The operators of Duxingshi Village Culture Park (篤行十村) in Penghu hope to appeal to visitors’ nostalgia with a 1950s-style Taiwanese grocery store — colloquially known as a gamadiam (“citrus shop,” 柑仔店) in Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese) — inside the park.
The park aims to preserve the legacy of a now-defunct military dependents’ village that housed soldiers and their families stationed in Penghu when the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) first arrived in Taiwan.
It was designated a heritage site in 2007 to preserve the history of its structures built during the Japanese colonial era. Three of the structures on the 4,600m2 site are wooden Japanese-style buildings and six are made of brick and cement.
Muliangou, the company responsible for operating the site, spent NT$100 million (US$3.2 million) renovating the buildings. The renovation project included the building of a 15-room inn, stores and an outdoor theater, where early films from the nation’s film industry are shown.
The company also built the Xiangdong Store (湘東商店), a gamadiam that sells period Taiwanese sweets and souvenirs that has become a highlight of the park.
To create an atmosphere reminiscent of a real 1950s gamadiam, Xiangdong was built in one of the village’s original buildings and adorned with movie posters from the times when the stores were still common, Muliangou said.
Inside the store is a period Vespa scooter and early appliances from Tatung Co, Muliangou chairman Tseng Shan-teng (曾衫藤) said, adding that middle-aged visitors would immediately be transported back to their youth.
The store is working with a number of vendors to source traditional snacks from across the nation, he said.
The store is to hold an event to sell goods for next year’s Lunar New Year that includes elements of Aboriginal marriage customs, he added.