Go Adv Search
Outdoor activities still thrive in Chongqing

Outdoor activities still thrive in Chongqing

Updated: 2012-04-19 07:14

By Xu Wei in Chongqing (China Daily)

  Comments() Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

For Yang Zhili and many of his fellow retirees in Chongqing, bad weather is still the only thing that keeps them from dancing outside at Shaping Park.

The dance they perform, Baba dance, is a vastly popular group dance in Southwest China's Sichuan province and Chongqing municipality.

"Dancing is good for our health," the 60-year-old retiree said.

"The people in Chongqing don't like staying indoors. We like outdoor activities, like mountain climbing and outdoor dancing," he said.

Outdoor activities still thrive in Chongqing

Students dance and beat drums at the student games in Chongqing on Wednesday. The games, in which 58 schools in the city participated, were held to mark the 100-day countdown to the London Olympics. Chen Chao / China News Service

The recent events surrounding the city's former top official Bo Xilai have been a hot topic among people in the park.

On March 15, the Central Committee of Communist Party of China appointed Vice-Premier Zhang Dejiang to replace Bo as secretary of the CPC Chongqing Municipal Committee.

The CPC Central Committee later decided to suspend Bo from his posts at the committee and its Political Bureau because "Bo is suspected of being involved in serious violations of discipline".

Zhang made clear at a meeting on April 10 that the municipal government will try its best to maintain social stability and the momentum of economic development.

"We ordinary people just want a stable society that guarantees our security," Yang said, adding that his quiet life would not be disturbed.

A waitress at the Jingshuiyuan Teahouse in Shaping Park who declined to give her name said the recent changes do not affect her, because her priority remains making a living.

And people who have been participating in group singing in parks carry on.

"For us older folks, there are not too many options for recreation," said another 83-year-old woman surnamed Yang who lives near Shaping Park.

Yang belongs to a choral group that has been singing regularly in the park for more than four years.

Sitting on a park stool, Yang carefully arranged four printed booklets of old songs in front of her to make sure she could easily read the lyrics.

She had arrived two hours earlier than the other members of the choir.

He Shizhong, the chief of publicity department of Chongqing, said on March 26 that the city would reduce red-singing events.

But he made it clear that people can still practice singing songs, including red songs, as they want.

Other areas of Chongqing, such as Chaotianmen Square and the Guanyinqiao shopping zone, were busy as usual.

For Hu Puxiu, a street vendor of cold noodles in Chaotianmen Square, Sundays are still the best day for business and weather is a major factor in her income.

The two bustling areas get even busier as night falls, when crowds gather at public outdoor Baba dances activities.

Roadside vendors and mahjong houses, widely viewed as the city's landmark features, are still booming.

Meanwhile, other city features, such as the police patrol platforms and the large public-renting housing program, continue undisturbed.

He Ting, who replaces Wang Lijun as the city's deputy mayor and police chief, credits the police patrol platforms as contributing to public safety in the city, Chongqing Daily reported on April 2.

On April 6, the city completed the first round of a lottery for public rental apartments this year and Xinhua News Agency quoted local officials as saying another round will be held by the end of the year.

Fiona Younie, a 30-year-old UK citizen and a former English teacher at Chongqing Normal University for two years, said she has not noticed much change in the city.

Younie left Chongqing about a year ago and returned last week to visit her friends.

"To me, everything seemed like it was when I left," she said.

Ji Jin contributed to this story.