Let's 'SayTaiwan'

by on Thursday, 24 February 2011 Comments

The build-up to ROC Taiwan's "International Youth Week - Centennial Homestay" has begun, with SayTaiwan calling for 250 participants from over one hundred countries, for this one off opportunity to experience the various colours and moods of this beautiful island. For the event that will be held over 12th-25th August, applicants are encouraged to send an optional video, 3-5 minutes in length, introducing themselves, along with the relevant documents before April 15th 2011.

In the Taiwanese dialect Seh-daiwan (遊台灣) means 'wander Taiwan'. SayTaiwan aims to promote Taiwan abroad, by giving these lucky individuals the chance to see for themselves what a beautiful, friendly and safe place Taiwan is. The winning participants will live with local families in different areas of Taiwan...one lucky visitor will even get the opportunity to run in the park with Vice Premier Chen and his beloved dog. Asides from home staying with local families, the participants will be expected to report about their experiences in Taiwan through blogs, social networking and other internet mediums. Finally all the participants will travel to the very fringe of Taiwan, as they visit Kinmen Island, home of Taiwan's favourite sorghum wine - Kinmen Kaoliang - and just two kilometres from mainland China. There they will attend the "ROC Centennial Peace Day in Kinmen" and a farewell banquet.

During the opening press conference, journalists, government officials and some foreign guests were treated to a unique and lively Taiwanese dance performance. Afterwards Jasmine Brown, a Belizean student at National Taiwan Normal University, the home of the biggest Mandarin language centre in Taiwan, was asked to give her thoughts on Taiwan. "Taiwan is a beautiful country" she replied, before throwing praise on how "extremely safe" and "convenient" Taiwan was for her regular 3am journeys to convenience stores and fast food joints. She also expressed gratitude for how "friendly and helpful" the people on Taiwan were, giving a personal example:

"My little brother came to visit me in Taipei, and on his way back to Taipei from Tainan, he forgot his wallet in the Taxi. So he went back to Tainan and then he realised he didn't have his wallet. The taxi driver took his wallet to the police station and the police officer found his ID card from the Taekwondo teacher that my brother has. The Taekwondo teacher called and told my little brother that the card was safely back in Taipei. In any other country your wallet would be gone, but not in Taipei."

saytaiwan2But Taiwan is more than midnight snacking, Yoyo cards and metropolitan safe havens. Indeed there is much that the world can learn from Taiwan. It is one of the most advanced technology hubs in the world, uniquely positioned to share its culture and society through Asia and the Pacific; its demographic landscape is a sea of diversity, with over ten languages still spoken in Taiwan, even more native ethnic groups, and  very healthy Austronesian, Hakka and Chinese arts scenes all coexisting harmoniously together; finally, it is the home of bubble or pearl milk tea (珍珠奶茶), a fact not lost on those who received their own bubble tea as a leaving present. Taiwan also has much to learn from the rest of the world and will greatly look forward to the stories and experiences of their visiting friends.

For those interested in the project you can apply from the beginning of March 2011, until April 15th, 2011. More information here or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">saytaiwan@100homestay.com

Mei-fang Tsai (蔡玫芳)

Mei-fang was Taipei Ricci Institute's manager. She is now the executive director of the Weiyuan Miculture Foundation.

前台北利氏學社經理 -  現任「微遠虎山」執行長

Website: www.miculturetw.org/

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