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Showing posts from July, 2014

Chinese Tourist Attacked and Beaten in Taiwan

Yesterday evening a mainland Chinese tourist travelling to Taiwan with her mother was beaten by several Taiwanese men. The 40-year-old woman had booked a trip for 8 days and 7 nights through a Taiwanese travel agency paying 3900 RMB (about 500 Euros, or 20,000 NTD). She and the other members of the tourist group come from Zhengzhou (鄭州 / 郑州) in China's Henan Province . Yesterday, while she was shopping outside of their hotel in the hot spring area of Zhiben (知本, spelt Chihpen in Taiwan) , about 15km from Taidong , she heard people screaming behind her. At first she didn't pay attention to it, but then 5, 6 men surrounded her. Among them were the bus driver, the tour guide and the group leader she had been travelling with. " They were pointing at their noises, talking in Taiwanese, " said the woman later to journalists. " Then the tour guide came. I asked him what was going on. But he ignored my question. " The men punched and kicked the woman sever

16-Year-Old Girl Uses LINE App to Organise Prostitution Business

As Apple Daily reported, a 16-year-old Taiwanese girl and her boyfriend have been arrested on charges of human trafficking after the police discovered they were using the popular social App LINE to lure customers.  According to the newspaper, 16-year-old Xiaoya [fictitious name] used LINE, an app owned by the Korean company Naver, in order to lure male customers with whom she had sexual intercourse. Because her 'business' was increasingly successful, she couldn't handle it all by herself and decided to find other young girls to work for her.  5 girls, all of them between 15 and 17 years old, agreed to have compensated dating for money. Xiaoya would contact the potential customers through LINE, and then would arrange a meeting with one of the girls. Each client paid 3000 NTD (around 75 Euros), of which Xiaoya took 50%. Xiaoya's boyfriend worked as a pimp and bodyguard for the girls. However, after one of the girls went to the police and claimed to have been sex

Experimental Farm of National Taiwan University

On one of Taipei's hot and sunny day there's nothing better than finding a shadowy place to take a rest and eating a delicious ice cream. If you're looking for a such a place you may consider visiting the campus of National Taiwan University (NTU). About one and a half years ago a Taiwanese friend of mine showed me for the first time the campus. She took me to a small shop - a nice one-storey building with a few tables outside and protected from the sun by trees. She explained that all the products sold in that store are made through crops grown on NTU farmland. I bought an ice cream in that shop, and it was one of the best I've ever eaten (not surprisingly, on weekends, when many families go to the campus to walk and relax, this ice cream is often sold out). The Affiliated Experimental Farm to the College of Bio-Resources and Agriculture of National Taiwan University , as it is officially called, is a place of teaching, research and practice for students of th

A Loss of Face for Taiwan? - 2 Taiwanese Tourists Damage Hotel in Japan

I am Taiwanese and I am working in a hot spring hotel in Japan. Our hotel cares a lot about Taiwanese people and we are very nice to them. Our hotel hopes to offer them a top-level service, and we also care about the habits and customs of our Taiwanese guests. However, yesterday evening two Taiwanese guests have repaid the kindness of the Japanese this way [shows the pictures of wrecked furniture]. Four Japanese-style doors and two windows in one of the rooms have been damaged. When we told the boss's wife about it she was so angry that she cried.... This is a passage from a Facebook post published by a Taiwanese user who calls herself MikiJuan . The post was soon shared thousands of times. Several Taiwanese newspapers wrote articles about it. Many netizens reacted angrily. " Taiwanese abroad should not do things that put Taiwan to shame "; " Tell us the names of these people so we can understand what kind of parents and schools taught them to do this sort of th

Taiwan's Filial Piety Awards (孝行獎)

On June 18, 30 Republic of China (ROC) nationals received this year's  Filial Piety Awards (孝行獎) , a prize that celebrates outstanding examples of filial devotion . Zhou Dingli (周鼎立), the oldest person to receive the award, is 85 years old, while the youngest, Wang Zhilong (王志龍) is only 14. A foreign spouse from Indonesia was also honoured with the prize. The Filial Piety Award ceremony was hosted by Wu Dunyi (吳敦義) , Vice-President of the ROC, and Chen Weiren (陳威仁) , head of the Ministry of the Interior which is also the organiser of the annual award.  The prize is an example of state-promoted filial piety (read my post about Filial Piety in Chinese Culture ). To some extent, it is comparable to the promotion of filiality through awards and memorial arches in the Chinese Empire . In Taipei itself there is still such a memorial arch. It is located inside 228 Peace Park and was constructed during the Qing Dynasty. It is also comparable to other similar public events, such a

Taiwan's Convenience Store Clerk Falls Asleep, Insults Customer Who Wakes Him Up

Yesterday evening at around midnight I went to Family Mart, a big convenience store chain, next to an MRT Station to buy my dinner - a salad, rice with egg, and strawberry soy milk. When I was about to pay, I looked at the shop clerk and saw that his eyes were closed. He seemed to be asleep asleep. 'Ni  hao,' I said. He woke up. 'Ni hao,' I repeated.  He had dark circles under his eyes, and as he was scanning the products and putting them into a bag he moved sluggishly. In Taiwan, they usually give you plastic cutlery, but the clerk forgot it. 'Wo yao yi zhi chazi' (I need a fork), I said smiling. 'Ah, chazi,' he slurred. I also had to remind him to give me a straw and chopsticks.  I'm not writing this post to criticise this guy. Actually, I smiled at him and when he apologised I said it didn't matter. I really understand that convenience store clerks who do the night shift have a pretty tough time. Probably he hadn't slept much befo

Two-Faced Friends - Discovering a Person's Other Self

One day I searched the name of a friend of mine on Facebook. She'd been having a difficult time and I wanted to send her a message to ask how she was doing. But when I typed her name into the search bar not one, but two profiles appeared: the one which was familiar to me, and another one, of which I'd known nothing.  This person - I'll call her J. - had always been nice to me and we spent quite a lot of time together (she is not Taiwanese; I met her in another Asian country). She had told me quite a lot about her personal life, but since we'd been knowing each other for just a few months I was aware that I did not know her deeply.  She had always acted in a cute, friendly and open way, and she seemed very well-behaved and quiet. Her Facebook profile reflected my impressions of her. But, as often happens, people are not what they seem, and what they show to others is not necessarily how they really are, but how they want to be perceived.  As I looked at her

The 'USA Taiwan Government' Occupies Taiwan's Provincial Government Building

In the afternoon of July 7 two tourist coaches took around 200 supporters of the USA Taiwan Government  (UTG, Chinese: 美國台灣政府 )  to the seat of the Taiwan Provincial Government  located in Zhongxing Xincun (中興新村) in Nantou County. The leader of the UTG, Cai Mingfa (蔡明法), and his followers entered the building through the toilet and occupied it . They raised a banner of the UTG in the office of the Governor of Taiwan Province, Lin Zhengze (林政則) , who was in Yilan that day.  Cai Mingfa declared: " We should not allow the government-in-exile of the Republic of China (流亡的中華民國政府) to use illegal and violent methods against the Taiwanese people. We urge the Taiwanese people to regain possession of their own rights. " The UTG was founded on April 25, 2013 , in Washington DC by Cai Mingfa , a 58-year-old native of Guanmiao District (關廟區) , Tainan City. He lived in the USA for 11 years and has an American passport.  The UTG believes that the legal status of Taiwan after

China's Eight Non-Communist Parties

On October 1, 1949, Mao Zedong proclaimed the foundation of the People's Republic of China in front of a jubilant crowd in Tiananmen Square. The images of that historic moment have become famous all over the world. But few know who were the people standing behind Mao as he was holding his speech.  Most of them were, like Mao, Communist revolutionaries and high-ranking politicians, such as  Zhu De (朱德) , Liu Shaoqi ( 刘少奇 /   劉少奇) , and Zhou Enlai ( 周恩来 /  周恩來) .  However, one also finds names of people who were not members of the Communist Party: Song Qingling ( 宋庆龄 /  宋慶齡) , the wife of Sun Yat-sen , the man who had founded the Republic of China which the Communists had long fought to overthrow; Zhang Lan ( 张澜 /  張瀾) , the founder of the China Democratic League ; and Li Jishen (李濟深), the chairman of the Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Guomindang (RCCG). In fact, the PRC was founded - at least in theory - as a multi-party state under the leadership of the Chine

"Three Reasons to Marry a Japanese Girl"

A few days ago the YouTube channel Stopkiddinstudio released a video entitled " Three Reasons to Marry a Japanese Girl ". In the video, a Japanese girl named Amy explains in Chinese why Japanese girls are different from (and, according to her, better than) Taiwanese girls: 1) Japanese girls wear make-up and are well-dressed; for them, this is a way of being polite (化妝和打扮對日本女生來說是一種禮貌). 2) Japanese girls are considerate, they " won't ask their boyfriends to go and buy food in the middle of the night ". 3) Japanese girls are good at cooking, their food " will make their boyfriends happy and healthy ". The reactions of Taiwanese viewers have been mixed. Some people agreed with Amy and wrote that Japanese girls are indeed very cute; others wrote that both Taiwanese and Japanese girls are cute. A female viewer wrote: " Taiwanese men are gentle and soft. They can forgive us for being too natural, for acting like princesses sometimes,

Occupy Central - Hong Kong July 1 Democracy March

On July 1997, the former British colony of Hong Kong officially became part of the People's Republic of China. But while the Communist leaders in Beijing would like to remember this day as a glorious moment in the history of the whole nation, today at 3pm thousands of Hong Kongers rallied to demand more democracy , in an open act of defiance against the central government. A large crowd gathered at Victoria Park, in front of Hong Kong Central Library . The protesters are now marching towards Central , the city's business and financial district. Half a million people are expected to take part in the rally . The demonstration was organised by Occupy Central with Love and Peace , a movement launched by Hong Kong professor Benny Tai Yiu-ting . The movement demands direct elections of Hong Kong's Chief Executive in 2017.  At the end of last month, the Occupy Central movement organised an unofficial referendum . As the polls closed on Sunday, 787,767 Hong Kongers had cas