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2015 Nov News
Time Traveling in Palace Museum

Did you know that the National Palace Museum (國立故宮博物院) is one of Taipei's most popular sights that is definitely worth a visit? Due to the relaxed atmosphere in the museum it’s a pleasure to travel through hundreds of years looking at the historical antiquities exhibited on shelves, in showcases or beautifully arranged in the room. It should also be mentioned that the Palace Museum offers exquisitely selected, highly interesting, and periodically changing exhibitions of worldwide fame. That’s why we would strongly recommend to visit this museum frequently, but at least more than just once. In this article we will take a closer look at two currently conducted exhibitions:

From the Fountainhead Flows in Living Water: Jade art from Song, Liao, Jin and Yuan dynasty

From the tenth until the 14th century, China was shaken by various conflicts of different ethnic groups: The Khitan, the Jurchen and the Mongol. During those years of agitation, war and changing alliances, the jade art blossomed, and since represents the colorful and lively plurality of that time.

Zhu Xi’s verse „Because living water ceaselessly flows from the fountainhead, the pond is always clear and clean” metaphorically describes the lively artistic progress of these unsteady times which should become the role model for upcoming generations of artists, where the fountainhead stands for the cultural contact and the lively water for the artistic inspiration.

During Song dynasty, jade was used by the people as an instrument for communication with their gods and their ancestors. That’s why jade art teaches us a lot about the cultural differences between the Khitan, the Jurchen and the Mongol. From the tenth until the 14th century, lots of jade art were created. Liveliness, naturalism and verisimilitude are the most outstanding characteristics of art during this period.

Giuseppe Castiglione: One Hundred Horses

The painting “One Hundred Horses”, drawn in the year 1728 by Giuseppe Castiglione in ink and color on silk shows a herd of horses on the field. The horses are depicted in different poses and movements while they are peacefully making their way through the grass and around the trees. Every detail is drawn up realistically and the complicated arrangement of the horses, each in its unique pose, testifies Castiligiones great talent and drawing skills. He plays with light, shadow and color to create an almost perfect reality in his drawing. By combining the traditional Chinese way of painting with western elements, he not only produces an interaction between east and west, but also an outstanding und unique piece of art.

“One Hundred Horses” is only one of many works by Giuseppe Castiglione exhibited in the National Palace Museum that is really worth a visit. Moreover, it’s important to mention that the exhibition of Castigliones works will end on the 4th of January 2016, while there is no set date for the end of the “Living Water” exhibition yet. So - you should hurry in order to get your personal impression of his great skills as an artist!

Taiwan's Sport – Which One Is It?

The fact that football is one of the most popular sports goes without saying. International competitions and championships let numerous countries share the excitement each year by competing with their own team. But what about Taiwan? Is football one of Taiwan's national sports or are there other more popular ones?

Regarding Taiwan, it is not that easy to decide on a national sport, since there are many rather popular physical activities. Basketball, volleyball, badminton and baseball can be used as examples, but traditional sports like Chinese martial arts are also popular. The most favored sport in Taiwan, however, is baseball. The first baseball team was founded in March 1906, and the first baseball association in 1945. Since 1980, Taiwan has joined many competitions and won not only once against the tough opponent Cuba. 1996, Taiwan founded its own baseball league, which is called 'Taiwan Major League' (TML).

This year the internationally famous 'WBSC Preier12' contest, initiated by the World Softball Confederation, is actually being held in Taiwan, with the island competing under the name of 'Chinese Taipei'. The final takes place in Japan from the 19th to the 21st of November. On the 14th of November, the Taiwanese team celebrated beating Cuba 4:1. Baseball is also one of the most popular and successful sports at the PCCU: At this year's Taiwan Major League competition, the PCCU team took the first place! The next season's phase will start again next year.

However, football is getting more and more popular in Taiwan. The planned participation in the 2018 world championship in Russia demonstrates that exceptionally well. The World Cup Qualifiers are currently still taking place. Taiwan (Chinese Taipei) was put into Group F, alongside Thailand, Irak, Vietnam and Indonesia, which will be its opponents. At the moment, however, the Taiwanese team is still last place, while Thailand is leading the group.

While football is still far from reaching the same status as in European countries, it still got a lot of attention due to many international competitions. But whether football will successfully establish itself as a popular sport at universities in Taiwan, and thus maybe even replace basketball, volleyball and baseball, is something only time will tell.

Why Chinese Students Love Taiwan

Guess how many Chinese students are there in CCU?

bout a thousand! There were 987 Chinese students last term (344 in bachelor degree included), and this term the number has even reached 1358 (419 bachelors)! So here comes the question, why such a large number of Chinese students wants to study here in Taiwan?

There are some good reasons behind the decision: to start with, the differences between Taiwanese and Chinese cultures can largely be ignored. Of course, even in mainland China itself, large cultural variety exists between the north, south, east, and western parts. But regarding cultural differences between Taiwan and mainland China, at least there is no such big gap as between the eastern and western worlds of this planet. And it is just these tiny little differences that make Taiwan even more lovely and attractive for Chinese students: such as the climate is always warm, four seasons are not very obvious; any kinds of food can be easily found here, and one can never say no to those delicious dishes; then there is the incredible multiple views of the landscape on this little island; peoples’ warm hospitality; and last not least, (maybe out of curiosity), the chance to have a look by themselves how democratic Taiwan is.

Moreover, since there still exist a few documental barriers for Chinese tourists. For example, individual Chinese tourists can only travel to Taiwan from 47 mainland cities directly, as opposed to group tours. This makes a trip to this island even more mysterious, and so, Taiwan is gradually becoming a popular short distance travel destination among Chinese travelers. Meanwhile, the greatest advantage for those Chinese exchange or bachelor degree students is that they can take their time to explore this nearby wonderland, and fully experience the real local customs.

One more important reason is that we all speak Mandarin! So, language barrier is out of question in this case. Also, coming to Taiwan is almost the best choice for those students who want to study overseas, but at the same time don’t like to get too far away from home, or perhaps don’t have a good command of another language. Besides, the living cost is quite acceptable, compared to studying in the USA or other European countries. All in all, spending a study year in Taiwan is a good option for Chinese students.

Where does the garbage end up?
Recycling for environmental protection

Waste trucks are everywhere in Taiwan. After they picked up their bags and boxes, the garbage first needs to be separated into combustible and noncombustible waste. The uncombustible part will be transported to the Department of Environmental Protection in Taipei. The remaining combustible garbage will be wholly recycled.

Recycling for environmental protection

Waste trucks are everywhere in Taiwan. After they picked up their bags and boxes, the garbage first needs to be separated into combustible and noncombustible waste. The uncombustible part will be transported to the Department of Environmental Protection in Taipei. The remaining combustible garbage will be wholly recycled.

At least since Juli 2010, the awareness for environmental protection in Taiwan is constantly growing. At that time, the government announced that every citizen is obligated to use ecologically friendly trash bags. Although they are more expensive than regular trash bags, the benefits for the environment are even higher. One peculiarity about Taiwan is, that people can earn some money by selling recyclable bottles and paper. Even if the earnings are relatively small, many people do not hesistate to grab this opportunity.

Raising environmental awareness

Once in a year our university is organizing a bazar, where people can buy secondhand books, -clothes and various other things. It also offers the possibility to hand in used batteries and old CDs and get some presents in return. By making a so called „Eco-Cup“ people can also get a drink for free. The main goal of this bazar is to spread and increase the students ecological awareness.

The university uses the earnings of this event to support financially weak students. The providing of effective methods for recyling, lets teachers and students get a better understanding of environmental protection and motivate them to act more responsibly.

Further information:

  1. 華夏導報
  2. 台北市環境保護局官網(歷史沿革)
  3. 台北市環境保護局官網(專用垃圾袋介紹)
  4. 台北市環境保護局官網(垃圾強制分類)