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10. YZU

How do you see the night market culture in Taiwan

By Gerardo Paniagua_YZU

The cool cheap eating market

Most of the tourists go to a night market to sightseeing and have an authentic encounter with the local culture and the custom of the Taiwanese people, because this markets provide original cultural characteristics of people's night life in this country. 

 

Taiwan’s efforts to globalize its higher education system while preserving its cultural heritage and local identity have led to new dilemmas for university graduates and other citizens in terms of both financial security and national identity. Among the most significant changes have been the increase in the number of high education institute and student enrollment, and the increasing number of educational and cultural exchanges with other countries including mainland China.

This educational expansion has had mixed results. It did not only open up greater educational opportunities for high school graduates but also created unexpected results, including the changing government role regarding high education institute, intense competition between high education institute’s increasing admissions, a surplus of university graduates, a lack of employment opportunities for graduates, and the risk of university closures. The overall effect of these is the creation of a knowledge based economy in Taiwan, this is the most valuable aspect of Taiwanese educational system. The system is capable of producing competent output in almost every sphere of academic and professional areas. Education is the most important value of all the peoples of the world. The mission of Education is to prepare creative abilities. Taiwan's educational value is able to provide highly skilled students with creative thought.

Thinking back to when I first got the call to tell me that I had been accepted into my Taiwanese University my first reaction was “I did it!” The idea of continuing ones education often elicits this response. My next emotion can best be summarized by the phase “…What have I done!” Coming from a Central American country that was once a former British colony, I was at a complete loss as to the education system of a different country. Would it be similar? Probably not, but would I be able to adapt? Was I prepared to deal with not only a potentially different learning environment but also deal with a different learning culture on top of that? Turns out, it wasn’t that difficult.

Personality is something innate in all of us. It has been shaped from our youth and as we grow older we find that our personality is less malleable; less likely to change. However a large transition, such as someone moving from their home to halfway around the globe, does have that power to affect our personality.

How does Taiwan touch my heart? Seems a simple enough question, but just to answer that question in a simple word or a sentence just wouldn’t be enough.

Ever since I was a little girl I dreamed of traveling, and yes that is a dream that I believe is wished by everyone, well for me it was not as easy to chase after.

I have always been attracted to the Asian Culture; I always wanted to meet this side of the world because for me it is the most dynamic continent and represents endless opportunities. When I heard about this program and having the chance to come to Taiwan I was beyond thrilled. I applied as soon as possible and now I am here.

It’s been six months since my arrival on Isla Formosa and there has not been a day where I regret coming here; I’ve been happy with my study program and I love the fact that there is always someone or someplace new to meet.

Taiwan touches my heart in many ways, both professionally and socially. The people in Taiwan are always very kind and willing to help you, even though we have a big language barrier, they still find a way to help however they can.

There are some touristic spots in Taiwan where you can still find their old touristic slogan “Taiwan - Touch your heart”, this slogan is very unique in the way that before coming here you are expecting to enrich yourself with new experiences. But if I was told before coming here, that this island will not only touch but catch my heart I wouldn’t believe it. How can a small can a small country, with a population so high and with a different culture, not even similar to something to the country I have grown in could even amaze me. But let’s remember it was once called Ilha Formosa (Beautiful Island) by the Portuguese as they were drawn by the beauty of this Island. I have embarked in my own journey coming to one of the smallest countries of Asia but the biggest in heart.

Taiwan can touch you in many ways, everywhere you venture in this island its natural beauty will lift your spirits and each glorious splendor you find in your path will stir your heart on its own way. There is also a certain gentleness calm which smoothes your soul in every activity you do here.  Taiwan heritage that is born from unique history will move you beyond words with endless touching experience Taiwan will always leave you desiring for more.

After spending almost two years in Taiwan saying it has touched my heart feels little to say, as I indeed love Taiwan and it has touched more than just my heart. I have had the best time and made wonderful memories that will last me a lifetime. But it not only has it been the touristic attractions or its wonderful scenery. I would say it has also been the Taiwanese, their culture and how I have adopted this beautiful country as my second home.

My name is Belen Vargas, I am 25 years old. I came to Taiwan almost 2 years ago from Nicaragua in Central America. I am currently in the last semester for my master degree at Yuan Ze University, in Taoyuan.

When I first arrived here I never even considered that I would fall in love with such a small island, but I did. Taiwan touched my heart, the people are so thoughtful and always disposed to help. From the very beginning I was here Taiwan made me feel welcomed. In my first week I remember I wanted to buy some tickets through the iBon machine at the 7- eleven, unfortunately the girl that worked there did not speak English very good and I do not speak Chinese so it was very hard to communicate; luckily one of the costumers there spoke a bit of English so they both helped me buy the tickets through the machine. I thought the lady that helped me was very kind and unselfish. Then as the months passed I noticed everyone is like that, I have met the kindest people in this country. Taiwanese are always keen to help selflessly, and I believe that is something admirable. They make foreigners feel very welcomed and for someone alone and far away from home that counts a lot. Most of the people are very joyful and cheerful, they have this great and contagious happiness around them that have made my stay here marvelous and unforgettable.

Studying abroad, miles away from home, one the common things most of internationals students has to deal with is “homesickness”. Homesickness usually means the unsatisfactory feeling you get when you are away from home for too long. It is a sort of separation reaction, where the individual concentrates on what is missed from the old environment “home”. This feeling can be manifested in anxiety; lack of concentration, appetite, sleep therefore can affect general health and influence your performance as student. I have four months living as student Taiwan, miles away from home I think I start missing my home, not the physical structure of my house but the mental state in which I feel comfortable, safe and accepted. Usually this mental state is provided by the important people surround me, relatives and close friends. However, I have made my own ways to overcome that feeling, for example: find activities to do when I miss my relatives, meet new people and makes friends, keep in touch with mom, dad, friends and relatives, keep a positive attitude and most important is to have a few pictures in my room and lab of the people that I miss most.

Taiwan is a small country with a lot of beautiful places to visit, from natural structures to historical monuments. It’s a difficult task to specify just one place as my favorite, because is not just the place that makes it special and memorable, but the people you share it with. Before coming to Taiwan I read many articles about the different places to visit, for my surprise there where a lot and I didn’t think I would have enough time to visit them all.  Since the day I came, I have been to a lot of places and I realized that the efficient transportation such as the bus, train and MRT makes visiting all the places faster and convenient.

Overall I consider the main place that deserves a special place not just in my mind but in my heart will be the famous Taiwan Night Markets. I have been to many of them, small and big, Shilin, Shida, Liuhe and many more. The concept, the convenience, the smells and variety of products makes a Night Market an incredible place to remember.