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Vincentians in Taiwan celebrate Independence

Vincentians in Taiwan celebrate Independence


by Kenton X. Chance 05.NOV.10

Students and other citizens of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) in Taiwan celebrated their nation’s anniversary of independence with a barbeque in Taipei on Saturday, October 30.{{more}}

SVG, a multi-island nation of 110,000 residents, marked 31 years of independence from Britain on Wednesday, October 27.

Jamali Jack, in praying for the nation and the event, prayed “for those of us here in Taiwan, that we may understand how blessed we are to come from such a beautiful nation with beautiful people”.

“… Father, we pray that the bonds that we have here, as we go back to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, we may see how best we can apply [them] to building our nation, regardless [of] our differences…” he said.

Jack further prayed that Vincentians in Taiwan “… may always carry the name of St. Vincent and the Grenadines with respect and pride”.

Dr. Rosmond Adams, a Cuban-trained physician who was in Taiwan for a three-month training programme, gave some impromptu remarks at the event.

“It is good …when you can have Vincentians united together, especially now that we are celebrating our 31st anniversary of independence,” he said.

“I just want to wish everyone good luck in their studies… We want you to graduate and come back home and contribute to our country in nation building.

He also “extended warm Vincentian friendship” to the Taiwanese at the event, at which the Vincentians also joined in singing the National Anthem.

Adams received clinical training in diagnostic radiology and participated in a course in public health and health insurance, sponsored by Taiwan International Healthcare Training Centre.

While the public health and health insurance course was coincidentally taking place during Adams’ time here, he said it was the most insightful part of the visit because of his interest in the field.

Meanwhile, Jeana Jack, who coordinated the Independence event, said she was pleased with the turnout, noting “it is probably the largest gathering we’ve had in a while”.

“We had fun and we had meaningful interaction with each other,” added Jack, who completed a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations at National Chengchi University in 2009.

“This is a very incredible event,” National Scholar Seab Jackson said.

“It brings back a lot of nostalgia and so forth and it’s really great to be back here with the community and to meet people … and see how people are doing,” said Jackson, who in May completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Power Mechanical Engineering at National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan.

“Love! Peace! Happiness! All Caribbean people — unity!” Dominican Kim Douglas said, noting that his nation would celebrate Independence on November 3.

“Dominica’s independence is coming up in a few days. I am just happy to celebrate with the people here in Taiwan. One love! And we should do this more. More unity!” said Douglas, who also completed a first degree in Taiwan.

“It is my first time getting together with my country mates for independence in Taiwan. I enjoyed it. I wish we can do this more often,” said Craiglee Sam, one of two Vincentians who were the first international students to receive basketball scholarships from Ming Chuan University.

Cregg Friday, the other student, said he especially enjoyed the opportunity to eat Vincentian cuisine.

“I enjoyed [the event] a lot. … It is good for the Vincies [to come] together, even the adopted Dominican … It was great,” Friday said.

Atiba Joseph began studying Mandarin Chinese in Taiwan in September and was attending the first gathering of Vincentians.

“It was great! It was nice seeing a lot of Vincentians for the first time since I’ve been here.” Joseph said.

“I support everything he just said!” said Isis Gonsalves, who also came to Taiwan this past summer.

“Brilliant! I would like to come every year,” said Taiwanese guest Yang Ren-Zi, who liked “the food and the people”.

“It was great. I am meeting Vincentians I’ve never seen before and just socialising and relaxing,” said Meika John-Lee, formerly of Layou.

“That was good — very nice and I enjoyed it,” said her husband, Taiwanese Jeng-Ru Lee, who said he learnt a lot about Vincentians and their culture.

Mr. Lee, who jokingly said he is from Argyle, reflected on his visit to St. Vincent. “I liked the water very much. I [was] there for 30 days, and 27 days I was in the water,” he said.