Opinion / From the Press

Square dance problem

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-06-12 08:34

Recent years have seen many conflicts caused by square dancing. Since loud music disturbs students preparing for the college entrance exam (or gaokao), elderly citizens who practice the dance near a local middle school in Beijing turned down the music to the lowest possible volume. Despite the controversy, however, it is difficult to demand a ban on square dancing in the weeks preceding the gaokao, says an article on Excerpts:

To some degree, it is necessary for senior citizens to sacrifice the practice of square dancing despite being very fond of it. Their sacrifice is seen as necessary also because of greater public good as the gaokao is an important turning point in a student's life.

But if students preparing for the gaokao have the right to study in a peaceful environment, then senior citizens, too, have the right to practice the dance form of their choice without disturbance. In the Beijing case mentioned above, more than 300 senior citizens have set a good example by moving to a smaller square away from the middle school and turning down the volume of the music while practicing the square dance.

Therefore, the authorities, instead of forcing senior citizens to stop practicing square dancing in the weeks preceding the gaokao, should take measures to ensure that they do so in non-residential areas and, definitely, as far away schools as possible. The authorities, for instance, could arrange for buses to ferry senior citizens to and from places where they could practice the dance without disturbing anyone and get some physical exercise and mental comfort.

Besides, local communities could organize leisure activities that create little noise to provide senior citizens some recreation. In short, senior citizens should not be forced to give up square dancing in the weeks preceding the gaokao, instead they should be provided with alternatives to spend their time fruitfully.

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