Taipei schoolchildren get to play where the buffalo roam
CNATAIPEI--Some 60 elementary school children in Taipei had a chance Saturday to ride water buffaloes and learn how they are used in Taiwan's agriculture, as two of the animals were brought to the city by an activists aiming to promote agricultural education.
February 24, 2013, 12:03 am TWN
“Water buffaloes are warm, unlike the turtle I keep at home,” said 11-year-old Jeep Chou after riding a water buffalo called “Rice Rice.”
Chou was among a group of students from Bo Ai Elementary School who took a field trip to the nearby “Lead Jade Seed Project” museum, where the water buffaloes were on display in an agricultural campaign aimed at revitalizing interest in farming.
“It's nice to introduce city kids to what nature and farm life is about because these animals were once considered part of Taiwanese families,” said Yang Ju-men, the agriculture activist who organized the event.
Yang, 35, is known as the “Rice Bomber” who planted rice-filled explosive devices in Taiwan in 2003 and 2004 in protest against what he called the government's neglect of farmers. He has now adopted a much more peaceful approach in his efforts to revitalize agriculture and promote his vision for its development.
Some parents of the children who attended Saturday's event said it was a rewarding experience and brought back childhood memories for them.
“I remember watching water buffaloes in the distance when I was a little girl,” said 40-year-old Diane Lin. “I have never been this close to them.”
During the two-hour outdoor activity, Yang and his colleagues took the children to a 1,000-square-meter plot of farmland in the museum compound on the edge of the Xinyi shopping district.