Exploring childhood fun whatever your age 記得當時年紀小 古今童玩隨你玩

Thu, Aug 16, 2012 - Page 11

Can you remember which toys you had, and which games you played in your childhood? Toys and games change from generation to generation. Once predominantly handmade, toys are now mostly commercially-made products with sophisticated packaging. With the ubiquity of information technology and the burgeoning computer games industry, children’s “toys” in Taiwan nowadays have become more and more dominated by electronics technology. With the Cultural Affairs Bureau of Hsinchu County Government’s “Open Door, Open Mind Toys Exhibition” at the Hsinchu County Archive, adults can take a trip down memory lane, and children can see for themselves the kinds of toys their parents, and perhaps even their grandparents, used to play with. The exhibition is already underway and will run through the end of September. Admission is free, and people are welcome to come to the exhibition to indulge in the wonderful, laughter-filled world of toys.

The exhibition is organized into five themes — “Taiwanese toys” (aka “Hokkien toys”), “Hakka toys,” “Aboriginal toys,” “puzzle games,” and “modern toys” — with examples of toys for each theme. Toys in Taiwan have gone through major changes over the last century. In the agricultural period, most were made from natural materials, such as from trees, from the soil, from crop fields, or from creeks. For example, tree branches were used to make spinning tops and catapults; longan fruit seeds were used as marbles; and stones, leaves, and flower petals were put to use in “playing house.”

By the industrial period, the toy industry was thriving and children in this period had an increasing variety of toys to choose from. There were still the spinning tops, round menko cards printed with anime characters, marbles, bamboo dragonflies, and shuttlecocks (jianzi) from the agricultural period — although now made commercially, so they were more sophisticated and durable — and also building blocks, toy cars, handheld video games, and the “Holy Warrior” from the anime series Voltron that was very popular at the time. In today’s high-tech world, online games have gradually taken over as the main entertainment for children.

As the exhibition is held in Hsinchu County, which has the highest Hakka population density, Hakka toys and children’s songs are also on display. Generally speaking, Hakka toys were made of materials obtained from local sources, such as bamboo, wood, plastic, iron sheets, and plants, and were primarily made by children themselves. There were also other tribes living in villages in Hsinchu County besides the Hakka, including the Saisiat and the Atayal. Aboriginal children’s toys were mostly made from natural materials, such as bamboo: children would transform pieces of bamboo into catapults or toy guns in no time at all, according to the organizers. Peng Huai-i, a staffer in charge of the exhibition, told the Taipei Times on Monday that because of the scarcity of historical documents, it is difficult to clearly distinguish between Taiwanese, Hakka, and Aboriginal toys.

Last but not least, the exhibition also features science-inspired puzzle games, including slide puzzles, building blocks, board games, and metal ring-link puzzles. You can try these puzzles for yourself at the exhibition to hone your mental skills. All this playing around is hungry work. The good news is that the Hsinchu County Archive is located in the heart of the Kuang Ming Shopping District, teeming with Hakka and exotic restaurants catering to the tastes of gourmet foodies. Therefore, after a “toy tour,” people can embark on a “gourmet tour” and have their fill.

(Lin Ya-ti, Taipei Times)

還記得小時候喜歡玩什麼玩具或遊戲嗎?隨著時代變遷,陪伴不同世代台灣囝仔成長的玩具與遊戲,也從手工自製演變為包裝精美的商品化玩具;而隨著資訊科技普及與全球電子遊戲大廠蓬勃發展,台灣孩童的玩具,也日漸轉變為以電子科技玩具為主。為了讓大朋友重拾童年回憶,也讓小朋友認識體驗爸爸媽媽,甚至是阿公阿媽小時候的玩具,新竹縣政府文化局在縣史館舉辦「穿梭任意門—百樣童玩主題展」,即日起至九月底止,免費帶領民眾穿梭任意門,沈浸在充滿歡樂的童玩世界。

展覽分為「台灣童玩」、「客家童玩」、「原住民童玩」、「益智童玩」與「現代童玩」等主題,各別都有不同的童玩解說展示。台灣童玩走過一世紀,也經歷不同時期的重大演變。從農業時期玩具經常取自樹上、地上、田裡、溪邊的大自然材料,例如用樹枝做成的陀螺、彈弓,龍眼籽充當彈珠,以及小石頭、葉子、花瓣當成「扮家家酒」的材料。

到了工業時期,玩具產業蓬勃發展,孩子可選擇的玩具也愈趨多樣化,除了農業時期的陀螺、尪仔標、彈珠、竹蜻蜓、毽子等,在此時期玩具經商品化過程後,變得精緻而耐用外,還有積木、火柴盒小汽車、掌上型電動玩具以及當時流行的卡通主角聖戰士等,都是常見的玩具。如今高科技的發展,線上遊戲也逐漸成為孩童消遣的主流。

來到台灣客家人口密度最高的新竹縣看童玩展,當然少不了客家童玩與童謠展示。一般而言,客家童玩以就地取材,並自己動手做為主,例如日常生活中的竹子、木頭、塑膠、鐵皮以及植物最常見。除了客家族群外,新竹縣還有賽夏、泰雅等原住民。根據主辦單位的資料,從小與山林為伍的原住民兒童,玩的都是從大自然取材的童玩,隨處可見的竹片,都能在轉眼之間變成像是彈弓、竹槍等玩具。不過,展覽承辦人彭懷逸週一向《台北時報》表示,因史料取得有限,要細分台灣、客家或原住民童玩,並不容易。

最後,蘊涵了許多科學原理的益智童玩,包含滑板類、組木類、博奕類與巧環類,民眾可現場試玩,保持大腦最佳狀態。認真玩樂後,可能會感到飢腸轆轆,正巧縣史館座落在以客家與異國美食聞名的竹北光明商圈,童玩之旅後,不妨來趟美食之旅,祭五臟廟。

(台北時報記者林亞蒂)