Phase 3: Interpreting Information

Updated 10 months 1 week ago

In Phase 0, I chose my topic-Local Recreation/Hobbies and explained why I chose this to investigate. In this Phase, I will do background research that will help me understand my topic more. In Phase 1, I wrote down my understanding of my project.

Background Information (From Phase 1)

Xizhou is a town located in Dali in the Northwestern part of Yunnan. The town has the population of 2500 people, consisting mostly Bai people with a minority of Han and Hui citizens. [2] of The meaning of Xizhou is "happy prefecture" and a place would happiness would be filled with hobbies and entertainment. 

Hobbies are important because it generates positive feelings, reduce stress and enhances work performance which is much needed in Xizhou. Education, work, taking care of kids, financial problems can lead to stress. Hobbies are important because it generates positive feelings, reduce stress and enhances work performance which is much needed in Xizhou. Any interest you have can easily become a hobby if you pursue it. [1]

Some of the popular local recreation and hobbies of the elders Xizhou are Mahjong, dancing and drinking tea.[3] Mahjong is a strategy game played with 4 people and is popular among older woman and sometimes older men. [4]  As elders get bored, they like to spend their time outside socializing with their friends.Square dancing is popular among the older woman as it improves health and brings back early memories of the cultural revolution.[5,6] Drinking tea is a common leisure time activity as tea is popular in Xizhou.

The teenagers and children have different aspects of their recreation time and their hobbies.The children of Xizhou village would often go swimming, canoeing or kayaking in the nearby Lake Erhai. On the other hand, the older teenagers spend their leisure time smoking as it is easy for them to access. Smoking habits of the teenagers have increased throughout the years in Xizhou due to peer pressure.[7] 

Other recreations and hobbies are sports, karaoke, going to the park, and shopping.[8] Sports like badminton and table tennis are common to do as a recreational activity as the resources are available and it is a fun and competitive game.  Depending on your personality and interests, different recreational activities and hobbies can vary and change. [9]


Information From 3-to-5's:

Mr. Chen

- The dancing ladies dance from 7-9 o'clock at night 
- A lot of villagers during the Great Leap Foward stole metal to make steel (iron)


Information from local contacts:

Mr.Yang and Ms. Ma[10]

- Mr. Yang is 78 years old and works at an antique shop
- Mr. Yang started collecting things when he was 20
- met Ms. Ma when they were around 20
- Started off his career with his hobby, didn't start it because of money
- Happiest moment of his life is when his kids are successful 

Internet Cafe staff [11]
- likes to shop in her free time
She did not allow me to ask further questions

A Ping [12]

- 19 years old and works at a coffee shop on the way to the Linden Center
- Considers himself a bad boy and student during his teenage years
-  His parents didn’t care about his studies 
- Young adults in Xizhou prefer wechat than socializing face to face

Mr. Yang Yuan [13]

- He is 25 years old and works at the Linden Center 
- There was no technology back in his teenage years
- His hobbies now are playing basketball, walking his dog, socializing with his friends and watching T.V
- His hobbies in his teenage years are gossiping, poking bees’ nest and playing with his friends
- His favorite thing to do is to stargaze with his mom under a blanket in his home’s terrace.

Ms. A Ling [14]

- 45 years old is an Ayi at Linden Center
- Her favorite part of her life is how Linden Center changed her life the better way
- Linden Center helped her open her mind a lot and taught her a lot of important life lessons
- Even though the teacher doesn’t like her son’s friends, she respects her son’s decision
- Thinks the technology in Xizhou is going to help the future in a better way; will expand people's learning and understanding
- Her grandparents were lucky that they weren't targeted during the Cultural Revolution 
- Has a son that is 13 and is quiet.
- She did not have hobbies when she was young due to her family's poor situation
- She had to help do chores and farm after she comes home from school

Mr. Du [15]
- 67 years old, is an antique collector/ seller
- Elders in Xizhou maintain health biking, walking and some enjoy running
- It is important to him that he has a healthy diet and schedule every day to maintain health
- People categorize themselves by age, never by their hobbies 
- People did not have the recourse back then to have hobbies.
- If someone wanted to play piano, they wouldn't have the chance or money

Mr. Zhao [16]

- 65 years old and is a guard at Yang Zhou Ran
- Enjoys reading in his free time
-Was 6 years old when Great Leap forward happened
- Was in 4th grade when Cultural Revolution started
- stopped going to school because of Cultural Revolution
- Had to carry propaganda when during Cultural Revolution
- The whole school had to eat together in a small communal space 
- The most difficult time was when the Soviet Union pulled all their resource away and left China
- Has a 6-year-old granddaughter
- Granddaughter likes to dance La Ding and Ming Zu Wu 
- Believes that Mao's action was 70 percent good, 30 percent bad
- Believes that Mao was just trying to help the people, but turned out to be in a bad way. 
- Mom was a housewife 
- Dad was a teacher 

Yang Ayi [17]

- 42 years old, takes care of Sophie
- Has 2 daughters, older one is 17, younger one is 11
- Older daughter likes to design clothes
- Younger daughter likes to dance (Ming Zu Wu, Chinese culture dance)
- wants her daughters to go to big cities to develop better
- Mom is 63, likes knitting and embroidery
- Dad is 67 and is a horse cart driver
- Brother is 40 and is a Math teacher
- likes to play with her kids in her free time
- People didn't have hobbies back then, the society was too messy
- People were starving during that time, had no extra energy to have free time or hobbies
- Old people enjoy Mahjong, socializing, embroidery...
- The young adults prefer wechat over socializing face to face

Zhang Ayi [18]
- 53 years old, cook at the Linden Centre Employee Cafe.
- Favorite hobby is Square Dancing 
- The happiest time period of her life was when she was not married. She had no worries and no troubles
- She is the happiest when she is doing Square Dancing
- Was 30 years old when she was introduced to Square Dancing. 
- If her teacher never encouraged to dance, she would have never done it
- Has a 5-year-old grandson that used to Square Dance with her when he lived in Xizhou.
- Her grandson is starting Ming Zu dancing
- Elders in Xizhou don't really use technology or Wechat 


Answers to Previous Questions (from Phase 1):

1) Would the teenagers prefer video games over sports? Why is that so? 
Over my course of talking to some of the parents of some teenagers and high schoolers I made friends with, not all the teenagers prefer video games over sports. Most of the video games are played in the internet cafe and someone under the age of 18 is not allowed in. Because of that, many teens and teenagers have built many interesting hobbies that don't all consist of technology. 

2) Do the villagers prefer using technology (wechat) to chat or to socialize with others face to face?
For the younger generation, people prefer using technology to chat because it was easier for long distance contact. For the elders in Xizhou, 

3) How is the technology going to affect the teens and teenagers in Xizhou?
Most of the local contacts I interview believed that the technology is going to change Xizhou in a better way, even though more people will get near-sighted. 

4) Do people categorize themselves and choose friends based on their hobbies and recreation?
The people of Xizhou never categorize themselves by hobbies or recreational activities. They always choose friends that are similar in age, even if their hobbies don't math. 

5) How do the elders maintain health with their hobbies and recreation?
The elders maintain health by having a good schedule and a healthy diet. The elders in Xizhou wake up early in the morning to do chores or walk around, and sleep early at night. For their diet, they have a full and balanced lunch and breakfast but have a light dinner. The reason they have a light dinner is that you don't move as much at night and is unhealthy to have a full belly when you sleep. The elders maintain health by doing what they love, like walking their grandkids to school and helping out each other 

6) Why do most of the older woman do street dancing (square dancing)?
The woman in Xizhou does Square dancing to maintain health and forget about their troubles and stress. While dancing, they have fun and can be free to be who they truly are in front of their friends. They don't have to worry about being criticized or judged by their family members and can forget about all the bad things they had during the day  

7) Where do the elders do Square dancing in Xizhou?
I decided to delete this question because it was basic and as I already got my answer during my 3-5's

7) What is your happiest moment/ happiest time period in your life?
Most of the people are the happiest when their kids are successful and their happiest time period is when they are free of worries, troubles
and stress.

8) How is the square dancing tradition passed on in Xizhou?
The Square dancing tradition will be most likely not passed on due to the lack of interest in the people 
now days. The next generation will be doing a newer type of dance.

9) How does Cultural Revolution affect the people on their recreational activity choice?
Becuase people were starving during Cultural Revolution, people did not have the luxury to have hobbies or even free time. 

10) How does the Great Leap forward affect the people on their recreational activity choice?
I deleted this question because Great Leap Foward affects more on the economy, not on the hobbies





1. Online: accessed November 3rd.
2.  Online: accessed November 1st
3. Online: Alex L. accessed November 4th
4. Online: Alex L. accessed November 4th
5. Online: November 5th
6. Online: November 5th
7.  Online: Thomas C. accessed November 6th
8. Online: accessed November 6th.|
9. Online: Anne-Marie C. accessed November 6th.
10. Mr. Yang and Ms. Ma. Personal interview conducted by Hayley So., 25 November 2017
11. Internet Cafe Staff. Personal interview conducted by Hayley So., 26 November 2017
12. A Ping Personal interview conducted by Hayley So., 26 November 2017
13. Mr. Yang Yuan. Personal interview conducted by Hayley So., 26 November 2017
14. Ms. A Ling.Personal interview conducted by Hayley So., 29 November 2017
15. Mr. Du. Personal interview conducted by Hayley So., 1 December 2017 
16. Mr. Zhao. Personal interview conducted by Hayley So., 4 December 2017
17. Ms. Yang Personal interview conducted by Hayley So., 4 December 2017
18. Ms. Zhang Personal interview conducted by Hayley So., 5 December 2017

In this phase, I have collected enough information from different local contacts. I know that I am ready to move on to the next phase because I have learned more about my ten big questions and other as well as my new questions. I also had a talk with Mr. Tafel about what my final product is going to be and how I am going to structure it. In the next phase, Phase 4, I will be making a plan for my final product. 




Hey guys! My name is Hayley and I am now an alumni of the 21-st Ultimate Group. I enjoy playing volleyball, making Youtube Videos and cooking in my free time. My journey at Microcampus has been amazing and through the up's and down's, I learned so much about my inquiry project, the village, the citizens and most of all, myself. I will never forget my home away from home, Xizhou with its delicious food, blue skies, stars and kind locals. 喜州,我想你!