Sunday, November 18, 2007

PA..... TAIWAN !

I have friends in Taiwan whom I have not seen or heard from for nearly 35 years. Yes, since these snapshots were taken back in July 1972. The top picture showed us the participants from the 2nd ASIAN YOUTH VOYAGE 1972 after the main programme ended in Japan. We were all on the way home to our respective countries. The 4 of us from Singapore together with the 4 reps from Malaysia spent some time in Taiwan hosted by our AYV reps from Taipei....especially Grant C Lin. My fellow participants were all around 20-22 years of age. I was senior to them. They should all be in their late fifties today.

Photo: We visited the National Palace Museum rated as one of the best 4 museums in the world. It is located in an area where the mountains formed a backdrop. There is a good reason for this. This museum has the largest collection of Chinese artifacts in the world. They total over 700,000 pieces and the number is increasing. At any one time, only 15,000 pieces can be displayed. This is rotated once every 3 months. What this means is that it would take you 12 years to see the entire display. Items not displayed are kept in deep, underground vaults in the mountains.

Most of the treasured pieces came from the private collection of various Chinese Emperors through the ages. During the civil war between the Communists led by Mao Tse Tung and the Nationalists [ Kuomintang] led by Chiang Kai Shek, when it became apparent that the former were winning and moving towards the cities, orders were given to cart away all these treasures and history to the stronghold and final bastion of Taiwan.

There they remain to this day.

Bottom Photo:

Grant Lin on extreme left. We were enjoying a picnic and testing the waters of Taiwan.

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