Promoting Regeneration of Rural Villages
Promoting Regeneration of Rural Villages
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Touching Rural Villages
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Tainan City Qifu District Longshan Community
 they are energetic in waving these about
they are energetic in waving these about

     In the afternoon community women at the Longshan Fisherman Activity Center hold fans and large scarlet scarves; they are energetic in waving these about. Turning their bodies, two women face each other and practically collide. Afterward they look at each other and laugh. “You turned the wrong way,” one exclaims, “you were supposed to turn right.” The elderly ladies perform this dance, which is called “che gu zhen,” several times before finishing. They do not pay particular mind and are very boisterous, on occasions even arguing. They seem like little girls in a kindergarten. From the outside of the activity center it is possible to hear the sounds of giggling and laughter. These sounds can be heard in every corner of the village.

     “Don’t look at how we are dancing now. In June this year we won a silver medal” says the class leader Huang Aman, who proudly displays the medal. The women who took the role of the female in the photograph had a beard drawn on her face and one who played the role of the man has put on rouge and lipstick. They have as much creativity as the young. No doubt they stood out at the National Elderly Men and Women’s Health Activity Awards. The age of the dance class members starts at 50, and the thing that gives them the most difficulty is they often forget what they have learned right after class. In class, most of the time is spent correcting particular moves. While their progress might be slow, they all become more vigorous the longer they dance, and also have the opportunity to exercise and lose weight. Through their struggles on the stage in the performance of these traditional folk dances, they are passing forward a heritage.

     On days when they do not practice dancing, the elderly women of Longshan are also busy and are all gathered in the activity center, where they converse and make handicrafts. Some of them use a hot glue gun to attach lace and make an exquisite candy box, while others perforate oyster shells and tie them together with a string in making interesting oyster shell clogs, or attaching the shells to mittens to turn them into black-faced spoon bills. The piles of oyster shells in the village’s corners have become the best arrangement material, and one oyster house covered completely in oyster shells has been born. The house’s wall is covered with a picture made from oyster shells, and a string of oyster shells make a wind chime which makes a sound when the wind blows through them. The village also found a way to cultivate oysters on dry land. An oyster shed was erected to help children and visitors to understand how oysters grow.

     The development of the Longshan Community has been like the process of a small tree growing. Through the residents’ efforts, it has become a gigantic robust tree. Because of its uniquely rich fishing industry resources, the village does not have the same economic worries other rural villages do and the people have nothing to be anxious about. For this reason, they can devote themselves to creating a happy and joyous world for themselves. This is a hometown cherished and respected by its residents.