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Taiwan Huayu BEST Program Events in Indiana, USA
Indiana University Bloomington and National Taiwan University, partner universities in the Taiwan Huayu BEST program, co-sponsored a series of Cycling Taiwan 2023 events in Indiana between April 10 and April 18, 2023.
The first, held on April 10, was a screening of the film Island Etude. It took the audience on a journey of mesmerizing stories about the people and landscapes of Taiwan. The film is about a college student with a hearing impairment who is about to graduate, who courageously undertakes a round-the-island bike trip. During his 7-day journey, the young man comes across various people and adventures. With a heart full of hope, he advances with great passion and experiences the beauty of the island and its people. This film combines dramatic and documentary approaches as it takes the audience along with on this young man on his coast-to-coast trip and presents the modern realities of Taiwan,
The film screening was followed by a Tour de Formosa ride around the university on April 16. It gave the participants a tiny taste of the experience of a bike-ride around Taiwan. They stopped at four stations, each representing a culturally significant landmark on the island, and could take part in an activity incorporating information about the local landscape and culture of the associated landmark, and get a stamp on their “travel booklet.” The ride ended at the university’s Ferguson International Center where the participants enjoyed a luncheon that celebrated the tastes of Taiwan.
The final event related to Taiwan and cycling was a seminar held on April 18 with the guest speaker Olivia Wu. Olivia is a Taiwanese American who is the Director and Co-Founder of Asia Rainbow Ride. The Asia Rainbow Ride is a charity bike ride to support and promote equal rights and inclusion for the LGBTQ+ community in Asia. It was created by Olivia and friends from five different countries in 2020. Olivia has been an organizer in the Taiwanese LGBT community for the past 15 years and an advocate for LGBTQ+ and wellness. At the seminar she discussed the Asia Rainbow Ride in Taiwan, and its significance in building advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community in Taiwan Now in its fourth year, this year’s Asia Rainbow Ride will be a fully supported three-day, two-night cycling event through the northwest coast of Taiwan in October
Many students in the Huayu BEST program attended the events and they’re looking forward to future opportunities to experience Taiwan in person.