Saturday, May 8, 2010

Retro appeal

There's no English inside the Kaohsiung Museum of Military Dependents Villages, but the exhibits will appeal to those with a taste for 1950s bicycles, radios, telephones and TVs. After Chiang Kai-shek's Chinese Nationalists retreated to Taiwan in 1949, servicemen and their families were housed in hastily-built neighbourhoods near military bases. These "villages" - most are now abandoned and many have been demolished - were culturally distinct in that the vast majority of inhabitants were of mainland descent, that very little Taiwanese was spoken, and that support for the Nationalist regime was solid. The Kaohsiung Museum of Military Dependents Villages is built on the site of a former navy settlement in Zuoying; it's open from 9am to 5pm but closed Mondays and the days after national holidays. The full Chinese name of the museum is 高雄市左營區眷村文化館 and the address is 高雄市左營區海光三村左公二公園園區; tel 07 588 2775. The museum's website, on which there's minimal English, is here. There's a similar museum in Hsinchu.

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