Senior Journalist M Bharat Kumar from TN to Taiwan



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M Bharat Kumar, Assistant Editor of ‘News Today’ English evening daily, visited Taiwan recently to attend 2017 NiHao Taiwan Study Camp for Future Leaders: Diplomatic Allies and Partner Countries.

It was organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), Republic of China (Taiwan). He shares his experience with the readers of

“Taiwan is not just a country of tall buildings and technology. There are places where people live in harmony with nature. They romance traditions, and culture is close to their heart,” he says, adding: “Be it their National Palace Museum, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Xingtian Temple, Taroko National Park, Zhuilu cliff, Tunnel of Nine Turns (Jiuqudong), Cidal Hunter School or Ten Drums Percussion School, there is plenty to relish, learn and enjoy.”

On National Palace Museum, he says, “a fully modern museum, it is part of Taiwan’s National Digital Archives Programme, using the latest in digital technology to preserve its ancient artefacts as well as high technology to improve the museum experience for visitors. It is spread over four floors and has two exhibition halls.

Those interested in Chinese culture and history are encouraged to visit the National Palace Museum, as it hosts the largest number of ancient artefacts.”

Talking about the programme attended by him, he says, “represented by over 25 countries, the programme gave participants an overview of Taiwan’s (Republic of China) history and culture, as well as the Taiwan experience. It threw light on the nation’s democracy and cultural diplomacy.

Themes covered included Taiwan’s political and economic development, international economic cooperation, efforts to reduce energy use and carbon emissions, environmental protection, epidemic prevention, local cuisine and natural scenery.

The camp, which was meticulously planned by the MoFA, helped cultivate global perspectives, increase knowledge of Taiwan, and fostered friendship among the participants. A total of 60 outstanding youth leaders from the Asia-Pacific region were selected for the study camp that was spread over nine days from 21 to 29 September.”

On Taiwan food, he says, “food is an essential part of the Taipei experience. A visit to Taiwan is incomplete without tasting their local cuisine. There are tofus, dumplings, beef noodle soups and a variety of vegetable salads to lay one’s hands on.

A legacy of the country’s origins, their cuisine is a wonderful combination of regional foods from across mainland China and at its vibrant night markets, one can eat a variety of of foods grilled on skewers or served in a noodle broth. Lay your hands on grilled squid, pan fried buns and fried fish cakes without fail.

Interestingly, what I saw during my recent trip to the Republic of China (Taiwan) as part of a study tour for future leaders between 20 and 29 September organised by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was that the eateries throw a wide variety of options and are affordable too. When I landed in Taiwan, I was afraid of what I would be eating.

There was fear that is a no-man’s land for vegetarians. But my perception changed on Day 1 when I tasted tofu and noodle soup served with fresh vegetables. Of course, a cup of black tea is a must at your lunch and dinner table.”