Sunday, January 08, 2006

17 facts about taiwan 1. Taiwan is a small tropical/subtropical island located off the east coast of China between Japan and the Phillipines. 2. Taiwan is less than 400 km long and about 150 km wide. 3. Taiwan is slightly smaller than Maryland and Delaware combined (13,869 sq mi). 4. Taiwan is home to almost 23 million people. 5. Two-thirds of Taiwan is rugged mountains, meaning most of the people live in the ever-expanding crowded cities. 6. Taiwan, with 625 people per square km, is the second most densely populated nation on earth (Bangladesh is 1st.). 7. Jade Mountain, at almost 13,000 feet is the highest peak in East Asia. 8. Right now it is the year 95 in Taiwan (dated from the establishment of the Republic of China in 1911). 9. Mandarin Chinese is the official langage; Taiwanese, Hakka, and Abrigional languages are also spoken. 10. Taiwan is an interesting mix of the old and the new, the East & the West, technology and tradition. 11. Taiwan is the world's largest producer of computer goods. 12. The two major cash crops in Taiwan are rice and betel nut (also called 'green gold'). 13. There are 10 million motorbikes in Taiwan (1 for every 2 people). 14. Taiwan has more cell phones per head of population than any other country (111 cell phones per 100 people in 2005). 15. Taiwan has more temples per head of population than any other country (over between 16,000 and 18,000 registered temples). 16. A mixture of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and folk beliefs are practiced by most Taiwanese. 17. Less than 2% of Taiwan's population is Christian.
yeah, but why TAIWAN? (part 2) This is part two of a multi-post series, part one is here. When I was in Taiwan that summer, many of the people with me kept talking about taking the new Chinese class when we got back to school. I had a really had time with Chinese when I was in Taiwan. I got tired of hearing it, and it sounded SO STRANGE to me. Moreover, I just detested language learning in general. I had already tried Latin for 2 years, Spanish for 1 year, and German for 1 year and was successful with none. So, I was totally not interested in taking the new Chinese class when we got back to school. However, on my heart, I kept sensing the need to sign up for the class. So, once again, God and I had a conversation. And I agreed with Him that I would sign up for the class under one condition: that it was still open. You see, my friends also kept talking about how full the class would be and that they had registered early. I thought my "bargain" with God was safe. Well, when we got back to Dallas, the class was still open. I sat there in my advisor's office with three different semester registeration forms filled out. One had Chinese listed as a course and the other two did not (one with no foreign language and one with Spanish). That was one of the most memorable moments in my life when I remember clearly deciding whether or not to be obedient to my Lord. Well, I decided to be obedient and signed up for the Chinese course. So, I started Chinese classes. They were not easy, but they were fun. And one thing that made learning Chinese so different than learning Latin, German, or Spanish is that I actually met people who spoke Chiense as their first language. In fact, I began to make many new friends from Taiwan and Hong Kong as well as other countries too. I started looking for and intentionally making friends with international students on my campus. Soon, I had more friends from Asia, Africa, and Europe than I did America. God was changing my heart. He was showing me that people from other countries were just as human as I was--that we had more in common than we did not. He gave me a gift--He allowed me to identify with them and to be able to relate to them in ways the "old Amanda" never would have. Specifically, in regards to the Taiwanese culture, He allowed me to learn about it, try it out, taste it and experience it in extremely small doses in my own comfort zone. What a wonderful blessing!! In the next post in the series, I will talk about how I got to Asia the next two times.

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