Interview Conclusions

1. Motives and objectives for organizing the Torch Festival

Basically, every place has a representative activity, so we want to help Ruifang find an activity that belongs to it (A-1-1). For example, Pingxi, previously, did not have any Sky Lantern Festival. It is with the concerted efforts and mobilization of the whole village that this endeavor has been fulfilled (B-1-5). And in the case of the Ruifang, there were 2 million people who got off here last year. Ruifang is simply a transfer station. Why can't we create a festival of our own (B-2-5)?

Nowadays, most people no longer use torchlight anymore, so we want to bring it back (A-1-1), hoping that through this activity, everyone can experience what we experienced during our childhood and at the same time, allow the next generation to discover it (A-1-2). It is also a kind of homesickness, a feeling of nostalgia (B-1-1). Moreover, we also combined the life experience of Li Jian-Xing of Ruisan Mining, so in organizing this activity we had two meanings: one was to revive our childhood memories; the other to commemorate this touching story (A-1-1).

2. The difficulty in and support for organizing the Torch Festival

The main difficulty in organizing the Torch Festival is the cost (A-2-7) as this activity put on by the Association is free-of-charge to all participants (A-2-4). This year, contributions from enterprises and shop owners were uneven, and therefore preparing the funds for the event will also be difficult (A-2-7). Furthermore, every year we add new elements to the activities. For example, last year, we added the wearing of the head scarf to the Torch Festival. From its design phase to its planning and after its production, we had to look for the right packaging process and we encountered many difficulties (A-2-7).We also had site limitation problems and holding torchlights is rather dangerous, so we had to limit the number of participants (A-1-3). And, since the venue and the streets are narrow, the activity could not be expanded. Honestly, with mining activities on the decline, participants are also fewer (B-3-11).

Over the course of the Torch Festival, we have been grateful for the help and support of the volunteers. Volunteer participation does not mean monetary support but human support (B-4-6). In the first edition of thefestival, Supervisor Lin Huang-Yuan was responsible for looking for the resources (B-2-5).When Jian Hua-Xiang took over as Shuangxi Supervisor, he also supported the organization of the second iteration. He decided to make it the Ruifang Torch Festival (B-2-5). The festival should be expanded and not limited to Ruifang Old Street, at the rear of the railway station or its vicinity (B-2-5). Furthermore, Supervisor Chen Qi-Zheng is thinking of expanding this activity, allowing more people to know about it (B-2-5). Allow more Chief of Villages from the Ruifang area to participate and for groups, and local schools such as Ruifang Industrial High School to participate in the entertainment part or as volunteers. Even for a clean environment, volunteers are involved (B-5-20). Ruifang Elementary School will also serve in the entertainment part and basically, will be sponsored by the taro ball business enterprise, Bao Yun (A-3-10)

3. Characteristics of the Organization of the Torch Festival:

         Our Torch Festival activity, in fact, engulfs heritage, in addition to culture and history combined, we are absolutely not fanciful (A-2-3). From the 250 torches of the first edition, to the 450 torches of the second edition and we are expecting 600 torches this year. From afar, when the participants hold their torches and walk along the mountainous curvy trail, it will appear like a fiery dragon. So, when the Lantern Festival comes, the fiery dragon will not be far (A-1-1).
        Moreover, in addition to the fire dance and DIY LED lanterns (B-5-19) this year, there will also be a “Breaking through the Barricade” game. By including history in the game and with the participation of guests, local history and culture will become better known (A-3-12). A procession starting from Ruifang Middle School to therailroad crossing and back to rear of the train station (A-3-12) will also be on the program. We also expect someone to write a song for us (B-5-21), a representative song belonging to the Ruifang Torch Festival.
        With 500 to 600 persons holding their torches simultaneously, attention must be paid to safety. The activities must be held with the cooperation of the Fire Services, the Public Health Bureau and the assistance of the volunteers. Security at the Torch festival should be 3000% total, it should be safer than the Sky Lantern Festival and should be allowed without hesitation (B-3-10). Therefore, attention should be paid to safety and convenient transportation (B-4-13) this year.

4. Expectations for Organizing the Torch Festival:

The first and second editions of the Torch Festival were successful and of course, the mood is focused on happiness. For the Chief of Village, this year’s edition will be the most memorable as there will be foreign participants. They were supposed to go to Pingxi but have been attracted by the Torch Festival (B-4-15) and they are very happy about it (B-4-13). So, we must pass on the heritage and we say, young people, must really take over. Everyone must come together to promote (B-4-13), and restore our community’s previous glory (B-3-12) and, through these activities, allow more people and more residents to participate. Of course, there will be some sorrow in their hearts, because, in the early days, this place was busy and lively. And, since its decline, it has never been able to recover (A-4-17). So, the Association has plenty of ideas. We just want to avail of this opportunity to do things step by step (A-5-21).

At present, the Old Street Culture Promotion Association also regularly organizes literary and art activities. We hope that through these courses, community residents will participate and identify with the activities so that, later on, some of the residents can be chosen to participate in community work (A-5-18).

In the early days, Jiufen was worse (than Ruifang) but now it’s totally different. It needs people to push it, it doesn’t have to wait (B-4-12). Someday, Ruifang will unite. Then, no matter where one is, one can see the activities we will be organizing (B-3-10). We also hope to encourage and attract cultural and creative industries, bed and breakfasts and catering centers to settle here (B-5-19). And, ease traffic for the convenience of tourists (B-5-19) as wellas usingmobileapps as a guide (B-5-19) as a tool to promote every step of the way, enabling Ruifang Old Street to become more vigorous.

5. The role of the Old Street Culture Promotion Association:

Planning of the Torch Festival activities has required a considerable organizational team (A-1-3), including using public boards to post advertisements, Facebook and blogs to write promotional articles (A-2-4). The role of government units has been to make up for the lack of funding sources (A-2-5). When organizing the Torch Festival, the Association has had only one mindset: finish the job first (A-3-8). The planning of the Torch Festival must be carried out and cannot wait for the funds to be in place to do so (A-3-8). So, this is the direction we are now running. We have to keep running forward. If there is still no money, then we’ll think of a way (A-3-8). From the beginning to preparation, planning, designing and implementation, all were the efforts of Bao Yun and the Association and approximately 3 months of time (A-2-6)

The relationship between the Chief of Village and the Old Street Association is a mutual one (B-4-17). The Association, itself, has no money. Most money for the Festival comes from external support but I believe having no money has its advantages. An association with no money uses the concentricity of its members whereas with money, controversy increases (B-5-18).


take a picture with neighborhood magistrate take a picture with Board Director


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