Red Tourism Series

Red Tourism: The Journey Begins. Children of Chinese revolutionaries share the secret of their past

Hidden away in the USSR during China’s communist revolution, these children of China’s first communist revolutionaries were raised in a special Soviet boarding School. Now, they return to their second ‘homeland.’ Beijing residents Li Duoli and Zhao Tsilian have been friends for almost 80 years.

Unusually, they always speak Russian between themselves and call each other Tolya and Ira. These children of Chinese revolutionaries grew up, as Soviet children with false Russian names at the legendary Ivanovo International Boarding School.

Their classmates were the only family they knew. Arriving in China after the World War II ended, they couldn’t speak their native language and barely even knew their parents. More than 70 years on, these senior citizens feel and sound more Russian than Chinese. They are still in touch with old friends and have always longed to return to the place they remember fondly from childhood and now, at last, they can.