Commemorating local star Teresa Teng
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
”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
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.
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 ( ).