CyberFair Project ID: 2890

Close this Window

NOTE: Due to URL changes, some links may no longer be valid.

International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: The beautiful tobacco houses in the countryside
Category: 4. Local Specialties
Bibliography: No bibliography page cited

School: Kaohsiung Shin-Chuang Senior High School
    Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Taiwan

11 students, ages 17~18 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on February 10, 2003. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2002

Classes and Teachers: Allen Chan, Jessica Liu, Sigma Wu ,Ming-ling Chang and some students from freshman, sophomore and junior.

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

The Hakka people who live at the foot of the Meinung Mountain in Kaohsiung County immigrated to here from the Province of Canton in early times. Due to the conflicts between the Hakka and the Hokkien as well as the inconvenient transportation caused by mountains all around geographically, the Hakka in Meinung have their own unique culture. Rice was the main crops in ancient time. But during the Japanese occupation period, tobacco leaves replaced it. Nowadays, because the social structure has changed, the traditional agriculture was fading out. And the tobacco industry is disappearing after Taiwan became the member of WTO. The local residents began to transform their traditional industry into tourism and fine agriculture. This change brought Meinung a new chance to survive.

2. Summary of Our Project

The program of “local teaching ”can be promoted through internet. By that, we educate the students to love and care the land where they grew up, and furthermore, to establish the viewpoint of “multiculture” by respecting different races and cultures. ”Local teaching ”or ”native education” is popular in Taiwan now. They help the children born in the modern society to recognize and love this beautiful island by knowing its history. Based on those reasons, we chose the fading tobacco culture as the subject of our project.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:2-3

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:not sure

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:4-6

E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):

We worked in the common computer lab at school and connected the website by ADSL. But after school, we used our own internet facilities. Although some of us have good transition facilities such as broad band, some still used the outdated and slow transition facilities.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

After taking part in the competition, we need to decide the subject. We are bothered until the Meinung People’s Association came up to our brains. We decided to go asking for help. We met Hung Shin-Lan, the most important force of this report, in the association. She listened to our explanation patiently, analyzed it seriously and opened up a new topic, the “tobacco industry guidance center”. It’s a totally strange field to us. Fortunately, Mrs. Hung was also doing the same research now. So we worked together and helped each other to complete a more perfect report. The project expected that students could walk into the field themselves. Ms. Yi-Ting, who is also the member of the Meinung People’s Association, helped us a lot. She interviewed the residents, tobacco farmers and the workers of guidance center in poor Hakka language. We not only acquired the information related to the project but also enjoyed wonderful fellowship through the interviews. We were touched by by all interviewees’ stories. Their memories were so vivid that we seemed to witness them wiping the sweat off and being painstaking with their work. We did get the experiences beyond the literal information. After the interviews and some paper work, the next step was to organize our own assignments. Since we are still students, we don’t have much spare time. We needed to hand in this project in two months. We all understood that we should avoid rushing to report and we also realized that gaining the prize is not so much important as experiencing the process. We acquired lots of new experiences which words cannot describe and is worth our while to treasure and cherish.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Although this is the second time we take part in the competition, we still try our best to stay calm and hope to make a contribution to our community. After working on the project, we were aware of the things which we may ignore before. It also provided us lots of chances to train our writing and programming skills. Moreover, we are able to introduce the community and its specialties to people through internet.

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

In this fieldwork, we are so grateful to the people in Chitung and Meinung guidance center and the tobacco farmers we have interviewed with. We are also grateful to the chairman of Agriculture Business Department in Pingtung tobacco factory and our hard-working advisers. All of us never did such research before. We learned and experienced many things during the research. It is like we have taken a course that taught us some knowledge that we didn’t understand at first. In the process of interacting with the tobacco farmers, we felt their strong love to the tobacco industry and they took care of their tobacco leaves as of their children with their whole hearts. In the process of interacting with the workers in the guidance center, we also felt that they treated the farmers as their own families. Meinung is a tiny place. In this place, we experienced the warmth and touching care. From the simple tobacco farmers and guidance workers, we regained the feelings that we seemed to lose in the modern life.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

Software: We used word2002 for editing the papers, Gold Wave4.25 for recording the voice, PhotoImpact7 for drawing, Dreamweaver4 for producing the website, and etc. Hardware: We used personal computers to edit the data and digital camera, monocular camera and digital video to record the interview. Besides, we scanned the photos with scanners and used telephones, e-mail and chat room of BBS to contact and discuss.

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

In order to research the Meinung community thoroughly, we gave a visit to Meinung. We followed the map and information as well as observed the landscape and people in Meinung on the visit. What impressed us most was the friendly responses from the tobacco farmers. They were so generous in spending time on us even if they are busy with work. Their explanation, encouragement and recognition meant a lot to us. Because we didn’t know how to contact with the Labor Exchange Band before we interviewed with them, we searched for their information on line. Finally, we found out the way to reach them and completed the interviews.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

At the golden age of the tobacco industry in Meinung, the gains of tobacco leaves produced many masters and doctors. The tobacco houses are everywhere at the topmost point. During the harvest time, every farmer was busy grilling the tobacco leaves day and night. The trembling tobacco leaves on the field always appeared in the dream of people who had homesickness. It is also the sweet and warm memory recalled in the chilly winter. As the declining of the tobacco industry, the beautiful tobacco houses without grilling anymore cannot stand the destruction from the weather and collapsed. Moreover, the privatizing of tobacco and wine industries and being the member of WTO have led the tobacco industry in Meinung into the unknown. How long will the tobacco smell last? No one knows. If you have time to spare, ask your painting-loved friends out and go paint the tobacco houses. You will see the sunshine spread over the tobacco houses and that reflects their ups and downs. Let the paint brushes record it!

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

We are grateful to our geography teacher- Sigma Wu and his classmate, the graduate student of geography department in National Kaohsiung Normal University-Wu Shih-Cheng. They guided us to every visiting spot with great efforts. Their enthusiasm will be appreciated and always on our minds. Besides, we are also grateful to our chief instructor –Allen Chan. We would never make it on time without the monetary and equipment sponsors from the counseling center. Last of all, thanks our Principal –Lu Chin-Sheng. Because of his support and budgeteering, we have the English version of this project.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

The tobacco farmers’ experiences have touched us deeply. From the forgettable stories, we acquired the “rural experiences” which are worth treasuring and cherishing. The scene of hard-working tobacco farmers impressed on our minds and that also represent the Taiwanese spirit.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 2890)

Close this Window