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Authorities ask public dancers for silence

2014-06-05 08:47 Global Times Web Editor: Li Yan

Governments, schools strive to help students study before big exams

Noisy public dancing is under challenge again, but this time by authorities, families and students preparing for the college entrance exams.

Fengtai district street security officers distributed fliers to dancers in a park near a Beijing high school on Tuesday night, requesting rowdy revelers quit their sashaying or at least lower the volume for students preparing for life-changing university entrance exams this weekend.

"The loud music played for dancing in the nearby Zhuang-yi Park distracted the students, especially when they are under stress for the approaching exams," Liu Zhiqiang, a school office director at Beijing No.12 High School, told the Global Times on Wednesday. "Students and teachers said it was much quieter last night."

Meanwhile in the city of Foshan in Guangdong province, public dancing has been banned within 500 meters of exam venues, the Guangzhou Daily reported on Wednesday.

The noise of middle-aged and elderly people, mostly women, dancing to music in public squares and parks has generated increasing protests, conflicts and media coverage across the country. Media reports include excretion being thrown at grandmas, barbed-wire fences or even stabbings.

About 300 people dance about 7 pm daily in Zhuangyi Park, the Beijing Youth Daily reported. More than 100 senior students study at high school at the same time, Liu said. He hoped that even after the exam, the noise could stay away.

Although some agreed to stop dancing before exams after receiving the proposals, others complained about deprivation of entertainment needs.

"It's hard to find a place for entertainment with all the construction work around the park, and we've always kept the music down to avoid disturbing the neighborhood," a middle-aged woman told Beijing Youth Daily. She was not named.

After the officers left, people resumed dancing with the music down, the newspaper said.

"Exams can impact on many students' life for a long time, and that's why authorities and parents want to avoid disturbances for those students," said Chu Zhaohui, a research fellow from the National Institute of Educational Sciences.

Even without exams, public dancing should meet the principle of mutual respect, Chu told the Global Times. "It's a matter of being civil, rather than simply protecting students," he said.

Authorities try to safeguard important national exam every year, including suspending traffic, car horns and construction near test sites.

In 2012, parents in the Jiangnan Haoyuan community poisoned frogs in the ponds to avoid disturbing their children, the Hebei Youth Daily reported.

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