hile it’s been 56 years since Mao Zedong first urged the Chinese people to “learn from Lei Feng,” some are continuing to follow this dictate, including now Colonel Sanders.
A “Lei Feng spirit” themed KFC has been launched in the Hunan capital of Changsha. The walls of the restaurant are covered with images and quotations from the city’s native son who became a national symbol of selflessness following his accidental death by telephone pole in 1962.
Nowadays, most scholars believe that the many tales of the iconic PLA soldier’s altruism were principally fabrications invented for propagandistic purposes. Though he may now seem like a relic of the past, the Communist Party continues to preserve his memory by celebrating “Lei Feng Day” each March 5th, an occasion when young people are tasked with doing good deeds for the community and, apparently, when new advertising schemes are launched.
“Lei Feng has been the role model for generations of Chinese. As the KFC (outlet) in his hometown, we will spare no effort to promote his spirit,” He Min, general manager for KFC’s Hunan region, was quoted as saying in a report from Xinhua about the launch of the Lei Feng location.
He added that the Lei Feng spirit will not merely be contained to just one restaurant and will be promoted at the chain’s more than 250 other outlets across Hunan province.
Because of its American origin, KFCs have occasionally been targeted in the past for patriotic protests by Chinese nationalists, however, it’s now hard to imagine the Middle Kingdom without Kendeji. Who knows, maybe someday Comrade Lei’s face will replace the Colonel’s.
[Images via voc.com.cn]