In his creative critique of industrial society and everydayness, Henri Lefebvre points out the contradiction and interdependence between leisure and work. Taking the narratives of Hakka women in northern Taiwan speaking about their personal experiences of singing or listening to mountain songs (san24go24, shan’ge) as an illustrative example, this article reveals multiple relations between leisure and work, acting as a theoretical compliment and extension of Lefebvre’s theory. Through a focus on personal narratives, the approach taken in this article enables us to examine and record certain forms of everydayness in the rural lives of Hakka women in Taiwan in the period between 1930 and 1955. This article explores the experiences of Hakka women being colonized through a discussion of life-history narratives in reference to listening to and singing mountain songs within the daily and extraordinary contexts of life within the local community. The article presents several findings, including how mountain songs acted both as social markers in colonial society and as channels to obscure the boundary between leisure and work.
- Mountain songs
- Northern Taiwan