English Service host John Van Trieste is curious. There’s nothing about Taiwan’s many cultures that he doesn’t want to know more about. Join him every week as he gets to the bottom of yet another question. What will he be curious about this time?
In 1884, the seaside town of Danshui held its breath. French warships blockaded its harbor, and word came that a French force had taken nearby Keelung. Then, the tension finally broke early in October with a violent bombardment of the town followed a few days later by an attempted French landing . The Battle of Danshui was bloody, but the town’s defenders managed to push the landing force back to sea. This October, just over 135 years after the actual events, the Golden Bough Theater Troupe reenacted the story of the battle live. This is the second play the Golden Bough Troupe has done about the battle in the last ten years, and other troupes have also started writing their own adaptations of the story. What is about this battle that warrants so many retellings? And is this sort of historical reenactment common in Taiwan?
In 1995, a group of archaeologists got called in to see if they could find anything on a plot of land in Tainan. This was to be the site of a big project- the Tainan Science Park- and a routine check would be needed to make sure nothing important lay underneath. No one could have imagined the bonanza that waited under the ground. In a space of around 1000 hectares, archaeologists found 58 sites that paint a picture of local life going back 5000 years. The finds were so extensive they could fill a whole museum. Now, they finally do. The museum's Huang Hung-wen joins us today for a tour of the newly-opened exhibits and a look deep back into southern Taiwan’s prehistory.
Weddings are one of life's great milestones, and like any milestone, the customs surrounding them vary from place to place. So what's a Taiwanese wedding like? Find out this week in an interview with two RTI colleagues who are Taiwanese wedding veterans- people with real experience planning, hosting, and attending them.
For Andy Kincart, Taiwan's tea isn't just a beverage. For around 30 years, it's been a calling. His company, Eco-Cha, takes some of the best tea Taiwan has to offer and ships it to discerning customers around the world. Last week, Andy took us on a tour of Taiwanese tea and Taiwan's tea culture. But we haven't yet heard about how Andy first ventured into this world himself. This week, Andy is back to share his story and talk about how tea and its perception have changed, both in Taiwan and abroad.
Few foreigners know Taiwanese tea quite like Andy Kincart does. Over the past 30 years, it's become his calling. Today, his company finds the best teas Taiwan has to offer and brings them to discerning palates across the world. He joins us today for an introductory taste of Taiwanese tea and a look at its thriving tea culture.