China’s Noisy "Dancing Grannies" Silenced By Device That Disables Speakers

Across China’s public parks and squares, in the early hours of the morning or late in the afternoon, the grannies gather. The gangs — made up of mostly middle-aged and older women — take to a corner of a local park or sports field and dance in unison to Chinese music…….loud Chinese music. The tradition has led to alarming standoffs, with the blaring music frequently blamed for disturbing the peace in often high-density residential areas. Residents, however, are too scared to confront the women. The dilemma of dancing grannies has prompted some to seek out high-tech solutions, and one went viral this week. It’s a remote stun gun-style device that claims to be able to disable a speaker from 160 feet away. While the government describes the dancing as a “positive and effective way to reduce the medical and financial burden as well as increase the quality of life for older people,” neighbors complain that it has gotten out of control, with competing groups blasting their music over each other in small areas. Some disputes have even led to violence. The stun gun and other devices for sale online are part of an emerging market in goods to push back against the noise pollution while avoiding interaction. It’s not all hostile. Last year one group in Lanzhou city, Gansu, found a solution that made everyone happy by using bluetooth earphones, holding their own version of a silent disco.