Centered on Taipei March 2018

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A publication of the Community Services Center


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T he Great Getaway

CONTENTS March 2018 volume 18 issue 6


From the Editors Events About Town Book Clubs: March Center Gallery March Activity Highlights Kiddies Korner CSC Business Classified Publisher Editor Co-editor Advertising Manager Magazine Email Tel Fax Community Services Center Editorial Panel Printed by

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Community Services Center, Taipei Suzan Babcock Richard Saunders Naomi Kaly

02-2836-8134 02-2835-2530

Siew Kang, Fred Voigtmann Farn Mei Printing Co., Ltd. 1F, No. 102, Hou Kang Street, Shilin District, Taipei Tel: 02-2882-6748 Fax: 02-2882-6749 E-mail:

Centered on Taipei is a publication of the Community Services Center, 25, Lane 290, Zhongshan N. Rd., Sec. 6, Tianmu, Taipei, Taiwan Tel: 02-2836-8134 fax: 02-2835-2530 e-mail: Correspondence may be sent to the editor at coteditor@ Freelance writers, photographers and illustrators are welcome to contact the editor to discuss editorial and graphic assignments. Your talent will find a home with us! Copyright 2018. All rights reserved. Material in this publication may not be reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner. COT is printed on FSC certified 100% post-consumer recycled fiber. The paper is certified in accordance with the rules of the Forest Stewardship Council which promotes environmentally responsible, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world's forests.


Doris Brougham - Community Service Leadership Award 10 The Most Inspiring Women I Have Met 19 Taitung: Colorful and Unique 22


Lily Wen – A Woman of Many Talents Siew Kang – A Kind and Generous Heart Judy Yang, My Incredible Mom My Mother – A Pillar of Strength Chen Tso-chi – A Journey Out of Silence

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The Reed Dance: A Rite-of-Passage for Swazi Girls


Yoga is a Forerunner for Women Holistic Wellness Healthy Habits, Healthy Heart


Self-care – The Secret to Being a Superwoman Newton’s Cradle – Inhabiting Multiple Identities as a Foreign Woman in Taiwan Karen Farley, Entrepreneur – KP Kitchen: the Second Year


Yonghe Dou Jian Da Wang (Yong He Soly Milk King)


Taiwan's Historic Chastity Arches


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Everyone needs to know why... We’ll help your whole family prepare for the big adventure.

Crown’s service offerings include: • • • • • • •

International & Domestic Shipments Transit Protection Pet & Car Transfers Immigration & Legalization Home Search School Search Settling-in Services

Tel: +886 2 2719 2618

˙ Weekly Themes ˙ Fun Science Experiments ˙ Cooking Classes

˙ Water Play

˙ Phonics & Mathematics

˙ Arts and Crafts

˙ Weekly Field Trips / Special Events

˙ Games

˙ Play Time

and More!

Go knowing

Register on March 12 or March 14 TYPA Campus (located inside TAS) TYPA Office: (02) 28731815


CR ad Euroview AprMay.indd 1

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Yaki Iwan by Tobie Openshaw For more information, please go to our website at



Naomi Kaly Richard Saunders Co-editor Advertising Manager

KC Graphic Designer

coteditor@ naomi@communitycenter.


Suzan Babcock Editor

Zee Dlamini Nomita Kavra Gupta Editorial intern Editorial intern

Sydney Ko Editorial intern

WRITING AND PHOTOGRAPHY CONTRIBUTORS Joan H. HungryinTaipei Siew Kang Sydney Ko Miranda Lin Tobie Openshaw Joseph Reilly Richard Saunders Rosemary Susa Grace Ting Lily Wen

Sue Babcock Dr. Doris Brougham Maudie Brown Chen Tso-Chi Jenna Lynn Cody Liz Coetzee Malabika Das Sue Bardwell Detisch Zee Dlamini Karen Farley Nomita Kava Gupta

Pick COT up at: Uptown: Community Services Center, No. 25, Lane 290, Sec. 6, Zhongshan North Rd. Sprout – No. 33, Sec. 7, Zhongshan North Rd. George Pai’s Beauty – No. 14, Tienmu East Rd. Downtown: Ooh Cha Cha – 207, Sec.2, Nanchang Rd. NakedFood – 22-1, Lane 160, Sec.1, Xingsheng South Rd. Samyama (Art) Co., Ltd. – 2F, No. 1, Lane 119, Sec.1, Daan Rd.

COMMUNITY SERVICES CENTER The Community Services Center (CSC) is a non-profit foundation. CSC provides outreach and early intervention through counseling, cross-cultural education and life skills programs to meet the needs of the international community in Taipei. CSC offers the opportunity to learn, volunteer, teach and meet others. Check out our website and drop by The Center to chat with us about our programs. You can also email us at

Please send email submissions, comments, and feedback to

International Women’s Day, March 8th, is the global celebration of women’s social, artistic, economic, political and cultural achievements. The first observation of Women’s Day occurred on February 28th, 1909 in New York City. The next year, at the International Women’s Conference in Copenhagen, delegates proposed that a specific day, March 19th, be set aside to honor and promote the equal rights of women and women’s suffrage. Subsequently, the first International Women’s Day observances were held in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on March 19, 1911. This date was later changed in 1913 to March 8th, and Women’s Day continues to be celebrated on this day. The March 2018 issue of Centered on Taipei is our special “Women’s Issue.” This year’s lineup contains women’s life journey narratives, cross-cultural insights, community profiles and interviews about ordinary women who are making significant and positive differences in their own lives and in the lives of those around them. They are women who have steadily, and often quietly, pushed themselves beyond set boundaries stemming from a wide range of cultural, political, social, economic and health-related influences. They are, as Tobie Openshaw refers to in his article, “The Most Inspiring Women I have Met,” and “The glue that holds a society together.” Spring has finally come to Taipei and the Community Services Center has a full-listing of events, activities and tours lined up for you to enjoy. Michael Hurst will be giving, by popular demand, his POW Tour: In the Steps of the Men of Kinkaseki. Join Jennifer Tong as she leads you through the streets of old Sanxia, sharing tidbits about the area that only locals know. And if you are in the mood for homemade noodles, Ivy Chen will teach you how to make three different noodle dishes. There is a lot going on at the Center, so stop by to see us. A cup of hot coffee or tea will be waiting for you.

Sue and Richard

Accountant Activities Coordinator Assistant Activities Coordinator Coffee Mornings Coordinator Cross-cultural Trainer Communications Events Coordinator Mandarin Chinese Teacher Systems Manager

Monica Cheng Rosemary Susa


Miyuki Boice, Daniel Chan, John Imbrogulio, Anna Loose, Leslie McFarlane, John McQuade, Gloria Peng, Emmy Shih

Undine Urbach John Imbrogulio Anne Jacquet Morgan Loosli Shan Lee Gloria Gwo Lee Ming Yeh


Adam McMillan

Office Manager

Grace Ting


I-wen Chan, Katherine Chang, Hui-shiang Chao, Jung Chin, Chiao-Feng Chung, Cerita Hsu, Carol Lee, Miranda Lin, Emilie Ma, Kuang-Shan Wan


Bai Win Antiques European Chamber of Commerce Grand Hyatt Taipei


Wendy Evans and Michael Mullahy

Premier Sponsors

Counseling Admin.

Joanne Chua

Concordia Consulting ICRT San Fu Global MARCH 2018

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EVENTS ABOUT TOWN Comedians’ Workshop Taipei Taiwan has a flourishing performing arts market and has produced a wide range of enjoyable and relatable programs. The comedians’ workshop brings its own comic flair to the local performing acts landscape, and is known for its funny sketches. Worth seeing for a relaxed night out. When: March 23rd (7.30 pm) Where: Shifu Road, Xinyi District (Family Theatre, Taipei City Hall) Tickets: https://www.stubhub. 1X00396LRG&utm_medium =affiliate&utm_content=fe ed&utm_campaign=4&utm _source=td-tech&affid=TT2427504&tduid=tdtech-2427504

Cats - The Musical The renowned musical, Cats, based on TS Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, is coming back to Taipei following previous performances in Taiwan. When: March 15th – 18th (multiple shows) Where: National Taiwan

University General Gymnasium, 3rd floor (NTU Sports Center) Tickets: https://www.viagogo. com/ww/Theater-Tickets/ Musicals/Cats/Cats-TheMusical-Tickets/E-2506212?affi liateID=624&PCID=AFFIAFFUKE vent14FF953148 Or application/UTK02/UTK0201_. aspx?PRODUCT_ID=M03PEN7S Sappo LIVE Enjoy a laid-back and cool music environment in downtown Taipei. Live music, dance floor, bar and good food. They also offer open mic/jam sessions. Tuesday to Friday, 8pm-3am Venue: B1, No.1, Lane 102, Anhe Road, Section 1, Taipei Further information:

The Hakka Tung Blossom Festival The celebration of flowering tung trees is an ode to the Hakka people, and inspired by their contribution to the early local economy of Taiwan. It is also an important tree for

Taiwan 101: Essential Sights, Hikes and Experiences on Ilha Formosa by Richard Saunders


the Hakka people because the economic value of its wood was a vital resource in helping many Hakka families make ends meet. The trees were widely planted and cover the mountainsides of Taoyuan, Hsinchu and Miaoli, Taiwan’s biggest Hakka region. When: March to May More Info: https://tung.hakka.

Free Buzzard in Mt. Bagua As Taiwan continues to embrace and work towards building a green economy that protects biological diversity, the Wild Bird Society of Changhua County hosts a special event called Free Buzzard in Mt. Bagua to protect these birds for the long term. Free Buzzard in Mt. Bagua promotes a harmonious relationship between humanity and nature. This is also in accordance with the theme of the International Day for Biological Diversity – a United Nations-stipulated day (May 22nd) emphasizing the importance of understanding and valuing the living organisms around us. This is also a great opportunity

for nature photographers to capture the grey-faced buzzards in central Taiwan as they make their annual migration northward, passing over Mount Bagua. When: March 24th – 25th Where: Mt. Bagua Visitors Center No.13-7, Guashan Road, Changhua City More Info: http://www.eagle.

COT March 2018 Morning Book Club Selection

The Circle by Dave Eggers will be the Morning Book Club’s March selection. For meeting dates, times & location, contact: mcelroy22000@yahoo. com

Taiwan is a perfect illustration of the saying that good things come in small packages. In comparison with more popular tourist destinations in the Far East, Taiwan is very modest in size, but despite its diminutive scale, the island has an astonishing amount to offer the curious explorer. The two volumes that make up Taiwan 101 are the perfect guide for exploring the very best of Taiwan: not only the island’s finest hikes, but also its best historic towns and cities, brightest traditional festivals, unique Chinese and aboriginal cultural riches, and its little-known natural wonders such as eternal flames, mud volcanoes and badlands. Together, Taiwan 101 Volumes 1 and 2 present Taiwan’s finest attractions to anyone who wishes to get to know this island of kaleidoscopic charms, and comes with detailed information on getting around by public transport, and accurate GPS coordinates of nearly 800 fascinating places.

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A percentage of all proceeds of items sold at the Gallery will go to the Center. Please remember that by displaying your items or shopping at the Gallery, you will be helping the Center to continue to provide valuable services to the international community.

CHEN CHAO PAO’S PAINTING COLLECTION Come visit the Center this month to view renowned visual artist Chen Chao Pao’s paintings, brought in by Baiwin. Chen used the ancient Chinese splash brushing technique, combined with Western painting skills, to develop new expression and new subject matter for ink and water paintings. His paintings are popular at auctions worldwide.

ADORNMENTS OF BLESSING Handcrafted in the Holy Land, made of wood and natural stone, Balance Health International brings these beautiful religious home decorations and accessories from Israel to you.

A BEAUTIFUL SCARF AND ORNAMENT COLLECTION Shop at the Center for beautiful scarves and elegant ornaments for yourself, or give as gifts for someone special.


Sanxia Old Street and Indigo Dye Center Tour Wednesday, March 7; 9:30 am - 3:30 pm Guide: Jennifer Tong $800 Join Jennifer for an adventure out to Sanxia, with its endearing Old Street and beautiful Zhushi Taoist Temple. Included in this tour is a visit to one of the town’s indigo dye centers, where you will have the option of creating a hand-dyed item of your choosing (cost not included). Explore Taiwan the way the locals do — using MRT and public bus. Bring your EasyCard and a packed lunch. Tasty local snacks are also available to purchase on the Old Street. Oodles of Chinese Noodles Friday, March 9; 10 am - 12 noon Instructor: Ivy Chen $1,200 Noodles form a basic c o m p o n e n t o f C h i n e s e/

Ta i w a n e s e c u i s i n e, a n d there are so many types available for you to enjoy. In this class, Ivy will teach you how to make three dishes using three different types of noodles: hand-made noodles known as Māo ěrdu or cat’s ears, served with a sesame sauce; Taiwanese beef and tomato noodle soup made with thick rice noodles; and stir-fried glass noodles with shrimp and vegetables. Understanding Chinese Medicine: Nutrition and the Five Elements Thursdays, March 15 & 22; 9:30 am - 11:30 am Instructor: David Edsall $1,200 Chinese medicine is a fa s c i n at i n g a n d a n c i e nt medicine that has evolved to the modern day. In this two-part course, David will introduce the five-element system and the basics of nutrition from a Chinese m e d i c a l p e rs p e c t i ve. I n t h e f i rs t c l a s s, y o u w i l l learn which element you correspond to, and how that relates to your body’s health and functions. The second class will focus on nutrition,

where you will learn how to determine your constitution, according to Chinese medicine, and which foods are best for you. Through this informative course, you will gain a better understanding of Chinese medicine, and how to use it in your life to stay healthy. Beginning Crochet Workshop Thursdays, March 15 & 22; 12 noon – 2 pm Instructor: Maria Correia $1,400 Have you ever wanted to learn how to crochet? Well, then join Maria for this introductory workshop where she will teach you the basics of crocheting. In this beginner class you will learn how to make "granny s q u a r e s," w h i c h c a n b e stitched together to create any number of items from s i m p l e s ca r ve s to s m a l l blankets and afghans. Take this class and you will be on your way to creating a lovely i te m m a d e by you r own hands. The cost of materials to make approximately six granny squares is included.

POW Tour: In the Steps of the Men of Kinkaseki Wednesday, March 21; 8:30 am - 3:30 pm Guide: Michael Hurst $1,500 It is not a well-known fact, but in 1942, the Japanese began bringing Allied POWs to Taiwan from Southeast Asia and held them under horrendous conditions until Japan surrendered in 1945. The largest of the camps in Taiwan was in Kinkaseki (today's Jinguashi). This fascinating, full-day tour will take us from Ruifang to Jinguashi via Jiufen, along t h e r o u t e t a ke n b y t h e POWs, and will include stops at the Gold Mining Museum (admission fee included) and the POW Memorial Park on the site of the camp. Bring water, a packed lunch and rain/sun protection as needed. MARCH 2018

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Fun Activities for Kiddies Here are a few exciting places to visit with your busy-bee kids to keep them buzzing! TEXT: NOMITA KAVRA GUPTA



This year, the Taiwan Lantern Festival is in the southern city of Chiayi, and will be presented on water, on land, and in the air. It’s aimed at bringing tourism, technology, culture and art together. The shows will take place at fixed hours every evening during the festival period, accompanied by dance performances by professional troupes.

Addresses: Chiayi County Governent 1, E. Sec., Xianghe 1st Road, Taibao City, Chiayi County National Palace Museum (southern branch) 888, Gugong Boulevard, Yunlin County Suantou Sugar Factory 1, Gongchang Village, Chiayi County Timeline: March 2nd to 11th tw/2018taiwanlantern/EN/


Holi is a Hindu spring festival which is celebrated throughout the Indian subcontinent. It is also known as the ‘festival of colors’ or ‘the festival of love’. The festival signifies the victory of good over evil, the end of winter and the arrival of spring. It is a time to meet friends, celebrate the joy of life, forgive and mend broken relationships. It is an Indian spring festival of fun. Admission includes surprise performances, full course Indian meal and our traditional Holi color throw.

Date & Time: Saturday, March 3rd from 10:30 to 4:30 Venue: Luguanghe’an Park (Same as last year and near the Dingxi MRT Station) Fee: NT$400 includes entrance, full course Indian food, Holi colors. Children under 5 are free. Sponsor: The Indian Cultural Committee of Taipei (ICCT) For more information: ICCT 2018 Grand Holi in Taipei’s Facebook page Or call: Mr. Rajan Khera at 09-32-30-3939


Find out why everyone is talking about Stage Time and Juice when you join their bi-monthly open mic and more event. Stage Time and Juice invites talent from the Red Room and Taipei community to share their gifts and passions with an encouraging audience. Have it your way and take the stage for five minutes to share a song, dance, joke, or story!

Address: Taiwan Air Force Innovation Base (TAF) 2F library, 177, Jianguo South Road section 1 (Intersection of Jianguo South Road and Jinan Road) Telephone: 0910-947-307 Date and Time: Saturday, March 17th 2:30 to 4:30 pm Fee: NT150 per adult, NT$100 per child (ages 5-18), to cover cleaning costs https://


The Flower Clock is a large garden artwork near the western entrance to Yangming Park, close to the national park visitor center and the main bus station on the mountain. The park contains a Chinese-style garden with elegant buildings, pavilions, kiosks, streams, fountains and ponds. From December through April, the landscape is adorned with native cherry, plum, camellia, peach, and azalea, and this time period is known as the flower festival.

Address: 1-20, Zhuzihu Road, Yangmingshan, Telephone: (02) 2861-3601 Office Service hours: 8:30 am to 5 pm (Monday to Friday) Headquarters and Visitor Center Hours: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Telephone: (02)-2861-5741 Other Visitor Center hours: 9 am to 4:30 pm ion=com_content&view=featured&gp=0&It emid=104




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The Lantern Festival is celebrated annually on the 15th day of the first lunar month to mark the grand finale of the Chinese New Year celebrations. It is also the very first full moon day of the New Year, symbolizing the coming of spring. People usually celebrate this festival by enjoying family dinner together, eating yuanxiao (glutinous rice dumplings), carrying paper lanterns, and solving the riddles on the lanterns. The festival is celebrated with fanfare events in Taiwan, including the internationally famed Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival in New Taipei City.

Address: Shifen Sky Lantern Square, 136, Nanshanping, Pingxi District, New Taipei City Date: March 2nd

THE CENTER NEEDS YOU! Do you have a skill or talent that you would like to share? Or have you found some great places around Taipei that you would like to take others to see? Then why not consider teaching a course or leading a tour for the Center in Fall/Winter 2018? If you are interested, or would like more information, please contact Rosemary at MARCH 2018

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Dr. Doris Brougham –

the 2017 Taipei Community Services Center Individual Community Leadership Award Recipient TEXT: SUE BABCOCK



people. Her love of Taiwan grew with each passing day and people opened their hearts to her. They loved and trusted her.

eadership is the ability to inspire others, create positive energy and turn a dream of helping others into a reality. Dr. Doris Brougham is a woman who inspires others and helps them to fulfill their dreams. She is a community leader who values personal interaction and sincerity and has a belief that goodness dwells inside each of us, no matter how deeply buried. KEEPING A PROMISE Doris believes that her life path has been arranged by God. When she was twelve years old, she had an opportunity to listen to the dramatic s t o r i e s a b o u t l i fe i n C h i n a f ro m returning missionaries. As she sat in the congregation listening to the struggles that people and their families were facing in China, she knew that she wanted to become a missionary, so that she could help them. When it came time for people to stand up indicating their commitment to serve, Doris was among the first to stand. Since she was only twelve years old, she was too young. However, she made a promise that day to God that when she was old enough, she would go to China as a missionary. So, in 1948 at the age of 21, having completed a degree in education with a minor in music, Doris left the United States for mainland China. She was keeping her promise to God. Little did she know that she was embarking on a journey that would forever change her life and the lives of many others. THE DRUMS OF WAR Doris arrived in China eager to begin her life as a missionary. Even though WWII had ended, civil unrest was continuing in China. Political tensions mounted. Doris spent a year moving from one area to another, hoping things would change for the better and she would finally be able to minister to the people she was there to help.


Sadly, it soon became apparent that Doris had to make a decision. It was with great reluctance that she decided to leave China. In August of 1949, amidst heavy gunfire, Doris and a small group of missionaries left Kansu and evacuated to Hong Kong. She worked with the refugees there until February 1951. Then she and a few others boarded a ship for Taiwan, in hopes of finding new opportunities for working with Chinese people. TAIWAN – A SAFE HAVEN AND NEW HOME IN HUALIEN Not long after her arrival in Taiwan, she began hearing about the needs of the people on the east coast. Doris responded by moving to Hualien. Not one to waste time, she quickly settled into a routine and began reaching out to the people of Hualien. She could be seen everywhere, talking to rice farmers, local business people, members from Hualien’s indigenous community and their children. Being a natural-born teacher, Doris began teaching the children music. To this day, those children hold a very special place in her heart. Doris began the first island-wide youth camps and she taught adults at the Seminary for tribal

OPTIMIZING RESOURCES CREATIVELY Doris had several things going for her when she arrived on Taiwan, in 1951. She was fluent in Mandarin; a visionary, had excellent creative problem-solving abilities, boundless energy and was curious about life. She quickly realized that people in Taiwan were curious about the gospel. She also recognized that a large sector of the island’s population could be reached via the radio. So Doris began to set plans in motion to use radio broadcasts to reach out to the people. Her first Chinese Christian radio broadcasts began in 1951, from her home in Hualien. She managed to purchase a tape recorder, which in those days was very expensive and began taping programs in her living room. She also recorded and included choirs featuring the melodious voices of the indigeonous children and their enchanting songs. These were the first choirs under her direction in Taiwan. Once these sessions were taped, Doris rode her bicycle to the radio studio at the Broadcasting Corporation of China (BCC) for the tapes to be played. This opportunity was made possible through the kindness of Mr. Hollington Tong, the Director of BCC and a sympathetic Christian. Because of the broadcasts’ popularity, Doris saw a way to help promote English language learning on Taiwan. Together with a hardworking team of teachers, she expanded the broadcast programs to include the teaching of English. In 1960, Doris started a new Chinese gospel group which eventually led to the formation of Oversea Radio & Television (ORTV) and Studio Classroom. By 1962, the

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COMMUNITY popular “Studio Classroom” program was airing throughout Taiwan and the audience response was enthusiastic. They saw in Doris “A Friend for Life”. STUDIO CLASSROOM’S ENGLISH PUBLICATIONS AND E-MATERIALS Studio Classroom’s three English language publications, Basic, Advanced and Let’s Talk in English h av e b e e n s u c c e s s f u l l y u s e d fo r teaching English in Taiwan’s junior high schools, universities, companies and government agencies. A wide range of topics cover current world and local events, business, the environment, travel, cultural etiquette, healthy living, music and technology. These publications continue to be distributed and broadcast in Australia, Canada, China, Europe, New Zealand and the United States. ORTV Today, ORTV has come a long way since 1960 when it first began with tape recording sessions done in Doris’s living room. It is alive with activity.

As a non-profit multi-media ministry organization, it still continues its gospel mission by reaching out to non-English speaking communities through live events, English teaching magazines, social media, YouTube, companion radio and live broadcasts. Its television production studio, recording studios and outreach departments are equipped to meet the changing needs and trends of our societies. MUSIC – A GIFT FROM HEAVEN Music continues to play an important part in Doris’ life and ministry. Since her arrival on Taiwan in 1951, Doris has found numerous ways to help others to see the talent and promise of Taiwan’s youth. From those early music lessons for the indigenous children of Hualien to the formation of the Heavenly Melody Singers choir, Doris has shown h e r l o ve a n d w i l l i n g n e s s to h e l p Taiwan’s young people through music. In fact, she recently performed with the Heavenly Melody Singers at the Taipei International Church’s 60th birthday anniversary, delighting and inspiring

the congregation with her enthusiastic trumpet playing. A WOMAN OF MERIT AND LOVE Doris has pushed beyond boundaries that were set for women coming of age in the middle of the 20th century. She has lived in Taiwan her entire adult life and traveled to many countries, received advanced degrees and honors, dedicated herself to her ministry and to teaching English. Doris is a recognized a c co m p l i s h e d b u s i n es swo m a n, musician, speaker, teacher, writer and humanitarian. She is truly our “Friend for Life” and a worthy recipient of the 2018 Taipei Community Services Center Individual Community Leadership Award. Suzan Babcock is a long-time resident of Taiwan. During her stay here, she has managed four successful career s in education, c ross-cultural relations and counseling, although being a mother has been her favorite. MARCH 2018

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LILY WEN A Woman of Many Talents TEXT: SUE BABCOCK


and exhibitions, especially among the local and expat community. Since it’s easy to get to, it is not unusual to see people around the bar or seated at tables having a good time, in front of Patrick’s Lee’s painting, “Time for a Drink” depicting Chiang Kai-shek and Chairman Mao having a drink together. Lily and Patrick have been particularly supportive of Lili’s Gallery. Located on the second floor of the restaurant, the Gallery offers local artists a creative space to exhibit their art. Such efforts have helped to cultivate a strong

community spirit for the arts. O u r i nte r v i ew b e ga n w h e n L i l y carefully placed a well-leafed through book in the center of the table where we were sitting. Curious, I glanced her way to see if it was OK to open it. She nodded. As I opened to the first page, I saw that I was looking at her mother, Lisa Wen’s art exhibition catalog; from an exhibition that had been held on the second floor of her daughter’s restaurant. As we turned the pages of her mother’s exhibition catalog, Lily began to share stories about her mother and her own childhood. Mrs. Lisa Wen was a talented artist and well-disciplined student of Chang Dai Chien, one of the most important Chinese painters of the twentieth century. Renowned as an impressionist and expressionist painter, Chien was especially known for his splashed ink and painting techniques. To appreciate the depth of Mrs. Wen’s talent, training and paintings, it is important to understand the type of instruction that she received from Master Chang Dai Chien. He was a perfectionist, especially when instructing Mrs. Wen in the principles of


usy and successful women a r e f a s c i n a t i n g. M a y b e it is because they have recognized and embraced their own uniqueness and talents. Or perhaps it is their process of selfactualization that holds our interest. Lily Wen is one such woman, and she is a woman of many talents. The day we met for our interview, she was sitting in her restaurant with Patrick Lee, a renowned Taiwanese artist, with their beloved Shih Tzu, Honey. Lili’s Restaurant, Bar and Gallery is well-known for its delicious Shanghai and Sichuan cuisine, and upscale art


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fine classical Chinese painting traditions. To master the art of Chinese painting, Mrs. Wen was expected to copy and trace selected paintings over and over again, until she was able to develop her own personal style through careful imitation and creative adaptation. It was a tedious and exhausting process. But Lily’s mother’s talent emerged, giving her well-earned and deserved recognition as an acclaimed artist. A s L i l y l o o ke d at h e r m o t h e r’s photo, she told me that her mother’s creativity and attention to detail was an inspiration to her, especially while growing-up. She remembers how fascinated her mother was with the fashion industry, and how she would design and sew her own patterns, producing exquisite outfits, including the qipao, one of her favorite Chinese styles. While her mother was creating her own high fashion designs, her daughters, Lily and Isabelle, were experimenting on their own. Isabelle w o u l d s p e n d h o u rs s ke tc h i n g o r drawing clothing designs. Mrs. Wen

would take the girls fabric shopping and would present Isabelle’s sketches to a tailor for him to make her daughter’s own clothing. Lily continued. “I also liked to paint, but what I really loved were beautiful gem stones. When I was living in the States, I pursued studies in gemology.” Lily studied hard and obtained her certification as a gemologist. Today, she uses her love of gem stones and talent to design jewelry and accessories. She feels that gemstones and jewelry accessories are art forms that further support an ensemble’s distinctive mood or tone, as well as being personal forms of expressions. T h o s e e a r l y ye a rs o f re c e i v i n g nurturing support, diverse cultural ex p e r i e n c e s, t rav e l, s t u d i e s a n d activities, and encouragement to try new things from their mother, eventually manifested in lucrative careers for both Lily and her sister Isabelle. Isabelle Wen has continued

h e r p a s s i o n fo r fa s h i o n a n d h e r brand “Isabelle Wen” is recognized internationally as one of Taiwan’s cutting edge fashion designer brands. Working in the U.S. allowed Lily to gain valuable experience and insights into Western culture and business management practices. As a successful e n t r e p r e n e u r, L i l y d ra w s f ro m a broad repertoire of management styles; strategic, change, transition management and her vast cross-cultural experience. Lily and her sister work closely together. They are good business partners mainly because of their strong bond of being raised together within a rich cultural family environment. They also share a love of fashion and have excellent business instincts and experience. FiFi’s Museum, located at 15 Renai Ro a d, S e c t i o n 4, o n e o f Ta i p e i’s trendiest neighborhoods, is another example of the sisters’ ability to create distinctive and alternative approaches for blending Western and Eastern cultural snippets through fashion, art, and the food & beverage industry. On the first floor, a world of chic, retro, romantic and luxurious fashion designs greet the visitor, immediately transporting them back in time to eras when poets, writers, artists, and musicians flourished with innovation and creativity. Located on the second floor of FiFi’s Museum is Fifi’s Tea House, a restaurant featuring a delicious selection of Shanghai, Sichuan and contemporary Chinese dishes, exotic tea and homemade desserts. As one reviewer recently remarked, “This is a perfect environment for refined, leisurely dining, intimate conversations, surrounded by beautiful fashion and collections of art.” Currently, Lily and her sister Isabelle are busy overseeing their store in Shanghai, where Lily successfully convinced her sister to contribute to the 2018 Shanghai Chinese Cup Design Contest. As Lily carefully closed her mother’s art exhibition catalog, I better understood the enormous legacy that her mother had given to Lily. It was a legacy of self-discovery and courage. It is a legacy that Lily is successfully fulfilling. MARCH 2018

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SIEW KANG A Kind and Generous Heart TEXT: SUE BABCOCK



u t sta n d i n g co m m u n i t y service, dedication a n d a d e s i re to m a ke contributions for the welfare of others describes Siew Kang. Born and raised in Malaysia, educated at H a r va rd U n i ve rs i t y a n d S m i t h College in the U.S., Siew has lived as an expatriate spouse in the United States, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, and now Taiwan. During her time in Taiwan, Siew has contributed much to a number of important organizations and to our community. She currently serves on the boards of the Taipei American School and the American Club in Taipei. In 2009, Siew was awarded the Taipei Community Services Center’s Individual Community Leadership Award for her outstanding community service and leadership for raising funds for the Tainan St. Lucy’s Center, a home for babies and children whose families are unable to take care of them, and for her service to the Taipei Community Services Center. The story behind how St. Lucy’s Bazaar began is an interesting one. In


2002 Siew, Laura Trinnaman and Carol Silvestri put their heads together and came up with an idea to financially assist the infants and children at Tainan St. Lucy’s Center. Word quickly spread among the expat community, and by the late fall of 2002, the first St. Lucy’s Bazaar was launched at the American Club in Taipei, a tradition that continues to this day. S i e w Ka n g’s v i s i o n, d e d i c a t i o n

and continuing enthusiasm for this co m m u n i t y-b a s e d p ro j e c t i s o n e strong reason for its success. Each year, volunteers and their committees ge n e ro u s l y g i ve o f t h e i r t i m e to organize and to seek out new and returning vendors, making the Bazaar a pre-Christmas shopper’s delight. With each passing year, generous donations from the Bazaar’s proceeds help to continue the good work at the Tainan St. Lucy’s Center and for the welfare of all the children under its care. S i e w ’ s s e r v i c e t o t h e Ta i p e i Community Services Center is another example of her gift of “time” for the benefit of others. Currently, Siew is a member of the Center’s Steering C o m m i tte e. I n t h e p a st, s h e h a s contributed articles based on her experience as a docent at the Taipei N at i o n a l Pa l a c e M u s e u m fo r t h e Center’s magazine, Centered on Taipei. Her articles depicted the cultural aspects and significance of auspicious symbols in Chinese art. These articles were of great benefit to the magazine’s readership, especially for those who wanted to go to the National Palace Museum and have a lecture-tour from Siew to learn more about this topic.

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COMMUNITY | PROFILE shared a quote by Joseph Campbell, “follow your bliss…and doors will open where you didn’t know where they would be.” Siew adds: “And that has been my experience. I have met so many people and made friends through the various musical groups that I have been a part of. One thing kept leading to another. “I get such joy when singing along with my guitar or ukulele. All the more so when I am singing with others, as with the ukulele groups that I play with. Something magical happens when people make music together. Singing from the heart, singing freely. Sharing our voices. Connecting our hearts.” And Siew Kang’s heart is a very generous one. She loves people and they love her back. It is easy to see why she is a treasured member of our community.



he first person that I knew from Taipei was my mom, Judy Yang. Even though I grew up in Hsinchu, I have paid numerous visits to Taipei throughout my life. But Hsinchu city has always been the place I call home. My mom, on the other hand, lived in Taipei for most of her life, but that’s not what made her the quintessential Taipei native that she is. Some mothers will tell you to wear a jacket when it’s cold outside, but my mom (in typical Taipei fashion) would just pack an extra jacket in my backpack, because not getting sick was on the top of her priority list. Or perhaps it is because she is smart, quick with her remarks, warm but reserved, and occasionally funny that really makes her the quintessential Taipei native. My mom moved to Hsinchu when she married my dad. After the move, she gradually grew fond of the suburban lifestyle, but that didn’t mean we didn’t

make many visits to Taipei. My mom would drive hours to show my brother and me the things that we can’t find in the small, semi-conductor companyinfested place we live in. Whether it was a harmless retail therapy trip, or a Yo-Yo Ma concert, my mom made sure that we got the full Taipei experience. With frequent visits, it wasn’t long before I started falling for Taipei too. For some reason, city life fascinated me. I was curious about the pedestrians that make their way down the streets. I was intrigued by the skyscrapers that seem to blend in with the mountains that surround the city. Taipei’s skyline never fails to impress me. Maybe, if it wasn’t for my mom’s continual car rides to Taipei, I wouldn’t have developed my boundless curiosity for the world. I wouldn’t have decided to take my summer internship with Centered on Taipei, and commute to Taipei every single day; witnessing the

beauty and the chaos that comes from putting a magazine together. She is the reason why I have always continuously challenged myself and to put myself out there in life. My high school career comes to an end in June, and I want to take the time to thank my mom, because I feel like I don’t say this enough. I want to thank my mom for putting up with all my phases from being an obsessive tap dancer and a tortured poet to a more stable teen. I want to thank my mom for teaching me and telling me that this world will hit me hard in the face, but then reminding me that I need to get right back up, because getting the wind knocked out of you is the way to remind your lungs how beautiful the air tastes. I want to thank her for telling me that it is okay to ask for others’ help sometimes, because we simply can’t do everything on our own. My mom is no Lorelai Gilmore, but she is the person who brought me into the world and taught me that it was not so scary.

Sydney Ko is an avid coffee drinker and an aspiring writer with an insatiable hunger for hard truths. She wishes to travel the world one day, but before that happens, she will patiently sip her mocha and read the nearest book she finds. MARCH 2018

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My Mother – A Pillar of Strength



hen people ask me why I chose to come to Taiwan, I always reply with: “I didn’t choose Taiwan, Taiwan chose me”. Then of course the rest of the ‘top ten Taiwan questions’ would follow… “Are you married?” “Why not?” “Don’t you want children?” “How old are you?” “Where are you from?” “N o, w h i c h c o u n t r y (n o t t h e continent)?” “Then why are you not black?” “What do you do here in Taiwan?” “How much do you earn?” (I always lied when answering this question), My life in Taiwan since April 27th, 1994 has been, like so many of my fellow foreigners, one filled with a d v e n t u r e, g r o w t h, m e l a n c h o l y, appreciation, a longing for home, love, and so much more. I can truly say that I call Taiwan my home. When I go to South Africa, I’d say that “I’m going home,” and when I return to Taiwan, I’d say the same. I feel lucky and privileged to have two homes. Living here has taught me that I can live pretty much anywhere, because the world is essentially a good place and I’ll always find my tribe. A big part of my tribe here has been


amazingly strong women. I’ve always had the unshakable support of my mother, the pillar in my life. At the age of 83, my mother is still serving the community. Each morning at 7:30 she brings tea and jam sandwiches to the workers (all women, mostly refugees from neighboring countries) and works with them to get plants put in straight rows, to weed, to make new cuttings, water and replant seedlings. It’s a place of growth, creation and an opportunity to observe the cycles of life. When customers show up, my mother walks patiently with them through the rows of plants under the shady canopy, while listening to their life stories. Most of the customers come for the solitude, the calm and the healing that this place offers, and they often refer to it as a “sanctuary.” T h ro u g h ye a rs o f d e a l i n g w i t h a l l k i n d s o f p e o p l e, m y m o t h e r has developed the ability to sense what someone needs. One day an old customer showed up with her 50-year-old son. My mom saw that t h e s o n w a s w ra p p e d i n a c l o u d of darkness, and truly so. Due to depression, he was robbed of his life. His career as a lawyer had ended, and he had to move back to his mother’s house. His mother brought him to

the plant nursery to breathe “some different air.” At first, my mother’s beautiful smile couldn’t penetrate his troubled mind, but as time went on and after a few visits, he started to smile. On each visit, my mother gave him a plant and told him to watch it grow and to take care of it. And as time passed, the care that he gave to the plants, turned to care and love towards himself. My mother’s favorite saying (and one that she lives by), is that “nobody is resistant to a smile and some warmth”. I strive to be half the woman my mother is by serving my community through the healing arts of fasting retreats, colon hydrotherapy and making natural skincare products. I feel blessed to have had a woman like my mother in my life.

L iz Coetzee is a South African living in Taiwan since 1994. With personal experience with her mother getting colorectal c a n c e r i n 2 0 02 , s h e became ver y interested in learning more ab out natural appro aches to healing disease. “I follow the approach of detoxing through colon hydrotherapy (remove, repair, restore) and fasting (cleanse, nourish, renew). ”

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ilence has occupied a major part of my life. As a young girl, I was guided towards silence by family traditions, and by my culture. As a result, the ways in which I tried to express myself and my creativity were clouded by the shadows that silence had cast over me. There have been three major phases in my life: the dusty or film-covered window, cleaning the window and, currently, the mirror.

THE DUSTY, FILM-COVERED WINDOW Between 1978 and 1980, I worked in a bank. My job required that I count money. Day-after-day, I would sit doing what was expected of me. I stacked other people’s plans, hopes and dreams …not my own. This job caused me to think about what I wanted to do with my life, and how my ideas differed from those around me. Like many, I had come from a traditional Chinese family where I was protected from the outside world. I began to realize that I was not ready for living in the world outside my window. Like a silkworm, snugly inside its wrapped strings of silk, I was living in an environment that safely housed me. As I tried to “see” through this dusty, filmcovered window, all the images were blurred and distorted.

certain mysteries for me, but these were small compared to the mystery of myself, which I had to solve. In order to earnestly find out who I was, and why certain things happened to me, I decided to stay in Germany. Germany offered me an opportunity to receive a formal education. However, it soon became apparent that I also n e e d e d s o m et h i n g e l s e. A f i e rc e struggle waged itself inside of me,

CLEANING THE WINDOW In the early 1980s, I managed to take some firm steps to come into my own. I left the bank job. I began to travel. Germany, America and Japan held MARCH 2018

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until I finally had to leave school and the classroom behind. I needed to go outside and see the German people and see how they really lived their lives. I needed to wander through their towns and marketplaces, so that I could see, listen and learn about their lives, culture and ideas. I learned a lot, especially about the openness which existed regarding their expression of political thought. When I came back to Taiwan, I was more aware of all the parts and stages that had made me a woman. I was no longer shy about how I looked. I had come to realize that a body is nothing to be ashamed of, nor was it meant to be covered up under layers of clothing. I could now paint the human body, as a form of natural beauty. THE MIRROR My life in Taiwan from the 1990s until now has been a period of reflection. Motherhood has been a mirror for me. As my child began to grow inside of my body, I would often pause and look at myself in the mirror, to see what changes were occurring. This new life was transforming my thinking, and I began to look at the lives of other women, especially those that led simple lives. My feeling of being a mother has put me in touch with all women, especially my mother. I have gained feelings of contentment and peace, which are now deep within me. F o r m e, t h e w o m e n I fo u n d i n the marketplace represent life at its simplest. These women are receivers


of traditions… many traditions. I can remember an old fish seller telling me how to tell the difference between a female fish and a male fish of a particular species. The male fish will always have an open mouth, he said, but the mouth of a female fish will be closed. Perhaps this was just a story, but it inspired me to continue to show others my awareness about women’s status in Taiwan. I drew a picture of female fish lying on an ancient Chinese platter, with their mouths open, hoping to encourage other women to do the same. My artwork now reflects my memories of Taiwan and the new insights of my life. They are more of a composite based on the different and earlier influences, which I am now able to express with more depth and vivid perspective. My artwork has changed. That period, when I tried to view life from a dirty window, was a time when I could not “see.” However, when I now look at the reflection in my mirror, I can see my past, my present and what I hope will be my future. But what is more important is that I see my true self and I like what I see. I have continued to seek out other women since my return to Taiwan. By reaching out, I have found that I have a lot in common with them, especially those from other parts of our world. When we meet, we share our thoughts, feelings, ideas, and I am no longer silent.

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The Most Inspiring Women I Have Met TEXT & IMAGES: TOBIE OPENSHAW


n the years that I have been privileged to work with and document Taiwan’s indigenous people, I have come across some a m a z i n g, i n s p i r i n g a n d h u m b l i n g people. Most of those, I’ve realized, also happen to be women. Indigenous society (with some notable exceptions) is largely patriarchal, but I soon observed that in many ways, the women let the men do their parlays and their meetings and their “important” stuff – while the they get on with growing food, raising kids, building community. They are the tradition-minders and the languageteachers and the memory-keepers: welcoming to all, quick with a laugh, yet strong in adversity. That “soft power” is something that I have always admired, and it ties in with what I would like to share about five of the most inspiring women I have met.

Tobie Openshaw is a South Africanborn filmmaker living in Taiwan for nineteen years. His work has been seen on do cumentar y channels such as National Geographic, Discovery, and Al Jazeera. Tobie’s current passion lies with the marginalized indigenous people of Taiwan, where he has forged deep connections. For the past year he has been producing a full-length documentary on the Taiwan president’s 2016 apology to the indigenous people. In 2013 Tobie travelled to New Zealand where he attended the Wairoa Maori Film Festival and forged connections that are coming to fruition in various cross-cultural and cross-Pacific projects.

---------------------YAKI IWAN When we arrived at the large house perched on the mountainside, I saw Yaki Iwan through the large slidingglass door of her room. What a view she has, I thought. The mountains were shrouded in mist today, lovely in the way that mountains in Taiwan recede in serried silhouettes. Her grandson, 50-something and an elder in his own right in these parts, welcomed us to the garden, where we set up our lights, and a minute later she came out, under her own steam, and sat down in the spot we had designated for her. She had a wizened face and impish eyes, but the most striking feature was the bold and surprisingly clear tattoo that ran over her cheeks down to her mouth, a distinctive basket weave pattern. Baunay, who had agreed to be our guide today, introduced us. She was 104, maybe 105 years old, he told us, and one of only six women remaining with the traditional face tattoo. To her, he spoke loudly and clearly, in Atayal. Her hearing was poor and she spoke little Mandarin. “Yaki, this is Tobie, and Leo. Leo would like to take your photo.” She smiled a brittle smile, a little uncomfortable under the close attention, but this is clearly not her first time in front of the camera. Soon she was chatting with Baunay, while we busied ourselves capturing the soul of this so very old, and so very beautiful woman. Conversation was a slow process because her hearing (and her

memory) was fading. “She remembers the old days well, but not so much the recent events,” he said. So what does she remember? She remembers getting the tattoo, that’s for sure. It was super-painful, they had to hold her down while they did the tattoo the traditional way - tapping on a set of sharp needles dipped in an ink made from soot. And once it was healed, they gave it another pass – part of the reason why hers is one of the clearest of all the tattoo aunties. Most guidebooks say that the tattoo was a rite of passage when a woman demonstrated skill in weaving, but no, she said, it was simply after her first period. Then, the Japanese banned the face tattoo, tried to “civilize the natives,” so she had to hide out in her village. If the Japanese came round she had to stay indoors. She tells of young Atayal girls who were caught by Japanese soldiers and had the tattoos scraped off their faces with broken glass. Since there was no school in her village, that meant she simply went without an education. We presented Yaki Iwan with a red envelope to say thank-you for her time, and were somewhat quiet on the long drive back down the mountain, each of us ruminating on the beautiful soul that had just graced us with its presence. A mere four months after our visit, Yaki Iwan succumbed to the cold air in the mountains, catching pneumonia and dying peacefully in her sleep; another piece of Taiwan’s “Living Heritage” gone forever. MARCH 2018

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Hana oversees a group of boisterous kids during a workshop


Hana helps clean up after a typhoon dumped mud on the Youth Center



HANA U p i n t h e Wu f o n g m o u n t a i n s i n H s i n c h u C o u n t y i s t h e At a y a l village of Chingchuan. Famous for its Japanese-era hot springs, in the erstwhile home of the “Young Marshal” Zhang Xueliang, a Chinese warlord who was held in these beautiful surroundings in the most gentle of house arrests, and in contrast, for San Mao, a tragic heroine and bohemian role model of Taiwanese women of the martiallaw-era 70s and 80s. Its most noted current occupant is Jesuit Father Barry Martinson, famous for his stained-glass art, and Yahwee, a Lanyu artist who learned stained-glass art from Fr. Barry. Whenever I visit there, however, my paths cross with Hana, wife to Yahwee, catechist and surrogate mother for the kids in the village, general organizerof-everything. Whenever we want to do some activity with a group of kids, we only need to call up Hana, and on the day the kids will be there ready to go, the choir will be ready to sing, food will have been organized, everything ready. And along the way you will see Hana ever-present: providing guidance for the kids, teaching them personal hygiene, making sure they are playing fair, sharing. And of course, she will marshal everyone’s help for the cleanup afterwards. Such women very often go unrecognized, but I am always aware that they are the glue that holds a society together.

WAQI QMISAN In the hot summer months, Waqi’s house is beautifully cool. At 1,500 meters above sea level, and entirely made out of bamboo, this is a perfect example of living with nature, not merely in it. We had just had a wonderful lunch of traditional vegetables, spread out on broad leaves, when she said, “Oh wait, I make you a special drink.” She went outside and picked a few sprigs off a tree in front of the house, added some water and raw cane sugar, and topped it off with a few kernels of makao, the lemony native peppercorn beloved of indigenous cooks on the island. The resultant drink was light and with a refreshing zip.

Waqi’s husband is Laling, a young Atayal man who passionately guards and promotes the concept of “gaga” – the Atayal “code of the mountains” if you will. An activist for hunting rights and custodianship of the traditional land, he has taken his fight to the legislature. Waqi, we are surprised to learn, is not indigenous at all. She hails from the east coast, but when she married Laling, she completely a n d w h o l e h e a r te d l y a d o pte d h i s traditional way of life. A trained graphic artist in her own right, she has taken on the preschool education of her and the village’s children, in their native language, as the key to keeping the traditions of gaga alive. Their 3-year-old boy plays around near the fire, “doing his part” by dragging sticks

Waqi Qmisan

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COMMUNITY up to throw on it. While Waqi keeps a watchful eye, you can also tell that this kid is growing up to learn the way the natural world works, and there is to be no coddling. Waqi tells us that she has thrown her net far in order to get assistance and information about starting an immersion school for young village kids. The Maori in New Zealand has developed a promising model for Te Reo Maori education, to ensure kids are steeped in the tradition, carried by the language. She has had lots of obstacles to overcome, many of them tone-deaf government regulations, but every time I spend some time up in that mountain bamboo home, she is closer to her goal, and I find myself uplifted by the serene grace and strength of this extraordinary woman. ----------------------

MOANA AND INKA I had the privilege of meeting c e l e b ra t e d M a o r i s i n g e r M o a n a Maniapoto at the Indigenous Music Festival in Taoyuan. She filled the stage with her presence, and sang in Te Reo Māori with a synth background that should have sounded out of place, but didn’t – showing that the traditional and the modern can be made to work together in harmony. The audience didn’t understand the words, but the vibe and the energy was all they needed, and she received thunderous applause from the largely indigenous audience. At dinner after her set, she told us that she was working on an album, featuring songs that she recorded with a number of representative indigenous

singers around the world, collaborating on a collection of works that would resonate with all indigenous people. So naturally, considering that the Austronesians migrated out of Taiwan over a period of 6,000-plus years to finally reach New Zealand and become the ancestors of modern-day Maori, she was looking for Taiwan indigenous artists to collaborate with, to complete that arc across the Pacific Ocean. I i m m e d i a t e l y t h o u g h t o f I n ka Mbing – a semi-retired Atayal singer whom I had met a few months before on another collaborative project. Arrangements were made, funding was sought, and a few months later, Moana arrived and we drove up into the mountains. M o a n a i s v e r y fa m o u s i n N e w Zealand, has won multiple awards (including being inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame) and is regarded as one of the foremost modern fusion singers in Te Reo Maori. She is also politically active and a documentary filmmaker in her own right. Inka, in contrast, lives a life of relative solitude in the mountains, preferring clear air, growing her own food and eating vegan. She does not often perform anymore, so it was a real honor to have her even agree to this project. She is slight and quiet, and seemed a little reserved at first. But we had managed to secure a b r i l l i a n t t ra n s l a t o r w h o c o u l d communicate really well as an interlocutor to both of them, and within half a day of cooking and eating

together you could see the sisterly bonds begin to form. Then they started working on the song. Inka has a deeply peaceful air about her, but, when she sat down, closed her eyes and started rolling a few notes around, everyone quieted down … and the next moment she opened up her pipes and a sound so powerful came out of her that we all stood transfixed. It was one of those rare moments when you are in the presence of pure, raw talent that just spills out of the person in front of you …. From the beginning it was clear that there were significant differences in their style, that each of them believe in, and have strong motivations for. They both feel a responsibility towards their people and their culture, and especially their youth – that almost goes without saying. Moana says, reach the kids with electronic synth and beats; that way you keep them interested. Inka, the purist, says if you do that, the next generation may think THAT is “traditional music.” From these different perspectives, and each being strong and forceful in their position while committed to making the collaboration work, they managed to forge a compromise and a collaboration that was absolutely stunning to see grow and develop, and open, like a flower. Observing and documenting that process was fascinating. Within a day, we were all whanau – “family,” and as family we cooked t o g e t h e r, l a u g h e d t o g e t h e r, a n d celebrated indigenous woman-power together. I shall never forget it.

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S Taitung:

urrounded by the partly dilapidated buildings of the former Taitung Sugar Factory, a sense of nostalgia came over me as my imagination took me back into history, wondering about how it has already stood at this spot for ninety years. The Taitung Sugar Factory was built in 1913, during the Japanese occupation. It first belonged to the Taitung Sugar Manufacturing Company, but this was later merged with the Meiji Sugar C o m p a ny i n 1943. I n 1946 i t wa s renamed the Taitung Sugar Factory of the Taitung Sugar Corporation, when it was taken over by the national government. In 1996 the factory was closed and became the largest site of

industrial relics in Taitung. Today the Taitung Sugar Factory is worth a visit if you plan a trip to the city. In 2004 the site was approved for the development of a cultural and creative industrial park, and ever since many artists and creatives have been involved in blowing new life and character into the bones of this once buzzing factory. Currently, the Taitung Sugar Factory is home to Ashui’s Workshop (阿水工 房). Ashui (陳正瑞.阿水) who is from the Amis tribe, is a well-established artist and is famous for his incredible work with wood and metal. Apart from his sculptures, his showroom also displays impressive wood furniture, which is well worth seeing.

Colorful and Unique TEXT & IMAGES: MAUDIE BROWN

Ashui, his wife, me and their two dogs.

NEW LIGHT THROUGH OLD WINDOWS Another attraction at the Taitung Sugar Factory is The Garage (台東糖 廠。庫空間). I can still remember the terrible broken-down condition of the old garage building during my first visit to the Taitung Sugar Factory in 2014. To my surprise, Ashui’s wife, Měi Lián Huáng (黃美蓮) took on the mission to renovate this building and managed to turn it into a magnificent creative space. Big glass windows on both sides create a clean, fresh atmosphere with an amazing view of the green rice fields which lends an opportunity for customers to connect with nature. The products that are promoted in the shop are handmade. The Garage offers different DIY activities on a weekly


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top left: an old lady is preparing banana tree trunk to turn them into weavable fibers top: Elders from Dulan village taught me how to make fabric from tree bark

basis, for a fun, interactive and creative atmosphere. You can also enjoy a fresh cup of coffee or handmade ice cream at The Garage Cafe next door. Taitung has its own unique culture and character compared to the rest of Taiwan. There’s something downto-earth and unpretentious about the people of Taitung that I really appreciate. Taitung County is also home to several of Taiwan’s indigenous tribes, which makes it a very diverse

and colorful destination. I was very fortunate to be one of the participants of the 2017 Taitung International Exchange Program on Cultural Crafts and Design, which was hosted by the Department of Cultural Affairs, Taitung County Government, during September and October of last year. I was one of three international artists who were invited to do a residency and exchange with three local artists from Taitung County. During this program I was

introduced to the art of woodcarving, and was invited to make a sculpture out of Taiwan cedarwood. I feel really fortunate to have been able to learn from Ashui and Panay (林戎依), who are both skilled in this discipline. I was also exceptionally fortunate to visit many aboriginal tribes and villages, w h e re I go t to l e a r n a b o u t t h e i r traditional crafts. I got the chance to visit a Paiwan village, where we were taught how to make their traditional beads from ceramic clay. We visited the village of Dulan, where some of the elders from the Amis tribe taught us how to make fabric from tree bark. I also got to see how banana tree fiber is being used for weaving, and we got a chance to weave baskets from the shell ginger plant. This was an extremely rich experience, and I can only hope more people learn about and appreciate the diversity of the cultural beauty of this beautiful corner of Taiwan.

Maudie Brown i s a South African who grew up in the village of D'kar in Botswana. She's currently residing in Taipei. MARCH 2018

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The Reed Dance: A Rite-of-Passage for Swazi Girls


he early morning sun dances over a dazzling sea of young girls, who have all left their homes to attend the annual cultural event of the nation, the Umhlanga Reed Dance. They sing in unison, all dressed in colorful, uniform maiden traditional regalia. For as long as the Swazi Kingdom has existed, the Umhlanga Reed Dance has always been a source of pride for the young Swazi maiden, symbolizing her chastity and willingness to work in unity with her peers for her country’s service. They are all members of the Imbali (flower) regiment. Although the Umhlanga Reed Dance i s p o p u l a r l y k n o w n a s t h e e ve nt where His Majesty King Swati III of Swaziland chooses a bride, this is not true - it’s a juicy piece of gossip that makes the Reed Dance a more afrocentric narrative, but alas he only unveils his fiancé to his subjects at the second reed dance ceremony, which a majority of non-Swazis have never even heard about. The true purpose of the famous Reed Dance is for the young girls to cut reeds, present them to the Queen Mother, and repair the windbreak around her traditional royal residence. T h e y t h e n d a n c e i n c e l e b ra t i o n. Repairing the windbreaks is a common a c t i v i t y i n a ny S wa z i t ra d i t i o n a l homestead. Every year, up to forty thousand girls voluntarily attend the eight-day festival which begins and finishes at Ludzidzini Royal Residence, the official home of Her Majesty the Queen Mother (Indlovukazi), who assists in ruling The Kingdom of Swaziland, alongside her son, His Majesty King Mswati III. THE IMBALI REGIMENT The formation of the Imbali regiment is in accordance with the traditional




ruling structures of the Kingdom. It is made up of Swazi girls from all parts of the Swazi Kingdom, divided into two age groups; 8-13 years old and 14-22 years old, and each division is led by a Princess from the House of Dlamini. Within these two major divisions there are sub-divisions which represent each of the 385 Chiefdoms found within Swaziland. The chiefdom sub-divisions are led by their respective Inkhosatana (principal daughter), where her family is the guardian ruler on behalf of His Majesty. Each sub-division is given an older male warrior escort, who is supported by the army and national police service to supervise and ensure t h e s afet y o f t h e co u nt r y’s m o st precious citizens. O ve ra l l, t h e e nt i re re g i m e nt i s headed by the Principal Princess of Swaziland, Her Royal Highness Princess Sikhanyiso Dlamini, who is assisted by a Chief Maiden chosen by Their Majesties. CARE, COMPASSION AND CAMARADERIE The Imbali regiment represents many things for the Kingdom of Swaziland, including taking pride in your feminity and womanhood. In turn the country’s citizens are expected to respect and care for the young female warriors just as they would tend to their own flower gardens in their homes. It also provides leadership, mentorship and knowledge-sharing opportunities for maidens; from an early age they learn about cooperating or collaborating with other women, learn and partake in leadership roles and structures that undoubtedly i nf l u e n c e t h e i r a d u l t l i fe, get a n opportunity to network and mentor those who may be in need, develop a sense of compassion towards other females, and, most important, learn

to respect each other as women, no matter what their economic or educational background may be. Quick learners might even walk away with handicraft, weaving or beading skills that the girls share with each other over the period of the Reed Dance. It is here that they learn to appreciate camaraderie. A MESMERIZING KALEIDOSCOPE During the eight-day period, the government takes care of all logistics and expenses for the maidens and their escorts. The girls set up camp in two farms, which are designed to house all of them in tents and mini quarters along with outdoor makeshift food stations. From there they trek varying distances of between ten and thirty kilometers to reach the two reed fields (one for each age group). This is the toughest part of the cultural celebration: running into a river in cold winter temperatures to cut the best reeds is not an easy or glamorous task. It’s here where strength, survival instincts and wit are challenged. After reed-cutting, each member of the regiment is expected to deliver her load to Her Majesty the Queen Mother before the big day of festivities: the main Reed Dance event, in which maidens from the Zulu and Ndebele Kingdoms also participate. This is the day where columns upon columns of young women sing and dance like a slow-moving centipede across the parade grounds of Ludzidzini Royal Residence. Up close, it’s an overwhelming immersion in noise and gorgeously-crafted costumes and color. A mesmerizing kaleidoscope. IMPROVING THE LIVES OF SWAZI GIRLS Over the years, The Imbali regiment, led by the Principal Princess, has had

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FASHION & BEAUTY considerable influence in matters concerning the girl child. It was with the Imbali regiment in mind that the age of consent for traditional marriages was changed from 13 to 21 years old. Leaders of the regiment spoke against entering marriage without the consent of the bride, and successfully added a clause in the country’s constitution that makes it illegal for any man or family to take a bride without her consent. When Swaziland was dealing with rapidly rising HIV infection rates, in a bid to protect the younger female populace (Imbali), Their Majesties re-introduced a century-old tradition called Umcwasho, as a national decree. Every virgin girl had to wear these colorful strands of wool and beads to encourage her to wait until she reaches a mature age before engaging in sexual activity. Whether Umcwasho was successful or not is unclear, but it symbolized a tipping power point in Swaziland’s patriarchal society. Women were empowered to speak up against rampant abuse and gender discrimination across the country. As a result, the traditional courts (at which only male judges can preside) were stripped of their powers in matters involving any form of domestic

or sexual violence against women and girls, and forced, by law, to alert the rightful authorities. The Judicial branch of government was compelled to amend old laws and enact new ones to protect girls and punish perpetrators with harsher sentences.

the traditional activity. Simply because at the heart of this ceremony are the values that most societies desire: the ability for their young girls to learn how to help and empower one another without having to benefit from that act of sisterhood.

A NEW UNITY When harsh economic conditions bega n to affect m a ny of I m ba l i’s m e m b e rs, t h e P r i n c i p a l P r i n c e s s enforced uniformity throughout all ranks of the regiment, from hairstyles to a no-jewelr y or pricy branded items rules, so no girl feels less than the others. In addition, the Imbali Foundation was created with the purpose to empower young women within the regiment, and also to provide the basic necessities to all those who attend the Reed Dance, The Taiwanese Government, along with local private businesses, have been dedicated donors of the Imbali Foundation. M a ny Swa z i g i r l s ta ke p r i d e i n participating in the Reed Dance, and some even see it as an important rite of passage into adulthood. They defy the influences of modern society and look past those who may not agree with


In Remembrance of

I often joke about how modern Swazi girls and women can wear the latest fashions, drive the best sports vehicle or be able to vacation in Monaco, yet in the blink of an eye, be walking barefoot in traditional textiles, and living like a pauper for eight days every year for at least fifteen years of their life. And we do it so effortlessly - I find that so hilarious; it humbles you in ways that nobody can understand.

Zee Dlamini is a digital PR strategist turned fashion stylist/fashion blogger, in addition to being a full-time mommy with a zest for life and a lover of all things good.

Howard Brewer

– A Longtime Resident and Friend of Taiwan


he local and international community was saddened to learn of the passing of Howard Brewer, a longtime resident and friend of Taiwan. Born in Pasco, Washington, Howard spend most of his childhood on his family’s ranch in Glenwood, Washington. He later enlisted in the United States Navy, serving in the Korean War (1950 – 1953), subsequently earning the rank of Lieutenant Commander before going on to become a U.S. Navy intelligence officer in Japan and Taiwan during the 1960s. After retiring from the U.S. Navy in the early 1970s, Howard returned to Taiwan as a civilian. He and some of his buddies from his days on the basketball court with the Navy became involved in business together. In 1975, Howard opened his own company, Bai Win Mercantile, a manufacturer and export company, which later included an antique showroom in the Tianmu area.

August 18, 1928 to January 26, 2018 Howard was one of the earliest members of the American Club Taipei’s (ACC) and a notable tennis player. He was one of the founding members of the popular men’s basketball team called “The Butchers,” which is still active. Howard was considered the leader (or “Chairman,” as he was affectionately called) of this basketball group. He was a kung fu and chi kung enthusiast and a practicing Buddhist and Taoist. To some, Howard may have seemed like an eccentric, and to others he was a mentor and deeply spiritual man. He had a quiet strength about him. Besides his family in Washington and older brother Jim Brewer in Denver, Colorado, Howard will be greatly missed by Faye Angevine, his Bai Win family and many friends. He will be remembered fondly. MARCH 2018

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Yoga is a Frontrunner for Women Holistic Wellness TEXT: MALABIKA DAS, PHD, MSW, RYT



y passion for yoga and holistic wellness ignited in 2000, during a trek i n N e p a l’s A n n a p u r n a Mountain Range. It is there when I accessed synchronistic energies and vibrations that opened me up to the universe. My academic and professional journey ensued and my calling to help others was reinforced. Throughout my work with individuals and families who had experienced domestic violence, sexual assault, incest, torture and conflict-induced displacement, it became glaringly apparent that traditional counseling was simply not enough or at times, suitable. An integrative, strengths based approach, inclusive of all aspects of health, was necessary to work with survivors of trauma. Yogic and other complementary practices became integral within my approach. W h i l e u t i l i z i n g a n d p ro m o t i n g holistic modalities for others, it was my personal encounters with trauma that would self-actualize the bodymind-spirit healing journey. Yoga, in particular, became a primary healing modality. As I attended yoga classes, I noticed an array of transformation. P hy s i c a l l y, my st re n gt h, b a l a n c e and flexibility increased, and toxins released. Mentally, I felt more at ease, and readily able to access my innate strengths and positivity. As my guilt subsided, my forgiveness towards myself and others grew. Spiritually, I reconnected to my authenticity and the universe, accepting the ebbs and flow of life’s joys and challenges. My body released trauma, my mind adaptively


processed trauma and my spirit wounds began to heal. So began (and continues) a transformative and interconnected healing journey. By integrating yoga for myself, I discovered what many have realized; t h at yo ga ca n b e a n effe c t i ve, integrative system of holistic wellness practices. Yoga has gained worldwide popularity more than even a few years ago. The majority of practitioners and consumers of this reported 80-billiondollar global industry, are women. This comes as no surprise if you have attended any yoga class. Also, not surprisingly, is that we women often move through life at excessive speed within the variety of roles we take on or are placed on us. Congruently, we, in our own ways, challenge the oppression and repression within these roles. Often, it can feel like our minds and bodies are constantly on overdrive and in survival mode. Coupled with this, are the unrealistic and superficial societal expectations we face. The bombardment of disempowering sexist messages and unhealthy external stimulation through social media, m e d i a, a n d s o m e t i m e s e ve n o u r partners, families and communities. Violence against us has been overtly and subtly normalized by the machine, impacting our mental health and overall wellbeing. Statistics support how depression has higher prevalence in females than males from adolescence onwards. Women are more likely to receive anxiety and depression diagnoses, be prescribed prescription drugs and be targeted by Big Pharma advertisements.

The system is set up to medicate, not to illuminate the strengths that women do have. Our innate sense of empathy and compassion can become numb. While medication is needed at times, is it so radical to seek out a new normal? “Yoga chitta vritti nirodha” reveals that the original intention of yoga was to pacify/still the whirlpools/ fluctuations of our mind. Nowadays, yoga’s physical posture practice has dominated the application of yoga. However, it is only one aspect of yoga’s eight limbs as described in the Yoga Sutras. These writings brought forth a system of wellbeing and selfdevelopment and the eight limbs act as guidelines encompassing the physical, mental and spiritual path. This includes our behaviors, morals and values (yamas and niyamas), seated meditation preparation through physical postures (asana), directive breath work (pranayama), senses withdrawal from external stimulation (pratyahara), concentration (dharana), meditation (dhyana), and ultimately connection with our spiritual goals (samadhi). Numerous yoga benefits include, but are not limited to, increased oxygen, muscle strength, bone density, joint integrity, focus and concentration and decreased stress, toxins, and weight. Specific for women can be endocrine system support throughout the developmental lifespan, particularly during puberty, pregnancy, postpregnancy, and post menstruation. Hormonal fluctuations impact the physical body through weight gain, toxin accumulation, and structural

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HEALTH transformation, which can often be stressful and taxing. Additionally, hormonal changes impact mood, energy level and cognitive beliefs around appearance and self-worth, influencing self-confidence and selfesteem. In this scenario, yoga can be helpful in several ways. The breath is key in yoga; pranayama can activate the neurological and respiratory systems. T h i s c a n c o m b a t w o r r y, a n x i e t y, sadness, hypertension, and toxins while enhancing focus, concentration, mindfulness and even weight loss. Asana can assist in balancing the reproductive organs and metabolism. Restorative asana can calm the nervous system and activate the relaxation response, encouraging a harmonious relationship between mind and body. Barriers to access yoga are plenty. T h e my t h t h at b o d y f l ex i b i l i t y i s required falsely propagates an intimidating and self-defeating belief, since flexibility can be a byproduct of doing yoga. Some cite religious or faith based conflicts, but the Yoga Sutras aim to make yoga secular. Lack of access or affordability poses a barrier, however

the rise of community based yoga initiatives help in enabling access to marginalized groups. There are also risks in doing yoga; yoga injuries are steadily on the rise. When overlooking the golden rule of yoga- ahimsa (non harm), some often push through asana when their bodies are not ready. Often this is influenced by a lack of satya (truthfulness) of where they are in the present moment, or lack of aparigraha (non coveting of others or things). Also, social media photos of yogis in acrobatic poses propagate a superficial image, creating a myth of yoga that is one directional, focused only on the physical attributes. H o weve r, i f p ra c t i c e d s afe l y a n d mindfully, these risks can largely be minimized. As I have, increasingly, many women find themselves drawn to this ancient yet contemporary system of wellbeing. While yoga offers many individual wellness benefits, it also promotes service to others and a social justice lens. As we steadily improve our own holistic health, we are able to be of greater and more effective service to humanity and the planet. The ripples

of individual wellness create waves of community and societal wellness. I am happy to say that l will always be a student of yoga and of life, while also assisting others on their wellness journeys. I am a tri-cultural woman, trauma survivor, a daughter, a mother, a spouse, a lover of nature and creative forces, a social worker, a wellness facilitator, and more that I have yet to realize. While I acknowledge that yoga is not suited for or liked by everyone; it and other holistic health practices represent the future of health and wellness-for all. This is because they embody all aspects of health: the mental, physical, spiritual, social and environmental.

Malabika is an integrative social worker trained in Eastern and Western therapeutic modalities. She uses a strengths-based trauma approach with her wellness initiatives. She currently lives in Taipei with her husband and daughter (and loves it)!

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i fe i s a d i m e o n i t s e d g e. Nobody knows this better than a heart-attack survivor. I t wa s u nt h i n ka b l e t h at a heart attack should happen to me. But it did. My doctor said, “I’m not sure if there is anything I could have done to thwart your attack,” but now that it has happened I have a choice to make. I can either wallow in the muck of depression that frequently follows a trauma, or live deliberately: renewed, challenged, exuberant, and full of purpose. That said, I feel I have a responsibility to tell other women who mistakenly believe that coronary disease is mostly gender specific to men. The truth is more women die from heart attacks than men. ARM YOURSELF WITH INFORMATION AND BE PROACTIVE! When my doctor said she didn’t know what should have been done differently, I thought about things I could have done. Above all, I should have listened to my body’s warnings. It warned me that something was not quite right. I dismissed my instincts. I brushed off fatigue, sleep problems, anxiety, and indigestion. I could easily excuse these: no red flags. I was unaware that over the years fatty deposits, called plaque, had been forming in my arteries. This plaque had narrowed my arteries and reduced the blood flow to my heart. It wasn’t surprising that I was caught unprepared: There can be no symptoms at all when the blockage is less than fifty percent. I was raised on a dairy-heavy diet with cream, cheese, and butter. These were my choice “comfort foods,” to which I would return for baking and entertaining my entire life. I was vaguely aware that heart disease ran in my mother’s family. But it was easy for me to deny the potential impact of heredity on my life: “Predisposition isn’t always destiny” However, I attempted


Healthy Habits, Healthy Heart TEXT: SUE BARDWELL DETISCH


to eliminate some risk factors many years ago. I quit smoking and drinking alcohol. I modified my intake of red meat and carbohydrate-laden foods and reduced my intake of refined sugar and salt. I exercised. With these changes, I grew complacent that I’d taken the necessary steps to prevent heart disease. I thought it wouldn’t happen to me. I am a woman, and weren’t heart attacks more of a male domain issue than female? This is a misconception. “Women have gained equality in this disease, making it the number one killer of women in the United States. Five hundred thousand women die yearly from heart disease – a figure that exceeds the next seven causes of death combined” It’s easy to be fooled by stereotypes and presumptions of who might be at risk. Heart attacks are indiscriminate in their choice of victims, and heart disease can be a silent killer. There are some mitigating reasons for the astonishing number of female deaths, including age. Although age is not always a factor, the drop in estrogen during menopause could be a significant risk. Diabetes puts women at greater risk than men. And emotions are also a risk factor. Mayo Clinic lists mental stress, depression, and “Broken Heart Syndrome,” (takotsubo cardiomyopathy) as some. Women are more apt to dismiss their symptoms than men. One reason for this is that symptoms can be vague. Symptoms can occur while resting or even sleeping. Most women describe them as subtle and widespread d i s c o m f o r t, a l t h o u g h s o m e m ay experience the crushing chest pain typically associated with a heart attack. Symptoms are possibly a squeezing pressure or fullness in the chest area, discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach. There might be shortness of breath, without chest discomfort. Victims may break out in a cold sweat, feel nauseated,

or light-headed. Common complaints masking heart disease can be unusual fatigue, difficulty sleeping, indigestion, and anxiety. Many women delay seeking emergency medical treatment, but if they wait too long, it may be too late. Time is essential in having the needed angioplasty done to open up blocked arteries and restore the healthy flow of blood to the heart muscle. Another reason that the mortality rate is higher for women, according to Dr. Mimi Guarneri, is that ”Women are far less likely than men to receive basic medical care that could significantly reduce their heart attack and stroke risk. Many physicians order fewer tests for women and prescribe fewer preventative measures such as daily aspirin, diet, and cholesterol and blood-pressure-lowering medications” Women need to be self-advocates. Nobody knows her body better than the body’s owner. A UNIQUE CHRISTMAS PRESENT Like many other women survivors before my heart attack in December, I lived under an umbrella of denial, false security, and blissful ignorance. It was mid-afternoon on Friday, December 22nd, three days before Christmas. My house dazzled with holiday brilliance. It was clean and ready for family and guests. Mulling spices infused the air. Food was bought, prepared, and stored, ready to serve. Worn-out ornaments were replaced by new ones on my Christmas tree. It sparkled with lights, ribbon, and crystal ice cycles. At its top was a cute Santa topper to delight my grandchildren. Mid-day, I felt a discomfort in my upper chest, upper back, and throat: a complaint I’d never felt before. It was at once too painful to ignore and too indeterminate to identify. Neither passing time nor attempts at resting helped. I called out to my husband for help. “I think I’m having a heart attack,” I admitted. “You’re too healthy,” he

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HEALTH protested. Finally, as the symptoms persisted, he suggested an ambulance. I begged for him to drive me: “No sirens for me, please!” It was fortunate that I arrived at the nearest hospital emergency room in the nick of time. The EKG alerted the cardiologist. I was immediately carted into an examining room. My pulse suddenly d r o p p e d d a n g e r o u s l y l o w, a n d cardiologists filled the room. A catheter was inserted into the carotid artery in my neck. Dopamine was administered into my IV to raise my pulse rate. Chilled intravenous solution was pumped into my veins for therapeutic hypothermia. Nevertheless, I began to lose consciousness. Voices became muted blurs. I sensed my gurney being pushed through the corridors to the catheter laboratory. Several hours later, after two stents were inserted into two of my antral arteries, and fresh blood once again began to flow into my heart. I was lucky. Fortunately, I got help in time by a team of skilled cardiac physicians, and my loving family surrounded me. LISTEN TO WHAT YOUR HEART IS TELLING YOU! If I had listened to the warnings my body was giving me as long ago as last June, I might have enjoyed Christmas with my family. My husband and I visited Banff, in the Canadian Rocky Mountains early summer last year when snow blanketed the mountains, but a glorious spring bouquet of wildflowers carpeted the ground. This national park is situated nearly five thousand feet above sea level. Soon after arriving, we took the two-mile Lake Agnes Tea House Hike, which begins by turquoise Lake Louise at the famous Fairmont Chateau Hotel. The hike is rated “moderate,” a twohour climb of about thirteen-hundred feet on a switchback trail. Below, the surreal Lake Louise diminishes in size, until finally, it disappears from view. The trail passes by tumultuous falls, rocky streams, and dense woods. I felt confident about my ability to take the Tea House Hike. Although I am a seventy-three-year old woman, I regularly chart five- to six-mile walks along sandy ocean beaches near my home in San Diego, California. A moderate hike like the Tea House Hike

seemed to pose no problem. But, surprisingly every thirty yards or so I needed to stop to catch my breath. My husband patiently waited for me to catch up to him. Each time as I huffed and puffed to join him, he looked at me quizzically: “Are you all right?” He wondered. “Must be the altitude,” I explained. When we arrived at the Tea House, another hiker approached me. Smilingly, he congratulated me. “I’m glad to see you made it!” Two others saw what I denied myself by not letting my heart speak. It was warning me. Until recently it was believed that the brain is the catalyst for rushing the many emotions we feel to the rest of our body. More recently, however, the heart is considered an organ of great intelligence, “…with its nervous system, decision-making powers, and connections to the brain. It also has its logic that tunes it into the senses that are transformed into nerve impulses that permeate the brain.” It has been called “The Little Brain,” because it acts independently of the cranial brain: to learn, remember, even sense, and feel. Does it intuit? Victims have been noted after their heart attacks to recall premonitions of death or despair. In my case, I had trouble sleeping. I’d become afraid to go to sleep. The American Heart Association has done a good job of educating women of changes they can make in their lifestyles that will help avoid coronary heart disease. To live a proactive life, one should quit smoking and take control of high blood pressure, c h o l e ste ro l l eve l s, a n d d i a b ete s. Stay physically active and maintain a healthy weight. Eat a low-fat, lowsalt diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Finally, reduce and manage stress. Coronary disease may be emotional and spiritual as well as physical, according to Doctor Guarneri. Other than the more recognizable risk factors, others might include social, psychological, and spiritual issues. Specifically, cardiologists are looking at isolation, depression, and hostility. Chronic depression “stands beside high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol as a major risk factor for heart disease. Those with heart disease who are depressed have an increased risk of death after a heart attack compared with those who are

not depressed — four times as likely.” Type-A women can carry feelings of cynicism and hostility that tend to raise their stress hormones. High-stress hormones result in higher cholesterol and blood sugar levels: risk factors for heart disease. These women may feel pushed, competitive, goal-directed, and sometimes isolated and hostile. In many cases, the mask of hostility covers emotional pain. Depression, anxiety, and a sense of low self-efficacy can be predictors of major illness, including heart disease. Mothers have a particular kind of stress. They are caregivers. Not only do they tend to their family’s tender responsibilities, but they also take on the near-impossible task of scheduling and running children to their myriad after-school activities. They supervise their households, act as control points for communication, are moderators, tutors, ministers, and coaches. Many mothers do all this (and more), and still find time for careers, professions, or jobs. It’s no wonder that there is no time left for a rest, taking care of their health and mental well-being. What time is there to consider what would happen to their personal universe if they should suddenly disappear? My daughter called me just now. Winter break has ended, and she is due to return to her teaching job tomorrow. “I don’t want to go back,” she said, her voice muffled, holding back tears. “Why not?” I asked, feeling very d i s a p p o i n t e d. S h e i s a r e s o u r c e specialist for her middle school. She has been nominated for city-wide “teacher of the year,” dynamic in the classroom, and had been very e nt h u s i a st i c a b o u t wo r k i n g w i t h her special-needs students. She is ambitious, and she is an achiever. When I reinforced these talents to her, she admitted to me that she did recognize them in herself, but… …s h e w a s s t r u g g l i n g w i t h t h e politics. I let her talk. I listened to what she had to say, validated her feeling, and empathized with her. Then I reminded her that she had just finished three weeks of being very busy after a hard semester of teaching. During the winter break, she occupied her elementary-aged children, caught up with housekeeping chores she’d put off while working, and put Christmas magic MARCH 2018

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HEALTH into her home. And she’d had to deal with a sick mother who was recovering from a heart attack. We discussed her frustrations for a while, and she asked my advice. I told her that I felt her source of energy had become depleted. “You are simply exhausted,” I said. It was time for her to recharge her batteries, recognize her inner beauty and character strengths. “Do some positive reaffirming, take some time for yourself now, today,” I suggested. “Go into your room, shut the door, and let someone else take care of your kids while you take some me-time.” But, I felt a sudden grip of fear. Didn’t my daughter’s behaviors reflect my own? And might they not be destructive behaviors that might put her on the path of future coronary heart disease (distress, frustration, and hostility)? Hopefully she found some help in coming to me and venting. I listened, validated her, and tried to support her. As someone said, the “I” in isolation causes illness; the “We” in wellness heals. Perhaps in knowing that in her family and solid spousal support she has a team backing her, she will feel reinforced, and pull on our loving strength for her own. Seventeenth Century poet John D o n n e re c o g n i ze d t h a t “N o m a n is an island.” Now in the Twentyfirst Century, through the miracle



of technology, humans can connect to anyone, anywhere, at any time. Pa ra d ox i c a l l y m a ny c o m p l a i n o f feeling lonely and isolated. They see themselves as separate souls, “islands of consciousness confronting an alien world.” Many struggle with issues of loneliness. Loneliness and despair can increase inflammation throughout the body, heighten levels of stress hormones, and create an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. C o n t r a r i l y, s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n improves the function of genes that produce antibodies that fight infection. According to Psychology Today, healthy people share similar attributes. They focus on quality over quantity. While social media may provide a seeming abundance of “friends,” a few good friends are hard to find and a treasure to keep. People with healthy social t o o l s t e n d t o s e e k f a c e-t o-f a c e relationships rather than depending on telephones and the Internet. They share personal bits of information, and they listen to others responsively by asking questions about what they hear. The heart that beats within your chest is much more than merely a blood pump. It holds treasures of memories, feelings, joy, sorrow, grief, and hopefulness. It is an organ to listen to, care for, and understand. It will tell us when we work too hard, when we

Recommended Reading: The Heart Speaks By Mimi Guarneri, M.D., FACC Simon and Schuster, 2006 Program for Reversing Heart Disease By Dr. Dean Ornish Random House, New York, 1990 Sue B ardwell Deti sch i s a long-time resident of San Diego, California. A retired English teacher, she sp ends her free time with her husband, three daughters, four grandchildren, and walking on the beach with her German shepherd dog

Self-Care: The Secret to Being a Superwoman TEXT: MIRANDA LIN


omen nowadays have more opportunities in the workplace. But for women with families, it could become a juggling contest to see who balances all the demands of life the best. Even though in the millennial era gender roles have been redefined, many women still assume the role as the main caregiver in the family. Needs of spouses, needs of children, demands of her job (or jobs!), and maybe needs of parents all tug at her. What about the needs of herself? If you ask women in the workplace, many ladies will tell you "My only wish is to have an hour of solitude." or "I just want to be able to sleep in for a day.” Many women have so many people


struggle with issues of despair, when we need to talk to a good friend, or when we should take time for ourselves to refurbish and renew. The heart also will tell us when we are joyous, contented, and hopeful. Focusing on spiritual, emotional, and physical selfcare may help us avoid an attack. Being aware of warning signals to keep in mind might keep us forearmed. In the busy life of a woman, nobody needs to take time to listen to what her heart is telling her more then she herself does. So busy giving care to others, she needs to take time to care for herself. A healthy heart needs healthy habits.

to take care of that they barely have time for themselves. Family demands, along with the pressure of work are more than enough to knock her out dog-tired both physically and mentally before the day is over. Usually, the idea of trying to be a superwoman leaves most of us super-fatigued. Some become emotionally drained, easily irritated, less motivated, and lose their appetite (or resort to stress eating). Others even become emotionally detached, forgetful, have difficulty sleeping, and experience a lack of accomplishment. These are signs of burnout, which not only happens in the workplace, but also in the family. Burnout is a result of chronic stress to the point of physical

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OUTLOOK and mental exhaustion, and can result in a decline in job performance and dissatisfactory family relationships. The danger of burnout is that it does not happen overnight. It takes a while for us to gradually deplete our physical and mental resources. Most alarmingly, some might not even be aware of the signs! To prevent burnout, it is crucial to keep an eye on the red flags, so that we may adjust our workload accordingly. However, other than making one’s load a little lighter, which is often challenging (or in some cases merely impossible) there’s a secret to surviving the tug of war of family and work — self-care. Self-care is an active and intentional way of attending to our own needs in order to maintain our capacity for helping others. It requires self-awareness, intentional planning, and active adjustments to fit different lifestyles. Without intentionally making plans to take care of ourselves, we are not able to keep giving our energy and time to our loved ones. Here are several components to a good self-care plan: SELF-AWARENESS Physical and emotional awareness often play a huge role in emotional regulation. Many times, we can feel it in our bodies if we have certain emotions. Discovering the connection between them helps us come up with ways to regulate them. When we are able to identify our feelings, we can then reflect on the thoughts behind those feelings. The feeling and thought connection greatly helps in resolving negative emotions. There are several ways to increase self-awareness. Keeping a journal is a good way to organize feelings and thoughts. A study by Gortner, Rude, and Pennebaker (2006) found that journaling was associated with significant decreases in worry and depression. There is also a form of therapy called journal therapy or writing therapy that can be done individually, or guided by a mental health professional. Having a few minutes to yourself to focus on your feelings and thoughts is also an efficient way to increase self-awareness. Talking to a friend who can help you identify feelings, along with the thoughts behind them, would be a great help, too. If it is too difficult to identify how you are feeling physically and emotionally, you may want to talk to a professional therapist who will be able to help you increase your awareness level. BALANCE We all have 165 hours in a week. How we allocate our time may shine light onto the perceived stress level we are feeling. According to research, we should have an ideal, comfortable balance when work, leisure, and rest each take up approximately one-third of our schedule. Work constitutes things that we find productive or job-related. Leisure refers to things that we find fun, relaxing, and refreshing. Rest includes the time we use to unwind and sleep, which is vital to stress reduction. Unfortunately, the quality of sleep is usually one of the first to be sacrificed when we are stressed. When the three areas are close to reaching a balance, we will feel more comfortable and stress-free. Here’s a good exercise to try with this idea. Try to make a list of all the events that usually happen in a week, along with how much time is spent on each event. Subjectively assign

each of them to a certain category (work, leisure, rest). Some may find doing house chores productive, while others may refer to them as leisure. Then, draw a pie chart putting items in each category together. The pie chart should give you an overall view of where your time went at a glance. It may offer more clarity on the stress level you are feeling, so possible adjustments can be made. The more unbalanced the pie chart is, the more stressed we could be feeling. Even if it’s absolutely impossible to make any adjustments, sometimes just knowing where your time went brings an awareness that “No wonder I feel stressed out.” Just being aware of why we are stressed out might lessen the anxiety and stress a little bit. At least we know what we are dealing with. CONNECTIONS Humans are social beings. True connection with another human soul helps us fight loneliness, which increases our health risks and feelings of anxiety and depression in stressed times. According to research, social support is a crucial factor in stress reduction. When the demands of life pull us in every direction, we can send a text or make a short phone call to a friend who understands our situation and can offer emotional support. We can join groups on social media with the same interests or concerns. It creates a sense of connection that we are not alone, and there are other people out there going through similar things in life. This is key for beating the effects of stress, both physically and emotionally. The stronger our support system is, the more backup we have when faced with stressful life situations. You might ask yourself the following questions to check if you have enough support. Who do you feel comfortable to be with? Who would you go to if you have a problem that requires assistance? Who takes your concerns seriously? Who makes you feel encouraged and valued? If all your answers point to the same person, it’s good you have a diehard supporter, but at the same time you might want to reach out to a few others to build up your support system. Even though more does not necessarily mean better or stronger when it comes to social support, quality connections with more than one person would offer us several different perspectives. When we take care of ourselves well, we have more capacity to take care of others without burning out. We have more emotional stability to tend to the needs of our loved ones and face the challenges at the workplace. We also have more physical stamina to withstand the daily mundane tasks we might have to fulfill as a wife, a mom, a grandmother, or a daughter. It’s never easy to balance the demands of work and family. Taking care of yourself is the best gift one can give to your loved ones, and the ones working together with you.

References: Gortner E, Rude SS, Pennebaker JW. Benefits of expressive writing in lowering rumination and depressive symptoms. Behavior Therapy, 2006; 37(3): 292-303.

Miranda Lin is a licensed professional counselor in Taiwan and the States. She loves good food, her faith, and spending quality time with family, friends, and herself. MARCH 2018

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Newton’s Cradle

Inhabiting multiple identities as a foreign woman in Taiwan TEXT: JENNA LYNN CODY IMAGE: WEB


n the evening of January 16th, 2016, I sat in the arrivals hall at Taoyuan I n t e r n a t i o n a l A i r p o r t, waiting to greet my cousin visiting from the US. Election results were tumbling in - Tsai Ing-wen was Taiwan’s first female president (and the first woman who was not the wife, daughter or sister of a former male leader, to be elected to lead an Asian nation). By the time my cousin walked out, social media was blazing with the news. Critics tried to attack her for being single, for being female, for wearing pants at her inauguration. None of it stuck - the Taiwanese people, by and large, didn’t entertain such nonsense. I could not say the same about the country my cousin had just arrived from. As we drove back towards Taipei, the taxi radio blaring news of Tsai’s election win, I thought to myself that we were shuttling my cousin to a city where the streets were mostly safe for women at all hours, from a country where most streets were not. I was elated at the chance to show my cousin what life in a developed Asian country was like. I wanted him to see that most of what Americans often assumed of the continent was based in stereotypes that did not apply to Taiwan: that it was dirty, that it was poor, that it was unsafe, that it was irredeemably sexist. None of these, to me, described Taipei. The next day, as he slept off his jet lag, I went to work. I was working with university students that day; we started a conversation on work-life balance. One of the young men piped up: “In Taiwan, the man has to earn the


money. The wife” - not the woman, but the wife - “takes care of the house and children so he can work hard.” “Is that true in every family?” (I knew quite well that it wasn’t.) “No, but in most families,” he replied. “Do you agree with that?” I asked. “Yes.” “So you think the husband should work to earn money and the wife should stay home?” I parried, knowing already that he did. “Yes.” “Well,” I turned to a female student, “What do you think about that?” “Oh, I don’t know.” (Taiwanese for “I don’t want to talk about it.”) “Okay. Well, let’s move on.” I thought to myself: is this country really as great a place for women to live as I’d been saying? We had a female president and safe streets, and yet disenfranchising notions about the role of women in the family persisted. I would meet with my business students - often powerful, high-ranking women in their respective work-places - and listen to stories of their in-laws blaming them, not their sons, for the nontraditional choices they disapproved of. I would feel respected at work, only to realize upon reflection that I was one of the only female instructors on staff. It wasn’t even their fault - the majority of foreign women in Taiwan are care workers (who are not protected under the Labor Standards Act) or wives from Southeast Asia (who suffer high rates of abuse and harsh immigration laws). Only a small minority of foreign professional workers are female. There just aren’t that many women for them to hire.

These experiences and more caused me to feel as though I were shuttling between identities: the optimistic female expat who was happy with her new home one day; the determined feminist who raged inwardly at the problems that persisted the next. I have never bought into the idea that the differences were due to “culture” - Taiwan has a robust local feminist movement with roots deep in the 20th century, and I had personally witnessed a number of Taiwanese women fighting against injustice in their own ways. I find it patronizing to insist that Taiwan is not capable of working towards women’s equality. From day to day, I might inhabit one identity or the other. Satisfied or dejected, free or furious. Sometimes I switched between them slowly, plodding through phases like the moon. Other days, I felt like a Newton’s cradle, pinging back and forth within seconds, the change seemingly instantaneous. I w o u l d o b s e r v e st u d e n t s w h o worked in finance frequently attaining high-level positions and a level of respect in ways that seemed quite rare in the US. In one identity, I would cheer them on. Ping. I would go about my Taipei day with a refreshing lack of catcalls, keep my face unmarked and say openly “why should I wear makeup if I don’t want to? Why is my real face not good enough?” getting hmphs of agreement in reply rather than the gentle disapproving clucks I received when I said the same thing working in an American corporate office. My students with corporate jobs in Taipei often didn’t wear makeup either. In that same identity, we shared

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OUTLOOK a sense of solidarity. And yet, I was walking home after one of those pumped-up sisterhood experiences one day to find a good friend had posted about being harassed on the street in Taipei once again. To feeling threatened yet again, simply for existing in public. “I’m e n r o l l i n g i n s e l f-d e f e n s e classes,” she said. She was done feeling unsafe. Unsafe? In Taipei? Ping. My other identity emerged then the enraged one, the same one that was furious about the treatment of care workers and wives from Southeast Asia. Her experiences on the streets of Taipei were no less valid than mine, and challenged everything I thought I knew about what life was like for foreign women in this city. And yet, I couldn’t deny that I was safer here. I really was harassed less often. Ping. She said she’d never been catcalled or harassed as much in the US as she had in Taiwan. Ping. “Taiwan will almost certainly be the first country to legalize marriage equality,” I said one day - something that a lot of women’s rights groups had supported and helped fight for. Ping. “Although paid maternity leave is mandated by the government, a benefit that is not guaranteed in the US, birth control is not covered by National Health Insurance. So the government

is essentially saying - ‘having babies is more important than your reproductive health.’” Ping. Three things keep me sane. First, I have at times reflected on my experiences living in other Asian countries, namely China and India. Although both have a complex history regarding feminism and the ways in which class and gender intersect, just as Taiwan does, I have generally found Taiwan to be a better place to live as a woman than either of them. It is also one of the only places I have felt I can travel without my gender shaping my experience in unwelcome ways. Second, I have also reflected on my former life in the United States: for every story of sexism I hear in Taiwan, I can offer a parallel story from the country of my birth. It is impossible, however, to fully compare the two: there is a difference in simply being from there, not here. I experienced life in the US as a white American woman; I experience it in Taiwan as an obvious foreigner - and a white “foreign professional” one at that. Finally, I have reflected on the ways I’ve grown and changed from the twenty-something woman who landed at Taoyuan International Airport with an oversize backpack and not a lot of knowledge about Taiwan, to a thirty-something heading back to that same airport to pick up my cousin, as a long-term resident who seeks to

build a permanent life here. How can I compare my life as a woman here to my experiences in the US when I am not exactly the same person who left? These are the three shining silver orbs at the center of my Newton’s cradle. I might ping back and forth on the edges, but inside I know this: Taiwan can’t really be compared to anything except itself: its past and present, as well as the future we hope for. We can praise its strengths and acknowledge its faults as women who live here, striving for something better. It does no good to dismiss it as inferior to the countries we come from when it has its own unique history and issues to deal with. Nor is it necessary to have an eternally sunny outlook on Taiwan, defaulting to a positive narrative even when criticism is called for. We can acknowledge that both are true, and both manifest at different times, and that there is nothing inherently wrong with one’s identity pinging back and forth.

Jenna Lynn Cody is an American who has liv ed in Taipei, Taiwan for eleven years with her hus b a nd a nd t w o cats. In addition to teaching, she blogs at Lao Ren Cha and is a regular contributor to Ketagalan Media and MyTaiwanTour. She is currently studying for a Master of Education at the University of Exeter in the UK.

Karen Farley, Entrepreneur KP Kitchen: the Second Year TEXT & IMAGE: KAREN FARLEY

What does being a business owner mean to you? Being in business means independence, creativity and learning. It also comes with a lot of hard work and responsibility. Sometimes it’s lonely being the laoban too. I love being in business and creating a range of products and a community around something I’m passionate about – baking and cooking. I gain a

lot of satisfaction around developing new ways to use our DIY mixes, which I make, photograph (another lifelong hobby) and publish as inspirational recipes on our blog. I also enjoy the personal interaction I have with other bakers – both those just starting out and more experienced bakers – which is why the community aspect of the business is important to me. There are definitely parts of the MARCH 2018

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COMMUNITY business I don’t enjoy as much, or I’m not as experienced at doing. Running a business is a lot less glamourous than it may seem. There is a lot of routine work that has to happen behind the scenes to make the business appear seamless from the outside. Keeping the books is drudgery to me, and usually involves a lot of coffee. In the baking business there’s plenty of physical work – I’ve developed new arm muscles from lifting fifty pound bags of flour and carrying crates of product around the city. And doing business in two languages presents its own challenges too. At the end of the day, it’s about finding a balance between the two sides. Even better to is aim to tip the scales towards the aspects of business I find the most rewarding, and get help where I need it too. What or who has been your greatest influence this past year, and why? In the second year of KP Kitchen Taiwan, I’ve tried to find more of this balance by focusing on the parts of the business that bring joy. I’ve developed partnerships with people who have the skills I don’t, such as accounting, translation and more. I’ve systematized t h e m o re ro u t i n e a s p e c t s o f t h e business so they are less dependent on me. And I’ve tried to take more time to enjoy life outside the business with personal time with Patrick, as well as rekindling some of my other interests (including travel and being outdoors) that had been put aside. On a separate note, one of the biggest influences on the business this year involved stepping outside my comfort zone, both on a personal and a business level. In October, we decided to apply for a spot in the Dragon’s Chamber – an event for foreign-owned small businesses modelled on the Dragon’s Den/Shark Tank concept, hosted by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan. This experience really forced us to think strategically and critically about the business in a way that is often overlooked when one is consumed with its day-to-day running. We were selected as one of the five teams that took part in the event on November 19t h. Ta k i n g t h i s s t e p h a s b e e n invaluable in terms of getting tough feedback from the Dragons, making


new connections to help make our future plans a reality and, of course, great exposure for the business. The benefit has also gone way beyond the actual event itself in that we are now spending more focused time working “on” the business, and not simply “in” the business, with big plans for 2018 and beyond. What’s the best advice you would like to pass on to readers? • Work on the business, not only in the business: In the beginning it’s easy to be consumed with maintaining the business at the expense of growing it. I’m working on scheduling regular chunks of time for developing it. • Plan change in manageable chunks: With an abundance of ideas and plans, it’s easy to have lots of projects sitting at 80% done. I make time each week and month for finishing off that last 20% of a project or task, so that the hard work that’s been put in can actually be implemented. • Be prepared to adapt: Whether it be listening to a customer’s comments, responding to changes in social media marketing, or reacting to shifts in the economic environment, the flexibility to change is essential in a small business. • Take time to recharge: in the heady days of starting a business and beyond it may seem impossible to maintain any semblance of outside life. I plan-in break times, whether it’s coffee with a friend or a short vacation with my love disconnected from it all, as often as possible. What has been the most effective marketing strategy or program you have used to promote your business, or plan to use to promote your business? Social media marketing, networking and external events have all played a part in spreading the word about what we do at KP Kitchen Taiwan. Our best marketing asset, and the most successful by far, is our happy customers, who share their experiences baking and cooking KP Kitchen Taiwan, whether using our DIY mixes at home, or joining us for special events in our cozy kitchen, with their family, friends a n d c o l l e a g u e s. Wo r d-o f-m o u t h marketing has been an essential part

of our ability to reach more customers and build our community of home bakers/cooks. What is one thing that you have learned over the past year(s) that has served you well? An entrepreneur is never short of ideas, but having too many ideas can be overwhelming. Even if it’s a good idea, perhaps it’s not a good idea for the business right now. Before jumping from one idea to the next, ask yourself whether it fits with the direction your business is taking right now, and in the future. If not, delete it. If it’s a good idea in the future, you will think of it again then. Also, surround yourself with good people. Do you have any new projects coming up, or have you just completed a big project that helped you to reach a milestone? There’s always something on the go. After examining the business late last year, we’re moving towards establishing a wider market place for our DIY mixes. We’re also working on developing more online resources focused on baking and cooking in small kitchens in Taiwan. Already this year we’ve taken a significant step in creating our first “how to…?” video, which has been a lot of fun and required a huge learning curve.

KP Kitchen Taiwan Facebook: Instagram: Email: For recipes, tips and to buy our DIY Baking and Spice Mixes:

Karen Farley runs KP Kitchen Taiwan which produces and sells DIY Baking Mixes throughout Taiwan. As a serial entrepreneur and serial expat, Karen grabs adv entures in business and life with both hands. When she’s not baking, Karen can be found dreaming of her next travel destination. Karen can be contacted at

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Taiwan’s Historic Chastity Arches TEXT & IMAGES: RICHARD SAUNDERS


t first glance, Taiwan’s historic relics seem rather humble in comparison with the island’s magnificent natural beauty and its extraordinary cultural richness. It’s a sad fact that much of Taiwan’s history has been lost for good owing to a lack of money in the past to preserve many old and crumbling structures, combined with an unfortunate eagerness to tear down historic houses t o m a ke ro o m fo r m o r e m o d e r n structures, or rebuild precious old temples simply to make them bigger and grander. Thankfully though, the Taiwanese authorities are generally far better these days at looking after the island’s remaining historic relics, and, although Taiwan has little that’s likely to quicken the pulse of the average European historian, there’s a great deal of pleasure and fascination to be found by exploring the island’s heritage structures. Taiwan’s lawmakers classified the island’s heritage into twelve categories,

and admirers of dusty old temples, private residences, forts, academic institutions and whatnot will find plenty to enjoy in the old towns of Lukang, Tainan, on the island of Kinmen, and also (to a lesser extent) in Changhua and Hsinchu cities. Taipei is also remarkably rich in fine old buildings, especially from the Japanese colonial era. Among the other eight categories featuring on the list however are some curiosity-arousing listings, including one listed as as “memorial arches.” Today about twenty of these fine structures remain on Taiwan and the outlying island of Kinmen, including no less than three in Taipei city. Two now stand in 228 Peace Park, after they were moved from their original positions during the Japanese colonial e ra w h e n t h e c i t y’s st re et s we re widened. The Huang Family Widow’s Memorial (黃氏節孝坊), which once stood in today’s Ketagalan Boulevard but is now near the north entrance of the park, dates from 1882, and pays

tribute to a lady who lived a widow’s life for 46 years following the early death of her husband. J i go n g h a o y i A rc h (急公好義坊), just south of the park amphitheater, was erected in 1887, and, unusually, c o m m e m o ra t e s t h e c h a r i t y o f a businessman who donated money to build an exam hall to accommodate students taking government exams in Taipei, thus saving them a long journey down to Tainan. It used to stand in nearby Hengyang Road (then called “stone arch street”). The third arch, the Zhou Family W i d o w’s M e m o r i a l (周氏節孝坊), stands close to Beitou MRT station, and was erected in 1861 to commemorate the chastity of a lady called Zhou Juan (who died 15 years before the arch was built) after the early death of her husband. To get there walk out of Beitou MRT station and follow the path underneath the elevated tracks north (away from Taipei), branching right along the branch line towards Xinbeitou. The arch is a few meters down a road on the right about 200 meters from the MRT station, and is signposted (in English).

Richard Saunders is a trained classical musician and writer who has lived in Taipei since 1993. He has written several books (available at the Center and in bookshops around Taipei), including Yangmingshan: the Guide (a complete guide to the National Park on Taipei’s doorstep), Taipei Escapes I and 2, which together detail sixty day trips and hikes within easy reach of Taipei city, and The Islands of Taiwan, a guide to Taiwan’s offshore islands. His latest book, Taiwan 101: Essential Hikes, Sights and Experiences around Ilha Formosa, is out now. MARCH 2018

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Jo an c reated Hungr y in Taip ei in 2005 when she mov ed to Taiw an from California and couldn't find much information online ab out restaurants in English. She has since b lo gge d a b o u t o v e r s i x h u n d re d Taipei restaurants, found places to fulfill her Mexican, cupcake, BBQ and pho cravings. She has explored Taipei's night markets, shaved ice, dumplings and fine-dining scene extensively. Hungr y in Taip ei has been mentioned by BuzzFeed, CNN Travel, NY Post, Lonely Planet Taiwan, Taipei Times, Bizarre Foods and the Culinary Institute of America. http://



f you're visiting Taipei, you must try the Chinese breakfast experience at least once, and I'd definitely recommend that you try it here. I've been slow to try out Yonghe Dou Jiang Da Wang (despite hearing raves about it for awhile) thinking all Yonghe Dou Jiangs would be about the same. But I was wrong. It is definitely the "King," like its name. And what makes it better than the rest?

Perfectly hot and crispy youtiou, soft on the inside. At some places, they feel a bit stale, but here, it tastes like it just came from a vat of bubbling oil. Even after it's cooled, it still retains a satisfying crunch. You know that everything is fresh, as there is a mini-army of hands rolling out dough and cutting out strips to make delicious snacks such as soubing. And you seriously cannot beat the prices - you can feed two people for about NT$100, or gorge yourself for less than the price of a McBreakfast. You also have the option to mix and match items to your stomach's desire. Put egg, pork floss or a sticky rice roll in the soubing, or put youtiao, sticky rice roll or pork floss in a danbing. You can even put fried turnip cake in an egg, or egg in a mantou.

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Other items on the Chinese-only menu include handmade xiao longbao or steamed dumplings, and sticky rice roll (fantuan). On my first visit, I got a trio of items: a soubing youtiao, which is like a carbilicious breakfast sandwich - an airy and flaky flatbread enveloping a crispy fried chinese cruller (NT$30), a danbing (NT$20; a scrambled egg in a thin crepe-like wrapper), and a warm soy milk (NT$20) or doujiang. On my second visit, I got just a

y o u t i a o (N T$15) a n d a s a l t y s o y milk (NT$25) which is more like a breakfast tofu stew with chunks of soft, coagulated soy milk, with bits of dried baby shrimp, pickled vegetables and diced youtiao, which give it a wonderful milky, salty flavor. The portion was quite huge and I was too full to eat lunch after finishing the bowl, so I'm sure it's enough to share. The mini shrimp with miniature black eyes freaked me out a little bit, but I tried to enjoy it as it was meant to be. But if you're the type to avoid eyes in your breakfast, then I'm sure you can ask that they leave it out. Salty soy milk isn't for everyone the appearance and texture can be unappetizing to the uninitiated. I only first tried it last year. First timers should try the sweet cold soy milk instead. If you like it less sweet, you can get warm or hot soy milk. I found that the youtiao seem more lithe than the ones from other places, but they get the right combination of crispy and soft. I got my items to go, but if you eat there, be sure to take advantage of the

soy, vinegar, and chili sauces available, and enjoy the immediate satisfaction of eating the youtiao hot. The space looks and feels like it's been there forever, but it's clean and a place to eat and go. Yong He Dou Jiang Da Wang 102 Fuxing South Road, Section 2 (02) 2703-5051 (復興南路二段102號 ) Hours: 24 hours/7 days a week

Celebrating Women in Taipei 2018

Sunday, March 11 at 12 PM – 10 PM

In the Flesh : Glow Your Mind / 思維熠熠而響

Saturday, March 31 at 12 PM – 10 PM MARCH 2018

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#14 Tienmu E. Road


| Telephone 2871-1515 |

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