TV drama celebrating CPC centennial spurs red tourism
Published: Jun 17, 2021 11:33 PM
TV series The Awakening Age Photos: Courtesy of Yang Yipei

TV series The Awakening Age Photos: Courtesy of Yang Yipei

Chinese TV drama The Awakening Age, which celebrates the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC), has spurred a trend of visiting related tourism spots, along with sales of cultural products connected to the drama.

The drama tells the story of how historical figures including Chen Duxiu, Li Dazhao and Lu Xun founded the CPC in 1921.

Zhang Wenjie, an employee of Beijing Lu Xun Museum and the New Culture Movement Memorial of Beijing, told the Global Times on Thursday that many cultural products are popular now, including bags, mobile phone cases and bookmarks with the words "Xin Qingnian," or "New Youth" in English, as well as a Chinese literary magazine founded by Chen Duxiu.

"Many viewers, including some tourists from Taiwan who watched The Awakening Age, came here and took a photo with the cultural products they bought in our souvenir shop for a memory," said Zhang. 

According to Zhang, the tourist volume is usually higher during national holidays, but in 2021 visitors are coming for a visit even during working days, including young people. 

An employee who wished to remain anonymous at Li Dazhao's house in Beijing told the Global Times on Thursday that although the site does not have a souvenir shop, many tourists have come to find out more about Li and the details about the history of the founding of the CPC.

"We have a limit of 250 visits per day due to the COVID-19 epidemic, and each day is fully booked," he said. 

According to a survey by Beijing News, 71.61 percent of the viewers of The Awakening Age are aged from 26-40, and 82.72 percent of viewers said that they would like to watch it twice as they consider it a classic that shows history in an honest way.

As of Thursday, The Awakening Age has earned 1.93 billion views on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo and won a high score of 9.3/10 on China's reviewing site Douban.

"It is very rare that a historical drama could achieve such high word-of-mouth praise, but even people like me who dislike historical dramas cannot help watching it from the beginning to the end," Ai Moqian, a 30-year-old fan based in Tianjin Municipality, told the Global Times on Thursday.

She added that the drama uses a well-accepted method to show how China finally found the right development path, a process that was tough and turbulent. Li Dazhao found the capitalist system did not fit China, through observation and communication with Chinese people. 

"After watching the drama, I could deeply feel how our party and country moved forward step by step, and I treasure our current happy life more," Ai said.

"The Awakening Age tells a good story and unlike some historical dramas, the characters are real. I think that's the reason why it is welcomed among young people," Zhong Lan, a 28-year-old woman living in Xi'an, Northeast China's Shannxi Province, told the Global Times on Thursday.