Thu, Aug 20, 2015 - Page 5 News List

Temple tries to appeal to young people

By Wang Chieh and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Young people pose with a specially-made street cart near the Fengshen Temple in Tainan on Saturday last week. The cart was designed to promote items by local groups in Tainan.

Photo: Wang Chieh, Taipei Times

Fengshen Temple’s (風神廟) management commission and other local organizations in Tainan are to hold a series of events for young people aimed at developing a sustainable management system for the temple.

The commission said that the temple, in West Central District (中西), has become a tourist attraction after Coretronic Cultural and Arts Foundation, an organization founded by Coretronic Corp, which makes backlight modules for flat panels, began lighting up the temple at night in 2013.

The commission said that the original idea was to encourage young people to visit the temple to gain a better understanding of its culture.

It said its ultimate goal was to find a viable and sustainable management system for the temple, which was built to protect seafarers and was the disembarkation point for Qing Dynasty officials visiting Taiwan.

National Tsing Hua University student Lin Yung-chih (林詠智), one of the 21 young people enlisted to help the foundation and the commission, said most tourists ended their tours of Tainan after visiting Shennong Street (神農街) — considered by many to be one of the best-preserved streets in the city — and did not visit the temple.

Lin and another member of the team, Chen Hung-yi (陳虹誼), made a street cart and placed it in Shennong Street, hoping to persuade people to walk toward the temple.

The retro-style cart carries temple-themed goods and products made by local cultural and creative groups, as well as a selection of handmade food, Lin said.

Foundation executive director Hsu Fang-yun (徐芳筠) said that culture is a reflection of life and like wine, the flavor is enhanced with time.

“The city’s cultural-creative industry must incorporate its cultural heritage,” Hsu said, adding that “creativity should not just be for creativity’s sake.”

The younger generation needs to step up and take responsibility for safeguarding its cultural heritage, she said.

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