International Students Share Their Taiwanese
Experiences at Exhibition
NTU's Student Housing Service Division kicked off its "Discover Taiwan! An Exhibition of International Students' Fine Art" with a festive opening ceremony on May 5. This exhibition was organized to give NTU's international students opportunities to express their curiosity and imagination regarding Taiwan, while also permitting the university's local students to rediscover Taiwan from different perspectives and gain a deeper understanding of the culture they inhabit. Over the course of the three-week exhibition, more than 100 works by 17 international students from nine countries were put on display.
On the day of the opening ceremony, attendees were treated to a variety of local Taiwanese delicacies and entertained by exciting performances put on by the university's international students. One performance consisted of German and American students joined by a local underground rock band. A group of Japanese students made a warm impression by addressing the audience in fluent Taiwanese. Later, three handsome male students from the Netherlands donned traditional clothing from their country as they joined the ceremony's MC to serenade the audience with traditional Dutch love songs; this performance drew endless laughter and applause. Vice President for Administrative Affairs Tzong-ho Bau and Dean of Student Affairs Yeng Feng later took the stage to present awards to the international students taking part in the exhibition.
On top of the exciting performances, the works placed on exhibit were also not to be missed. A student from the United States named Alyson presented her photographs of graveyards in Taiwan. Though people in Taiwan generally consider graveyards to be gruesome, ill-omened places, her pictures possess a deep aesthetic quality. She says Taiwanese culture places a high value on the concept of family, so Taiwanese erect "beautiful houses" for their friends and relatives so they can rest in peace. She expressed a deep appreciation for this custom. Among the many other topics addressed in the exhibit were the course of events surrounding the renaming of Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall as Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall, Taiwan's bustling night markets, and the elaborate architecture and colorful customs of Taiwan's temples.
Seen though the eyes of these students from around the globe, these Taiwanese phenomena were given new perspectives and stories. During this three weeks of activities NTU's Taiwanese students also shared their experiences by teaching their international classmates such local customs as wrapping shui jiao dumplings, pulling traditional "dragon beard" taffy, forming traditional pinched-dough figurines and practicing martial arts.