Com­mem­o­rat­ing lo­cal star Teresa Teng

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY SUN HSIN- HSUAN

Although usu­ally very tran­quil, Luzhou ( ) is get­ting more and more heated up with fans of Teresa Teng ( ) as the 20th an­niver­sary of her death is com­ing up next month. Be­ing one of the most in­flu­en­tial mu­si­cal fig­ures in Asia in re­cent decades, she had a voice like wa­ter — calm­ing and sooth­ing like spring wa­ter run­ning over sun-baked rocks in mid-sum­mer, while also pow­er­ful and strong like a roar­ing sea ris­ing against the shore.

Teresa Teng, a Tai­wanese for­mer pop singer, was born to a main­land Chi­nese fam­ily in 1953 in Yun­lin County and later moved north to Luzhou Dis­trict, New Taipei City at the age of 6. Her mu­sic melted thou­sands of hard­ened hearts while also build­ing strength and courage in thou­sands more dur­ing an era of in­sta­bil­ity in Tai­wan af­ter the KMT re­treated from main­land China in 1949.

Teng was born tal­ented, al­ready fre­quently per­form­ing for her school while she stud­ied at Luzhou El­e­men­tary School (

). Af­ter tak­ing home sev­eral na­tional singing con­test cham­pi­onships from 1964, Teng started her singing ca­reer with the im­age of a fresh and sweet stu­dent girl who gained great me­dia at­ten­tion and public ado­ra­tion. Most widely known were her songs “When will you re­turn?” and “The Moon rep­re­sents my heart.”

Adding on to her fame, she suc­cess­fully pock­eted au­di­ences from Hong Kong, Ja­pan and even main­land China as her mu­sic was broad­cast over­seas on more and more chan­nels.

Fig­ure of Sweet­ness and

Pa­tri­o­tism

”The mil­i­tary sweet­heart” was what of­ten hit the news­pa­per head­lines with Teng’s pop­u­lar­ity con­tin­u­ously boom­ing. Her fa­ther hav­ing been a sol­dier may ex­plain her af­fec­tion and con­sid­er­a­tion for the Army. Teng of­ten vis­ited mil­i­tary camps, hold­ing free spe­cial con­certs for the Army, which was experiencing great ten­sion with China at the time.

She also gave con­certs in Ja­pan and Hong Kong, yet never did she once set foot in main­land China de­spite re­peated in­vi­ta­tions. “I will be singing on the land of China on the day when democ­racy is demon­strated there,” as­serted Teng on sev­eral public oc­ca­sions. The peo­ple loved her not only for her sweet­ness but also her pa­tri­o­tism. Leg­isla­tive Yuan Speaker Wang Jin- pyng ( ) com­mented years af­ter her death that “she fought along­side Tai­wan dur­ing the tough­est ages with her mu­sic.”

Her name trav­eled to the U.S., the UK, France and many other coun­tries around the world, how­ever, Teng had suf­fered with asthma from a young age. In 1995, she left her fans, end­ing her un­for­get­table 42 years of life in Tai­wan. She was buried in Jin­shan ( ), New Taipei City. Her tomb is still vis­ited by fans.

Foot­prints in Luzhou Al­leys

With

it be­ing the 20th anni- ver­sary of her death next month, read­ers are in­vited to em­bark on a jour­ney to trace the living mo­ments of Teng in Luzhou. Start­ing from Luzhou Metro Sta­tion, a sculp­ture can be found in the sta­tion plaza, erected in 2011 by the New Taipei City Gov­ern­ment with sup­port from the Teresa Teng Foun­da­tion.

Con­tin­u­ing into the lanes and al­leys, Luzhou El­e­men­tary School re­mains a fa­vorite des­ti­na­tion for peo­ple to pay at­tribute to where Teng was first en­light­ened to mu­sic and singing skills. Ex­tend­ing the list of Teresa Teng me­mo­rial halls around the coun­try, Luzhou’s will open to the public in May.

Teng’s mu­sic has the magic to live uni­ver­sally across the bound­aries of time. Lead­ing stars of the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try con­tinue to cover her songs and mimic her clear, sweet and sin­cere voice.

Photo by Sun Hsin-hsuan

1. A pond is seen in the cen­ter of build­ings in Luzhou El­e­men­tary School (

), where Teresa Teng ( ) used to play when she stud­ied there. 2. In this un­dated file photo, Teresa Teng ( ) poses for a photo in tra­di­tional Chi­nese dress. Teng has been an in­flu­en­tial fig­ure in Asia since the late 20th cen­tury. Her mu­sic is widely known, with pop singers to­day still cov­er­ing her songs. 3. A sculp­ture of Teresa Teng ( ), erected by the New Taipei City Gov­ern­ment in 2011, stands in the plaza of Luzhou Metro Sta­tion ( ).

Photo by Sun Hsin-hsuan

CNA

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