First of all, I think it would be better to introduce myself. My name is Gabriela Andrade Lam and I am from Ecuador, which is located in South America. By the way, my country is usually known because of Galapagos Islands, with their exotic and beautiful landscapes and nature. I came to Taiwan around two months ago, so this is the first holiday for me in here. Given this small background, it can be deducted by the reader that as I am from Latin America, the “Moon Festival” was something completely new for me. To be honest, at the beginning the only thing I knew was that we were not going to have classes on that day! But then, the day before the Moon Festival, that was September 21, my Taiwanese classmates asked me and my friends to join a barbeque, and then my experience started.

My classmates and I met in the first floor of the building of my department around 6 pm on that Tuesday. We were people from so many countries: Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and so on. It was like a big family, having dinner together. The Taiwanese guys were really friendly with all the foreigners. They prepared the food with its special Taiwanese taste, some of which I have never tried before. During the time it lasted, I could learn a little bit more about this tradition: this festival represents the mid-autumn season, based on the Chinese lunar calendar. In this day, the moon is supposed to look brighter and more beautiful than ever. To celebrate this occasion, a barbeque is held between family and friends, and that was our objective, to celebrate it together. It was a really good moment, and a little strange too, especially when I ate some food, specifically some parts of the chicken, that we do not eat in my country. I found the food delicious, even those parts of the chicken!! That was one of the moments that I realized that I am in a completely different culture, and therefore I really want to learn about it.
Another thing that I learnt about the Moon Festival was the traditional cakes. The project manager of my Department, such a nice woman, gave me some cookies because of the Moon festival, and advised me to eat them with tea. I took her advice, and I should say that the taste is very different of any other cookie that I have ever tried, but I liked them. A friend of mine gave me a “Pineapple cake”, also never tried before, but really delicious. I went to the supermarket; there were a lot of those cookies and cakes and a lot of people buying them too. Taiwanese people really care about their traditions, and I am glad of being part of them now. I am surrounded by friendly people who make me feel at home.
On September 22, my friends and I went for a walk around the Dorms. We walked near to parks and other common areas, where we saw people having a barbeque, just as we did. In that moment we could confirm by ourselves that the barbeque is really an important tradition in this festival. It was joyful to see those people talking, laughing and sharing a moment together. My final impression of this experience is that people from Taiwan are the warmest and kindest that I have ever known, so warm and kind that I feel like being a part of this big family. And I think this is just the beginning of my two-year experience in Taiwan.
NCKU - Gabriela E. Andrade.doc464 KB