Twilight of the roaming vendo 李阿公的「雜細仔車」

Taipei Times
Date: Dec 03, 2015

Grandpa Lee Chuan-pin, who for six decades hawked his wares along the streets of Chiayi

Cheng Shu-hsien stands by her late father-in-law Li Chuan-pin’s vending cart in Chiayi City on Nov. 18. 鄭淑賢與過世的公公的販賣車合影。攝於十一月十八日,嘉義。 Photo: Ting Wei-chieh, Liberty TimeS 照片:自由時報記者丁偉杰

Cheng Shu-hsien stands by her late father-in-law Li Chuan-pin’s vending cart in Chiayi City on Nov. 18.
鄭淑賢與過世的公公的販賣車合影。攝於十一月十八日,嘉義。
Photo: Ting Wei-chieh, Liberty TimeS
照片:自由時報記者丁偉杰

City, rattling his rattle drum and pushing his vending cart as he went, died of colorectal cancer on Nov. 13 at the age of 89. On hearing the news, many Internet users left messages expressing their sorrow, as well as their worry that the traditional culture前 that Grandpa Lee developed in his youth might be lost.

Lee Chao-chi, head of the Cultural Heritage Section of Chiayi City’s Cultural Affairs Bureau, says that a portrayal of Grandpa Li’s life has left a precious legacy of folk culture. A few years ago, Taiwan’s Public Television Service made a video recording about him, which could be called a treasure of Chiayi’s cultural heritage. As people’s lifestyles change, with convenience stores and hypermarkets all over the place, old-fashioned scenes of vendors like Grandpa Lee roaming the streets and hawking daily necessities are gradually fading into the past.

Grandpa Lee’s daughter-in-law Cheng Shu-hsien says he had a decent and down-to-earth character. Starting when he was a young lad of 12 years old, he pushed his vendor’s cart along the streets and lanes, hawking his wares as he went. Over six decades, he advanced to the status of grandpa, “relying on this cart to raise a family of seven.” Despite its small size, the cart carried a wide range of goods, be it cosmetics or items like elastic, needles, thread and safety pins that are daily necessities for elderly women but hard to find in convenience stores.     [FULL  STORY]

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