Photo: Storybook of Jiangning Memories debuts (by Reporter Xiao Mingliang)
(Text by Reporter Shi Danni) Storybook of Jiangning Memories strings the history of Jiangning Road Sub-district by pictures and text. Such a special book that collects the information of the constructions of historical value with pictures and photographs from the residents, edits the stories of Jiangning based on residents’ dictation and historical research was officially released several days ago. The first 6,000 books will be distributed to community residents and units.
On Apr. 19, Jiangning Road Sub-district hosted an event themed “Flowers Bloom All Year Round in Beautiful Jiangning ”, where Storybook of Jiangning Memories debuted. The online platform called “Deepest Love for Humane Jiangning” was also launched at the same time.
The “Old Residents” of Jiangning Dictates Jiangning Stories
Having 37 cultural relics including Taiping Garden, Former Residence of Nie Er at Changde Road and the former site of Educating Association of China, Jiangning Road Sub-district is of great historical value.
Opening the Storybook of Jiangning Memories, you can see that Xue Liyong, a well-known scholar, Jin Guangyao, a history professor at Fudan University, and Qin Zhihua, Director of Shanghai Lexicographical Publishing House all highly recommend it. As a resident of Hengde Lane in Jiangning Road Sub-district, Jin Guangyao recalled the stories about the lane and stories about Hede Road outside the lane he had heard from the old in his childhood.
The book is a fiction about a 107-year-old female who has been living in Jiangning Road Sub-district for a long time and her descendants, telling a story about what they personally experienced, saw and heard. Readers will have a deeper understanding of the history and culture of Jiangning after finish reading the book. For instance, they will know the history of the Sikhs Gurdwara, the Customs Library and the Ohel Rachel Synagogue.
The 107-year-old woman is not completely a virtual character, but a “combination” of the stories dictated by the old residents who have been living in the sub-district for a long time. Zhang Zhiyao, a 79-year-old resident who has been living in Hengde Lane for a long time, said: “I was born and grown up here, having lived in Hengde Lane for as long as 79 years, and thus I’m extremely familiar with everything in Jiangning Road Sub-district.”
Convert the “Past” of the Community to Our “Story”
A relevant official of the sub-district introduced to the reporter that the old constructions are living histories and touchable memories of the old days. The historical construction resource in Jiangning is abundant. There are outstanding historical constructions under protection and lots of trace of China’s revolution in Jiangning. The history and culture of great value are the signboard of Jiangning Community, carrying the spirit and pursuit of value of the city and showing the charm of the community. Storybook of Jiangning Memories is another meticulous work of the Jiangning Memories series, a humane brand project of the sub-district. When writing the book, the sub-district conducted over 50 symposiums and interviews with residents from 18 estates, made on-the-spot investigation for over 200 times, and collected 98 paintings and photographs from community residents, covering 32 old constructions and streets in the district so as to record the true condition of the historical constructions and the most sincere humane quality of Jiangning. The community tried its best to confirm the “old stories” that the old neighbors of the district experienced or passed down and to include them in the book. By stringing the old constructions together with the warm stories and using the stories to recall the common memories of the community, the community wins approval of its residents.
Online Platform Enables More Teenagers to Know More about the Historical Constructions
At present, there are 37 cultural constructions and 23 historical constructions under protection in Jiangning. How to pass down the cultural value of the historical constructions while protecting those precious resources is a difficulty in city management. Compared with rebuilding the constructions that have been damaged, it is more important to publicize the importance of protecting historical constructions and educate people to do so. In order to let more teenagers know more about the historical constructions and voluntarily become protectors of historical resources, Jiangning Road Sub-district made and launched an online platform called “Deepest Love for Humane Jiangning”
The platform introduced the trendy “QR code” into itself, enabling the “passers-by” to acquire graphic and textual information about the historical constructions while enabling the visitors to leave their footprints in those places, to know how many landmarks they have visited, and even to “improve their rankings with great effort” through interactive functions including “My Card” and “Memory Points Ranking”. It is learned that not only does the online product enable more youngsters to get closer to the history around, but also it gives the community residents a stronger sense of belonging by creating a culture.