Windows on Taiwan for the World

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2020 / February

Ivan Chen /tr. by Phil Newell



The Taiwan Panorama book Taiwan in the Mind’s Eye, published in January 2020, offers fascinating insights into Taiwan’s geo­graphy, culture, environment and industry through collected bilingual articles on a kaleido­scope of topics, accompanied by stunning photographs.

The book’s publication reflects the hard work of the people of this island, and draws the world’s attention to Taiwan. As well-known author Cyril Chu writes in a preface, on reading about the 400-plus-kilometer Raknus Selu Trail, “I felt a sense of passion…. As I looked at one beautiful photo after another, I longed to walk this lovely trail, which links together historic walking paths, agricultural roads, and hiking trails.”

In another preface, Turkish-born entertainer and writer Uğur Rıfat Karlova notes, “When foreigners think of Taiwan, they usually think of high-tech or bicycles. But those who, like me, have spent a lot of time in Taiwan, viewed the scenery and experi­enced the warmth of the local people, as well as attended all kinds of folk culture activities, have realized that Taiwan is genu­inely special.” This is precisely the goal toward which Taiwan Panorama has persistently been working for over 40 years.

Taiwan has always been in step with the world, from the use of recycled materials to the practice of the circular economy, from the rise of the Taiwan AI Academy to the practice of digital diplomacy. And we also have the creativity and inspiration derived from contacts with other cultures through the National Culture and Arts Foundation’s Overseas Art Travel Program for young artists. Our people’s capacity for innovation has been a motive force in keeping Taiwan moving forward.

This month’s issue also includes a story about a fruit that grows only in Taiwan: the jelly-fig. In the wild, jelly-fig vines climb up tall trees in the mountains, and the higher they climb, the more fruit they produce. But this height makes harvesting the fruit a risky affair. We discover how Taiwanese agricultural experts have developed high-yielding jelly-fig varieties that grow in the lowlands and are easy to harvest. Moreover, through biotechnology, the jelly-­fig can be transformed into skin-­lightening masks or essential oil, thus raising the value-­­added of local agricultural produce.

We also visit Pingtung County’s Fang­liao Township, where Yang San’er is pursuing his dream of building his own environmentally sustainable home. And we learn how public broadcaster Hakka TV is breaking the mold of Hakka drama series to bring a refreshing new sensation into a media landscape dominated by programming in Mandarin. Our articles showcase this nation’s vibrancy, opening windows on Taiwan to the world.

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連結世界的窗口

文‧陳亮君


甫於今(2020)年1月出版的光華專書《台灣意象》,內容除了橫跨北、中、南、東各地的地理、人文、環保、生態及產業外,亦包括「騎行台灣」等單元,並以「單車慢旅」、「人文風景」、「創生築夢」、「新舊交融」、「大塊奇觀」等面向,深刻刻劃出了台灣的整體意象。

這本專書的問世,反映了寶島上人們努力的身影,也透過多語的傳播,讓世界看見台灣的美好。誠如知名作家褚士瑩所說:「長達400 多公里的『樟之細路』,……我感受到心底燃起的熱情,我看著一幀幀美麗的照片,渴望著自己的雙腳,能夠踏上這一條串連起古道、農路、登山步道的美麗路徑。」

本書另一推薦人吳鳳則是提及,「通常外國人聽到台灣的第一印象就是高科技或腳踏車,但跟我一樣真正來過台灣、看過風景、體驗過人情味及各種民俗活動,才發現台灣真的很特別。」而這也正是《光華》40多年來一直努力堅持不懈的目標。

與世界連結的腳步,台灣從不缺席,從再生材料的應用,到循環經濟的實踐;從台灣AI學校的興起,到外交部數位外交的推動。還有國藝會「海外藝遊專案」中,用藝術與世界各地文化結合的創意與啟發。這些來自台灣內部的創新能量,正一點一滴地推動著台灣向前邁進。

此外,本期精彩內容還包括有台灣特有種的愛玉子,野生愛玉子大多攀附於大樹生長,其藤蔓爬得愈高,結「果」愈多,但也增加採果人攀高採摘的危險性。看台灣農改技術人員,如何克服重重困難,開發出在平地就能有高產值且採摘便利的品種,經過生物科技的萃取,更可以作為淨白肌膚的面膜或精華液,提高台灣農產品的附加價值。

而堅持親手為家人蓋一棟與環境共生的家的楊三二,在屏東枋寮正在為夢想努力著;還有跳脫以往客家戲劇的框架,在以華語為主的台灣戲劇中,帶來耳目一新感受的客家電視台,看他們如何堅持理念,突破自己的侷限,展現出各自的精彩。《光華》的報導,既是本土能量的展現,也是連結世界的一扇窗,除了讓台灣的人事物走出世界,也讓世界能「走進」台灣。

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