Fri, May 07, 2004 - Page 4 News List

President pays tribute to mothers

SPECIAL DAY On the eve of international Mother's Day, President Chen Shui-bian served tea to representatives of all mothers across the nation at the Presidential Office

By Lin Chieh-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian yesterday serves tea to one of the representatives of mothers from all over the nation at the Presidential Office. The tea party was held to celebrate Mother's Day.

PHOTO: SEAN CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES

The Presidential Office yesterday invited outstanding mothers from different ethnic groups for afternoon tea, in celebration of international Mother's Day. President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) personally served the women refreshments.

The gathering symbolized the theme of ethnic harmony, with guests including mainlander spouses, Aboriginal women, Hakka women, single mothers, working mothers and mothers of mentally and physically handicapped children.

One of the mothers, from the Bunun Aboriginal tribe, performed a blessing of all mothers, while another mother from a community struck hard by the 921 earthquake sang a traditional Taiwanese song, The Spring Wind, asking that the government do more for mothers caring for handicapped family members at home.

The president said in his speech that the government had already finished drawing up plans for a public daycare system. He encouraged more private sector companies to establish daycare centers to ease the burdens of the modern mother.

He also said that because of the increasing number of foreign brides from China and southeastern Asia, it is becoming important to accept and be supportive of these women and of Taiwan's emerging new cultural identity.

`A Son of Taiwan'

"My experience of success is a story of `a son of Taiwan' and now all women, even those foreign brides, could serve as mothers of `sons of Taiwan,'" he said.

"We should respect and cherish the diversity of Taiwan's culture and people and show them more tolerance," Chen said.

The president also promised to improve the government's welfare policies for mothers.

Chen expressed concern for certain groups of mothers, saying that, as their families' only source of financial and emotional support, it was difficult for single mothers to raise their children.

Many women who recently immigrated to Taiwan have trouble supporting themselves financially due to language and other problems, he said.

These women are often left by their husbands without income or support and even more helpless than before, Chen said, and are the newest minority group in Taiwan.

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