Africa can learn from Asia

by on 週五, 23 九月 2011 評論
Interview with Niyomwungeri Maxime Jim from Rwanda

This tall, strong and positive young man with such a broad smile on his face is Niyomwungeri Maxime Jim. We met each other at a party at which were assembled lots of guests from the "Say Taiwan Homestay project".

He came to Taiwan from Rwanda, an inland country with the highest density population in Central Africa. As his name is not that easy to pronounce for Taiwanese people, his host family gave him a Mandarin nickname, "Lu An" (路安). His host family lives in Dong Shih, Taichung city, in a quiet and pleasant suburban neighbourhood. "They treat me so well! They make me feel like a prince!", he says. His host father, Peter Chen is a devout christian who is in charge of a daycare center for the elderly."I thought the host family would just be a place to sleep and that I would have to take care of myself. But they treat me like their own son, which I never expected. They give me so much that I do not want to leave Taiwan." He says happily.

Besides his host family, another impressive experience for "Lu An" was in the Taiwanese night market. "The night market is fun, I eat everything, and today I ate so much I almost died... So I learned today, that you need to just have a little taste then move on to the next stall…." He also emphasized the liveliness of the city,"Wow! You drive very fast and everyone seems to follow the rules. Every one stops at traffic lights."

We began to discuss more about the differences between Taiwan and Rwanda : "I think you are united and your people share the same vision for the country. The police treat people in a friendly way and you really feel they are working for tthe public. They want to see their country grow better, it is very nice."

I was interested that he said he found it hard to hear from local Taiwanese people."Taiwanese people work hard, I want to learn from you for my country's future development." "...You really show your respect to each other. People truly care about and respect others from the bottom of their hearts. They don’t judge you. I don’t feel like I’m foreigner here. He adds: "I don't understand what happened in your past, but I think that what brings you together is bigger than what separates you." I was suprised that we are united more than divided in his eyes.

He think there are a lot of things to learn from Asia. He feels like all Asians come from the same place, hence there is an ability to cooperate and to work in unity. Finally, we asked him what Taiwan can learn from Africa, to which he responded: "Come to Africa and you will find out! We’ve been through so much pain, but we are still joyful, that’s what you can learn."


Interview filmed by Hallie Haller and Cerise Phiv, edited by Zijie Yang and Cerise Phiv

Zijie Yang (楊子頡)

一個連自身存在都與所身處社會一樣荒謬的年輕男子,不太適應團體,不易尋得認同與歸屬感。曾參與06年廢墟佔領、寶藏巖公社抗爭;10年參與桑雅靜心劇坊學習舞踏;現為諾努客反核文化行動團隊活動企劃與鼓手,台灣大學社會工作學系系學生。

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