JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2021, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (7): 1684-1699.doi: 10.31497/zrzyxb.20210705

• Special Feature on "Innovation and Development of Red Tourism Resources of China" • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Red scarf children's cognition of red tourism resources and patriotism: Evidence from Yuhuatai Revolutionary Martyrs Memorial Area in Nanjing

ZHONG Shi-en(), LU Wen-bin, PENG Hong-song(), DAI Shu-qi   

  1. School of Business Administration, Nanjing University of Finance and Economics, Nanjing 210046, China
  • Received:2021-02-16 Revised:2021-04-09 Online:2021-07-28 Published:2021-09-28
  • Contact: PENG Hong-song;


This study illustrates how China uses red tourism to strengthen patriotic education among its children. Taking the Yuhuatai Revolutionary Martyrs Memorial Area in Nanjing (hereinafter referred to as Yuhuatai) as the research case, this study integrates multiple methods, including structured Motherese interview to allow children to speak for themselves, unstructured in-depth interviews, field survey, and second-hand data collection, etc., to interpret whether there is likely another reality in the children's understandings of red tourism resources and patriotism. This study aims to demonstrate why and how patriotic education should start from childhood. The results illustrate that: (1) In children's eyes, compared with other types of tourism activities, red tourism is equivalent to patriotic tourism, with special significances given to visiting solemn places and to commemorating revolutionary martyrs. The particularity of red tourism is also reflected in the on-site activities and ceremonies. In children's eyes, Yuhuatai is not a play place for fun and freedom, but a beautiful landscape space, a real and sacred historical space, and a learning space of spirits. "Sacred, solemn, and beautiful" are the three recurring concepts that the children most used to describe Yuhuatai. They thought Yuhuatai has great significance for their learning and growth. Yuhuatai is a sacred space to clarify the meaning of the red scarf and the mission of CYP (China Young Pioneers) members. Obviously, red tourism has become an affectionate tie to China and the Chinese people, as well as among Chinese children. (2) In general, they treat patriotism as a lofty ideal, and the pureness of their patriotism reflects that patriotism can be evoked and learned deeply through tourism practices, especially at the beginning stage of life. In children's eyes, patriotism is a compound of bearing in mind of the martyrs' spirit, shaping national identity, and inheriting the martyrs' spirit. Patriotism can be started with small and simple daily things. They can practice patriotism and do their best through the following means, such as, studying harder, loving life, protecting the environment, and respecting the elderly. In recent years, Yuhuatai has launched a variety of means to promote patriotic education among children, including childlike narration around several martyrs' learning and growth stories for children visitors, recruitment of children narrators to exercise their comprehensive abilities and to incorporate them to participate in the publicity of "red heritage faith", colorful summer camp activities to promote patriotic education in the name of edutainment, co-construction of ideological and political curriculum with primary and secondary schools in Nanjing, and ceremonial education around specific occasions. The practice of Yuhuatai has important enlightenment for how to innovate the ways of promoting patriotic education among children for red tourist areas, especially for museums and memorial halls.

Key words: children's tourism, red tourism resources, patriotism, Motherese interview, Yuhuatai Revolutionary Martyrs Memorial Area