Ecuador lies in South America on the equator, and in fact it gets its name from the Spanish word for “equator.” However, Ecuador straddles more than just two hemispheres. Take a look below to see how it also straddles different cultures, geographies and traditions.
A closer look 說古論今
Ecuador was controlled by Spain for much of its history. As a result, its culture today is heavily influenced by Spanish traditions. Even though much of its native population died during Spanish rule, many native peoples survive today and play a part in Ecuador's politics and culture. Ecuadorian society has also been influenced by slaves brought from Africa and their descendants.
Ecuador is one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world. Over 38 percent of the country is covered in forests, which are home to a wide variety of animals. While in Ecuador, you can see the snowy peaks of the Andys, the Amazon rain forests and the famous Galapagos Islands.
Each part of Ecuador has its own kind of food. As a result, there isn't a main Ecuadorian cuisine. However, Ecuador has made contributions to the culinary world. Many people in the mountains enjoy eating roasted guinea pig, and the word “jerky” in “beef jerky” comes from one of Ecuador's native languages.
Many of the walls in Ecuador's capital, Quito, are covered in graffiti. However, many people don't think of the graffiti as vandalism. Instead, they think of it as an art, and a part of Quito's urban culture. Much of the graffiti is poetry or political criticism. In fact, some politicians quote the graffiti that they see on the walls in their speeches.
Who knew? 你知道嗎?
Abdala Bucaram was elected Ecuador's president in 1996, but only was in power for about six months. He did some really strange things while in office, and was forced to step down for being “mentally incapacitated.” He nicknamed himself “El loco,” which means “the crazy man” in Spanish, and he lived up to his title. Soon after becoming president, he recorded a CD called The Madman Who Loves and performed concerts with popular Ecuadorian bands to promote the CD. He also shaved his moustache on TV, called a former Ecuadorian president a donkey, and then apologized for insulting donkeys. He was also known to have wild parties at his presidential residence. His son once organized a party at the residence to celebrate making a lot of money through corruption.
Location: South America
Border countries: Colombia, Peru
Languages: Spanish, Quechua
Currency: Since the year 2000, Ecuador has used the US dollar. US$1 equals NT$32.37
Have you seen Barack Obama call Donald Trump a “complete dipshit,” or Mark Zuckerberg brag about having “total control of billions of people’s stolen data”? Answer yes and you’ve seen a deepfake. The 21st century’s answer to photoshopping, deepfakes use a form of artificial intelligence (AI) called deep learning to create images of fake events, hence the name deepfake. The AI firm Deeptrace found 15,000 deepfake videos online in September 2019, a near doubling over nine months. A staggering 96 percent were pornographic, and 99 percent of those mapped faces from female celebrities onto porn stars. Is it just about videos? No.
A: You could try eating often but smaller portions, so that you won’t be digesting too much food at any one time, which will be easier on your stomach and your blood sugar won’t jump. You can still eat what you want. B: To be completely honest, I’ve tried that, too, with the result that I never stopped eating, haha. But I have found that if my jaw is always moving and my teeth are always biting into things, I don’t feel so sleepy when I’m studying. A: Then you should eat a low calorie food like konnyaku or
Green Island, which used to be called “Huoshao Island” (Fiery Island) because of its tropical climate, usually conjures up images of “prisons” in the imaginations of most people. However, the island’s historic “Laogu stone” buildings which stand out majestically in its old settlements, have borne witness to the island’s history, too. The Taitung County Government is promoting a plan to breathe new life into Green Island’s old architecture, which it hopes will reawaken their importance in the minds of the island’s residents. Taitung County Cultural Affairs Department last week held an information meeting to explain its “Encore for Old Houses — Old
Well, I’m not going out in this (1/5) 嗯，這種天氣我才不出去（一） A: Look at the weather forecast for the next week. It’s going to be raining every day. B: Bummer. The weather forecasts are generally quite accurate, but just because it says there is a high likelihood of rain, it doesn’t mean that it will definitely rain, or that it will rain all day. A: Yeah, but look at Wednesday. It says there are going to be thunderstorms, with a 100% chance of rain! B: Then we’ll have to change our plans. I hate getting cold and wet. A: 你看下週的天氣預報，每天都會下雨。 B: 真倒霉，天氣預報通常蠻準的，不過就算預報說很可能是雨天，也不見得絕對會下雨，或是會下整天。 A: 也對啦，但你看下週三，預報說會有大雷雨耶，降雨機率是百分之百！ B: 那我們只好改變計畫，我真討厭濕冷的天氣。 （Paul Cooper, Taipei Times ／台北時報張聖恩譯） Audio