Human Interest

Veteran lives caveman style of life by riverside for decades

Taiwan News
Date: 2016-09-06
By: George Liao, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

An old man has been living a caveman style of life by the riverside in Hualien County for decades. He 6773239said he enjoys living alone in the outdoors in a simple, primitive way.

Young Shan-doe lives in an open tent by the bank of Baibao River in Shoufeng Township, Hualien County. He said he is not afraid of typhoons or torrential rains because during times of unusual or extreme weather patterns, he will reside in a culvert to shield himself from winds or rains.

Village administrator Chang Ching-fei said he is worried about Young, so he visits him frequently and gives him things. He said he had tried to persuade Young to accept resettlement and live in a veterans’ home. But Young had repeatedly rejected the idea, saying he has been used to living freely and by himself, Chang said, adding that Young said he only asks for a simple life and having something to eat and clothes to wear to sustain his life.

Young, 84, is unshaven, wearing a long white beard and long hair with a topknot. He lives by the river in deep mountains without running water and electricity like a modern caveman.     [FULL  STORY]

Go Forth and Multiply?

Eye On Taiwan
Date: May 5, 2016
By: David Wang

to peek inside the minds of idiosyncratic Taiwanese, whose off-the-wall behaviors can leave casual observers slack-jawed. Kate on Oct. 17, 2008 felt sufficiently at ease to open ajar her closet to reveal a shuddering tale. And it’s often the highly-educated, sedate ones who shock bystanders by flipping presumptions on end.

Kate, with a masters from Sydney to look as tame, well-behaved as any mid-30s woman from Taiwan, reinforces the negative stereotype that her native land, known for its mature ITC sector, unfortunately produces plenty of physically mature adults with juvenile mindset and behavior. However, one can argue till the cows come home whether Kate is just the tip of the iceberg in Taiwan, or are there multitudes of similar women wearing diapers (fastened excessively tight in Kate’s case to have cut off essential oxygen supply) beneath their designer dresses all over.

Perhaps the setting in which one grows up can tip the balance of mental adjustment. Kate is from a town outside of Kaohsiung (the largest southern city in Taiwan mostly known for heavy industries, third-world-quality drinking water, frequently reported crimes, with one female resident having confessed that all her friends have had their purses snatched), where locals are not known for tuning in to media to stay updated with global affairs, to glean the finer points of the SS16 creations shown at Paris Fashion Week, to read about the latest trend in integrating greenery on exteriors of condo towers, and where the folks actually believe Sex-and-the-City lifestyle is the norm in the West.

Some 5 years ago Kate stayed in a hotel in Taipei where a British man also happened to be a guest. They passed by each other a few times in the lobby, but being strangers Kate always avoided his line of sight, belying the inclination of her alter ego.

One night while the Englishman sat in the lobby, Kate walked by and inexplicably sat next to him. What happened next may be an intriguing seminar topic for the Global Psychiatric Associations annual convention. But Kate incredulously laid her hand on his manhood, which, instead of triggering shock, dismay and bewilderment as would with most men, bizarrely forced tears from his eyes.

Those tears should have sounded an alarm to most liberal-minded women but Kate, with her own self-protective mechanism apparently short-circuited, was too overcome with wanton-indulgence to see straight.

An affair followed that saw Kate become pregnant.

They tried living together for a while, which truly revealed to Kate what shed dragged in from the urban jungle. The man, according to Kate, is delusional and pathologically-insecure: he sometimes forced her against a wall by barring against her neck with chopsticks one minute and then begging for forgiveness on his knees the next; compelled her not to give out their phone number to friends, take her eyes off him while phoning her friends; insisted on having his hand held while walking together in public or hed rant like a baby while sitting on the sidewalk; made sure their shoes were not placed too far apart at home; and never allowed her parents to call after 8 p.m.

After two weeks together with the Englishman in their funny farm, Kate ditched him to shoulder alone single-motherhood. In retrospect, she still could not fathom why she did not find the reason to abort. The explanation is simple for a fully mature, well-adjusted and educated, responsible woman would not have allowed herself to wade into uncharted water as if headed for summer break.

Incidentally, certain segments of the Taiwanese demographic, especially those raised in Small Town with blinkered vision, actually believe a correlation exists between Caucasian and genetic superiority (about as sensible as believing all Scandinavian women are attractive as Candice Bergen). At the risk of rubbing salt in an old wound, Kate should pray that her child has not inherited the basketcase genes from the British dad.

Progression of Dajia Matsu pilgrimage procession delayed

Taiwan News
Date: 2016-04-10
By: George Liao, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

6747034

Matsu Pilgrimage Procession, which is hailed as one of the world’s three largest religious activities and included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list.
The procession started a nine-day, eight-night and 330km “inspection tour” on Friday night at the Jenn Lann Temple in Dajia District, Taichung City, where Dajia Matsu is enshrined.

Along the tour the carved figure of Matsu, the Chinese Goddess of the Sea, who is carried in a palanquin on bearers’ shoulders, along with her devoted followers, will visit 110 temples. Dajia Matsu is scheduled to come back to the Jenn Lann Temple on April 17 at the end of the tour.

The procession entered Changhua County from Taichung City on Saturday afternoon to huge crowds of cheerful believers who packed the streets.

Before the arrival of the procession, many enterprises and businesses in the county had set up tents along the route to provide the followers with free vegetarian foods and places to rest.    [FULL  STORY]

Pingtung tribal community spotlights aboriginal culture

Taiwan News
Source: United Daily News
Date: January 11, 2016

A tribal community in Pingtung County is rising in prominence as a window of

Artworks such as “Meal Time,” a metal installation piece made from spoons of various shapes and sizes, showcase the ingenuity of Taiwan’s indigenous artists in Rinari community of Pingtung County. (UDN)

Artworks such as “Meal Time,” a metal installation piece made from spoons of various shapes and sizes, showcase the ingenuity of Taiwan’s indigenous artists in Rinari community of Pingtung County. (UDN)

artwork and culture for the indigenous Paiwan and Rukai peoples of southern Taiwan.

Situated near Beidawu Mountain in the Central Mountain Range, Rinari was established in December 2010 to accommodate displaced victims of 2009’s Typhoon Morakot. It comprises 483 households originally from Pingtung’s Dashe Village in Sandimen Township, Haocha Village in Wutai Township and Majia Village in Majia Township.

The community, described by ROC President Ma Ying-jeou as the “Provence of Taiwan,” is fast becoming a photographer’s paradise on the strength of its assortment of eye-catching buildings and facilities. It is also famed for popular displays of creations by resident artists forming the backbone of a craft festival organized by the county government since 2014.

Among these is “Fragrant Breeze on the Hill” by Paiwan Etan Pavavalung. The massive metal and wood mural in bright orange on the wall of a building draws attention to the need for environmental conservation.     [FULL  STORY]

I turned my son into Optimus Prime 我把兒子變成大黃蜂了

Pingtung City’s Chienkuo Elementary School threw a costume party at

Ku Yu-kai, a kindergarten student, puts on his Optimus Prime suit in his living room in Pingtung on Dec. 25 last year. 幼兒園學童辜昱愷去年十二月二十五日在屏東家中客廳穿上大黃蜂套裝。 Photo courtesy of Ku Hsin-wei 照片:辜鑫緯提供

Christmas last year, and Ku Yu-kai, a kindergarten student, drew everybody’s attention by transforming himself into Optimus Prime, a Transformers character. His smart suit was tailor-made by his father, Ku Hsin-wei, who spent three months on the production with ivory board, cardboard and foam. It cost him less than NT$1,000 to get it done.

Ku Hsin-wei says both he and his son loved the Transformers, but since the elegant party costumes on the market were pricey and none of the transformer suits fit his son, he decided to make one himself. After the decision was made, he started to search for relevant information on the Internet.

“We had to put up with the mess in the house,” said Ku Hsin-wei, smilingly. The production process required constant modification; as a result, scraps of paper were constantly flying around in the house. Having his family endure the messy living environment was the most challenging part of making the Optimus Prime outfit.     [FULL  STORY]

Woman raised in Finland tracks down birth father in Taiwan

Want China Times
Date: 2015-10-27
By: CNA

Thanks to the perseverance of police in search of her roots, a woman who was born in

Conny Wiik shows his childhood clothes to reporters, May 4, 2014. (File photo/CNA)

Conny Wiik shows his childhood clothes to reporters, May 4, 2014. (File photo/CNA)

Taiwan and sent to Finland for adoption while she was a baby has found her biological father and will fly to Taiwan to meet him in February 2016.

The woman, Janica Palonen, is the second Finnish adoptee who has succeeded in such a search following her compatriot Conny Wiik, who met his Taiwanese family early this year.

Like Wiik, Palonen was one of more than 60 babies sent overseas in the 1980s by a child trafficking ring that used forged documents to arrange adoptions.

Their search for their biological parents was initiated after another member of the group, Sabina Soderlund, first traveled to Taiwan in 2006 with the desire to seek her roots. Soderlund’s case has yet to be resolved.     [FULL  STORY]

Second Finnish adoptee finds roots in Taiwan

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2015/10/26
By: Sunrise Huang and Elizabeth Hsu

Taipei, Oct. 26 (CNA) Thanks to the perseverance of police in search of her roots, a 43665341woman who was born in Taiwan and sent to Finland for adoption while she was a baby has found her biological father and will fly to Taiwan to meet him in February 2016.

The woman, named Janica Palonen, is the second Finnish adoptee who has succeeded in such a search following her compatriot Conny Wiik, who met his Taiwanese family early this year.

Like Wiik, Palonen was one of more than 60 babies sent overseas in the 1980s by a child trafficking ring that used forged documents to arrange adoptions.

Their search for their biological parents was initiated after another member of the group, Sabina Soderlund, first traveled to Taiwan in 2006 with the desire to seek her roots. Soderlund’s case has yet to be resolved.     [FULL  STORY]

Dreams come true for people with disabilities from Penghu

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2015/10/24
Photo courtesy of Catholic Hui-min Enlightenment Center

Taipei, Oct. 24 (CNA) A group of people with physical or intellectual disabilities from the 201510240019t0001outlying island county of Penghu fulfilled their dreams of visiting the Presidential Office and the Taipei 101 skyscraper Saturday with the help of corporate sponsors.

The group of around 50 residents from the Catholic Hui-min Enlightenment Center took a TransAsia Airways flight to Taipei on Friday and arrangements were made for them to stay at the Fullon Hotel Taipei.

On Saturday morning, they went to the Presidential Office, the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall and the Taipei 101 tower.

The visitors were especially excited to be able to take Taipei 101’s high-speed elevators to its observatory on the 89th floor, where they enjoyed a fantastic view of the city.     [FULL  STORY]

Encounters with migrant Filipinos in Taiwan

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2015/10/15
By: Thomas Cytrynowicz

Gemma – “I never gave up”

“I have been here for a very long time. A lifetime actually. I came in 1986,

Photo courtesy of Thomas Cytrynowicz

Photo courtesy of Thomas Cytrynowicz

after having met my then future husband in the Philippines. He was on a business trip in Cebu at the time; we met there, fell in love. He took me with him really quickly afterwards, we married in Taiwan and that is it. My two sons were born here in Taipei.

These past 30 years have been everything but a smooth sailing. The cultural shock when I first arrived hit me really hard. Because my husband was making enough money to sustain our couple, he refused to let me work. He was also against me making Filipino friends, or going to Church on Sundays. As a fervent Catholic, that was difficult to accept. My first few years were very lonely, I used to stay at home most of the time. I could have felt depressed by then, but I chose to make use of my time the best way I could. I forced myself in learning Chinese through the TV programs that were available. Later on, I volunteered in the primary school where my kids were going, and I was able to make many Taiwanese friends, mothers and children alike. It is actually very impressive the extent to which children wanted to help me improve. Thanks to this, I managed to acquire a very strong proficiency in Mandarin and sooner or later, I was asked to join the Saint Christopher’s parish; they needed help with their Filipino community. My husband accepted, and I became the secretary of the parish about 10 years ago.     [FULL  STORY]

Local model Teddy Tang makes waves in Taiwan

Local model Teddy Tang has walked in shows for Issey Miyake, Adidas
after initial insecurity

The New Paper
Date: Oct 12, 2015
By:JOCELYN LEE

He may be relatively unknown in Singapore but home-grown model Teddy NP_20151012_JLTEDDY_8_1031628Tang is making headway in the competitive Taiwanese showbiz industry.

The 29-year-old has even been signed to one of Taiwan’s top talent agencies Catwalk, the same company that has local celebrity power couple Fann Wong and Christopher Lee and Taiwanese model-actress Lin Chi-ling in its stable of artists.

Tang’s modelling portfolio includes gigs such as the Issey Miyake Fashion Show, Timberland Fashion Show, Adidas shows in Taiwan and China, and editorial shoots for Esquire and GQ Taiwan.     [FULL  STORY]