Addicts turn to violins
Violin lessons have been of great benefit in the rehabilitation of 40 drug abusers over the past six months, the Taichung Drug Abuse Treatment Center said. Center director Chou Hui-huang (周輝煌) said the violin class was first offered last July. Under the guidance of violinist Wu Wen-tung (吳文棟), a former conductor of the Chi Mei Mandolin Orchestra, 20 drug abusers attended a three-hour class every week and learned the basics of the instrument in three months. They performed in a concert at the end of the program and the overwhelming public response to the program prompted the center to invite the teacher to conduct a second class, taking on 20 more addicts. Chou said the addicts built new value systems and found the strength to fight addiction. He said the center would continue with its violin rehabilitation program.
Cycling pilgrimage planned
A second cycling activity along a traditional religious pilgrimage route in central Taiwan will be organized later this month in the hope of “rolling out blessings” for the country, Sports Affairs Council Vice Minister Lin Kuo-tung (林國棟) said. Lin said he hoped the number of participants would break the world record set last year, when more than 2,150 cyclists rode together for 3.2km. This year, after assembling in Tachia Township (大甲) in Taichung County on the morning of Feb. 21, the participants will ride 130km past three temples in one day. The cyclists will go along part of the 280km route that followers of Matzu (媽祖), the Chinese goddess of the sea, usually take to accompany her statue to Hsinkang Township (新港) in Chiayi County in a prominent religious tradition. A less strenuous 20km route will be open to families and other less ambitious cyclists, the council said.