Mon, Oct 15, 2012 - Page 11 News List

National Day in Tainan veterans’ villages losing pep
台南南眷村漸冷卻 國慶旗海 今非昔比

Residents hold flags and cheer during a National Day parade in Greater Tainan’s Tainan New Police Village in Yongkang District on Oct. 10.
台南市永康區精忠新城住戶十月十日為國慶日拿著國旗喊口號辦遊行。

photo: Meng Ching-tzu, Liberty Times
照片:自由時報記者孟慶慈

The festive mood of Taiwan’s Double Ten National Day has gradually become less mirthful than it used to be, and most people are rather indifferent about the celebration on the whole. But residents in Yongkang District’s veterans’ village — Tainan New Police Village — in Greater Tainan still held a parade this year. “I didn’t think I would be so moved this year by people hanging up national flags and having a parade,” an older village resident surnamed Cheng said, adding that she is happy to be able to chat with old neighbors because it makes it feel more like National Day.

On the other hand, some veterans’ villages like the Changrong Community were completely desolate. Old veterans have passed away, the overall environment has changed, the economy is in a slump, and young people are busy working hard, so it is to be expected that National Day would become less festive. In the past around half of all the homes along section five of Changrong Road would have national flags hanging outside, making it look like a sea of flags. This year, however, flags were scattered and sparse.

During the flag-flying event that was held in Tainan’s New Police Village in Yongkang District’s Chengkung Borough on the morning of Oct. 10, between 300 and 400 flags were hanging in the courtyard and around the community. Those participating in the parade also carried around a hundred flags, representing the National Day scenes of yore. Veterans’ village residents were moved and filled with emotion. In the Changrong Community in northern Greater Tainan, which has been rebuilt, always had flags hanging all over its courtyard in the community, but the number of residents hanging flags there has gradually decreased.

Many of the residents in Tainan New Police Village were residents of the original Number Two Police Village who moved into the current new big building starting three years ago. Chin Kuan-hung, the borough chief, says this year was the first year a National Day event was held there since the new building was erected, fostering camaraderie among veterans’ village residents.

More than 100 veterans’ village residents took part in the parade around the community. Prior to departure, everyone was yelling excitedly, “Go Taiwan, Taiwan is Great.” A mother surnamed Lin, 61, said that she is Taiwanese and moved to the veterans’ village after getting married, adding that it never occurred to her that she would be living there for several decades. The residents in the village feel like one big family, but they see each other a lot less now living in the big building, and do not get to interact with each other as much as before, she says.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

雙十國慶的氣氛愈來愈淡,大部分人冷漠以待,在台南市永康區精忠新城卻辦起遊行。「沒想到社區今年掛國旗、辦遊行,心裡有點激動」,鄭姓老眷戶開心地和眷村老鄰居聊天,直說這樣才比較像在過國慶日。

不過,一般眷村像在長榮社區都是冷冷清清的,住戶李新生說,老兵凋零,大環境改變、經濟不景氣,年輕一輩忙著為生活打拚,社區慶祝國慶日氣氛轉淡是預料中的事,以前社區面對長榮路五段的住家,約五成會掛國旗,遠遠望去一片旗海,今年則是掛得「零零落落」。

永康區成功里精忠新城十月十日上午舉行「旗海飄揚文化巡禮」活動,中庭及社區周遭掛上三、四百幅國旗,遊行隊伍也帶了一百多幅國旗上街,重現昔日國慶日的景象,眷戶們既感動又感慨;至於北區眷改長榮社區,近十年來每逢十月國慶,社區中庭仍掛上國旗,只是響應掛國旗的家戶愈來愈少。

精忠新城住戶很多都是原精忠二村的眷戶,三年前陸續搬入眷改大樓,也是眷改戶的里長金冠宏說,今年首次舉行國慶相關活動,凝聚眷戶的情誼。

約一百多名老眷戶遊行社區周圍,出發前大家呼口號「台灣加油,台灣讚!」神情興奮;六十一歲林媽媽說,她是台灣人,結婚才住眷村,沒想到一住三、四十年,眷戶間就像家人般,現在住大樓,大家反而少見面、互動也變少。

(自由時報記者孟慶慈)

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