The story appears on

Page A13

March 5, 2012

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Feature

Old superhero lacks the punch

THOUGH soldier Lei Feng was a role model to many older people, young people today are less impressed by his relentlessly good-hearted deeds.

More than 70 percent of university students don't know the date (March 5) of Lei Feng Day, according to a survey released by Fudan University on February 29. More than 500 students citywide were interviewed by Fudan's Media and Public Opinion Research Center.

The majority said they knew about Lei, but only 10 percent said they were very familiar with his stories. The majority of students saw no contradiction between living in a market economy and learning from Lei.

More than half of the respondents said that if they saw an elderly person fall, they would immediately help them up. (Many people today refuse to be Good Samaritans, lest the person they help sue them for causing injury.). Around 34 percent of respondents said they would first find a witness to prove their innocence - and then help.

Extortion by victims has dampened the Lei Feng Spirit, researchers said.

Cecilia Li, a professional (not in the survey), said her thoughts of Lei come from primary school when students watched Lei Feng movies and did volunteer work, like washing streets and cleaning windows, every March 5.

Li and others were taught that Lei never wanted praise, so he never gave his name. "I wondered how he became so famous if he never told others who he was," she said. Today some people say that if he were alive today, Lei would be a microblogger.

Lei was also called, tongue in cheek, the Chinese counterpart of comic book heroes Superman and Batman, except that he couldn't fly.

"No matter whether Lei's stories are exaggerated, 'Learn from Lei Feng Day' has become a celebration of the volunteer spirit," says office worker Edward Dai.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend