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Hand in hand as older generation enjoy heavenly Beijing park, life

Beijing , China: -- Be it for health, fun or friendship, a park is always one of the most popular places for the elderly in China to gather whenever weather permits.

Each day, many old people flock together in the morning to exercise at the aptly titled Temple of Heaven Park in the capital Beijing.

The Temple of Heaven was built in 1420, a place where emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties went to worship heaven, pray for favourable harvests and rains.

Now it welcomes all residents and visitors from the city and beyond, including a great many of advanced age.

A lady by the name of Madame Yang, 79, told this reporter and colleagues from Asia Wednesday that she comes to exercise at the park daily.

“At this public park, we can always see a lot of elderly people together to sing, dance and do Tai Chi or Chinese martial arts,” she said.

A pleasant smile and sense of contentment were evident as she spoke.

She said not many young people could make it to the park from Monday to Friday, but were present in great numbers at the weekend.

While younger members of her family go to work, she comes to the park for exercise and meets her friends at 8:30am, “I won't come in the evening because at that time it is too hot,” she said.

She returns home a few hours later to prepare lunch for herself and her husband.

Today, China has a population of 1.3 billion people, with the numbers of elderly citizens reaching 200 million, or one in every seven Chinese.

Perhaps it is no wonder that many Chinese live long healthy lives because so many of them enjoy exercise in parks.

Of course, there are always the occasional exceptions.

Yang said her husband did not come with her because he preferred reading at home or playing chess with his friends.





By Khonesavanh Latsaphao
(Latest Update July 14, 2017)

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