City businessman Luo Yusheng returns to his home village in North China for the funeral of his father, the village teacher. He finds his elderly mother insisting that all the traditional burial customs be observed, despite the fact that times have changed so much. Yusheng realizes that his mother's wishes must be respected. On the day of the funural more than one hundred of Changyu's former pupils turn up to carry the coffin - and none of them will accept payment. Before returning to the city, Yusheng symbolically honors his father's dearest wish: He spends one day teaching in the village school.