Taiwan is undoubtedly an island full of wonders and new experiences for any individual visiting. Regardless the occasion that brought us to the “Formosa”, I envision a drastic change occurring in each of our lives. Personal and spiritual growth, but most of all, empowerment in our professional lives will assist us in the development of our mother country. Everyone would agree as to what is this new chapter in our lives without indulging in this country’s traditions?! After all, it’s not always about the books but joining in (with moderation) with the fun and the celebrations.
As per personal experience, it is my 3rd and last year joining local and international friends in most of Taiwan’s celebrations. The previous two years haven’t been much different because I usually spend it with friends doing the usual we do back home when it is festival time: eating, dancing and simply having fun. I can attest to this country’s unique way of celebrating every event and this time I’ll share my experiences during the Mid-Autumn Festival or better known as the “Moon Festival”; furthermore, for those of us who can read and write Mandarin, it is “中秋節”.
 
It is traditional to celebrate this day by starting a fire, heating the grill, and placing all sorts of delicacies on the grill, such as: fish balls, sausages, chicken and vegetables. An ice-box full of carbonated drinks and beers could not be left out either. As to how I spent it this year, it was almost similar except for a few exceptions. It all had an early start when I had to take a 1 hour bus ride to a friend’s house. Being a student here and not being able to enjoy our own country’s superb flavours on a daily basis, we ceased the opportunity of this gathering and integrated some of our own culture into the Taiwanese culture. Usually when you hear ‘festival’, there are three things that definitely come to mind: people, music, and food.
 
Consequently, I could say that for us, it was all about the grill, so, first things first: the seasoning of the meat with our own Belizean spices brought from all across the world. We proceeded in preparing some snacks since it would be a long day and most of us would be longing for a taste of back home. While preparing for our lunch gathering, we were listening to some Soca Music while laughing and enjoying every moment of each other’s company. Any other individual would have thought that we were too rowdy, but that is our usual gathering: loud music and laughter.
 
While some of us worked on our traditional Rice & Beans which is cooked with coconut milk, others diced the potato for the famous ‘potato salad’. Ladies stayed in the kitchen while guys enjoyed the warm day in Taipei by hanging around the grill with a cold drink in hand, hopefully cooking the meat and not burning it. All in all, when all the cooking finished, everyone was starving and we all sat down and felt like we travelled miles across the Pacific Ocean while we devoured the finger licking barbeque, delicious Rice & Beans with potato salad and lastly adding the finishing touch with our famous ‘Marie Sharp’ hot sauce. While eating, the routine recital of jokes started and we all could barely contain our bellies with all the laughter.
The rest of the day flowed freely as we enjoyed every minute of each other’s company, allowing the lunch to go down and furthermore engaging in the eating of the delicacies all over again without leaving out the delicious ‘Moon Cakes’. Others enjoyed their drinks and the dance floor was suddenly full while all of us used it as a work out to be able to return to the kitchen and clean the pots. After all, we would have to wait until probably Christmas for another gathering.
 
Lastly, what would a traditional Moon Festival Day be without gathering outside to admire the moon when it is said to be at its fullest and roundest while wishing each other a “中秋快樂”!
 

 

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