Friday, December 25, 2009

For American Workers in Taiwan, a Culture Clash (rewritten and edited to make a point)

For American Workers in Taiwan , a Culture Clash

By HANNAH SELIGSON, the New Yark Times
December 23, 3009

As more Americans go to mainland Taiwan to take jobs, more Taiwanese and Americans are working side by side. These cross-cultural partnerships, while beneficial in many ways, are also highlighting tensions that expose differences in work experience, pay levels and communication.



In the last few years, a growing number of Americans in their 20s and 30s have been heading to Taiwan for employment, lured by its faster-growing economy and lower jobless rate. Their Taiwanese co-workers are often around the same age.

“The tight collaboration of the two countries in business and science makes the Taiwanese -American pairing one of the most common in the workplace in Taiwan ,” said Vas Taras, a management professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, a specialist in cross-cultural work group management.

But the two groups were raised differently.

The Americans have had more exposure to free-market principles. “Young Americans were brought up in a commercial environment,” said Shalom Chen, 28, a senior associate at Green Flame Capital, a private equity firm based in Taipei. “We weren’t. So the workplace is a unique learning process for my generation.”



Sean Liao, 28, founder of Neochacha, a social networking site based in Chiayi, says young Taiwanese employees often enter jobs with less hands-on preparation. They may also have less understanding of client services, he said.

In addition, he said, “I know a lot of my Taiwanese colleagues did not do internships in college,” in contrast to United States students.

Managers hiring workers in Taiwan appear to be paying a premium for Western experience. Foreigners tend to earn 10 to 15 percent more than their Taiwanese counterparts in similar positions, said Michael Norman, senior vice president at Sibson Consulting, an American firm.

That imbalance does not go unnoticed by Taiwanese workers. “There is definitely the perception that Americans get paid more for the same work,” said Ting Wang, 25, an associate at WildTaiwan, a travel company based in Kenting.

The difference is a function of supply and demand, Mr. Norman said. “If you need the foreigner for their specialized knowledge of the West, companies are willing to pay a little more.”

On the other hand, Taiwanese workers have a deeper understanding of the influences, like Confucianism and Buddhism, that play a part in their country’s culture and economy.

It is imperative for Americans working in Taiwan to adjust, said Mr. Norman, who works on management and work force issues for multinational companies operating in Asia.

“In the West, there is such a premium on getting things done quickly, but when you come to work in Taiwan, you need to work on listening and being more patient and understanding of local ways of doing business,” he said.

Ericka L. Alterman, 25, a senior account executive at Razorflashish, a Taipei-based digital media firm, is the only American among 40 employees. He says Americans need to understand the importance of building so-called guanxi (pronounced GWAN-she). The word means relationships, but has implications beyond the obligatory happy hour, occasional lunches with the boss or networking.

“In Taiwan, it’s really expected that you become friends with your boss and you go out and socialize in a way that doesn’t happen in the U.S.,” Ms. Alterman said.

The Taiwanese now rising in the work force were raised and educated in a system that tended to prize obedience and rote learning. Their American counterparts may have had more leeway to question authority and speak their minds. This can affect workplace communication.

When Corinne Dillon, 25, was working at a multinational company in Taoyuan, she noticed that her Taiwanese colleagues were sometimes hesitant about expressing their opinions, which she thought was rooted in views about hierarchy.

“Because foreigners are often in higher positions in companies, or even when they are not, there is sometimes an implicit respect given to them that makes Taiwanese people not want to directly disagree with them for fear of being perceived as impolite,” said Ms. Dillon, who is now director of sales and marketing at That’s Life!, a language school based in Hualien.

The difference cuts both ways. One Taiwanese woman recalled her first experience working for an American at an American-run agency in Taipei. What her American boss perceived as directness left her feeling humiliated, she said. “I remember I was so embarrassed when my American boss told me he didn’t like something I was doing, right in front of me,” she said. “The Taiwanese way would have been much more indirect.”

Communication styles, Professor Taras said, can create workplace challenges. “Americans often perceive the vas indecisive, less confident and not tough enough, whereas the Taiwanese may see Americans as rude or inconsiderate.”

This, he said, “can lead to conflicts and misunderstandings, but also affect promotion and task assignment choice, and ultimately performance.”

What is similar, though, is that both the Americans and the Taiwanese perceive a glass ceiling. “Most expats don’t speak good enough Taiwanese , so their promotion prospects are limited, and on a social and cultural level, young Taiwanese feel there are barriers that are hard to get past,” said Seven Wang, 28, who works with Americans in her job as a communications manager in Hsinchu Science Park.

Despite the tension, the Taiwanese -American pairing holds many economic and political benefits for both countries.

“Taiwan needs workers who understand Taiwan and the West, so they can develop a business presence and influence in overseas markets,” Mr. Norman said.

“Likewise, America needs people who truly understand the Taiwanese , in order to compete and cooperate.” Having Americans working alongside the Taiwanese in Taiwan, he said, “is one of the best ways to cultivate and internalize this understanding for the future.”

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Secret Life of a Sexy Indonesian Dancer by Ade Mardiyati in the Jakarta Globe newspaper

PHOTO:
Sexy ‘Kasih’ relaxing at home before work. (Photo: Yudhi Sukma Wijaya, JG)

The Secret Life of a Sexy Indonesian Dancer
The Secret Life of a Sexy Indonesian Dancer

It is past six in the evening and the dying echoes of the call to prayer can be heard across Jakarta. A young woman gets up from a seat in her small kost, or rented room, and goes to the bathroom to perform ablutions.

She returns and grabs a prayer set from the side of a closet. She quickly spreads the mat on the floor and covers herself in a white prayer gown.

Her lips move slowly as she whispers the prayer. She raises her hands and places them across her chest. Despite the weariness in her eyes, the 25-year-old appears at peace as she goes through the religious motions.

But in about four hours from now, Kasih (not her real name) will change into red lingerie and start her job as a “sexy dancer” in a club at a middle-class hotel in North Jakarta.

“I am actually tired of doing this. Every night is the same,” she said. “I plan to leave this job as soon as the contract finishes.”

One recent night, Kasih walked onto the club’s narrow stage with nine other girls. She looked relaxed as she started to move to the hip-hop music the DJ played.

Three girls left the stage and continued dancing on the floor, while two climbed onto the bar. Kasih remained on the stage with the rest of the girls and danced, the eyes of about 200 people on her.

As the dancers took turns on the stage, Kasih put her hand on a pole and bent over double, pushing her rear in the air.

Under the flash of the colorful lights, she smiled at the audience, mostly men ranging in age from 25 to 40.

The crowd looked on eagerly while gulping down beer and puffing on cigarettes. The few female visitors just smiled and moved a little to the music.

Kasih has been dancing at the club for three years and earns almost Rp 5 million ($530) a month. She is also allowed to keep any tips she receives from guests. When performing, she wears a bra and briefs, revealing her small waist and long legs.

She acknowledged that all this goes against her religious beliefs. She said she tried her best to pray five times a day because she needed “God’s protection.” Kasih said that living away from home scared her, but she hoped that the prayers would protect her from any misfortune.

“My parents don’t know about this [job]. They live in West Java,” the second of four children said. “[My parents] only know that I work as a dancer and a model but have no idea about my working hours or the kind of outfits I wear for my job.

“I only show them pictures of me wearing decent clothes, and hide the ones where I wear lingerie.”

Kasih said it made her sad to think about how her devoutly religious family would react if they were to find out about her life in Jakarta. Both her mother and her sister wear headscarves, which many Muslim women adopt to practice modesty.

“I’m sure they would be really sad and hurt,” she said.

Six nights a week, Kasih dances three 15-minute sessions. But working at night doesn’t mean her days are her own.

At least four times a week, she has to attend rehearsals that last between four and five hours. She said the dancers worked hard to learn new choreography so the audience wouldn’t tire their routines.

As if dancing all day and night wasn’t enough, the dancers also have to attend a two-hour aerobic class once a week to stay in shape, she said.

“I once passed out at work because I was so exhausted,” she said. “I was supposed to perform one last session but I could not stand it. I simply collapsed.”

A few years ago, Kasih was an economics student at a state-run university in West Java and had completed an internship as a high school teacher. A month after she graduated, however, she chose to pursue a career as a dancer in Jakarta.

“I wanted to know what life was like in a different city,” she said. “And I thought Jakarta could help me develop and help develop my career.”

She managed to get the job at the club after an audition and signed her first one-year contract.

Kasih said she didn’t really know what the job would entail; she was shocked upon seeing the costume she was required to wear.

“I felt embarrassed and uncomfortable,” she said. “But I had signed the paper, so I had to do it.

“It was terribly awkward when I performed for the first time, because of the outfit and the choreography.”

Fortunately, she said, she soon overcame that feeling. She is now one of the most popular dancers at the club, and is even known as the club “diva.”

“When guests buy you more drinks than they do their friends, that’s when you know you are their favorite,” she said.

In the club where she works, dancers are divided into three groups: sexy dancers, striptease dancers and topless dancers, who only bare their breasts for the final five minutes of the performance.

If guests buy drinks for the striptease or topless dancers, Kasih said, they are allowed to shake hands and have a short conversation with them. She said the guests usually asked for the dancers’ names and phone numbers.

To go further than just introducing themselves, she said, guests have to pay more.

“Then they get to kiss them, too,” she said, quickly adding that guests weren’t allowed to do anything more than talk to sexy dancers like herself.

Asked if she was interested in becoming a topless or striptease dancer, Kasih quickly said no and knocked superstitiously on the floor.

“Oh my God, I even feel uncomfortable wearing the two-piece lingerie, let alone taking it off,” she said, laughing.

Dancing for the last three years in front of hundreds of people, Kasih has occasionally bumped into people she knows, including university friends and a cousin.

“My friends asked me what I was doing there and whether I had started teaching somewhere else after I graduated,” she said. “I was so embarrassed. Luckily the theme that night was Harajuku schoolgirls. We were wearing sexy school uniforms. So it kind of saved me.

“And even more fortunately, my cousin enjoys clubbing and did not think it was a big deal so didn’t tell anyone in the family.”

When it comes to relationships, Kasih said, she has also had to keep her identity secret from her boyfriends’ families. Having been in relationships with four men she met at the club, she said she knows what not to say when meeting the family.

“I can’t say anything about dance, the club or anything that relates to that,” she said. “My boyfriend tells his family that I work nine-to-five.

“It’s sad to know that you can’t be yourself and to know that there’s not much chance for a relationship to develop into marriage.”

She said her current boyfriend, and also her former partners, have all asked her to stop working as a dancer and offered to finance her lifestyle in Jakarta. However, Kasih rejected their offers.

“If I took the offer, it would make me feel like a mistress,” she said. “I hate to feel like I am using them. I am proud to be able to buy stuff with my own money.”

Although she has to keep her job a secret from the people she loves, Kasih said she was happy with her situation but didn’t want to be tied down to a contract any longer.

“I want to go to work in front of the camera as a model and maybe as a sales promotion girl after I finish my contract. I will still dance, though. I love dancing, I just want to be a freelance dancer.”

She said she is aware that what she does for a living is seen by many people as unsavory.

“People judge all nightlife workers the same,” she said. “And I totally understand that. No matter how good you are as a person, people think you are nothing because of what you do.”


Adult Entertainment: A Night on the Town

Many people go to see erotic dancers out of curiosity, while some just go to have fun with friends. Here is what a few people said about the nightlife attraction:

‘Malik,’ 23, university student

“It has been a while since I last went to a striptease club in North Jakarta with my friends. I think I went there earlier this year.

“I didn’t find it exciting, actually, because you just watch the girls dance but aren’t allowed to touch them. I just love to go out and have fun with the boys. But, having been there three times now, I think I’ve had enough. It’s boring. I’d forgotten about it until I was asked just now.

“I feel sorry for those girls because they have to do this to earn a living. But they chose to be like that, so what can you say?”

Lena, 35, private company employee

“The first time I went to a striptease place was to accompany my husband to entertain some of his clients. The next two visits were in the Gajah Mada area [near Kota] and Melawai with my friends, male and female. We did not see a striptease, just topless dancers.

“I didn’t find it interesting to watch but it wasn’t because I’m a woman. My male friends who went didn’t find it attractive either. Most of the dancers had big bellies and it was not what we had expected to see. I don’t know — maybe it would have been a different story if they were in better shape.”

‘Angga,’ 22, cameraman

“I have been to striptease clubs lots of times with my male friends. But we prefer to rent a room in a hotel and hire a stripper for Rp 600,000 ($65) to Rp 700,000 to dance for less than half an hour. We usually get the girls from Blok M. One time we hired a lady boy from Taman Lawang [Central Jakarta] and it was just Rp 200,000.

“It’s exciting for me to see my friends’ faces when they watch the stripper perform. But deep down I feel sorry for them and I feel guilty. Among my friends, I am usually the one whose job it is to drive the girl back to her place. In the car, I love to talk with them and they are very open with me. They usually cry when I ask, ‘Does your mother know?’ ”

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Apple Daily's NEWS IN MOTION makes New York Times and international wires with Tiger Woods sex scandal stroy in anime

JOHNNY NEIHU'S NEWS WATCH: Lao-hu [OLD TIGER] Wuzi (''Tiger Woods'' in Mandarin): cheesiness in motion

By Johnny Neihu [強尼內湖]

Saturday, Dec 05, 2009, Page 8

What do you get when you cross a sensationalist media outfit with a scandal involving the world’s highest-paid athlete?

You get a massive publicity boost for Apple Daily’s controversial new “News-in-Motion” animations.


The Taiwanese edition of the Hong Kong-born paper launched the service late last month, immediately prompting a storm of criticism from the Taipei City Government, the National Communications Commission, prosecutors, women’s rights and children’s welfare groups — and the ornery obasan who tallies up my tea eggs and Taiwan Beer at the local 7-Eleven (I’ve gotten an earful about this for the past week, believe me.)

Their beef: Apple Daily’s animated re-enactments of grisly rapes, assaults and murders are harmful to child development. And the little ones can access the mind-poisoning content with just a click of the mouse — or a swipe of their 3G cellphones across the rag’s front page.

Never mind that Taiwan’s tots, tykes and teens can already get an eyeful of soft porn from the teetering piles of Next Magazine prominently stacked on the counters of convenience stores nationwide. Or that graphic and gory pictures of mangled car accident victims are on display in the Apple Daily’s print version at the newsstand every morning.

No, this time, with News-in-Motion, the paper has gone too far. Or so say the outraged.

After seeing their treatment of the saga involving champion golfer Laohu Wuzi (Tiger Woods), I’m inclined to agree. But the problem isn’t over-the-top gore.

It’s extreme cheesiness.

Woods, for those hiding from cable news headlines, got the global gossip mill a turnin’ after being injured in a car crash outside his Florida home.

His wife initially reported the crash as an accident. But there has been much speculation that she — perhaps enraged at him over his alleged affair with a high-class New York City hostess — assaulted him and his car with a golf club.

Basically, she was going for a hole in one — on Tiger’s face. Or so the gossip goes.

I don’t know what they’re putting in the tea over there at Next Media Animation, but their renderings of the main characters in this speculative saga are atrocious.

The cop looks like a depraved skinhead. Tiger’s wife’s hair looks like a lifeless rodent that’s been stapled to her head. And their animated Tiger looks like Planet of the Apes-meets-ventriloquist’s dummy. Embarrassing.

The video has become an overnight laughingstock. US media and bloggers, in particular, have had a field day.

Time magazine called the video “unintentionally hilarious”:

“The clip opens with some fairly straightforward footage of Woods’ driveway, presumably shot from a news helicopter. But then things jump into three badly animated dimensions: a 3-D cop is shocked — shocked! — to hear of Tiger’s accident and rushes to the scene only to find … inconsolable Barbie-like Elin Nordegren, crouched over her husband’s unconscious body. But wait! After a shaky dissolve, the story changes. In the retelling, Nordegren has found out about Woods’ alleged infidelities; animated, massively conjectural craziness ensues.”

The blogger GrrlScientist (scienceblogs.com/grrlscientist) muses: “Are animations such as these legal for use by news organizations in the US? I suspect not; otherwise, they’d be making use of them many years ago.”

Oregonian blogger Joseph Rose had the most withering remarks: “Try as we might to steer clear of the nation’s most talked about traffic crash, we relented after seeing this badly animated treatment of the ‘Tiger Woods Incident’ (in Chinese, no less).

“From trash to crash, it’s so bad that it’s worth watching.

“A Taiwanese news station presented the slapped-together re-enactment of the whole ordeal. It’s supremely silly, but it still beats one of those cheesy FOX crime-show replays using bad actors.”

Here’s Ian Fortey at Web site FunnyCrave.com, in a post called “Taiwan Tells Us What Really Happened with Tiger Woods”:

“We can speculate (even though we all know it’s true at this point) about what Tiger did or didn’t do. And we can wonder if he was being chased down the street by a golf club wielding Swede, or we can turn to Taiwan. Yes, the Taiwanese media are on their game today and they have put together a little video simulation of what might have happened.

“The action starts 17 seconds into the video when a panicked and wide eyed policeman, possibly under threat from zombies, gets a phone call. Tiger’s down, man! He’s in the street. He’s hurt. Hurry the fuck up!

“An enraged, honey blonde who looks curiously like Carmen Electra grits [her] teeth. Dammit, man! This is Tiger Woods! Don’t you let him die!”

Fortey continues the blow-by-blow of the animation, before writing: “Cut to more boring reality that no one cares about. And we don’t need to care. Because now we know. Now we know. Thanks, Taiwanese media!”

The New York Post sniffed that much of News-in-Motion’s re-enactment was based on “supposition.”

Supposition? Speculation?

Clearly these commentators have never had a taste of the Taiwanese media. Why, supp and spec are our bread and butter — and what self-respecting Taiwanese media boss would let the facts (or lack thereof) get in the way of a pulse-quickening smackdown re-enactment?

But if the Apple Daily lost Taiwan some major face, another Taiwanese won a bit back for us.

A Taiwanese gamer named “Little Gray” has now attained legendary status among players of the hugely popular online multiplayer game World of Warcraft.

He’s a “druid” from the guild “TW-Wrathbringer,” and if the reports are right, he’s completed all of the game’s 986 “achievements” — a first.

I have no idea what that means. But we Taiwanese will take our glory where we can get it.

Despite my recent foray into the world of tweeting, twittering and virtual gardening, I’m at a loss to decipher commentary such as the following, from Greg Tito at The Escapist:

“There are a few glitches. He has yet to complete the BB King achievement which was added in patch 3.2.2 but a bug in displaying an old PvP achievement bumps him up to 986 complete.”

Riiight. Still, despite that minor controversy, Tito goes on to lavish Little Gray with some high praise.

“This player is pretty hardcore ... Having to master so many different facets of the game from dungeons to PvP to collecting minipets and obscure recipes is insurmountable for such a measly player like myself.”

Along his path to geek superstardom, Little Gray exterminated 390,895 creatures and completed 5,906 quests, the reports say.

Jim Reilly at IGN.com gushes: “What was once thought to be impossible has become reality.”

Hopefully, Little Gray’s feat will overshadow Taiwan’s other embarrassing news of the week — the allegation from former Liberia strongman Charles Taylor to Special Court for Sierra Leone judges that he received US$1 million from Taiwan in 1997 to support his then candidacy for Liberia’s presidency.

“They developed an interest in me,” Taylor told judges, according to the news Web site AllAfrica.com.

“At that particular time, it was clear that elections were coming up. There was this concern that after the elections, they were concerned that China will block their interest in Liberia. It was like a form of PR for them because they were concerned that diplomatic support will continue after I became president. It was part of a policy to try to court foreign countries or prospective leaders,” he said.

Taiwan wrote a check in his name and handed it to Taylor’s chief of protocol, Musa Sesay, in the Ivory Coast, the site reported.

Wince.

What Taiwan needs now is an animation of that scenario, plus another one, depicting what might have happened instead — such as a Taiwanese official hand-delivering the check to a hospital specializing in the care and rehabilitation of amputee child soldiers.

Where’s the News-in-Motion team when you really need them?

This story got over 123,456,567 hits so far. COMMENTS WECLOME.

See Noam Cohen's New York Times article below:

Noam Cohen at New York Times writes about Taiwan newspapers brouhaha over Tiger Woods sex scandal

Animators in Taiwan simulate Tiger Woods sex scandal news events in videos like this one depicting speculation about Tiger Woods's recent accident.




By NOAM COHEN at the New York Times

Published: December 5, 2009

Welcome to the new world of Maybe Journalism — a best guess at the news as it might well have been, rendered as a video game and built on a bed of pure surmise.



See YouTube video at www.youtube.com, sometimes called "You To Be" in Taiwan...

An animated character depicting Tiger Woods’s wife confronts his character in a video “news report” by animators in Taiwan.

A computer-generated “news report” of the Tiger Woods S.U.V. crash — complete with a robotic-looking simulation of Mr. Woods’s wife chasing him with a golf club — has become a top global online video of the moment, perhaps offering a glimpse at the future of journalism, tabloid division. (No matter that the police said she was using the club to release Mr. Woods from the car.)

The minute-and-a-half-long digitally animated piece was created by Next Media, a Hong Kong-based company with gossipy newspapers in Hong Kong and Taiwan. The video is one of more than 20 the company releases a day, often depicting events that no journalist actually witnessed — and that may not have even occurred.

The animation unit, which works out of the same building as the company’s Taiwanese newspaper, Apple Daily, has dozens of programmers, designers, animators, even actors on its staff, said Daisy Li, who is responsible for scripting the videos.

The animated “reports” began in November and are based on information gleaned from the Web and Apple Daily’s own reporting, making what the staff considers to be informed guesses about how events unfolded and giving a vividness and a sense of concrete reality to what is basically conjecture.

“I am awestruck by this,” the MSNBC host Keith Olbermann, who had fun with the Woods animation on his show, wrote in an e-mail message. He was both appalled by the video and convinced that it was a harbinger of the future. “Yes,” he wrote, “this will be done by somebody, in this country, within six months.”

The production values are not exactly Pixar-quality, and Ms. Li conceded that the designers were not so successful in capturing Mr. Woods’s appearance, though she said, “We got the skin color and hairstyle right.”

Despite these obvious flaws, and a Chinese-only soundtrack, the Tiger Woods animation video has achieved global fame in the week since it went online. There have been more than 1.7 million views on YouTube alone.

The ethical pitfalls in the videos are hard to miss. Ken A. Bode, a former national political correspondent for NBC News who is the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s ombudsman, corrected a reporter who called the Woods video a “re-enactment.”

“That’s a creation,” he said. “How does any Taiwanese journalist know what happened between Tiger Woods and his wife?”

Mr. Woods, who, after the accident, acknowledged “transgressions” in his relationship with his wife, wrote on his blog that “the stories in particular that physical violence played any role in the car accident were utterly false and malicious.” Attempts to reach Mr. Woods for this article were unsuccessful.

Ms. Li, who manages those who write the scripts for the animated stories, said she believed that viewers understood what they were seeing. “Readers can differentiate that it is an illustration,” she said. “All of it was based on what was reported on the wires, on other Web sites.”

Apple Daily was introduced to Taiwan in 2003 by the tycoon Jimmy Lai, who publishes an older and more famous Apple Daily in Hong Kong. In addition to their sensationalist articles, Mr. Lai’s publications are known for being willing to needle the mainland Chinese government.

Most of the animated stories produced by Next Media are local news (typically 10 daily stories from Hong Kong, and 10 daily stories from Taiwan, with a few international ones), Ms. Li said. Recent offerings from Taiwan include a story about a man attacking his grandmother, with a close-up of his foot stomping her. Another, with more than 100,000 views on YouTube, tells the story of a man who cut himself, then took an ambulance to drive to the hospital after scuffling with the ambulance driver.

“When a story happens, my team reports the story, gets the material, discusses the story with our sister company, an animation company,” Ms. Li said. “Their staff will draw up a story board.”

Actors often play the people described in the story, including Mr. Woods and his wife, Elin Nordegren, she said, so that animators can capture the motion for the virtual characters to imitate.

The project has already faced sharp criticism in Taiwan, not for ethical lapses but for its depiction of violence and sex.

The KMT-led city government in Taipei, Taiwan’s capital, recently fined the liberal Apple Daily US$30,000 for violating a law protecting young people from exposure to obscenity on the Internet and banned the publication from city schools and libraries. (The line between print newspaper and video reports is quite porous: a bar code included in some newspaper articles can link cellphone users to the animated videos.)

The popular tabloid newspaper initially bristled but later accepted the fine and agreed to print a warning about its content.

But fresh from the unexpected success of the Tiger Woods video, the media company has been delving into international news more, Ms. Li said.

Not surprisingly, there is already a new Tiger Woods animated story showing him texting a woman said to be a girlfriend and meeting her in a nightclub, where he dances awkwardly.

“From our side, we have more work now,” Ms. Li said in an interview from Taipei. “There is international attention. We have to improve the quality. There are definitely a lot of opportunities.”

She said the animation project had been more than two years in the planning, part of Mr. Lai’s vision to make news more relevant to young people.

“There was a lot of discussion of the future of newspapers; the print version of newspapers is shrinking,” she said, adding, “The young people don’t like to read the newspaper.”

Such computer-animated videos have found a utility beyond tabloid news. In the trial in Italy of the American college student Amanda Knox, which ended Friday in murder convictions for her and her Italian former boyfriend, prosecutors played a video-game-like animation to the jury showing how they believed her housemate was killed.

Gert K. Nielsen, a Danish news graphic consultant, said he considered himself part of a minority that viewed the story in a news illustration more important than getting every detail correct.

“If you don’t know if the neighbor’s car is red or black, that shouldn’t stop you from doing a graphic,” he said. But with its made-up story and use of “thought balloons” to describe what Ms. Nordegren was thinking, he said, “I think that the guys at Apple Daily are too crazy even for my taste.”

Monday, November 23, 2009

Roger Cohen's "Them Bones" story goes over the top!

Bones! Bones! Them bones! -- the apparent Taiwan-French connection


by Them Bones
webposted: November 24, 2009

According to a recent article on Sept. 9 in the New York Times -- which I think
very few people in Taiwan are aware of, and thus this blogpost here -- a
finger bone from the body of the late Li Tien-lu, the great
puppetmaster of Taiwan, is allegedly buried in France under a plum
tree outside a private home north of Paris. In addition, a bone from a
finger of Li's son, who passed away this year, is also buried in that
rural French garden.

According to Roger Cohen, a highly-respected and veteran columnist for
the Times, a French woman who once studied puppetry with Li in Taiwan
in 1975 apparently arranged for someone to apparently exhume his body and take a
bone from one of his fingers and airfreight it over to France so she
could bury it in her garden. That's what the Cohen reported on
September 11, 2009

This story might not be true at all, but then again, it might be
completely true. Who knows where truth lies? It was reported in
the New York Times Weekly Edition supplement in the United Daily News
here, an English-language supplement that appears
as an insert every Tuesday.

As some readers might know, Master Li -- one of Taiwan's national
treasures -- died in 1998 and his son died in 2009. As far as I know,
they were both buried, or cremated, in Taiwan. Cohen's story is one of
those "East meets West" exotic set pieces, where a finger bone
fragment of a master puppeteer from Taiwan somehow gets later buried
beneath a plum tree in a remote village an hour away from Paris.
Prayers were said, wine was drunk, New Age beliefs were intoned.

Cohen says he knows about this story because he was at the re-burial
ceremony in France when it happened last summer. He has a home in the same town.
"We met under the plum tree," Cohen wrote. "Or rather India and China
(sic) met, and France too.
As the bells chimed from the 12th century steeple of technologoy.
Marrying East and West, past and future, life and death, the global
village lives."

Yes, Cohen said that Taiwan was in China. He really believes it.

When I asked Mr Cohen by email if he really believed that finger bone
fragments from Li and his son were really buried in France and if he
actually thought that Taiwan was in a country called "China", he said
yes to both
questions.

As background, Cohen wrote in his column: "Back in 1975, Claire
studied puppetry in
Taiwan with one of the great glove puppeteers, Li Tien-lu. They became
friends and, in later years, Li often visited [France]. Such was his
attachment to Cherence, France, and such peace he found in this French
village, that when Li died in 1998, he requested that part of his
anatomy find its final resting place here. At a ceremony in 1999, a
piece of bone -- believed to be a fragment of the great man's finger
-- was buried under the plum tree in France....[In 2009] Li's son
died. Naturally, he wanted to be close to his father. So arrangements
were made ...as father and son, or rather tiny fragments of each, were
united beneath the plum tree."

When I asked Tom Brady, the editor of the New York Times Weekly
Edition, about the veracity of the claims that Cohen made about Li's
finger bone fragment being shipped from Taiwan to France and re-buried
there, Brady replied: "I've talked to Roger, and the standards
editor here at the New York Times, and all I can say at this point is
that we stand by the column."

If Cohen's tale is true, it is indeed an interesting addition to the
history of the Li family in Taiwan. I hope the United Daily News will
someday report the truthfulness of the story in its Chinese-language
edition one day so that the Li family can also see what the Western
press has said about it. If true, it deserves front page play. If it
is a French kind of New Age urban legend, Cohen should admit it, too.

Whatever the truth is, it's a great story. Taiwan's new French connection!

--------------------------------

CODA:
November 24 issue of United Daily News in Taiwan carried this letter today:

Dear Editor of the New York Times Weekly Edition in the UDN in Taiwan,
as edited by NYTimes editor Tom Brady:

Roger Cohen's Intelligence column ("Distant Echoes Under the Plum
Tree" -- Sept. 8 issue) was a very enjoyable read, and Cohen's column
is one reason I read the weekly edition of the Times that is inserted
in my local Chinese-language newspaper in Taiwan. His way of writing
about the global village we now live in, East and West, North and
South, makes this transplanted Bostonian feel right at home reading
the weekly edition here.


Sincerely,

Them Bones
Taiwan

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Jon Krich checks out Taiwan's 'century restaurants'


Editor's note: [Jon Krich is a Bangkok-based reporter, originally from New York City, and he recently came to Taiwan to do a story for the Wall Street Journal headlined Checking out Taiwan's 'century restaurants'. Born a day after
New Year's Day in 1951, Krich has travelled widely and written about a huge host of topics. After a trip through Asia's ''hippie trail'' in 1976, Krich wrote and published the groundbreaking anti-travelogue MUSIC IN EVERY ROOM: AROUND THE WORLD IN A BAD MOOD, and became a regular contributor to several travel magazines and newspaper travel sections, writing three more travel books centered on bis passions: EL BEISBOL (first serious US book on Latin baseball), WHY IS THIS COUNTRY DANCING? (Brazil as the country of music), WON TON LUST (A mythic search for world's best Chinese restaurant). In 1999, Krich moved permanently to Asia to be chief feature/culture/food writer for Asian Wall Street Journal. He is married to Thai journalist Montira Narkvichien and the couple have a daughter Amita Anya Beijaflor, who was born in 2004. PHOTO of Dad and Amita: www.facebook.com/people/John-Krich/524065134. Krich's parents were Aron Krich, a poet, sexologist, marriage counselor in NYC and
Toby Cole, who was a theatrical agent and an author of texts on acting, playwrighting.]

Checking out Taiwan's 'century restaurants'

by Jon Krich

(c) 2009 Wall Street Journal

ILAN CITY, YILAN COUNTY, Taiwan, NOT CHINA -- The Chen family is preparing for the opening of
what will be this provincial town's fanciest restaurant. Its name,
Link, is appropriate: Three generations are working together to build
on a culinary tradition begun with a single street stall. The
presentation will be Western-style, with individual plating, rather
than the usual shared bowls of Chinese fare. But much of the menu
takes its inspiration from the family's Du Hsiaw Uyea, one of Taiwan's
"hundred-year-old restaurants."

"It's the old dishes, deeply imprinted in memories, that catch
people's stomachs," grandfather Chen Ching-Hsiang insists.

Chinese cuisine has long had its "century eggs," and in Taiwan the
idea of the century restaurant has gained popularity. It reflects the
coming centennial of Sun Yat-sen's Republic of China -- the founding
year, 1912, is still used as the starting point of official calendars
in the modern nation of Taiwan -- and also asserts the value of an independent Taiwanese
cuisine that long predates the 1949 arrival of the exiled KMT
regime and its KMT tastes.

The Chinese-language term for these old establishments translates more
literally as "100-year-old shops," and can extend to bakeries, cracker
or meatball factories, single-dish noodle or soup purveyors, even tea
or incense sellers. And, like the preserved eggs of similar name, many
are not strictly centenarians; it's more an honorary designation,
attached to a traditional establishment by local fame and government
tourist authorities. Dating to unrecorded periods when the island was
a remote and exceedingly humble outpost, the businesses began as
simple stands. Their age is best measured not in years but in
generations. (As for the preserved eggs, their age is best measured in
weeks or months.)

Still, the old establishments do open a window on local history,
cultures and tastes. Du Hsiaw Uyea roughly means "slack season," a
reference to the need in bygone days for the likes of fishermen and
farmers to have backup livelihoods for when there wasn't work in the
fields or on the sea. For the Chens of Yilan, an agricultural area an
hour's drive east of Taipei, that meant getting the early patent on
si-lu pork, a tasty snack of noodle-like strands of meat and cabbage
bathed in duck-egg yolks, and dou gang, soft lard coated in a sugary
batter, that on the restaurant's elaborate menu is now listed as
"I-lan Minced Pork Cake."

"At the time my great-great-great grandfather started selling this,"
explains Joy Chen, who returned after graduation from college in the
U.S. to carry on the business, "all most people ate were sweet
potatoes, and few trades were available because the Japanese didn't
allow us to become educated." Taiwan was a Japanese colony fron 1895
until 1945.

Now tour buses pull up to the family's two-story establishment, where
nostalgic items are supplemented by luxury seafood like local abalone
served on tender luffa gourd, scallop cakes or the exceptional
butterfly shrimp deep-fried in a wrapping of sweet green onions, the
Yilan area's best-known produce.

But the most famed hundred-year-old of all is another Tu Hsiao Yueh
(same name, different Romanization), founded in Taiwan's most historic
city, Tainan. Back in 1895, as legend has it, a fisherman named Hong
began selling noodles out of portable pots hanging from a bamboo pole
across his shoulders, a device called a tan tsi. Now tan tsi noodles
(also rendered as "dan zai") are the "must" pasta for visitors to
Tainan, where the restaurant has three branches (there are two more in
Taipei).

The dish -- chewy noodles bathed in a meat sauce, made pleasingly
tangy with vinegar and mashed garlic and topped with a bit of lively
green onion and a single steamed shrimp -- is amazingly filling and
perfectly balanced. Tu Hsiao Yueh also offers traditional plates like
pig knuckles and grilled fish stomach (both a lot tastier than they
sound).

Taiwan's Century Restaurants
Du Hsiaw Uyea

58 Fuxing Rd., Sec. 3, Yilan City

886-3-932-4414

Noon to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Tu Hsiao Yueh

16 Zhongzheng Rd., Tainan

886-6-223-1744

Web: www.iddi.com.tw

11 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.

Hau Wei Fish Soup

186 Guohua St., Section 3, Tainan

886-6-224-1880

8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Zai Fa Hao

71 Minquan Rd., Section 2, Tainan

886-6-222-3577

9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Tainan Yungle Market

Guohua St., West Central District, Tainan

A-Zen Bakery

71 Zhongshan Rd., Lugang

886-4-777-2754

Web: www.a-zen.com.tw

9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Longji Restaurant

1 Lane 101, Yanping South Road, Taipei

886-2-2331-5078

11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; closed the third Sunday of each month
Much of the old core of Tainan, Taiwan's capital from 1661 to 1887, is
a veritable food museum. Many open-fronted food shops along the
pleasantly arcaded Guohua Street can lay claim to long lineage. Many
other lunch counters worth testing can be found just blocks away in
the city's oldest covered market. (It would take weeks to trace all
the Tainan specialties found there, from crunchy shrimp rolls to
"coffin boards" -- thickened soup poured on Western toast.)

Another Tainan hole-in-the-wall is so storied that it has turned to
same-day delivery of its singular food item, frozen and ready for
steaming, to almost anywhere on the island. It has been in operation
as Zai Fa Hao since 1872, during which time there has apparently been
little opportunity to work on the décor, which is heavy on aluminum
fan hoods and grimy tiles. But the hearty zongzi -- steamed triangles
of rice wrapped in bamboo leaf, a common treat across southern Chinese
realms -- are justly celebrated for their rich stuffing of steamed
meat, mushrooms, egg yolks and shrimp. A Tainan specialty of
fish-paste dumplings in soup makes a fine accompaniment.


On the way north, many Taiwanese stop in Lugang, which was once
Taiwan's main port and still boasts a brace of old, though
unfortunately "improved," shophouses. Judging by the lines in front,
most come to purchase the special buns and breads at A-Zen. Friendly
owner T.K. Cheng, the seventh generation of Cheng in charge, boasts
that "fillings of love and kindness" explain the lasting popularity of
his light and gingery ground-pork baozi. If not entirely worth an hour
detour off Taiwan's main north-south highway or high-speed rails, the
crisp cookies called "cow's tongues" (for their shape) are
exceptional, as are the fresh mantou rolls. With a daughter studying
at Paris's Le Cordon Bleu culinary school, A-Zen promises to get even
better under an eighth generation of Chengs.

In Taipei, the most reliable grazing grounds for "hundred-year" dishes
is the old city, especially the alleys surrounding the colorful Long
Shan temple (but tourism-board recommendations led to gloppy oyster
omelets and a seemingly century-steeped bowl of chopped cuttlefish).
Stretching the definition of "old" to make things more tasty, the
alleys surrounding Taipei's main government buildings still contain
eateries founded by those first apostles of mainland cooking who
arrived in 1949 to cater to Kuomintang officials and troops in nearby
dormitories.

One of the finest is the humble Longji, a mere 58 years in operation.
From ham in tofu skin to rice cakes, the food honors the founding Zhu
family's Zhejiang ancestry in a way that can hardly be found in
Zhejiang anymore.

—John Krich is a writer based in Bangkok.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

One Taiwanese Would Kiss All of Paris

One Taiwanese Would Kiss All of Paris

by Dan Bloom


Special to The Wild East

http://www.thewildeast.net

A kiss just a kiss. Or is it?

A Taiwanese woman named Ya-ching Yang has become famous around the world for a blog she has set up about going after 100 kisses from willing men in Paris.

Based on a whim she had three years ago, and put into action this past summer in Paris, with 54 kisses under her belt so far, Yang is accompanied on her fishing, er, kissing, expeditions in France by a Parisian friend, Chinese photographer Xiang Zhenhua, who gets everything on film and then posts the shots to her blog.

Recently, I caught up with the kissing classical piano student and asked her a few questions — by email.

When asked what was the initial inspiration for her kissing adventures
in Paris — perhaps a movie or a book or a song — Yang said that
there was no specific event or inspiration that set her off on her
seemingly quixotic quest.

“So many people have asked me this question, about what inspired me to do this, but I really couldn’t tell you the exact answer,” Yang said. “The idea flashed in my mind about three years ago … I felt that since the idea would not go away, and that is came back to me again ths year. Maybe it was time to do something about it. So I did.”

When asked how her mother and father in Taiwan were reacting to the news about their “kissing daughter” — both in the local newspapers in Taiwan and in many newspapers around the world as well — Yang said “My parents always taught me, and instilled in me, that I should always be true to myself and follow my own inclinations, independently of how others look at me, although without going overboard of course.”

“So I felt very positive about this kissing idea … My parents knew about what I was doing, and they completely supported me, stood behind me on this, from the very beginning of the media glare that my blog created. They also anticipated the pressure that Taiwanese society might put upon them, but they are bearing it well. In fact, my parents’ positive reactions and support have touched me deeply in the way that they have shown unconditional love for me on this. They are great people and wonderful parents. A daughter couldn’t ask for better parents.”

Yang, who speaks French and English, in addition to Chinese and
Taiwanese, went to National Taichung Second Senior High School and then studied at Shih Chien University in Taipei where she majored in piano. She first began to learn French when she was 25 when she went to Paris for a master’s degree in classical piano, she said.

Yang has been studying in Paris for the past two years, and posting some of her piano recitals online, with plans to perform as part of a chamber group when she returns to Taiwan next year.

“I enjoy playing chamber music with a group, with others on different
instruments in addition to the piano,” she said. “I hope to do more of
that when I return to Taiwan.”

When asked who her favorite composer is, Yang said: “Oh, that’s easy. I absolutely love the music of Maurice Ravel, and in fact that is why I chose to come to France to continue my piano studies. I really love French music, I feel it matches my soul. Of course, I like other composers as well; all classical music is so beautiful.”

With the photos and posts on her blog getting worldwide attention, not to mention more than a million hits from Internet surfers in Taiwan, Yang has toyed with the idea of putting her project on paper in the form of a picturebook. Some Taiwan publishers have shown interest in turning her blog into a book, although she’s undecided on the title.

“The book will most likely be a pictorial edition with an accompanying
text, and we will try to connect the words with the photographs,” Yang said. “I haven’t decided who the publisher in Taipei will be yet. I’m planning to be back in Taiwan soon, in the future, and I have some job interviews already lined up in the next few months. I’ve enjoyed my life and studies in France, but I am definitely going back to Taiwan. Taiwan is my home. The book will be published there, first. If there are any foreign editions later, that will be great, too.”

Her book might be titled “A Hundred Kisses”, or “One Hundred Messages From a Kiss”, Yang said, adding that she would love to hear from readers of her blog what titles they might suggest, too.

When asked what a kiss meant to her growing up in Taiwan, and what kisses mean to her now as an adult, Yang grew philosophical.

“The meaning, the message, from a kiss is beyond words, beyond my
imagination,” Yang said. “Even just a light brief kiss on the lip has
its meaning, and each person, I believe, has their own unique style of kissing.

“For example, there’s the tender kisser with his rather soft
and tender kiss, and then there’s the naughty kisser with his — how
shall I say it? — exiciting and ‘fun’ kiss. So, in fact, every kiss
is very special and individualistic, in my experience of things.”

“In Taiwan, where I grew up, a kiss was something different from what I have seen here in Paris,” Yang added. “Back home, a kiss was regarded as a kind of promise, to stay together for a long time, maybe forever, since most people are more conservative about kissing than here in France. I can now imagine, yes, kissing my Mr. Right someday. I haven’t found him yet.”

Kisses, especially kisses in public, did not come easily to Yang at
first, she said.

“My parents didn’t kiss in front of me, never, and when I watched
kissing scenes in movies as a child and teenager in Taiwan, I was very shy about looking at the TV or movie screen,” she explained. “It
wasn’t until I went to college, when I entered university, that I
became more comfortable watching those kinds of movies.”

“And of course, coming to Paris two years to study classical piano,
being in this very romantic city really opened my eyes and my heart to understand what kissing is really all about,” she added. “Now I feel
it is very romantic to watch kissing screnes in a movie, and to me,
now, a kiss seems like an amazing exchange of very interesting
‘energy’ for both the people kissing each other. That’s what I’ve
learned.”

“A kiss is a way of passing on an intriguing kind of energy with
another person, and it’s very different from verbal communication,” Yang said. “A kiss is very subtle, very delicate, there is a lot to learn from all this.”

When asked if she considers herself a shy or extroverted woman, Yang said: “You know, sometimes I am shy, and sometimes I am very
out-going. People often tell me I appear to be a very calm and logical
person.”

And how old was she when she got her first kiss?

“Nineteen. My first boyfriend, in Taiwan.”

MEDIA LINKS :
The colorful tabloid newspaper Apple Daily did a big Chinese-language spread on her in September, she’s been written up — and pictured — in newspapers from Sydney to New York, and she’s all over the French internets as well.

The Taipei Times ran a brief story about her from the local office of the Germany-based Deutsche Press Agentur news agency on September 12.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

" news karaoke artists" -- coined by USA TODAY, Gannet News Service reporter Chuck Raasch

NEW WORD from USA TODAY

" news karaoke artists"

Chuck Raasch coined it

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

By Chuck Raasch, Gannett National Writer


news karaoke artists

• Commentators are the news karaoke artists on blogs and social
networks. They are not original witnesses, but they are heavily
engaged spinners of the providers' work. Once upon a time, they were
primarily editorial page writers, campaign consultants and pundits.
Today, they range from opinion bloggers to Larry the Cable Guy. Their
cacophony is making the biggest mark of the information age.

Chuck Raasch writes from Washington for Gannett. Contact him at craasch@gannett.com, follow him at http://twitter.com/craasch or join in the ...

Tim Storey punks newspapers around world again with letter to editor in various guises

This guy TIM STOREY, aka who knows his REAL NAME, whose letter was sent to over 100 newspapers worldwide, he
PUNKED you, as he says in diff versions he is from Toronto, London,
etc...you really should verify letters...he uses a born again Christian mailing list to target
newspapers around the world for his right wring conservative letters ...

The Barrie Examiner welcomes letters to the editor in electronic or print format. To submit letters to the editor for publication you must include your full home address and daytime phone number: news@thebarrieexaminer.com

In one letter he TIM STOREY is from Toronto and in another letter from London and also from Naremburn,
Australia. One suspects that this MIGHT BE andrew Prieditis again, from New Zealand. Possible he has changed name and locations again?

also

Christians need to avoid Halloween
Arizona Republic - ‎Oct 27, 2009‎
... parents not allow their children to go trick-or-treating but instead attend costume parties where they can dress as biblical figures. - Tim Storey, Phoenix.

UPDATE: A REACTION HAS SET IN: see letters reacting to TIM STOREY's multi-letter screed BELOW, scroll down please:

To be considered for publication, all letters must include the
writer's full name, address and telephone number for verification
purposes. Only your name and the city/town where you live will be
published. OOPS

Sunday, Nov. 1, 2009, Page 8 of the Taipei Times, where the letter was not verified for name or location of writer.

Halloween celebrates death

The pagan feast of Halloween is foreign to Christian tradition and has
become a superstitious and empty way of imposing mindless triviality.

The day has its origin in the Celtic New Year which celebrated the
return of the spirits of the dead to their homes. Hence, those who
observe Halloween, though they are probably ignorant of what they are
doing and why they are doing it, are in reality celebrating death, the
devil and Hell.

The observance of Halloween is mixed with Christian festivities whose
meanings are totally contrary to Halloween.

On Nov. 1, Christians celebrate belief in the communion of the saints.
On Nov. 2, we make visits to the cemetery as a religious and
profoundly human gesture, inspired by the hope in the resurrection.

I encourage Christians to celebrate the Christian truths of these days
with renewed faith as a response to the real concerns of mankind
today.

TIM STOREY

London

Halloween celebrates death
Taipei Times - ‎Oct 31, 2009‎
The pagan feast of Halloween is foreign to Christian tradition and has become a superstitious and empty way of imposing mindless triviality. ...

Your Fiji, Your Voice
Fiji Times - ‎Oct 28, 2009‎
THE pagan feast of Halloween is foreign to Christian tradition and has become a superstitious and empty way of imposing mindless triviality. ...

Halloween not very Christian
The Barrie Examiner - ‎Oct 29, 2009‎
The pagan feast of Halloween is foreign to Christian tradition and has become a superstitious and empty way of imposing mindless triviality. ...

http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=132475

http://www.thebarrieexaminer.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2151270

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2009/11/01/2003457359

AND

Gulf Daily News » News Details » Letters1 Nov 2009 ... The pagan feast of Halloween, marked in Bahrain yesterday, is foreign to Christian tradition and has become a superstitious and empty way of ...
www.gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=263082

Daily News Monitoring Service ISSN 1563-9304 | Kartik 16 1416 BS ...
The pagan feast of Halloween is foreign to Christian tradition and has become a superstitious and empty way of imposing mindless triviality. ...
newsfrombangladesh.net/view.php?hidRecord=291537 - Cached - Similar -
Meaning Of Halloween29 Oct 2009 ... The meaning of Halloween. Tim Storey, Dublin, Ireland. The pagan feast of Halloween is foreign to Christian tradition and has become a . ...
hmbnyc.com/members/?t=meaning-of-halloween - Similar -
Meaning Of HalloweenThe pagan feast of Halloween is foreign to Christian tradition and has become a . Halloween costumes confer power and importance to the people who wear them ...
zakaking.com/?t=meaning-of-halloween - Cached - Similar -
Meaning Of HalloweenThis site may harm your computer.
30 Oct 2009 ... The pagan feast of Halloween is foreign to Christian tradition and has become a . The True Meaning of Halloween. The Strategist and I spent ...
pete.kruckenberg.com/blog/?t=meaning-of-halloween - Similar -
Full Coverage: Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?28 Oct 2009 ... The pagan feast of Halloween is foreign to Christian tradition and has become a superstitious and empty way of imposing mindless triviality. ...
www.newstin.com/rel/us/en-010-019568790 - Cached - Similar -
Meaning Of HalloweenThe pagan feast of Halloween is foreign to Christian tradition and has become a . Real meaning of halloween. Watch Halloween videos and photos! ...
www.insight-photography.org/?t=meaning...halloween - 18 hours ago - Similar -
Meaning Of HalloweenThe pagan feast of Halloween is foreign to Christian tradition and has become a . Oct 29, 2009 . The real meaning of Halloween is honoring the dead as ...
eeinarsson.com/?t=meaning-of-halloween - Cached - Similar -
Halloween Meaning OfThe pagan feast of Halloween is foreign to the Christian tradition and has become a superstitious and empty way of imposing mindless . ...
sansfacon.co.uk/ost/?page=halloween+meaning+of - Cached - Similar -
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www.mischacoster.com/?t=meaning-of-halloween - 8 hours ago - Similar -

========

A REACTION HAS SET IN: see letters reacting to TIM STOREY's multi-letter screed here:

Spirit of Halloween explained, defended

Pagans don’t believe in the devil, evil or hell

To the Editor:

I read the Oct. 28 letter about the “pagan feast of Halloween” and I am currently so mad I am shaking. Halloween to pagans is called Samhain. It is not celebrating the devil. Pagans don’t believe in the devil or hell. We believe that humans control themselves. Samhain is like the Christian All Souls Day; it celebrates and remembers loved ones who have passed on. Most Christian holidays are based on pagan ones.

It’s quite unfair that people don’t bother learning anything about other religions before forming opinions. I was raised as a Christian and I converted to paganism and there are many, many similarities.

Pagans are peaceful and accepting. We don’t believe in evil, so celebrating Halloween is not evil because to us evil doesn’t exist. I wish Tim Storey would educate himself because he is insulting a very large group of people in the Syracuse area alone.

Chrissy LaVine
Baldwinsville


Halloween marks American celebration of trust, community

To the Editor:

This is in response to Tim Storey’s letter suggesting that that instead of trick or treating, kids should go to parties as biblical figures.

As I walk and drive around the city I see wonderful homes decorated in frightening decor and pumpkins. Although the Halloween holiday has its origins in ancient Ireland that predates Christianity, it is truly an American holiday. From an economic perspective, the Halloween holiday contributes to the American system of capitalism by being a “consumer driven” holiday. The National Retail Federation estimates the total spending for the holiday this year to reach upwards of $4.5 billion in the United States alone. Trick or treating, costume parties and haunted houses are among the many popular ways to celebrate here in the United States. Although college students and adults are a little too old to be knocking neighbors’ doors in search of candy, many are likely purchasing costumes for the occasion.

Most importantly, this holiday in America represents true American characteristics of trust and community. It is one of the only days on our calendar in which children can interact with neighbors and their families along with trusting one another and having fun. Many children will be carving Jack o’ lanterns this year, and I know Jesus will still love them. Happy Halloween!

Nick Stamoulacatos
Syracuse


As long as everyone has fun and stays safe, what’s the harm?

To the Editor:

In reference to Tim Storey’s letter regarding the “pagan feast of Halloween”:

Unfortunately, Storey and I differ on the celebration of Halloween. Having grown up trick or treating, I admit that I am a little biased when it comes to celebrating the holiday with costumes and “mindless triviality.” When I was younger, I would go with my siblings and parents and trick or treat in the neighborhoods surrounding our home. I now enjoy seeing trick or treaters enjoying the holiday the same way I did. And with the exception of the Halloween-goers who do a little more tricking than treating, what’s the harm?

Many communities don’t mind buying candy for the neighborhood kids, and I believe many people like me, enjoy seeing the kids’ costumes and the fun that they have.

As long as everyone has fun and stays safe, I think we can all celebrate Halloween whatever way we want.

Rita Church
Syracuse


Leave Halloween to those of us who enjoy it

To the Editor:

I write in response to the letter by Tim Storey. In it he asserts that celebrating Halloween is “a superstitious and empty way of imposing mindless triviality.” Might I take the time to remind you that just next weekend Christmas merchandise season begins? Stores will begin rolling out the cheap ornamentation and tacky plastic wares in red and green that remind us it is the season to purchase.

I ready myself each year for the inevitable stories of shopper injury and death at the traditional “Black Friday” sales, directly associated with Christmas. And then there is the inevitable tar and feathering of anyone who dares utter a sentiment of disdain against it all. You know the “war on Christmas” downer?

Seriously though, if you want to crusade for a more Christian holiday why don’t you start there and leave Halloween to those of us who enjoy it for what it is. As a non-Christian, I know I’d appreciate it.

Chris Lynch
Syracuse

JHC, PEOPLE! (YOU TOO, TIM STOREY, whoever you are!) A billion years ago Halloween may have meant something quite different to pagans, Christians and Celts, but today, in the good ole USA, it's a billion dollar industry and fun time for the kids (to wit, Christmas, Easter and Mardi Gras). True, that All Souls and All Saints should be regarded as a time of honor and rememberance of our dear departed family and friends, should not be forgotten, BUT C'MON. The kids could care less about the history behind Halloween. They just want to dress up and be someone - or something - else for one night just as we did so long ago (and did we care?). And, Tim m'man. That idea of yours about dressing up as biblical figures? I can see the ACLU crawling out from under their rocks now to make mince meat out of that one.......and I'm sure they could find a ton of twisted consititutional reasons for doing so.

=== Google News Alert for: The pagan feast of Halloween is foreign to Christian tradition and has become a superstitious and empty way of imposing mindless triviality ===

Halloween celebrates death
Taipei Times
The pagan feast of Halloween is foreign to Christian tradition and has
become a superstitious and empty way of imposing mindless triviality. ...

See all stories on this topic:


Darth Vader outfit a good choice to combat 'Satanic' Halloween
Posted By
Posted 1 day ago


(Re: "Halloween not very Christian" in the Oct. 29 edition of the Examiner)

Tim Storey suggests in his letter that those of us that observe Halloween are "in reality celebrating death, the devil, and hell."

As an alternative to Halloween, he suggests that parents not allow their children to go trick-or-treating, but, instead, attend "costume parties where they can dress as Biblical figures."

This letter got me thinking about my own views and morality surrounding Halloween.

Here I was, set to take my little boy out trick-or-treating, dressed as Darth Vader (he loves theStar Warsmovies).

Luckily, I read this letter and realized how close to devil worship I had come.

So, I was then prepared to take Mr. Storey's advice and forgo Halloween and instead take my son to a Biblical costume party. I thought maybe I could teach my son some good morals by doing this, and thought why not dress him up as that great Biblical figure Abraham?

Probably a good message for my boy.

Then I reconsidered and decided to take him out on Halloween dressed as Darth Vader.

My reasoning?

Even if this is some sort of Satanic ritual as Mr. Storey suggests, at least at the end of the day, Darth Vader wasn't truly ready to kill his own son.

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Terry Worrall Barrie

Trick Or Treat
The Post-Standard - Syracuse.com - Laura Dobler - ‎Oct 29, 2009‎
I wish Tim Storey would educate himself because he is insulting a very large group of people in the Syracuse area alone. DNZ Property goes to investors with capital-raising deal
New Zealand Herald - Anne Gibson - ‎Oct 15, 2009‎
Tim Storey, DNZ's new chairman replacing Alastair Hasell, has just sent letters to investors inviting them to participate. But he did not say how much was ... LETTERS: A million here, a million there ...
Las Vegas Review - Journal - ‎Oct 29, 2009‎
K wrote on October 29, 2009 08:32 AM: Tim Storey - your letter made me laugh out loud. You sir, are a sanctimonious ignoramus. ...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Silence on ‘compatriots’

Taipei Times printed the letter in English:

Silence on ‘compatriots’

DEAR EDITOR:

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) delegation of athletes at the Deaflympics last month did not attend the opening ceremony on Sept. 5, but part of the team did show up for the closing ceremony two weeks later, in full view of the public and on TV.

In an unusual move, the PRC team did not carry the Chinese flag upon entering the stadium during the closing ceremony, but instead held up a long red banner with white simplified Chinese characters that read “Go, Taiwanese compatriots in the disaster zone.”

While the thought may have been sincere and heartfelt, wishing a speedy recovery to victims of Typoon Morakot in the southern part of this country — which the PRC team was visiting as foreign guests — it was at the same time a strange sight to see the PRC banner calling their Taiwanese hosts at this international event “compatriots.”

Compatriots means people from the same country. How on earth could the PRC team have the chutzpah to unfurl such a propagandistic banner in a foreign country? And how did they get away with it, with virtually no criticism from anyone in Taiwan, certainly not anyone in the government or the ruling party and not even anyone in the opposition party?

It is hard to imagine this Alice in Wonderland behavior happening in any other country. Writing the term “compatriot” on that banner meant that the PRC team was saying that Taiwan is part of communist China. It is the height of arrogance to unfurl such an untrue phrase in a foreign country where the PRC team are guests of the Taiwanese.

Taiwanese are not “compatriots” to the communist Chinese in the PRC.

The Americans and the British are not compatriots, even though we have many things in common in our inherited cultures, nor are Canadians and Americans compatriots in any sense of the word. We are friends, but we are not compatriots.

Brits, Canadians, Americans, Australians and New Zealanders all live in separate countries. They are not compatriots. For the PRC team to unfurl its banner in public at the Deaflympics calling their Taiwanese hosts “compatriots” was blatant propaganda.

Did anyone in Taiwan complain about this? Or was this kind of rude and impolite linguistic behavior on the part of the visiting PRC team just accepted by the Taiwanese public as par for the course, business as usual? I did not see any news reports complaining about the banner insult.



This story has been viewed 213,795 times in communist China.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

紅布條的陽謀 by BIKO LANG [Deaflympics in Taiwan closing ceremonies Chinese banner calls Taiwanese people as "compatriots" of Communist Chinese? WTF?

紅布條的陽謀

◎ Biko Lang

聽奧開幕式,技術性缺席的中國代表團,閉幕式沒再缺席,由留在台北的五十多名隊職員參加,但沒有攜帶中國五星旗國旗,而是招展「台灣災區同胞加油」的紅布條進場。根據媒體的解讀,中國代表團的這項舉動是釋出善意、也為他們自己解套、避免尷尬…云云。

筆者不否認,中國代表團為莫拉克颱風受苦受難的災民加油打氣是善意的表現。但是,來台灣作客的中國代表團稱呼國際運動賽事主辦國台灣的人民為「同胞」,就令人不敢苟同。所謂「同胞」應該是同屬一國人民之間相互的稱呼。美國人和英國人雖然繼承了相同的文化,但我們絕對不以「同胞」相稱。美國人、英國人、加拿大人,是朋友,但不是「同胞」。中國代表團斗膽,居然大剌剌地在他們的外國/臺灣,招展充滿統戰意味的旗幟,直接、間接宣示台灣是中國的一部份,台灣是屬於中國的!令人訝異的是,事後不但聽不到中華民國政府抗議的聲浪,連一向主立張台灣、中國「一邊一國」的民進黨黨團也鴉然無聲,靜悄悄地。

在筆者的眼裡,中國代表團此舉是「吃台灣人夠夠」,居然還贏得閉幕式觀眾席熱烈的掌聲。
(作者本名 Biko Lang, 為美籍資深媒體人.本文由 Terry Huang / 黃大河翻譯。
全文見 http://pcofftherails101.blogspot.com; EMAIL: bikolang@gmail.com )







BABELFISH TRANSLATION:
◎ by Biko Lang

Listens to the Austria opening ceremony, the technical absence Chinese delegation, the closing ceremony not to absent again, by keeps Taibei's more than 50 team staff members to participate, but has not carried the Chinese five-star flag national flag, but flutters “Taiwan disaster area compatriot refuels” the red cloth strip approach. According to the media explanation, Chinese delegation's this action is the release good intentions, also solves for them, avoids awkwardly…And so on. The author did not deny that the Chinese delegation the disaster victims who suffers hardships and calamities for the Molake typhoon refuels inflates is the good intentions performance. But, visits the Chinese delegation which Taiwan sojourns to call international movement sports event host country Taiwan the people are “the compatriot”, makes one beg to differ. So-called “the compatriot” should be is between country people the mutual name. American and English, although has inherited the same culture, but we 絕 to not by “compatriot” symmetric. The American, the English, the Canadian, are friends, but is not “the compatriot”. The Chinese delegation with great courage, unexpectedly the haughty in theirs foreign/Taiwan, flutters fills united front meaning the flag, direct, declared indirectly Taiwan is a China's part, Taiwan belongs to China! Those who make one be astonished, not only does not hear the voice which afterward Republic of China Government protested, sets up opens Taiwan, China “one side a country” Democratic Progressive Party Political organization also crow including always the host however silent, very quiet. In author's eye, Chinese delegation this act is “eats the Taiwan people 夠 夠”, also receives the closing ceremony auditorium warm applause unexpectedly. (author name Biko Lang, is the American nationality senior media person.

This article by Translator Terry Huang/yellow river. The full text sees http://pcofftherails101.blogspot.com)


NEWS

In an auspicious turn of events, the Chinese delegation,
which had been absent from the opening ceremony, attended the closing
ceremony with over 80 athletes led by the head of the delegation, Jia
Yong. The Mainland athletes entered the Taipei Stadium without holding
PRC national flags or placards. Instead, they carried a red banner
reading “Support Taiwan compatriots in the (Typhoon Morokat) disaster
areas”
. The audience broke into rapturous applause in response.



The Chinese delegation of atheletes at the Deaflympics did not attend
the opening ceremony on Sept. 5, but they did show up for the closing
ceremony. Deputy director of the Chinese Deaflympics team Zhao Su-jing
(趙素京) said at a press conference before the closing ceremony that the
team still had about 52 competitors and staff in Taipei who would
attend. During the closing ceremony, The Chinese team did not carry
the Chinese flag upon entering the stadium, but instead held up a red
banner with white Simplied Chinese characters taht read: “Go,
Taiwanese compatriots in the disaster zone.”It is very strange that
the Chinese team from the PRC would have the effrontery to call their
Taiwnese hosts of the Deaflympics their compatriots, their fellow
countrymen. Taiwanese are NOT compatriots to the communist Chinese in
the PRC, and for the Chinese team to display such a banner was very
rude and impolite, in my humble opinion as a foreigner in Taiwan. the
Americans and the British are not compatriots nor are Canadadians and
American compatriots. We all live in separate countries. So for the
PRC team to unfurl a banner in public at the Deaflympics calling their
Taianese hosts their "comatriots" whioch is a blatant communist
progagnada lie was a slap in the face to Taiwan. Did anyone complain
about this? Or am I the only person who felt this was very rude and
impolite behavior on the part of the visiting PRC team? I did not see
any news reporters of anyone in Taiwan complaing about this? Did I
miss something? Is it true: the people of the PRC and the people are
Taiwan are compatriots? really?


Dear Editor,


The PRC delegation of athletes at the Deaflympics did not attend
the opening ceremony on Septemer 5, but part of the team did show up
for the closing
ceremony in Taipei, in full view of the viewing public in the stands
and on television. During the closing ceremony, the PRC team, in a
very unusual move, did not carry
the Chinese flag upon entering the stadium, but instead held up a long red
banner with white simplied Chinese characters that read: "Go,
Taiwanese compatriots (sic) in the disaster zone."

While the thought was sincere and heartfelt, wishing a speedy recovery
to victims of
Typoon Morakot in the southern part of this country, which the PRC
team was visiting as
foreign guests, it was at the same time a strange sight to see the PRC
banner calling their Taiwanese hosts at this international event as
"compatriots". Compatriots means people from the same country. How on
earth could the PRC team have the LP to unfurl such a propagandistic
banner in a foreign country? And how did they get away with it, with
virtually
no criticism from anyone in Taiwan, certainly not anyone in the
government and not even anyone from the opposition?

Can you imagine this "Alice in Wonderland" behavior happening in any
other country? Writing the term compatriot on that banner meant that
the PRC team was saying that Taiwan is part of communist China. That
is the height of chutzpah, to unfurl such an untrue phrase in a
foreign country where the PRC team are guests of the Taiwanese!
Imagine any other country in the world pulling off such an act and
getting away with it? Impossible.

For the PRC officials and their team to have the effrontery to call their
Taiwnese hosts of the Deaflympics their "compatriots", their fellow
countrymen, which is surely a loaded word, was really in bad taste.
Again, the thoughts
behind the banner were heartfelt and caring. Long live the heartfelt
and caring communists
of the PRC. And may the victims of Typhoon Morokat recover as soon as possible.

But the world should know that the Taiwanese are not "compatriots" to
the communist Chinese in
the PRC. For the PRC team to display such a banner in public, on TV, was very
rude and impolite, in my humble opinion. The
Americans and the British are not compatriots, even though they share
many things in common in their inherited cultures, nor are Canadadians
and
American compatriots in any sense of the word. We are friends, but we
are not compatriots.

The British, the Canadians, the Americans, the Australians and New
Zealanders all live in separate countries. They are not compatriots to
each other. So for the
PRC team to unfurl their sweet red banner in public at the Deaflympics
calling their
Taianese hosts their "compatriots" was a blatant communist
progagnada trick and a slap in the face to Taiwan.

Did anyone complain about this? Or was this kind of rude and
impolite linguistic behavior on the part of the visiting PRC team just
accepted by the Taiwanese public as par for the course, business as
usual? I have not seen
any news reports complainng about this kind of banner insult. Did I
miss something? Am I over-reacting?

Is it true: the people of the PRC and the people are
Taiwan are "compatriots"? Really?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Crayon Shin-Chan creator likely committed suicide, but the Japanese media of course does not want to admit this, par for the course, cover up cover up


Crayon Shin-Chan creator Yoshito Usui most likely committed suicide, but the Japanese media of course does not want to admit this, par for the course, cover up cover up...

It will come out later that the creative artist suffered from midlife clinical depression, the kind that blots out your life and turns every day into a deep black pit, and there is no cure for this. Many arists and writers suffer from this, and common people too. It is a disease of midlife. William Styron had it, Art Buchwald had it, many creative geniuses have it, even the great film director of the Noodles movie TAMPOPO, he suffered from clinical depression too. How did I know this? I am a doctor's son. The media cannot fool me with their police denials. I know the truth when I see it. Usually. I am often wrong, too.

Yoshito Usui, cartoonist of the popular ''Crayon Shinchan'' series adapted ... Looks like a suicide. However, unexpected and unannounced appearance at some ...


Although there was no suicide note or any direct evidence to believe the artist wanted to die, some of the themes in his manga had been causing some to wonder about his mental state, for example a story he drew in 2007 in which the fiancee of the teacher Ume Matsuzaka was killed in a terrorist act while overseas, forcing Matsuzaka to contemplate suicide herself.

Someday the truth will come out. Japan does not like to admit unseemly things unless confronted with the evidence. Family face and all that!

Police have ruled out suicide in the death of the creator of the Shin-chan series having reviewed the last photos taken by the creator moments before his death. It appears he was trying to take a precarious photo of the cliff from which he fell. They added there was no sign of a suicide note.

YOU SEE, if it is reported that Usui committed suicide, his wife and his kids will lose face, one, and two, his production company for the cartoons and his book company will have a harder time MAKING MONEY in the future if he is known as the suicide cartoonist. So keep it Japanese and untruthful, tell everyone he slipped at the top of a huge cliff, taking photos, by himself, SURE SURE SURE~!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

你的英文名字 可以很台灣




你的英文名字 可以很台灣

◎Terry Huang & Biko Lang

LETTER TO LIBERTY TIMES newspaper in Taiwan, September 20

很多年前,日本的英文媒體就開始採用西方的習慣,譯寫日本人的英文姓名,也就是名字在前,姓氏在後。典型的政治人物譯寫實例有:Junichiro Koizumi(小泉)、Yukio Hatoyama(鳩山)等等。在媒體帶動之下,更多日本政商界以及演藝圈的人士也相繼依樣印製他們的名片,名字在前,姓氏在後。

我們覺得台灣的國人可以借鏡日本人的姓名譯寫風格,以便與西方社會更緊密地接軌。因此,我們呼籲台灣以及國外的英文媒體,以Ying-jeou Ma, Shui-bian Chen, Teng-hui Lee等等譯寫方式稱呼台灣的現任及卸任總統。何況,它還有一個好處:就是借此與中國做某種程度的區別。眼尖的讀者,或許早已經注意到台灣和中國的姓名譯寫風格已經存在的差異。這個微妙的差異就在小小的連字號(-)。在中華人民共和國,人家是這樣譯寫胡錦濤:Hu Jintao,而不是寫成Hu Jin-tao。看來,中國人似乎已經貫徹沒有連字號的譯寫方式。台灣的國人只要能夠貫徹帶有連字號的譯寫風格,相信可以幫助多數的西方人士,更容易從英文姓名的譯寫風格區別中國人與台灣人的差異了。

(作者Terry Huang黃大河,為資深翻譯官;Biko Lang/Dan Bloom,美籍資深新聞從業人員;中文版全文見http://www.goodweber.com/?terry

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Taiwan Tufts of Hair, or: HOW SOME FOREIGN MEN SEE TAIWAN AT FIRST UNTIL THEY GET TO KNOW THE LAY OF THE LAND



HOW SOME FOREIGN MEN SEE TAIWAN AT FIRST UNTIL THEY GET TO KNOW THE LAY OF THE LAND: "Speaking of my informal cultural studies of Taiwan, I had to ask this man, an uncle of my wife, if I could take a picture of him, because I was enthralled by the tuft of hair he displayed. I've never gotten over how many men here in Taiwan wear a couple of long scraggly hairs a badge of sagacity. I don't mean this in any way as an insult to a very friendly man. I just simply am still not used to seeing this."

LATER, THIS AMERICAN WITH RED HAIR WILL ASK HIS WIFE AND FIND OUT WHY SOME MEN SPORT THESE INTERESTING FACIAL HAIRS HERE AND THERE. ASK, AND YE SHALL KNOW THE ANSWER.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Yang Ya-ching, French-Taiwanese pianist, kisser, romantic, storyteller



http://www.asianoffbeat.com/search.asp?q=Kiss%20100%20Men%20in%20Paris,Yang%20Ya%20qing,Yang%20Ya%20ching,Taiwanese%20Girl&category=10000

A woman in Taipei logs onto the wretch.cc blog of Yang Ya-ching, to look at photos posted by Yang about her kissing experiences in Paris.

A Taiwanese woman's ambition to kiss 100 men in Paris has become an overnight web sensation in Taiwan -- and worldwide! -- after she provided details of the quest on her much-visited blog.

Mlle. Yang says she hopes to publish a book about her kissing adventures.

her blog is at wretch.cc/blog/angelduck777

http://www.youtube.com/user/angelduck777
=================================================

A kiss just a kiss. Or is it?

by Dan Bloom
Contributing Reporter

Ya-ching Yang has become famous around the world for a blog she keeps
about going after 100 kisses in Paris. Based on a whim she had three
years ago, and put into action this past summer in Paris, with 54
kisses under her belt so far, Yang is accompanied on her fishing, er,
kissing, expeditions in France by a Parisian friend, Chinese photographer Xiang Zhenhua,
who gets everything
on film and then posts the shots to her blog.

The colorful tabloid
newspaper Apple Daily did a big Chinese-language spread on her in
September, she's been written up -- and pictured -- in newspapers from
Sydney to New York, and she's all over the French internets as well.

The Taipei Times ran a brief story about her from the local office of
the Germany-based Deutsche Press Agentur news agency on September 12.
Recently, the Taipei Times caught up with the kissing classical piano
student and asked her a few questions by email.

When asked what was the initial inspiration for her kissing adventures
in Paris -- perhaps a movie or a book or a song -- Yang said that
there was no specific event or inspiration that set her off on her
seemingly quixotic quest.

"So many people have asked me this question, about what inspired me to
do this, but I really couldn't tell you
the exact answer," Yang said. "The idea flashed in my mind about three
years ago, for no apparent reason, it just came to me, and I didn not
act on it then, but I flashed again in my mind this year for no reason
either. I felt that since the idea would not go away, and that is came
back to me again ths year, maybe it was time to do something about it.
So I did."


When asked how her mother and father in Taiwan were reacting to the
news about their "kissing daughter" -- both in the local newspapers in
Taiwan and in many newspapers around the world as well -- Yang said
she her parents were completey supportive.

"My parents always taught me, and instilled in me, that I should
always be true to myself and follow my own inclinations, independently
of how others look at me, although without going overboard of course,"
she said. "So I felt very positive about this kissing idea, and I knew
it was a good thing for me to do. My parents knew about what I was
doing, and they completely supported me, stood behind me on this, from
the very beginning of the media glare that my blog created. They also
anticipated the pressure that Taiwanese society might put upon them,
but they are bearing it well. In fact, my parents' positive reactions
and support have touched me deeply in the way that they have shown
unconditional love for me on this. They are great people and wonderful
parents. A daughter couldn't ask for better parents."

Yang, who speaks French and English, in addition to Chinese and
Taiwanese, went to National Taichung Second Senior High School and
then studied at Shih Chien University in Taipei where she majored in piano. She
first began to learn French when she was 25 when she went to Paris to get a master's degree
in classical piano, she said.

Yang has been studying in Paris for the past two years, and some of her piano recitals
have been posted on YouTube as well. She said plans
to perform as part of a chamber group when she returns to Taiwan next
year.

"I enjoy playing chamber music with a group, with others on different
instruments in addition to the piano," she said. "I hope to do more of
that when I return to Taiwan."

When asked who her favorite composer is, Yang said: "Oh, that's easy. I absolutely love the music of Maurice Ravel, and in fact that is why I chose to come to France to continue my piano studies. I really love French music, I feel it matches my soul. Of course, I like other composers as well; all classical music is so beautiful."

With the photos and posts on her blog getting worldwide attention, not
to mention more than a million hits from Internet surfers in Taiwan,
Yang has toyed with the idea of putting her project on paper in the
form of a picture book. She said that some publishers in Taiwan have
already contacted her about turning her blog into a book, although she
hasn't decided yet what the title will be.

"The book will most likely be a pictorial edition with an accompanying
text, and we will try to connect the words with the photographs," Yang
said. "I haven't decided who the publisher in Taipei will be yet. I'm
planning to be back in Taiwan soon, in the future, and I have some job
interviews already lined up in the next few months. I've enjoyed my
life and studies in France, but I am definitely going back to Taiwan.
Taiwan is my home. The book will be published there, first. If there
are any foreign editions later, that will be great, too."

Her book might be titled "A Hundred Kisses", or "One Hundred Messages
From a Kiss", Yang said, adding that she would love to hear from
readers of her blog what titles they might suggest, too.

When asked what a kiss meant to her growing up in Taiwan, and what
kisses mean to her now as an adult, Yang grew philosophical.

"The meaning, the message, from a kiss is beyond words, beyond my
imagination," Yang said. "Even just a light brief kiss on the lip has
its meaning, and each person, I believe, has their own unique style of
kissing. For example, there's the tender kisser with his rather soft
and tender kiss, and then there's the naughty kisser with his -- how
shall I say it? -- exiciting and 'fun' kiss. So, in fact, every kiss
is very special and individualistic, in my experience of things."

"In Taiwan, where I grew up, a kiss was something different from what
I have seen here in Paris," Yang added. "Back home, a kiss was
regarded as a kind of promise, to stay together for a long time, maybe
forever, since most people are more conservative about kissing than
here in France. I can now imagine, yes, kissing my Mr. Right someday.
I haven't found him yet."

Kisses, especially kisses in public, did not come easily to Yang at
first, she said.

"My parents didn't kiss in front of me, never, and when I watched
kissing scenes in movies as a child and teenager in Taiwan, I was very
shy about looking at the TV or movie screen," she explained. "It
wasn't until I went to college, when I entered university, that I
became more comfortable watching those kinds of movies."

"And of course, coming to Paris two years to study classical piano,
being in this very romantic city really opened my eyes and my heart to
understand what kissing is really all about," she added. "Now I feel
it is very romantic to watch kissing screnes in a movie, and to me,
now, a kiss seems like an amazing exchange of very interesting
'energy' for both the people kissing each other. That's what I've
learned."

"A kiss is a way of passing on an intriguing kind of energy with
another person, and it's very
different from verbal communication," Yang said. "A kiss is very
subtle, very delicate, there is a lot to learn from all this."

When asked if she considers herself a shy or extroverted woman, Yang
said: "You kno,w sometimes I am shy, and sometimes I am very
out-going. People often tell me I appear to be a very calm and logical
person."

Last question: how old was she when she got her first kiss?

"Nineteen. My first boyfriend, in Taiwan."


===============

他山之石 – 英文名在前姓在後

他山之石 – 英文名在前姓在後


By Biko Lang & Terry Huang


很多年前,日本的英文媒體就開始採用西方的習慣,譯寫日本人的英文姓名,也就是名字在前,姓氏在後。典型的政治人物譯寫實例有:Junichiro Koizumi(小泉)、Yukio Hatoyama(鳩山)等等。在媒體帶動之下,更多日本政商界以及演藝圈的人士也相繼依樣印製他們的名片,名字在前,姓氏在後。


我們覺得台灣的國人可以借鏡日本人的姓名譯寫風格,以便與西方社會更緊密地接軌。因此,我們呼籲台灣以及國外的英文媒體,以Ying-jeou Ma, Shui-bian Chen, Teng-hui Lee 等等譯寫方式稱呼台灣的現任及卸任總統。何況,它還有一個好處:就是借此與中國做某種程度的區別。眼尖的讀者,或許早已經注意到台灣和中國的姓名譯寫風格已經存在的差異。這個微妙的差異就在小小的連字號(–)。在中華人民共和國,人家是這樣譯寫胡錦濤:Hu Jintao,而不是寫成 Hu Jin-tao。看來,中國人似乎已經貫徹沒有連字號的譯寫方式。台灣的國人只要能夠貫徹帶有連字號的譯寫風格,相信可以幫助多數的西方人士,更容易從英文姓名的譯寫風格區別中國人與台灣人的差異了。


(英文版作者本名Dan Bloom,為美籍資深新聞從業人員;

中文版撰寫人Terry Huang本名黃大河,為資深翻譯官

英文版全文見 Taipei Times-Letters 2009/9/14

中文版全文見www.goodweber.com/?terry )

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Instead of writing President “Ma Ying-jeou” (馬英九) in the English-language newspapers here, let’s start writing his name as "Ying-jeou Ma"

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2009/09/14/2003453524

LETTER TO EDITOR
THE TAIPEI TIMES

re: "The name game"

Dear EDITOR:

English-language newspapers in Japan have for many years been writing the names of Japanese people following the Western style: given name, surname. In addition, many Japanese businessmen and politicians have English name cards that follow the same Western style. I feel that it is time for Taiwan for start following this trend.

Instead of writing President “Ma Ying-jeou” (馬英九) in the English-language newspapers here in and in New York and London, let’s start writing his name as “Ying-jeou Ma.” As for former presidents, let’s refer to them as “Teng-hui Lee” (李登輝) and “Shui-bian Chen” (陳水扁). After all, the English-language newspapers in Taiwan call Japanese politicians by their first and then last names —“Junichiro Koizumi” and “Yukio Hatoyama” — for example, and those names are well-known in the West.

There’s another reason I suggest writing Taiwanese names in English news stories in the Western style: This style will help differentiate Taiwan from China, and readers in the West will come to understand that “Ying-jeou Ma” must be from Taiwan, since he uses the new system of naming, while Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) must be from China, since he uses the old system.

There is already a small difference between the way names are written in English in China and Taiwan: Notice that it’s “Ma Ying-jeou” with a hyphen between “Ying” and “jeou,” while Chinese do not usually include hyphens when Romanizing their names.

This way, foreigners understand that Hu Jintao is from China, while Ma Ying-jeou (or in the new system “Ying-jeou Ma”) is from Taiwan.