Red Tourism: The Journey Begins
Beijing residents Li Duoli and Zhao Qilian have been friends for almost 80 years. They always speak Russian among themselves and call each other Tolik and Irina. They were born in Moscow and grew up at the legendary Ivanovo International Boarding School. Their parents were among China’s first communist revolutionaries, many of whom hid their children in the USSR in the 30s and 40s during the party’s darkest hours. Irina and Tolik arrived in China for the first time in 1950 when they were teenagers. They learned Chinese, got to know their parents, and started a new life in post-revolutionary China. But they never became regular Chinese people: their childhood friends and memories always bound them to their ‘second homeland.’
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