Monday, 20 July 2015

Taiwan OELP reflection

Taiwan day 2
On day 2, we went to the Hakka museums, and learnt more about the Hakka culture. I learnt that Hakka is a race in Taiwan, and they migrated from China. In the early days, they settled into the hilly areas of Taiwan, and despite the difficult terrain, they turned swamps and riverbeds in farmland. A unique life style adapted to the hills developed, and that formed the basis of Hakka culture.  We also learnt about some Taiwanese culture, like the oblation furnace (敬字停)they believed that papers with words are precious and cannot be anyhow thrown away, and it's a practice still upheld now. I'm very impressed with how the Taiwanese preserved their culture. Seeing how the many museums are preserved, and how many of the tour guides explaining the museum to us were volunteers, I can really feel their enthusiasm towards their culture. I think they have done it better than Singapore, as even though we have museums, we don't go there, and do not have an enthusiasm like the Taiwanese. I think that we can learn a lot from the Taiwanese, and try to learn and preserve our culture. Especially us, the youths of Singapore. We cannot treat our culture lightly, as it defines who we are and gives us identity. We should learn to treasure and preserve them. 

Taiwan day 3
On day 3, we visited the an ping fort and the liu he night market. I thought the an ping fort was very significant, as it was a symbol of their independence, a story of how Taiwan prospered. It is very important, as it could be something all Taiwanese could relate to and be proud of. Just like singapores story of raffles, the Taiwanese story of zeng cheng gong. It embodies the values the people of the country all admire, so they can all be proud of the person. I think that this is the importance of a monument. It is significant by representing important memories of the locals, and form a common story, or thing all the people can be proud of. Whether it's the Singapore story of raffles or the Taiwanese story of zeng cheng gong, it is all something people of the country can be proud of. After this, we went to the liu he night market. I saw a lot of Taiwans famous snacks. I learnt a lot of the Chinese food culture, and I tried a lot of them.

Taiwan day 4
On day 4, I went to our sister school, sacred hearts high school. We went to their classes to see what it was like, and also we performed a dance for them, and they also had a few performances prepared for us. At the performance, I was very impressed by their discipline. They were very attentive during our performance, and there was none of the fidgeting and noises that we always make. They clapped and cheered loudly, and gave us an impression that they were enjoying the performance very much. It made us feel very welcomed and impressed. I also went to their science class, and it was a debate class, about the merits and demerits of zoos. The teacher was very supportive, and always guided us on how to answer, and help us summarize our points. He made the atmosphere very conducive, and thus helped spark the exchange of ideas. All in all, I think that the Taiwanese students have very good discipline, and their teachers are very friendly and supportive.

Day 5
We went to zhengxin for robotics and balloon sculpturing lessons, and I learnt a lot of new things. For the robotics lesson, I learnt how to transfer the program into the robot, and then assemble the robot. It was very fun, and interesting. We also went for balloon sculpturing, and that's the time we were able to bond with the seniors who led us, and as they taught us how to make the balloons, while we keep popping them, I felt that they were really people I can depend on. In the afternoon, we went to the cake towel shop. I was impressed with their creativity, as they made.... All sorts of things from towels, such as cats, cows.... I learnt that because of the climate, the cotton used to make towels are hard to grow, but they worked around that by coming up with this creative way to boost sales. 

Day 6
We went for a FCE lesson in the morning, and I was very surprised when I learnt that we will be cooking our lunch. I was worried at first, as during the FCE lessons in RV, the food I cooked was.... Not horrible, but not all that tasty either. However, through the guidance of the seniors there who taught us how to cook, I had a very enjoyable lunch, and I'm happy to say that the food was delicious. In the afternoon, I went out with my buddy, and I learnt a lot about the Taiwanese culture, through our visit to a temple. It has a lot of gods there, and the buddy introduced them to me. We also went to a street that is very famous in Taiwan for its paintings of the cats, and the paintings were very creative, as on a 2D wall, they created a 3D feeling, and we had fun and interacted with the cats. 

Day 7
It was the day where we returned to Singapore, and we went to the  911 earth quake education centre. It was designed very well, with a bridge that has markings on it that can measure the earth quake. We went to a area that was preserved to record the scene of the earth quake, and we can see the extent of the damage for ourselves. Classrooms was tore into two, and you can see the steel poking out. Seeing the power of the earthquake, and the damage it can cause, I'm all the more thankful that I can live in Singapore. We are special in the fact that we can avoid these earth quakes, and we must realize how fortunate we are. We must not forget to help those who are less fortunate though, and always be ready to help someone in need.

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