Brilliant Time: Bridging the Cultural Gap Between Taiwan and Southeast Asia

A bookstore in New Taipei City is creating a community for Southeast Asian migrant workers in Taiwan and encouraging local Taiwanese to learn about Southeast Asian cultures.

The News Lens
Date: 2019/11/29
By: Randy Mulyanto

Photo Credit: Chang Cheng

Yun-chan Liao remembers it was about 10 years ago when she first heard Southeast Asians in Taiwan saying that Taiwanese people treat cats and dogs well, but they weren’t so nice to migrant workers.

Her husband Chang Cheng agrees. “You know, we’re journalists. We think this issue is about justice,” Chang says.

“For us, it’s a new issue. Before we began to study this, we didn’t know too much Southeast Asian culture.”

Hundreds of thousands of Southeast Asian migrant workers, mainly from Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines, travel to seek out jobs in Taiwan. According to Taiwan’s Ministry of Labor statistics, there were more than 700,000 foreign workers in productive industries in October 2019 (274,970 from Indonesia, 224,367 from Vietnam, 157,030 from the Philippines, 59,756 from Thailand).

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