The 2017 International Holocaust Remembrance Day was in Taipei on January 19. This year marks the second year that Taiwan has held International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is usually observed on January 27. The event was jointly organized by Israeli and German representative offices as well as Taiwan’s Ministry of Education and the Central Library.
President Tsai Ing-wen was invited to make a speech and she said she hoped to see Taiwan and Israel undertake more cooperation in culture and education so that lessons of the holocaust will not be forgotten. The president cited an example of the error made by students of Kuang Fu Senior High School in Hsinchu, northern Taiwan who dressed up in Nazi uniforms at their school anniversary in December last year adding that Taiwan’s society does not have enough understanding of what happened to the Jewish people.
Mr.Asher Yarden, the representative of the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei said six million Jewish people were killed during the Holocaust and it is not merely a figure but it represents the lives of six million people. It took 70 years for the number of Jewish people in the world to reach nearly 16.6 million of 1939 before the Nazi genocide began.
Turkish representative, Ambassador Ismet Erikan has been actively promoting Turkey to Taiwanese. He said October is a Turkish month filled with many Turkish cultural activities. Ambassador Ismet Erikan said the launching of the direct flight between Taipei and Istanbul opens a window of opportunity for both Taiwanese and Turkish. He hopes the cargo flight will be filled with merchandise from Turkey to Taiwan one day.
Ambassador Ismet Erikan is a seasoned diplomat and he has been promoting cultural exchanges by helping Turkish artists hold exhibitions in Taiwan. He said cultural diplomacy touches the heart of the people and he vows to go to one university to lecture on Turkey in Taiwan. He even goes to elementary and middle schools to promote his country.
Turkish representative Ambassador Ismet Erikan said Turkey is just as safe as any other major countries in Europe despite the fact Turkey is still placed under the state of emergency citing that the state of emergency applies more to the government rather than to the public. He said any Taiwanese whom he met that has been to Turkey after the attempted military coup said Turkey is a safe travel destination.
The Turkish representative said Taiwanese can apply the Turkish visa on line without having to pay any fee. He jokingly added that one day at a seminar when he mentioned the whole process could be completed within three minutes, a Taiwanese lady corrected him by saying it took her only two minutes.
The exhibition of Country Focus at Taiwan Designers’ Week 2016 houses a collection of 42 works from Israel in collaboration with Holon Institute of Technology. Professor Dana Arieli, a professor at H.I.T Holon Institute of Technology is in Taiwan to attend the event. She was Dean of Design Faculty at H.I.T Holon Institute of Technology between 2004-2012 and once served as the head of History and Theory Department at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. Her research deals with interrelations between Art and Politics in both totalitarian and democratic systems. She said when there is an oppression, there is no autonomy in art. She has published a few books and one of them is The Nazi Phantom: A Journey after the Third Reich
For more information on High Contrast at Taiwan Designers’ Week 2016.
Fore more about Prof.Dana Arieli,
DPP Legislator Liu Shyh-Fang said as part of the New Southbound Policy, the government of Taiwan has recently relaxed visa requirements for Southeast Asian tourists, in August, citizens of Thailand and Brunei were granted visa-free entry to Taiwan and in September, visa requirements for nationals of Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos have been relaxed. Similar visa relaxation has been previously granted to passport holders of Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and India.
DPP Legislator Liu Shyh-Fang said that with the decrease in the number of mainland Chinese tourists, maybe it is a good time for the travel agencies and tour bus operators to switch their target customers to tourists from Southeast Asia now, adding that she understands the challenges ahead with the lack of tour guides who speak languages of Southeast Asian countries. She said she will also listen to different opinions and concerns voiced by the travel agencies and tour bus operators to help solve the problems together.