“Neighbourhood unit is not simply a living unit but a family. As the eldest daughter-in-law of a large family usually cares much about the management and harmony of her family, heads of neighbourhood units are concerned much about big and small things in their neighbourhood units to bring happiness to families,” said Hong Kum Chol, vice-chairman of the Pyongyang Municipal People’s Committee.
Residents feel the true heart of the eldest daughter-in-law in the glances full of affection and steps of the heads of neighbourhood units who look after the life and housekeeping of the residents.
Kim Tal Mi, head of neighbourhood unit No. 31, Chongnyu-dong No. 2 of Taedonggang District, Pyongyang, is one of them.
“It is not yet four years since she started working as head of the neighbourhood unit. But in our neighbourhood unit all residents, old and young, and even officials living in it respect her, saying hello to her first,” said Choe Hye Jong, a resident of the neighbourhood unit.
All are harmonious in the neighbourhood unit, regarding its affairs as their own and pooling efforts to deal with them. Residents say it is ascribable to the devotion and efforts of its head.
When Kim began to work as its head, the residents expressed doubt about her.
Because they wondered whether a young woman with a baby could play the role of head of the neighbourhood unit.
However, their thought began to change as they saw her work hard for harmony and unity of the neighbourhood unit and to solve the problems in its families, though little, and today all of its residents form a large harmonious family.
Harmony of the neighbourhood unit leads to that of society and head of the neighbourhood unit is a gardener who cultivates the harmony, she thought.
“Mass sporting activities are very popular in society, giving it a new lease of life. Sports games are good occasions for creating harmony of the neighbourhood unit,” says Kim.
She organizes volleyball and amusement games on Sundays and holidays, by dividing families into two teams by even and uneven numbers of flats or floors.
Resident were hesitant at first, but now they take an active part in them, encouraged by the resounding cheers at the games.
“Many families of the neighbourhood unit did not know each other because they were busy with their work. But they made their acquaintances with each other and exhibited the strength of unity through the games, finally becoming a family whose members help and lead one another forward,” said Kim Song Chol, another resident.
And he told a story.
On the morning of New Year’s Day two years ago, greeting cards with different contents were hung on the doors of apartments on every floor.
Seeing them which reminded viewers of the faces of residents on the same floor and which reflected the warm wishes for good health and happiness of all, the residents could know that they were prepared by the head of the neighbourhood unit all night and were very impressed.
Children like her most in the neighbourhood unit.
Kim loves children very much. She tidies up the dressing of children coming in and out of the entrance, asks them about their school performance and ensures they observe sound morality to the seniors.
“Whenever she knocked at the door during the top-level emergency anti-epidemic campaign last year, we enjoyed benefits from state policies one after another. Seeing the head of our neighbourhood unit visiting families several times a day to look after them, we keenly felt the benevolence of the country and gratitude to our system which regard and take care of the people as Heaven,” recalled Ri Kwang Bok, an old resident of the neighbourhood unit.
Today, residents of the neighbourhood unit visit her home at any time. Because it has become a routine for them to share good and bad with the head of the neighbourhood unit.