|Xue Hong introduces cultural relics to tourists. [China Women's News]|
A professor from a Wuhan-based university in central China's Hubei Province has served as a volunteer in the province's museum since 2010 to help more tourists learn about the history and culture displayed in the cultural relics.
Xue Hong, 43, is a professor at the College of Tourism and Hotel Management of Wuhan Business University.
Over the past nine years, she has rendered voluntary service totaling 2,000 hours and introduced the museum's information to over 10,000 tourists.
In the vast museum, even a rough introduction to the exhibition hall of Zenghouyi, who was a monarch of Zeng State in the Warring States (475BC-221BC) in Suizhou, Hubei, would take her about an hour.
In most cases, tourists often walk away if they find the introduction lasts too long, but that is not the case with Xue.
Even if there are just several people listening at the outset, she would normally ends up being surrounded by many people, who keep on listening intently after she begins the introduction.
On one occasion, Xue introduced the exhibition hall of Zenghouyi to a group of museum enthusiasts from all over the world from 9 a.m. to 12 at noon, winning high acclaim from the visitors.
"Even though I missed my lunch because of the introduction, I would not suspend my work. And this happens quite frequently to me," said Xue.
Her act has deep impacts on her students. So far, over 120 students from Xue's university have worked as voluntary guides in the museum.
Her daughter, who is seven years old, has become the youngest guide of the museum under her influence.
"Influenced by my mother, I also enjoy working as a commentator in the museum. With the increase of my academic tasks, I have less time to help in the museum, but I will continue to serve as a volunteer whenever I can," said her daughter.
In 2015, Xue was rated as one of the 'Top 10 Volunteers' by the Chinese Museums Association.
As a tourism teacher and one of the few senior tour guides in Hubei province, Xue hopes that she can serve the society with her knowledge. By looking up abundant historical materials about ancient Hubei, she has aspired to attract more tourists to learn about history and culture displayed in cultural relics in her own ways.
"Each time when I offer help as a tour guide to the museum, I would ask the visitor how much time they have for the museum tour, and whether it is the first time they visit the museum. In this way I can adjust the timing of my introduction in accordance with their specific conditions so as to better meet their needs," said Xue.
"Cultural relics cannot speak and archaeological knowledge is difficult to understand. I have tried my best to make my introduction clear and help tourists understand the connotation of cultural relics in the shortest time," Xue continued.
"Xue is the best museum guide I have ever met," said a tourist from central China's Henan Province who has long been interested in visiting museums.
Apart from adults, children from kindergartens and primary schools are often taken to visit the museum. According to their characteristics, Xue introduces the museum in the form of a story to attract their attention, and encourages them to raise questions, so as to help them gain a deep impression of the museum.
It is often said that if you want to learn about a city or a country, you should pay a visit to its museums.
It is easy for urban children to visit museums, but a dream for children in remote rural areas.
With this in mind, Xue launched the Mobile Museum project to help children learn more about history and acquire more knowledge. By bringing videos to rural schools with the aid of modern technologies, Xue is hoping that these children can also have an access to learn about the origin of mankind, the rise and fall of society, as well as the development of culture.
"Many people do not understand why I am willing to offer my voluntary service for free. For me, I can benefit a lot from what I'm doing, such as improving my eloquence and accumulating more knowledge. More importantly, I have a sense of happiness and fulfillment in working as a volunteer," said Xue.
(Source: China Women's News/Translated and edited by Women of China)
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