Meanwhile, in ... South Korea, seniors are finding new life in daytime discos

And in Cerrito, Paraguay, a rural high school faced with severe cuts in government funding found a way to support itself.

KIM HONG-JI/REUTERS
DISCO FOR SENIORS IN SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA

South Korea, seniors are finding new life in daytime discos. It’s a movement that started in the 1990s – one that some observers say makes all the sense in the world. Discos would stand empty during the day, while many seniors complained of boredom and inactivity. Now, seniors can dance during the day at more than 1,000 discos throughout the country. The name “colatec” has been coined for these operations because the venues don’t serve alcohol during the day but instead offer cola or yogurt drinks. South Korea’s population is estimated to be aging faster than that of any other developed country. 

Cerrito, Paraguay, a rural high school faced with severe cuts in government funding found a way to support itself. In 2002 the San Francisco Agricultural School teamed up with a microfinance institution and transformed itself into an enterprise-based agricultural school in which student coursework includes organic vegetable gardening, dairy processing, beekeeping, caring for goats and chickens, and managing a tree nursery, rural hotel, and roadside stores. The school earns more than $300,000 annually and charges students only about $10 per month for room, board, and tuition. The school’s model has been replicated at three other schools in Paraguay and in more than 20 countries. 

Australia’s central desert, an Aboriginal women’s choir has been keeping alive the decades-old tradition of singing German hymns in Aboriginal languages. German Lutheran missionaries first introduced the hymns to the Australian natives in the 1870s. The missionaries translated the hymns into complex Aboriginal languages such as Western Arrarnta and Pitjantjatjara. The Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir recently traveled to Germany to perform the hymns there and is now the subject of a new documentary called “Song Keepers.” Some choir members say that singing the hymns has helped them to connect with their own culture. 

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