Jimei culture embraces 'Jiageng spirit'
Major efforts continue to strengthen, protect, preserve and nurture area's unique and diverse characteristics.
Jimei district of the southern coastal city of Xiamen has made great efforts to preserve and reinforce its cultural development, by building a solid infrastructure and framework around it.
One of six districts in the sub-provincial city, Jimei is home to many returned overseas Chinese and in turn its culture features a vast array of diversity.
One of the products of that diversity is the Jimei School Village, established by local businessman, philanthropist and community leader in 1913.
The village embodies what is known as "Jiageng spirit" which features a dedication to learning and self improvement.
Covering an area of over 200 hectares and with more than 20,000 students and teachers, the village has become a mecca for all things educational, from preschool all the way to university.
It has even become a tourist attraction for its memorial halls, libraries, theaters, exhibition halls, gymnasiums and unique architecture, mixing both Eastern and Western elements.
In 2016, the village was in the first list of Chinese architectural heritage of the 20th century, released by the Cultural Relics Academy of China and the Architectural Society of China.
"The 'Jiageng spirit' is the common value of Jimei and is a unique cultural element of the district," said Liu Xinhua, an associated professor at Xiamen University of Technology.
Liu has called on the district to develop the spirit into a cultural business card of Jimei. It should be promoted even more prominently in the local community.
One step that the district is taking in doing this is by leveraging its stock of talented professionals and education resources and applying them in community services.
In July last year, the district set up the first provincial volunteer service station in Fujian to provide free training across a range of skills for residents.
In April, a service team made up of volunteers from China's Taiwan opened in Jimei.
The district's volunteer services have spread to community colleges, to provide helpful services and classes on local culture and history for residents to participate in culture activities as well as to acquire knowledge.
In 2016, the Jimei district government expanded the colleges' functions to include social work. To date, there are five social work services institutions cooperating with the 20 community colleges and one service center in the district to help and guide how colleges manage their construction projects.
Data from the community colleges showed that they have established 2,777 courses, with 610 teachers, 23,067 students and 1,325 members of volunteer teams.
Apart from cultural development, the district's environment and infrastructure have also been a focus of Jimei in recent years. From January to June, Jimei district's air quality index was 3.1, ranking top in the city.
In 2016, the district government increased its efforts to create what the central government has proposed as an ecological civilization - a society that protects, nurtures and values the environment. Jimei's village sewage treatment project was awarded as a model example in China.
In terms of infrastructure construction, Jimei district has continued in its efforts to build the main expressway, which crosses downtown and the district, as well as improve the construction of the main areas in Jimei New City.
In December, line 1 of Xiamen's metro was completed. It runs 30.3 kilometers long, with 25.6 km underground, 1.9 km above ground and 2.8 km elevated. It runs through the districts of Siming, Huli and Jimei, and past Jimei New City and Xiamen North Railway Station.
Jimei is also accelerating the development of its modernized industrial system to build an industrial chain incorporating items such as software and information service, cultural creativity and tourism, modern logistics, modern agriculture and new materials.