Taiwanese, Vincentian students exchange cultures
July 30, 2010
Taiwanese, Vincentian students exchange cultures

The 29-year-diplomatic relationship between St.Vincent and Taiwan has been strengthened with the formation{{more}} of new bonds between students of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College Division of Arts, Sciences and General Studies and a visiting Taiwan youth delegation.

The programme, which ran from July 12-23, saw the seven students of the Taiwanese delegation and 30 students of the Community College participating in sessions of Physical Education, Dance, culture, commerce and computer.

The seven-member delegation from the National Chengchi University included: Professor, Yen-Lung Tsai; Chih-ching Lan, Yun-Ru Lai, Cheng-Yu Hsieh, Hui Chang, Chih-Ju Shih and Nien-Tzu Hu.

The highpoint of the Taiwanese delegation’s stay in St.Vincent and the Grenadines took place on Friday, July 23, at the Methodist Church Hall, when the Community College students and their colleages from Taiwan thrilled an audience with an array of cultrual performaces, combining various aspects of the culture of both countries.

The cultural showcase entitled: “A unique cultural showcase”, was staged by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collabortaion with the Ministry of Culture and the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan).

Some of the performances saw the Vincentian students exhibiting their newly acquired skills in Taekwando, dancing, cheerleading, and even singing in Manadarin Chinese. The 2010 Taiwan youth ambassadors looked well seasoned as they performed the “Quadrille”, a traditional dance of St Vincent.

In attendance at the showcase were Minister of Education, Girlyn Miguel; Minister of Culture, Rene Baptiste; Minsister of National Mobilisation, Mike Browne and Ambassador Leo Lee of Taiwan.

The officials took to the floor to take part in the Taiwanese social dance, which had members of the crowd in stitches.

Sharing brief remarks, Miguel highlighted the need for students to have full knowledge of their own culture.

“The education of our youth is not complete if there is not a cultrual dimension in education…students must be aware of their culture and be prepared to learn about someone else’s culture,” Miguel told the gathering.

She expressed the hope that students will adopt a positive shift in thinking and be able to appreciate diversity, as a result of their learning experience.

Baptiste, echoing Miguel’s sentiments, said that culture is a force used for national and international peace, as well as for fostering social growth. Baptiste said the programme served as a new beginning of a fresh phase in this country’s diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

Describing his experience as “A fun-filled learning experience,” Science student Jahmito James said sharing his own cultural experience and learning from others was great. Over the two week period, James said he learnt about managing funds, trading, ping pong, dodgeball, Taekwando and cheerleading.

“It was really fun because they even got to eat pelau and breadfruit,” James beamed. James has also vowed to take his new learning experience back to the classroom come September.

The Vincentian students were awarded with small gifts, while each delegate from Taiwan was also presented with gifts.

Lower Six student, Kimisha Ashby was all smiles when SEARCHLIGHT spoke to her.

She noted that it was one of the best experiences of her life and said she will always treasure the time spent with her new friends from Taiwan.

Ashby said she mostly enjoyed learning karate and a different culture.

The Taiwanese contingent left here on Sunday, July 25. (KW)