TAIPEI (TAIWAN): In a clear manifestation of the strong presence of India’s soft power in Taiwan, more than 15 universities organised Diwali celebration events in their campuses in Taiwan in the past two weeks there. Taiwan’s government also had a Diwali celebration event organised supported by the Indian community in Taiwan.
A good number of Taiwanese natives also participated in these celebrations of Diwali, which is an Indian festival of lights and was celebrated in India on November 4.
On November 20, the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology and Academia Sinica had a Diwali celebration. Taiwan’s National Formosa University (NFU) held an Indian Diwali celebration event on November 19 at the lawn square of its campus.
National Formosa University also invited Indian students from National Cheng Kong University (NCKU) to come to join in the grand event. On the day of the event, the Office of International Affairs prepared many Indian traditional programs, including the Rangoli art experience, pooja blessing ceremony, Diya experience, and Bollywood dancing performance.
The traditional lamp lighting ceremony and many clay Diyas (traditional earthen lamps) made Indian students feel at home. Taiwanese students also had the opportunity to learn about Indian festivals and culture. Traditional Indian recipes were also prepared by the NFU, including Indian chicken curry, mutton curry, vegetarian curry, Tandoori Chicken, Naan, Carrot Halwa and masala chai, etc.
Prof. Shinn-Liang Chang, the NFU President said, ”Despite the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, the NFU still conducted webinars and virtual exchange programmes with Indian sister universities. ‘NFU Diwali’ has become an annual event to celebrate Diwali and share cultural experiences with students and participants in central Taiwan. We take Indian students as part of family members.”
There are more than 2,800 Indian students studying in Taiwan every year. More and more Taiwanese students are curious about Indian culture and festivals. Thus, there are always more than 15 universities that hold Diwali celebrations at different campuses on this island. They also have attracted neighborhoods to join the event for the past few years. This soft power of festivals now extends to Taiwan as well.
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