Hutong community choir offers retirees a newfound family

By Ian Callison and Kyle Hodges ( ) Updated: 2016-07-19 15:10:47

To the women of Guowang Community Center, singing is more than just a hobby. Through their shared love of singing, the close-knit group has become nothing short of a family.

The singing group was established in the early 2000s, and has been bringing residents of the Guowang Hutong and Beiluoguxiang Hutong area together since.

"Nearly all of them come from the hutong," said Chen Hongyan, commissioner of culture and sports in Guowang Community Center. "Most of the residents are elderly and retired. They don't have many things to do at home. So going out and participating in these activities can help brighten their heart."

For Wang Zhuohua, not only was her heart brightened from the hutong community choir group, but her health also improved from singing with her new friends. She used to pay frequent visits to the hospital, and said she was constantly sick.

"After join this choir group, I made so many friends and neighbors," Wang Zhuohua said. "We get much closer to each other. We help each other. And my body is also getting better. I think doing the choir is really good for my health."

The hutong is famous for its familial culture, and Guowang Community Center serves as an excellent example of this. Even when they're not singing, the group frequently gathers for meals and conversation.

Singing together has allowed these hutong residents to become even closer than they would otherwise be. The sense of community is extremely strong, said Duo Xia, the groups pianist.

"We get along with each other harmoniously," Duo Xia said.

Camera: Ian Callison & Kyle Hodges (intern)

Reporter: Ian Callison (intern)

Editor: Kyle Hodges (intern)

Subtitles: Xiong Fangzhou (intern)

Executive producer: Chen Lin

Hutong community choir offers retirees a newfound family

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