The recent toppling and desecration of a 3-meters-tall statue of Sun Yat-sen, founder of the Republic of China, may have occurred deep in the south, far from bustling, sophisticated Taipei, and in a relatively tiny, tucked-away niche of the country at that, but the crudity and symbolism of the act were enough to provoke concern for thoughtful citizens everywhere.
Professors all over Taiwan are busy these new semester days introducing students to literature courses of all sorts.
One of my heroes in Taiwan is a priest (“shen-fu”) from the Netherlands, the country we once called Holland. This special fellow would blush and half-seriously scowl at me if I were to drop his name here, so I won't do that.
I've been contemplating the fact that social network Facebook (FB) is celebrating its 10th birthday these days. As everyone knows, it's virtually impossible to speak of FB without confronting scads of statistics.
I don't know how readers of this column think about the uncles they may have in life, but I know how I feel about the uncles I have in mine. Perhaps for reasons special for my family, the uncles my siblings and I shared were and, I like to imagine, still are very significant people for us.
Several weeks ago, a journalism professor at a Taipei university invited me to speak with her students about the highs and lows of writing a weekly newspaper column. To quote my dear Dad, invitations like that are “about as rare as hen's teeth.” I of course eagerly accepted her offer.
First, allow me to say I am carrying my own basket of questions about the visit of our 18 year-old “native son” from Brazil, Iruan Ergui Wu. The questions began the minute I read news reports months ago that the Taiwan Catholic Mission Foundation was helping to bring young Mr. Wu, his adoptive mother, and others close to him to Taiwan for a 17 day stay.
This is the time of year when people talk, often quite glibly, of New Year's resolutions and new beginnings, both personally and professionally. I am like everyone else on this score.
News reports in recent hours have focused on reactions primarily from China, but other Asian countries (including Taiwan) as well, to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Yasukuni Shrine, dedicated to the memory of some 2 1/2 million Japanese soldiers killed at war. For much of Asia, a visit by Mr. Abe to any shrine honoring his country's soldiers, vintage World War II, would have been provocation enough.
People sometimes like to say that Christmas is for children, and in many ways that is true.
2013/12/22, 1 Comment