Thursday, 2 September 2010

Productive Golden Years

On Saturdays Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) has a wonderful program on TV at 7:30pm called "Golden Age" 黃金歲月, profiling active seniors in the city.

The episode I saw was about a choir made up of seniors and highlighting a few of the participants.

Originally the choir was led by a well-known retired conductor, but he actually collapsed and died while they were rehearsing one of his favourite songs. Some of the singers teared up recalling what happened, while others said it was wonderful that he died doing what he loved best.

They interviewed the pianist, a widow in her 80s who played piano since she was young. But after her husband died, she felt there was no reason to play and stopped touching the piano, even moving to the United States for a while. But then she came back to Hong Kong and a friend told her about this choir needing an accompanist. So she went to see them and picked up the piano again, her agile fingers dancing around the keys.

One of the singers is a man in his 70s, quite handsome and full of vigor. He teaches young people how to tango and there were shots of him confidently leading women around on the dance floor. He also enjoys the social aspect of the choir though teaching young people keeps him energized.

Towards the end of the show the narrator talks about how the choir entered a competition against other choirs with much younger people in them. They all dressed up, the women in turqoise qipao jackets and long skirts, the men in black suits with mandarin collars. They didn't expect to win anything and in the end were awarded an honorable mention for their enthusiasm.

Watching the program I was so impressed that Hong Kong had so many active seniors that it warranted a 30-minute show each week. It clearly illustrates that they are making the most of their time, following their passions and interests.

It also shows Hong Kong is not just about people making money, but also enjoying life. I hope that I can be just as active when I get there too, and having a good time with friends along the way.

1 comment:

  1. glad to see the oldies in hong kong enjoying their 'golden age' now. in my time the old folks did not fare as well. life was tough. there was little life of any sort to talk of. it was an age to make ends meet and to survive.