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Memories of Golden Years at New Jianye Village: Hu Fu-sing's Story/左營建業新村的流金歲月 胡復興的故事

 

Memories of Golden Years at New Jianye Village:

Hu Fu-sing's Story

◎English translation: Peng Hsin-yi

 

  Taiwan's military dependents' villages are products of a unique time and place in history. Military personnel and their dependents created a special culture, from the facades of their houses, to their lifestyles and the food they ate, which has long fascinated outsiders. There are 23 military dependents' villages in Zuoying District, representing more than one third of Kaohsiung City's military dependents' villages. Zuoying is thus the best destination for people interested in experiencing the atmosphere of such places.

  The history of these villages records the turmoil of civilian life during wartime. In the Japanese colonial period, Zuoying was developed as a military port. After Retrocession (when Taiwan returned to Chinese rule in 1945), Zuoying became a navy base. In 1949, it became the first settlement the government established for servicemen and their families who had retreated to Taiwan from the Chinese mainland. Some of the blocks were built by the Japanese, and those houses were well designed and of good quality. These were allocated to senior officers. Lower-ranking officers and their wives and children lived in houses built by the Navy Headquarters and the National Women's League.

  Military dependents' villages included people from every corner of China. The neighbors spoke different dialects, but were united by a shared longing for home. The loss of family support was more than made up for by a sense of community. People helped one another, and each family enjoyed a sense of being at home with others.

  Mr. Hu Fu-sing and his wife Wu Tai-sin live in New Jianye Village, and Mr. Hu is happy to share his childhood memories. Mr. Hu was born in Changsha, mainland China. He was only four years old when his father took the family to Taiwan. They settled in New Jianye Village. It was a time when resources were short for every household, but everyone had a big heart. His father's salary was not enough to support the family, so they kept chickens and grew vegetables in their backyard to help feed the family. The clothes he wore were all hand-me-downs from his brothers and sisters. They were mended several times, with patches on top of patches, but he was happy just to have something to wear. Mr. Hu says that back then, each family treated children in the community as their own; they would feed whichever child happened to be in their house come meal time. Mr. Hu smiles when recalling the "China Strong" brand of sneakers he used to wear, noting that times have definitely changed, and he wears Nike now. Yet he still loves the taste of dried radish paired with mantou (steamed bread). To him, that makes a perfect meal.

  Both Mr. and Mrs. Hu are excellent cooks, and the food they make has a lot of flavors which go well with rice. Mr. Hu is especially proud of his homemade dried radish, and a taste of it really says it all: The complex flavors packed in this simple vegetable preserve make it an excellent representation of military food. During lunch he mentions that many of the children who grew up in the village later joined the merchant navy. The pay was attractive for those eager to help support their families. He can recall the items they brought back, including soaps, apples and dresses as gifts for friends and relatives. Those were rarities back in the day, and they made a long-lasting impression on Mr. Hu. However, he did not become a sailor because it was impossible to receive letters during voyages, and it would mean going a little too far from home for his liking. In the end, he joined the military, just like his father.

  Giving us a tour of the neighborhood, he points out Japanese-style homes with gardens which appear tranquil and relaxed. He trims all the shrubs and trees himself; he also takes care of trees on neighboring properties, a habit of helping one another that has not disappeared despite the passage of time. But when discussing the block's empty houses, his mood turns somber as he laments the loss of the sense of community.

  It is the residents who have given Kaohsiung's military dependents' villages their special characteristics, unique culture and human warmth.


左營建業新村的流金歲月 胡復興的故事 

◎文/侯雅婷

 

  眷村自成一格的文化氛圍,引人入勝,外界以獵奇的眼端詳眷村的景觀、文化乃至於飲食型態。高雄左營區擁有23個眷村,佔全市58個眷村的3分之1以上,數據彰顯眷村是左營相當具代表性的聚落景觀。

  台灣眷村的形成烙印著一個時代的顛沛流離。左營區自日治時期即被規劃為軍港,台灣光復後,政府在左營設立海軍基地,1949年,伴隨國民政府自中國撤退來台為數龐大的軍人和眷屬落腳眷村。左營眷村依著軍階高低分配到的眷舍就大相逕庭,官舍等級最高的為日治時期日人所興建,由於規畫完善,品質也最佳;戰後,海軍將日遺眷舍分配給高階軍官;其他較低階的軍官則入住由海軍總部與婦聯會所興建眷舍。

  來自五湖四海的軍官落腳左營,南腔北調的鄉音訴說著鄉愁,眷村居民儘管缺少家族支援,但與左鄰右舍互助的精神,安定眷村每個家庭。

  拜訪居住於建業新村的胡復興和吳台馨夫婦,胡復興娓娓道來這段物質貧乏,但精神生活富裕的兒時歲月,他4歲便隨著父親由故鄉中國長沙遷移至左營建業新村。靠著父親的軍餉,加上養雞、種菜,傳承兄姐的舊衣服,但已感到知足,眷村左鄰右舍會將鄰居的孩子視如己出,主動餵飽鄰居的孩子。他笑言,時代變了,腳底的球鞋從「中國強」換成Nike,但他還是最喜歡啖著蘿蔔乾,搭配饅頭正好!

  長於烹飪的胡復興夫婦握起鍋鏟示範家常菜,桌上的家常菜香氣四溢,每道菜都鹹香下飯,胡復興不忘盛碟自個兒醃製的蘿蔔乾,嚐一塊就明白:越是簡單的料理,滋味越是雋永。席間他談起,許多眷村子弟為了改善家境都跑船去了,每回帶回香皂、蘋果和洋裝餽贈親友,珍稀的洋貨讓他印象深刻,但他日後卻沒去跑船,只因海上離家太遠了,收不到信,倒是子承父業,成為職業軍人。

  飯後,他領著大夥在住家附近走走,日遺眷舍的居住空間自有一種恬淡雅靜的氛圍,外頭形狀整齊的灌木叢乃至大型樹木修剪都不假手他人,鄰居的樹木也由他代勞,眷村互助精神落實在生活中。太太不在的空檔,他有感而發的說,太太很偉大,為了持家都不買化妝品,不捨之情溢於言表。話鋒一轉,他面對住家附近有些人去樓空的房子,則有些感嘆。

  眷村的獨特繫於居民,眷村居民豐富了眷村,造就了文化的溫度和深度。