For two days last week, TKU’s Tamsui Campus was enveloped in a vibrant display of Latino culture. The festivities began as ambassadors and scholars from Central and South America converged on the Tamsui Campus to deliver a series of talks.
On Oct. 11 at the Chueh Sheng International Conference Hall, the Paraguayan Ambassador to Taiwan, Carlos Martinez Ruiz Diaz, gave a lecture entitled “Discover Paraguay”. Subsequently, on the 12th of Oct., the Guatemalan Ambassador to Taiwan, Hector Ivan Espinoza Farfan, delivered a talk on “Mayan Civilization”. The lectures provided overviews of their respective country’s customs and cultures, and were delivered entirely in Spanish. They brought with them authentic Central and South American snacks, beverages, and music, to give the event a truly Latino feel.
As part of his description of Paraguay, Mr. Diaz played a video that vividly depicted Paraguay’s unique culture. He also offered TKU students and staff authentic Paraguayan cuisine, known as ‘chipa guasu’, which is something akin to a corn omelette. To follow, Prof. Diana Duran, a Social Anthropologist from Paraguay, gave a brief description of the Paraguayan aboriginal population, the Guarani. Then, two TKU international students from Paraguay, who attended the event draped in traditional Paraguayan attire, put on a lively display of local Paraguayan dancing, and invited other members of the audience to join them in performing their rhythmic routine. The melodious tunes and frenzied hip-swaying infused the event with a tinge of Carnival.
Mr. Espinoza talked about the cultural characteristics of the Mayan Civilization, from their architecture and calendar systems, to their understanding of astronomy and alphabetic writing systems. He brought with him traditional Guatemalan music, as well as Guatemalan-produced coffee for attendees to sample.
The talks were a great success. Not only did they bolster the close relationship TKU enjoys with Central and South American scholars, they also afforded local TKU students a glimpse of the beauty and vitality of two exotic overseas cultures. ( ~ ELAD BRUHL )