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Unbending dedication to tourism

Wednesday, June 01, 2011 - 01:42

May 31 - Two Taiwanese women are riding the wave of the planking phenomenon by promoting Taiwan's various tourist spots. Tara Cleary reports.

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Stiff as a board, Jinyu poses for a photograph, taken by her friend Karren. This is "planking" in which a subject lies with her arms at her side, face down, to be snapped. And these two Taiwanese women are taking the quirky practice to a new plane - using their images to promote Taiwanese culture and tourism. SOUNDBITE: 28-year-old planker, Karren, saying (Mandarin): "In the beginning it was only for fun, but we realized that we can give meaning to the photos, then we thought about introducing our homeland Taiwan, because this is where we grew up and we feel emotionally attached to it. If people from other parts of the world can learn more about Taiwan through these photos, then our photos become very meaningful." Jinyu and Karren have been dubbed the "Face Down on the Streets Girls" and their pictures have thousands of followers on social network sites. Though one passer-by feels it's a risky exercise. SOUNDBITE: Hong Kong tourist, Grace Wong, saying (English): "When they are planking, they can't see their surroundings, they are not focused on it. So maybe it is dangerous." The global fad has its origins in Australia, developing out of "The Lying Down Game" and it's been described by some as "pointless". But Jinyu and Karren are not taking their hobby lying down. They are rigidly determined to showcase their country's sites and culture - even if it does mean falling flat on their faces. Tara Cleary, Reuters.

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Unbending dedication to tourism

Wednesday, June 01, 2011 - 01:42