CyberFair Project ID: 8114

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: The dying of 300 years techniques , The last Pigeon Whistle master Hsieh Jung-che
Category: 1. Local Leaders

School: Jhaigang Elementary School
    Tainan Municipal, Taiwan, Taiwan

5 students, ages 11-12 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 10, 2016. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2013

Classes and Teachers: Chou,Chun-Lin

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

The area where we reside is called the Xuejia District, located in the northwestern part of Tainan City. Being close to the coast, the land has a higher level of salinity. The Bazhang River, Jishui River and Jiangjyun River flow through the region, and given the flat terrain, flooding is frequent during heavy rain. The early residents of Xuejia District were the Pingpu Siraya tribe (Xuejia branch of the Soulang Community). Later, the Han Chinese migrated to Taiwan and settled along the river before moving further inland and developing the area into the Thirteen Villages of Xuejia, hence making Xuejia a Han Chinese settlement. The residents primarily worship Emperor Pao-sheng of Ciji Temple (Level Three Ancient Monument). Religious activities such as the Xuejia Fragrance (a pilgrimage procession) and the Upper White Reef (yezu ceremony) were further developed and became major religious and cultural activities in Tainan City. Moreover, the temple also specially constructed a Koji Pottery Museum to house and preserve works of Koji pottery by Yeh Wang. Due to its proximity to the sea and higher soil salinity, we mainly specialize in milkfish farming, milkfish fishball production and cultivation of drought-resistant and salt tolerant crops such as sorghum, corn, watermelon and cherry tomatoes. Our line of milkfish products, watermelon and tomatoes are famous throughout the nation, and visitors to Xuejia must try these specialties to make their trip worthwhile.Moreover, Taiwanese pigeon whistle racing that has been carried for few hundred years is still ongoing in specific villages of Syuejia. The Syuejia District Office even held the Watermelon and Hong-Jiao-Ling Industry Culture Festival this past May with best efforts to promote this Taiwanese pigeon whistle racing event of local features.

2. Summary of Our Project

'Ge-ling (Taiwanese pigeon whistle)' is called as 'hong-jiao-ling' or 'fen-niao-ling' by local people in southern Taiwan. Hong-jiao or fen-niao are the names for pigeon in Southern Min language. People in the region used to hang Taiwanese pigeon whistles on the back of pigeons and have them fly for racing between different villages, and the event is called 'Sai-ge-ling (Taiwanese pigeon whistle racing)'. This kind of pigeon racing among villages was the entertainment for farmers in Tainan and Chiayi when they were in leisure. However, the villages which continue to hold Taiwanese pigeon whistle racing have gradually decreased with the emigration of young generations and the change in the form of entertainment. Taiwanese pigeon whistle craftsmen also stops to make new pigeon whistles one by another. Only 1 Taiwanese pigeon whistle craftsman, Mr. Hsieh Jung-che, is still making new pigeon whistles for the local traditional event nowadays. Once Mr. Hsieh stops to make new pigeon whistles, the Taiwanese pigeon whistle racing events lasting for more than 300 years will come to an end.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

1)Personnel Gathering and Time Arrangement: The school courses have a stable time schedule, and there are no empty time sessions to use. After school, everybody has their own day care classes to take. It is hard to gather everybody. Therefore we can only use lunch breaks and holidays to gather and discuss the structure of the topic, outline of the interview, and to carry out the interview. 2)Interview techniques need more training: The topic of this research is a local art issues, therefore giving a interview in person is a very important experience. Many information has to be obtained through the interview. But to tell the truth, we have no experiences on interview, and do not know what questions should be asked. Focusing on this difficulty, our teacher let us watch a film of a interview conducted by a television host. We discussed the technique and demeanor that needs to be paid attention to during the interview, then we carried out a simulation of the interview. After repeated practicing, when in formal interview, everybody can ask questions orderly, and record quickly as we conduct the interview.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

We have endured much hardship during the research but we also felt excited as the outcome slowly emerged. We eventually realized that if we do not value or understand the culture around us, we will face with faults in tradition. For this research, we have recorded the key elements of pigeon whistle and bring imagination into full play through creations, so that everyone can see our creativity.

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

It is the fourth year that Jhaigang Elementary School participated in the project research for Cyberfair. The theme covers local landscape, people, custom and industries. This project introduces the last pigeon whistle craftsman, Mr. Hsieh Jung-che. Although Mr. Hsieh is not a prominent landscape, his philosophy of perseverance for folk culture is one paradigm merits advocacy, so that students will recognize the existence. Students can acquire the concept of cultural preservation and practice through close interview and visits, which is also why humanity is gradually losing when the society places more importance on Utilitarianism. The content of this theme not only helps everyone acquaint with the life and customs where we live but can also be used reference for art education and character education.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

Computer,computer software:Data upload, data compilation, webpage production Internet:Various data search including past works of Cyberfair,related book search, inquiry and topic related webpage Digital camera:Photograph taking as image record

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

We intend to provide further understanding on the environment, geography, humanity and history of hometown through the project and website establishment. Taiwanese pigeon whistle racing is a leisure and entertainment with considerably local features while the making of pigeon whistle is also one unique industry. However similar to other traditional folk and crafts, pigeon whistle related events also face with faults in succession. For people living in the origin of pigeon whistle racing folk, can we inherit this event or form a new wave of pigeon whistle tourism culture to infuse innovative selling points with the balance of tradition. It is one issue merits analysis and execution.On the other hand, we can boost up school features and students' abilities, so local residents can see that even a school in a rural area can offer just as effective learning activities as schools in the cities. In addition, the finished website can present the best information in promoting marketing local specialties, as well as increasing the school's visibility.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

In comparison with other brief introductions, studies conducted for the Cyber Fair are in-depth researches. In order to enrich our local literature and history, we plan to connect with the Cyber Fair, introducing thematic fieldwork methods and cultural surveys, and further create websites to showcase our research findings. We accomplished a study on Xue Jia Wetlands and folklore groups comprised of local elderly women two years ago, last year on local milkfish masters, and this year, Local folk pigeon whistle craftsman Hsieh Jung-che is the fourth piece of puzzle to our community survey project. As we persistently carry out our project over time, a complete community data base and website can be established within several years.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

Folk entertainment is the most local culture with small-regional identification. Taiwanese pigeon whistle facing only exists in western and northern Tainan, and southern Chiayi. The range is not broad however the types of pigeon whistles and racing methods still differentiate by region. We also experienced that in spite of the same thing, different people from different region could hold different views and approaches. Nonetheless it will also present different features. Moreover we discovered from the research process that some locally exclusive folk or entertainment or quickly disappearing with the change of social customs and lifestyles. Perhaps in few more years, there will not any more local entertainment or folk in Taiwan.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

Tainan City Government has already listed Taiwanese pigeon whistle racing as one of the municipal folk cultural while Syuejia District where we live still preserves this folk cultural event. Nonetheless it is not often that we see this event, not to mention the knowledge about pigeon whistle, i.e. how to make it, how to race, and the racing is divided to public whistle and private whistle. In addition to the size of pigeon whistle, it is also divided into long, short and plate whistles. There are so many questions related to a small pigeon whistle. However on contrary, such research becomes more meaningful if the pigeon whistle is unfamiliar to people. We expect to conduct this project research with systematic introduction of this featured folk culture existing in Tainan and Chiayi, so that everyone can also acquaint with this local expert who stands by in his position, making excellent pigeon whistle for pigeon whistles to continue flying in the fields.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 8114)

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