A team of members of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) went on a field trip to North China's Hebei province from Oct 10 to 12 to learn about public cultural services in rural areas.
The team surveyed the construction of Hebei's rural public cultural service system and held a symposium with officials from the provincial government and other related departments, looking into problems and trying to work out solutions to better serve the province's vast rural population.
As Hebei has already established a provincial feedback mechanism that aims to solicit demands, provide services and evaluate feedbacks for its public cultural services, the survey team suggested striking a balance between supply and demand. "The public service system also requires supply-side structural reform," said Ma Zhongping, a member of the CPPCC National Committee and deputy chairman of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Affairs under the CPPCC National Committee.
Xia Yanjun, vice-governor of Hebei province, introduced the rural public cultural services, noting that the project has been among Hebei's top 20 projects that benefit the public for three consecutive years.
In Hebei, each of its 48,061 administrative villages has a comprehensive cultural service center and all of the province's county-level libraries and cultural centers and 1,989 township-level comprehensive cultural stations are open to the public free of charge, said Xia.
Local governments often provide mobile stages, library carts, and cultural carts to communities and villages, and encourage art troupes in the province to stage performances in rural areas, he added.
Xia noted that the province is also working on three major digital projects including sharing of cultural information sources, promotion of digital libraries, and construction of satellite digital farmhouse bookstores, in a bid to form a digital cultural service network covering provincial, municipal, county, township and village levels.
How to bring more and better movies to the rural areas was another issue under discussion at the symposium. The province has organized more than 2,000 projection teams to screen about 2.37 million films, and has trained 3,000 qualified movie projectionists in the rural areas, said Wang Zhenru, an official from the province's publicity department.
As an important part of the province's rural public cultural services, Hebei has built 49,214 farmhouse bookstores covering all the administrative villages of the province.
The province demands that each farmhouse bookstore should add at least 60 types of new books each year, which has been realized according to the financial assessment results, said Ma Xue, deputy director of the Hebei Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism.
Ding Guijie, a member of the CPPCC National Committee, suggested encouraging farmers to read more to make them more knowledgeable. Books for kids' education and practical agricultural technologies have been the most popular among the borrowers from the farmhouse bookstore, according to Liang Fei, an official of the Hebei Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism.
The province has also organized a variety of cultural activities including harvest ceremonies, and beautiful villages-themed photo exhibitions to boost public cultural services in rural areas. CPPCC National Committee member Song Jianchao suggested integrating new elements into traditional Chinese festivals like the Spring Festival and Mid-Autumn Festival to carry on old traditions of the rural cultures.
The symposium also discussed other issues such as safeguarding organizational policies, carrying on intangible cultural heritages, building a radio and TV system and expanding talent teams.
After the symposium, the survey team went on a field trip to the rural areas in Shijiazhuang, the provincial capital city, Baoding and Qinhuangdao.
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