left corner left corner
China Daily Website  

Charming dance of elderly

Updated: 2014-08-13 07:41
( China Daily)

Watching elderly people perform square dancing is an absolutely wonderful experience. In Beijing, you can see senior citizens, many of them couples, practicing all sorts of dance forms in public places. In a city where relationships last 10 minutes and few people care about anything but themselves and their cell phones, these loving couples who have been together for 30 or even 50 years are a lesson in contrast.

While cutting through Tuanjiehu Park one evening last summer, I saw hundreds of couples scattered across the park, in large groups, small groups and every pairing possible. They were performing Chinese dance, Latin American dance, 1950s-style sock hop, Country Line Dance and even the fox trot ... literally everything. In another part of the park, people were analyzing the music on the "song sheets" distributed by someone while others were just "singing".

Some of the groups had decorated their "backgrounds" with works of calligraphy - and poems were being recited. There was even an English corner. I stopped to watch for a while, but I wish I had spent more time there to really appreciate these people.

The history of Asia really lives in human stories. I envy the dancers for their longevity, their commitment to their partners and their tenacity. Years after I leave China, such scenes will bring back the fondest memories of my stay in this wonderful city.

ANDREW PKU, from China Daily forum

Readers' comments are welcome. Please send your e-mail to opinion@chinadaily.com.cn or letters@chinadaily.com.cn or to the individual columnists. China Daily reserves the right to edit all letters. Thank you.

(China Daily 08/13/2014 page9)

  • Group a building block for Africa

    An unusually heavy downpour hit Durban for two days before the BRICS summit's debut on African soil, but interest for a better platform for emerging markets were still sparked at the summit.