Fervent Mao Zedong fan collects 20,000 souvenir items over 50 years
A 65-year-old Fujian village doctor, who has admired Mao Zedong since he was 15, still spends two hours a day studying Mao's writings - a ritual he considers the “highlight” of his day, reports the Straits Times.
In fact, reading Mao was so important to Huang Jinquan that he flew to Beijing in May just to buy a book called Mao Zedong’s Quotes compiled by the former Communist Party leader’s granddaughter.
“Mao’s sayings have inspired me and helped me through hard times,” Huang said, citing famous slogans like “Get ample food and clothing by working with your own hands,” and “10,000 years are too long - seize the day.”
Huang also collects Mao souvenirs including pin badges, photos, and statues. Years of collecting them has amounted to nearly 20,000 items which have taken up a whole room of his apartment. He had borrowed 5,000 yuan (HK$6,335) in the 1980s to buy a Mao statue, while earning a meagre income of only 10 yuan a month. It took Huang 10 years to pay back the loan, he said.
Speaking of plans to pass down his Mao collection to his children, Huang said, “it’s better than inheriting money.”
The news emerged after a leading liberal website in China was forced to scrap a “writing competition” to encourage first-person confessions from former Cultural Revolution Red Guards after pressure from the authorities.
The Cultural Revolution, an era of great political and social upheaval in China, was started by Mao Zedong in 1966. It ended after his death a decade later, but remains a very sensitive subject in China.