Wulai singers and dancers
Weaving demonstration. The lady in brown jacket is Sally.
"Harvest Time" - dance by Wulai beauties.
Wedding Ceremony (See the wedding couple on the left hand corner).
I have heard so much of the Alishan beauties in Taiwan, but when I realised that it would take at least two days to go up to the mountains, I decided to give this trip a miss. Maybe I will plan it for my next visit to Taiwan.
Hence, I was interested to visit the aborigines at Wulai. It is a little town on the hill, about 45 minutes drive from Taipei.
The Wulai ladies are stunning and beautifully attired in their colourful costumes.
What struck me was their gentle, warm and charming personalities. They are very artistic and creative people as can be seen from the many handicrafts displayed in the shop. Their costumes are mostly handwoven, and considering the amount of handwork, they are not expensively priced. I bought two vests and two handbags from the persuasive Wulai sales lady. Her name is Sally, a name given to her by her Singaporean admirer. She openly shared with me that some thirty years ago, a Singaporean couple visited her shop and they liked her so much that they introduced her to their younger brother. However, Sally could not get used to the hot, humid weather and lifestyle in Singapore. She prefers the cool, serene, mountains of Wulai. To my surprise, she had remained single all these years. She told me that marriage is a hassle, and it is so much more peaceful to be alone. At 54, she still looks gorgeous, with porcelain like complexion and big eyes. Sally told me that some of her friends chided her for letting go of a wonderful opportunity to be married to a rich Singaporean. However, I told Sally I admired her confidence and steadfastness. She really knows what she wants from life. She is truly a liberated lady.!!
We were treated to a 30 minutes performance of dance and music. The Wulai aborogines invited us to dance with them. There was a demonstration of a Wulai wedding ceremony, and one of the guests, a petite Korean lady, was asked to be the "bride". She was later lifted off in a chair which was strung to the back of the groom. I jokingly told the tour guide that I could then understand why I was not chosen to be the "bride". With my weight, the "groom" would have trouble lifting me off!! To my surprise, the tour guide gave me a witty reply. "When a man is in love, he will somehow always have the strength to lift off his bride on the chair, no matter how heavy she is. Love is powerful!"
The Wulai aborigines were quite entrepreneurial. After taking our photos with their polaroid camera, they framed the photos in their own handmade frames and sold each photo at NT500. They were so charming and persuasive that anyone would feel bad to reject them.
Indeed the air up on the hill is cool and refreshing. The little "Choo Choo Train" that was supposed to take us on a ride was out of order. Hence we took a walk along the mountain side and saw the lovely Wulai waterfall. The sound of splashing water somehow appeared to be assuring and somewhat musical. Just then, we saw Sally on her motor bike, waving to us. She stopped her bike and bade us good bye, promising to give me a call should she visit Singapore again in the near future. I can understand why Sally prefers her lovely and peaceful hometown.
Friday, January 26, 2007
Posted by The Oriental Express at 6:45 am