It’s hard to believe that a walking cane can make such sweet melodies, but for a decade now, the 86-year-old Chiu Kuo-chih has been using scissors to make hand-made flutes out of walking canes. He has already made over 40 of these unique instruments, and become known locally as an elderly offbeat flute maker.
Hua Pei, a flute teacher of twenty years, was quite surprised at the accurate intonation of his flutes. Hua, who studied music in France, was so moved when she heard the story of how much Chiu loves music that she decided to present him with a gold-plated silver flute which she had had and cherished for many years. Beside himself with joy, Chiu said the flute was by far the most valuable gift he has ever received and that he would like for her to become his teacher.
Growing up as a child there were many mouths to feed in the Chiu household. He was the sixth oldest out of 12 children. He received a Japanese education growing up during the Japanese era. After graduating from primary school, he started working as a child laborer. It was around this time that Chiu saw someone playing a flute and decided to make his own since his family was too poor to afford such luxuries.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
Chiu worked as a blacksmith and a knife whetter most of his life and never had any children of his own. After retiring he fell in love with hiking in the mountains. During his hikes he would pick up pieces of bamboo and add wooden handles to them to make walking canes for himself. The thought of having a flute to serenade people with whenever he rested during his hikes eventually inspired him to start making flutes out of his walking canes. Chiu is extremely fond of playing Taiwanese songs and Japanese nursery rhymes on his flutes. His fellow hikers seem to appreciate the novelty of his invention too. Chiu has already given away around a dozen of his walking cane flutes.
(LIBERTY TIMES, TRANSLATED BY TAIJING WU)
1. offbeat adj.
特異的 (te2 yi2 de5)
例: The teacher’s offbeat teaching style always kept her students from falling asleep during class.
2. inspire v.
給予靈感 (gei2 yu3 ling2 gan3)
例: After I heard him play, I was inspired to go home immediately after the concert to practice my cello.
3. novelty n.
新奇事物 (xin1 qi2 shi4 wu4)
例: It’s hard to imagine the novelty of the television when it was first invented nearly a century ago because of its ubiquity now.
Chinese automobile manufacturer Zotye Auto is a household name in China. The company is famous for manufacturing copies of car models by luxury international brands including Audi, Porsche and Lamborghini. After a long delay, on June 22, Zotye Auto finally released its 2019 year end financial results. The report revealed that last year, the automaker suffered losses of 11.2 billion yuan (approximately NT$46.6 billion), or an average of 30 million yuan per day. The company’s market value also shrank from 30 billion yuan to a mere 3.6 billion yuan. Even worse, because the company is unable to guarantee the authenticity,
Onions, with their sweet aroma, are a popular cooking ingredient, used in both Western and Eastern cuisines. Today, however, information is appearing online suggesting that onions should not be eaten with fish, shrimp, seaweed or honey, as these combinations cause kidney stones. But is there any truth to this? The Taiwan FactCheck Center asked dieticians and experts and confirmed that this information was false. Onion loving foodies everywhere can breathe a sigh of relief. According to information on certain social media platforms, onions should not be eaten together with fish, as the fish has a high protein content, and the oxalic
Pluto, a frigid little world inhabiting the solar system’s outer reaches, may have been born as a warmer place sheltering a subsurface ocean that still exists today, researchers said on Monday. An analysis of images of its surface taken in 2015 by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft and computer simulations of the dwarf planet’s interior led the researchers to propose a “hot start” scenario for Pluto’s formation some 4.5 billion years ago as the solar system, including Earth, took shape. “When Pluto was forming, new material would have been coming in and impacting its surface. Each impact is like an explosion that
North and South Korea on June 25 marked the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War with largely subdued commemorations amid the coronavirus pandemic, a day after the North abruptly halted a pressure campaign against the South. As well as pitting North against South, the Korean War embroiled each side’s communist and Western allies — with the Soviet Union and China backing Pyongyang, and a US-led coalition under a UN banner supporting Seoul. The conflict broke out on June 25, 1950, caused the deaths of up to three million Koreans (the vast majority of them civilians) and ended with