Beginning in the 1950s, the Chinese Communist Party had encouraged youths to move from the city to the countryside to establish farms and to resolve employment shortages in the cities. However, in 1969, huge numbers of high-school aged youths from cities were sent to the countryside, often to remote corners of China, in order to learn from peasants. Although billeted as part of their “re-education,” the Party’s true intent was to defuse the fanaticism of the Red Guard movement. This vase depicts sent down youths happily working the fields amongst the peasants, as the postman brings them news from the outside world. In spite of the optimistic nature of this scene, many “sent-down” or “re-educated” youths faced harsh conditions while laboring in the countryside and were denied crucial educational opportunities.