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Squares go quiet ahead of gaokao

By Zhao Xinying | China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-06 07:11

Seniors defer to students who are experiencing high pressure

Senior residents in a county in Hunan province have decided to stop their square dancing exercises for 10 days to create a quiet environment for the gaokao, the national college entrance exam, which will be held from Wednesday to Friday nationwide.

Some 5,000 women in Ningyuan county agreed to pause the activity they love starting from June 1. The central part of the county, previously full of square dancers and loud music, has recently become quiet.

Jiang Yanping, one of the dancers, said: "We know how significant the gaokao is to students who have studied at school for at least 10 years and have prepared for the exam for a long time. We suspended the dancing to show our support."

Developed as a form of exercise, square dancing has become a popular entertainment among seniors in China, particularly older women. However, it has drawn complaints from some quarters in recent years for being too loud, and for participants monopolizing public area.

As the gaokao approaches, many people around the country are trying to show understanding and support for the test-takers.

Traffic police officers in Haikou, Hainan province, have made hundreds of "no car horns" signs to be placed in front of exam halls in the city before the exam kicks off on Wednesday.

Shenzhen, Guangdong province, has been running public service commercials, in which residents of the city were advised to respect test-takers by turning down the volume of televisions at home, using public transportation when going out, and suspending construction or interior decorating projects for a few days.

Despite these efforts, the government of Wuhan, Hubei province, has received at least 100 complaints from residents about noisy square dancing since May 26, according to local newspaper Changjiang Daily.

A resident surnamed Chen said that several groups of women have been dancing on a square near Wuhan No 1 High School and the homes of many students who will take the gaokao.

"They dance until late at night every day, and the music is really loud and annoying. As the gaokao will be held soon, I hope that they will consider the feelings of test-takers and stop the exercise temporarily," he said.

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