Foreign uncle volunteers as ‘Xicheng Dama’

2018-04-19 14:00 千龙网

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Gao Tianrui pinpoints Suzhou, the city where he has been to on a sketch map of Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal pointed on a wall on April 8, 2018. [Photo by Luo Xiaoguang/Xinhua]

Gao Tianrui pinpoints Suzhou, the city where he has been to on a sketch map of Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal painted on a wall on April 8, 2018. [Photo by Luo Xiaoguang/Xinhua]

A red jacket, a red armband and a red cap are the standard set wearing of Terry Crossman, a foreign uncle, when he strolls around the Shichashai area. Dressing in the same style are more than 70,000 locals in the 50.7-square-kilometer administrative area of Xicheng district. They share a common identity--Security Volunteer, or a nickname-- “Xicheng Dama”.

“Xicheng Dama” are volunteers, usually women in late middle-age from 58- 65, who roam the streets of downtown Beijing's Xicheng district. In fact, females only account for 70 percent of “Xicheng Dama”population. Terry Crossman from across the ocean now serves as a volunteer at the Lotus Market of Shichahai.

Gao Tianrui is his Chinese name. The 63-year-old is a native American, but has lived in Beijing for 23 years. Two years ago, he settled his family down in a hutong around Xicheng’s Shichahai. In 2017, he became widely known because he starred in Xicheng Dama, a publicizing video produced by the Shichahai subdistrict of Xicheng. After that, he volunteered to serve as a genuine “Xicheng Dama”.

Shichahai area where scenic spots gathered is visited by tourists from home and abroad whose inquiries are multifarious, but way directing is the most frequent services Gao Tianrui offers. “How can I get to the Prince Gong Mansion? ”“How to get to the Beihai Park”“Where is the nearest restroom?”. He has to response to the same questions for numerous times every day, but every time Gao who speaks both Mandarin and Cantonese gives back his answers with passion instead of complains.

Taking advantage of his multi-language ability and for the sake of international tourists, Gao posts frequently used information on neighboring scenic spots in English on the volunteer kiosk he serves at , and has them updated aperiodically. On a hutong’s wall not far from Gao’s home, there is a publicity poster of the Security Volunteer. Gao said with a little pride, he helped to translate the English signs of the volunteer kiosk on the poster.

Every time when he goes off duty from the volunteer kiosk, Gao Tianrui chooses to stroll along the Shichahai Lake and have little talks with his neighbors; or looks around at the place where African drum amateurs practice their skills. He will snap a shot when he encounters something he likes. A mist covered Shichahai, golden ginkgo trees, Chinese complexes, elderly who are playing Chinese chess are all he prefers to take a shot, and are also the reasons he has greater passion for Beijing and the motivation he continues his dream of being a“Xicheng Dama”.

Every time when he goes off duty from the volunteer kiosk, Gao Tianrui chooses to stroll along the Shichahai Lake. [Photo by Luo Xiaoguan/Xinhua]

Every time when he goes off duty from the volunteer kiosk, Gao Tianrui chooses to stroll along the Shichahai Lake. [Photo by Luo Xiaoguan/Xinhua]

Gao Tianrui(second right) shows tourists ways at Shichahai, on April 8. [Photo by Luo Xiaoguang/Xinhua]

Gao Tianrui(second right) shows tourists ways at Shichahai, on April 8. [Photo by Luo Xiaoguang/Xinhua]

Gao Tianrui (right) translates touring signs on April 8. [Photo by Luo Xiaoguang/Xinhua]

Gao Tianrui (right) translates touring signs on April 8. [Photo by Luo Xiaoguang/Xinhua]

Gao Tianrui watches African drum practice on April 8. [Photo by Luo Xiaoguang/Xinhua]

Gao Tianrui watches African drum practice on April 8. [Photo by Luo Xiaoguang/Xinhua]

Gao Tianrui double checks the English information he writes on April 8. [Photo by Luo Xiaoguang/Xinhua]

Gao Tianrui double checks the English information he writes on April 8. [Photo by Luo Xiaoguang/Xinhua]

Every time when he goes off duty from the volunteer kiosk, Gao Tianrui chooses to stroll along the Shichahai Lake. [Photo by Luo Xiaoguan/Xinhua]

Every time when he goes off duty from the volunteer kiosk, Gao Tianrui chooses to stroll along the Shichahai Lake. [Photo by Luo Xiaoguan/Xinhua]

Gao Tianrui (right) translates touring signs when his fellow and master, Liu Xiaoxia makes some supplements on April 8. [Photo by Luo Xiaoguang/Xinhua]

Gao Tianrui (right) translates touring signs when his fellow and master, Liu Xiaoxia makes some supplements on April 8. [Photo by Luo Xiaoguang/Xinhua]

Gao Tianrui is on duty at a volunteer kiosk on April 8. [Photo by Luo Xiaoguang/Xinhua]

Gao Tianrui is on duty at a volunteer kiosk on April 8. [Photo by Luo Xiaoguang/Xinhua]

Gao Tianrui (right) talks with two tourists on April 8.  [Photo by Luo Xiaoguang/Xinhua]

Gao Tianrui (right) talks with two tourists on April 8. [Photo by Luo Xiaoguang/Xinhua]

Every time before he is on duty, Gao Tianrui fetches a thermos of hot water nearby for the convenience of the tourists. [Photo by Luo Xiaoguang/Xinhua]

Every time before he is on duty, Gao Tianrui fetches a thermos of hot water nearby for the convenience of the tourists. [Photo by Luo Xiaoguang/Xinhua]

Gao Tianrui shows a photo of Shichahai’s rainy day he shot. [Photo by Luo Xiaoguang/Xinhua]

Gao Tianrui shows a photo of Shichahai’s rainy day he shot. [Photo by Luo Xiaoguang/Xinhua]

Gao Tianrui walks in a neighboring hutong during his way home on April 8. [Photo by Luo Xiaoguang/Xinhua]

Gao Tianrui walks in a neighboring hutong during his way home on April 8. [Photo by Luo Xiaoguang/Xinhua]

Gao Tianrui is on duty at a volunteer kiosk on April 8. [Photo by Luo Xiaoguang/Xinhua]

Gao Tianrui is on duty at a volunteer kiosk on April 8. [Photo by Luo Xiaoguang/Xinhua]

Gao Tianrui shows an armband that reads“Fire hazard troubleshooter”on April 8. [Photo by Luo Xiaoguang/Xinhua]

Gao Tianrui shows an armband that reads“Fire hazard troubleshooter”on April 8. [Photo by Luo Xiaoguang/Xinhua]

A tourist takes selfie with Gao Tianrui who is widely known via Internet on April 8. [Photo by Luo Xiaoguang/Xinhua]

A tourist takes selfie with Gao Tianrui who is widely known via Internet on April 8. [Photo by Luo Xiaoguang/Xinhua]

Gao Tianrui sits on a bench at the balcony of his home on April 8. He said a house as such is “jie di qi( down to earth)”. [Photo by Luo Xiaoguang/Xinhua]

Gao Tianrui sits on a bench at the balcony of his home on April 8. He said a house as such is “jie di qi( down to earth)”. [Photo by Luo Xiaoguang/Xinhua]

责任编辑:Sun Chi(QN0019)

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