Martyrs Memorial

Volunteer services have attended the main cultural landmarks in Xuhui as part of the efforts to enhance the urban "soft power" of the downtown district.

Over 2,000 volunteers recruited from all walks of life are serving visitors at Longhua Martyrs Memorial, Qian Xuesen Library and art museums on the West Bund. Other service stations have been developed across Xuhui for both visitors and construction workers.

The volunteer projects were introduced at the Shijianhui (literally "practices gathering") forum on Thursday to help promote services across the city.

Shanghai plans to advance its urban soft power in line with ambitions to become "a socialistic metropolis with global influence" by 2035. 

As the birthplace of haipai (Shanghai-style) culture, Xuhui aims to launch various volunteer services and other practices among its residents, according to the district government.

"Urban soft power is showcased through group quality and the spiritual outlook of the people," said Tang Youcai, a professor at East China University of Science and Technology.

Volunteers serve at Xuhui cultural landmarks to boost 'soft power'
Ti Gong

A construction worker introduces the Home of West Bund Workers.

"The volunteer services in Xuhui have proved to be attractive, considerate and inspiring," he told the forum.

A volunteer team of 1,063 members has been established for the Longhua Martyrs Memorial. Named "Long's Successors," they will offer guided tours about the stories of 257 martyrs along a 1.3-kilometer path at the memorial.

They've also created a series of stage dramas to promote the stories and spirits of the martyrs to visitors.

A "Starry Sky Youth" volunteer team has been established for the library and memorial of missile and space scientist Qian Xuesen (1911-2009). 

A group of youth recruited from nearby schools introduce the life stories and achievements of Qian to visitors every day.

About 1,300 volunteers from all walks of life have been serving visitors at the West Bund Art Museum. The "most beautiful art ambassadors" received training on art history and guiding services before working at the museum.

Volunteers serve at Xuhui cultural landmarks to boost 'soft power'
Ti Gong

Members of the "Starry Sky Youth" volunteer team at Qian Xuesen Library

There are over 7,000 migrant workers involved in developing the Huangpu River waterfront, an emerging artificial intelligence hub and art and culture center.

A barber's shop, convenience store and tailor's shop have been opened in the area where volunteers, including nearby community workers and residents, offer free services to workers.

The workers can learn calligraphy, write Spring Festival couplets and the Chinese character fu (good fortune) on the second floor of the center. They are also encouraged to join in a chorus as part of efforts to enrich their spiritual life.

The Shijianhui forums are held regularly at Xuhui District Hui Exhibition Hall, with experts, community workers, volunteers and residents sharing their experience and practices related to volunteer services. 

Six public lectures will be held offline and online to introduce 25 volunteer and community services across Xuhui.

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