Little tour guides' big role

Xinhua
Surrounded by dozens of tourists and cameras, 10-year-old Xu Yueheng displays great maturity and eloquence beyond his age at the Shanhaiguan Pass.
Xinhua
Imaginechina

The Shanhaiguan Pass in Hebei Province.

Surrounded by dozens of tourists and cameras, 10-year-old Xu Yueheng displays great maturity and eloquence beyond his age at the Shanhaiguan Pass of the Great Wall, a hot tourist spot during China's week-long National Day holiday.

"The road we are walking on is called 'Horse Road,' and it was said the five Chinese characters of 'Tian Xia Di Yi Guan'('First Pass Under Heaven' in English) on the plaque was written by Xiao Xian, a well-known calligrapher of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)," Xu explained to his guests.

What Xu is doing is part of an extra-curriculum program launched in 2016 by the education bureau of Shanhaiguan District of Qinhuangdao City, north China's Hebei Province. The program aims to recruit local students as tour guides to introduce the Great Wall to tourists.

"The kids are great, and I enjoyed listening to their introduction," said Li Huiyong, a tourist from northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.

The activity was not only well received by tourists, but also the children's parents.

"He works very hard and prepares the introduction carefully, and his confidence and eloquence have improved a lot," said Zhu Ning, Xu's mother.

According to local authorities, these students are strictly selected from primary and middle schools based on their knowledge of the Great Wall as well as their eloquence and stage performance. Successful candidates are recruited as local guides in their spare time.

The number of students who have participated in this program has increased to more than 60 from 37 in 2016.

Shanhaiguan Pass is one of the major passes of the Great Wall. In 1961, the pass was selected as a national cultural site. It is a popular tourist destination at the eastern terminal point of the Ming Dynasty Great Wall, where the wall meets the sea.

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