Serendipity: Fighting and Singing Insects--on Beigan, Taiwan November 27, 2010
By Kevin Stoda, Matsu Islands of Taiwan
About a month ago, my wife and I had seen a program from National Geographic on "the cricket man" and fighting insects of China and Taiwan.
While the role of fighting crickets dates back in Chinese history to over two millennia ago. It is a relatively new sport in Taiwan, where I now live..
That episode of National Geographic, my wife and I had watched was focused primarily on crickets and their trainer in Taiwan. However, part of the program involved a journey to Shanghai with some of these champion crickets for an international match.
That episode of National Geographic focused on the journey of a small-town, but nationally-renowned raiser of crickets. The man, named Ango, has been raising crickets and promoting entomology in schools for many decades.
Till-our-present-day, international cricket combat championships are still held in Beijing, the traditional seat of the Chinese empire s. However, crickets and their do-jo masters have made the trip from Japan, Taiwan and the Koreas.
Crickets have far more to offer than fighting skills. Historically, crickets are items for eating connoisseurs throughout Asia. In addition, they have been main (& beloved) and have become characters in Disney movies. Recently, they have played roles in modern alternative music.
Naturally, poets and other romantics have also sung odes to the joy of listening to crickets in the evening. Most of us consider crickets therapeutic and relaxing to listen to.
This is where serendipity or coincidence in space and time fit in with my wife and my experience here in the Matsu Islands this week.
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