Double Ten Day: What We Think

*Pictures came from Passport 2 Taiwan, not from the submission authors! Thanks to all who drew on our Time Capsule! We LOVE them!*

A year ago some of our staff wrote about Double Ten Day looking at its uniquenessconnotation as “Taiwan’s Birthday”, and its potential invalidity of being “Taiwan’s Birthday”. This year, as part of the mission of shedding light on past and present Taiwan, we wanted to see how others react to and/or think about Double Ten Day. The words below are from their respective authors, some of whom had written in both English and Chinese. Let’s commemorate this important day through a slice of Taiwanese society!

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By Clarence Chou (周宇修), Attorney at Law (執業律師)

In Taiwan, the so-called National Day is on Oct 10th. When I was young, most people would hang the national flags outside the windows. In recent years, however, fewer and fewer would do this. Not because they do not like this country anymore but more people begin to speculate what the country it should be. Now, Taiwan is more like a multicultural nation. People start to show how much they love Taiwan via different ways. Should we still celebrate on Oct 10th? The answer could be yes or no. Nevertheless, I am proud of being a Taiwanese.

在台灣,所謂的國慶日是在10/10。我還小的時候,大多數的人都會在窗外懸掛國旗。近年來,越來越少人會這樣做。不是因為人們變的不愛國,而是更多人開始思考這個國家應該是什麼樣子。現在的台灣,更接近所謂的多元國家。人們開始用其他的方式表達自己對國家的熱愛。我們應該繼續在10/10慶祝嗎?答案可以是,也可以不是。儘管如此,我仍以身為台灣人為榮。

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By Gloria, a English Teacher

“When I was young, my family would watch the celebration on TV together on double tenth day. It was very important to my dad because he used to be a soldier for over ten years. I was touched and felt proud of my country at that time. But now double tenth day is just a holiday to me.”

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By Lily Lin

R.O.C. (Taiwan) is experiencing huge transformation. At this critical point, I hope we can all stick together and devote our energy to creating a better future for Taiwan. I hope we can be open-minded and get global perspectives and involvement while maintaining our identity and cultures. Add oil Taiwan and happy birthday!

中華民國(台灣)正經歷重大的改變。在這個關鍵時刻,我希望我們能團結齊心,投注心力為台灣創造一個更美好的未來。我希望我們都能抱持寬闊的胸襟,並在維繫身份及文化的同時,擁有全球視野與國際參與。台灣加油,生日快樂!

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By Chieh-Ting Yeh, Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Ketagalan Media

I still remember celebrating the birthday of my country as a kid. The crisp fall breeze scraping off the last of the summer heat, and outside every door hung a flag, of red, blue and white. That was 1982.

Since then, I have realized that my country is still the same country, but October 10th is not the birthday of my country.

What is “my country?” Let’s forget the incessant legal arguments about whether the Republic of China is a legitimate state or not. I come from a community where people cared about each other, as neighbors and strangers. Tell me that’s not the fundamental basis for any society, for any nation. Whatever that is, that’s my country.

But October 10th is but a day marking the beginnings of a new regime in China more than a hundred years ago. It has little to do with my country. The October 10th regime, for better or worse, rules over my country for now.

If we need a day to celebrate our country, let’s celebrate our country. I believe that day has yet to come.

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By Alex Shih, President of TAP-NY (Taiwanese American Professionals – New York)

October 10th is a day steeped in history – the events and those that it catalyzed inarguably altered the course of Asia and beyond. For young Taiwanese Americans and those interested in Taiwan, it’s of course very important to have knowledge of and be able to interpret the history of 10/10. But equally important I think, is having an understanding of how young Taiwanese celebrate the holiday today. I know woefully little about what people of my generation will be doing on this special day – I know most offices are closed on the Friday before Double Ten, and I know that there will be fireworks and parades. But is the day a time for family like Thanksgiving is in the States? Is it an opportunity to barbeque and hang out with friends as Memorial Day is for us here?

To me, Taiwan is at once both familiar and unfamiliar – I can zip around on the MRT and eat all the food I could ever wish for – but I lack an understanding of the views, traditions, and hobbies of Taiwanese of my generation. My hope is that we can use celebrations like 10/10 to reflect on our understanding of modern day Taiwan, and find ways to increase friendly cultural exchange. Happy Double Ten!

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