El­derly as noisy square dancers is a stereo­type

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - COMMENT - ON SUN­DAY,

the Xiaoyuan branch of Guangzhou Univer­sity for the El­derly launched an on­line en­roll­ment sys­tem for se­nior ci­ti­zens. The num­ber of ap­pli­cants reached the limit of 5,000 within one hour. Beijing Youth Daily com­ments:

It is com­mon mis­per­cep­tion that se­nior ci­ti­zens are fond of square danc­ing, which has cre­ated con­flicts with other res­i­dents who com­plain that when they gather to dance in pub­lic places they make too much noise and a nui­sance. But the num­ber that rushed to ap­ply to study at Guangzhou Univer­sity for the El­derly chal­lenges that im­pres­sion.

So a ques­tion arises: Which ac­tiv­ity do se­nior ci­ti­zens pre­fer, study­ing or square danc­ing?

The an­swer to that ques­tion would ap­pear to be both. They want to en­gage in so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties such as square danc­ing and also want to stim­u­late their minds. The two are not mu­tu­ally ex­clu­sive.

Some se­nior ci­ti­zens have found other ways to keep both their bod­ies and minds ac­tive, such as do­ing vol­un­tary jobs. A re­port re­leased ear­lier this year shows that the num­ber of reg­is­tered el­derly vol­un­teers in Guangzhou, South China’s Guang­dong prov­ince, ex­ceeded 100,000 and their av­er­age age is 68. Se­nior ci­ti­zens have al­ready be­come the sec­ond-largest group of vol­un­teers in com­mu­ni­ties in Guangzhou.

At least two con­clu­sions can be reached from the above. First, se­nior ci­ti­zens want ful­fill­ing lives. Sec­ond, the con­flict be­tween el­derly square dancers and those who com­plain they are noisy could be solved in cre­ative ways, such as giv­ing se­nior ci­ti­zens more chances to study on cam­pus.

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