A two-day "Taiwan Festival" program started at Brent Cross Shopping Center in northern London Saturday, attracting large numbers of British shoppers to participate.
The festival has been organized by the Taipei Representative Office in the UK, which represents Taiwan's interests in Britain in the absence of diplomatic ties, as part of its efforts to promote bilateral cultural and civilian exchanges.
"The program is aimed at highlighting the differences between Taiwanese and Chinese performing arts and cultures, as well as helping British citizens understand that `China is China, Taiwan is Taiwan,'" said Edgar Lin (
Addressing the opening ceremony, Lin said British citizens are welcome to take part in all the activities presented in the festival. He also took the opportunity to introduce the beauty of Taiwan's arts and culture.
Lin also introduced to the British audience Taiwan's master puppeteer Chen Hsi-huang (
Chen led his Tataocheng Puppet Troupe in putting on three dazzling puppet shows at Brent Cross Shopping Center Saturday, winning loud applause from the British audience. At the end of each show, Chen also demonstrated to some of the children in the audience how to manipulate the unique Taiwanese puppets.
On Saturday, the Taipei Representative Office also arranged for Taiwan expatriates in Britain to present paper-cutting and calligraphic arts as part of the festival activities.
Special Taiwanese delicacies, including pineapple tarts, as well as handicrafts were handed out to shoppers. Two Taiwanese air carriers -- China Airlines and EVA Airways -- as well as BenQ computer company offered plane tickets and digital cameras as gifts for winners of a Taiwan-focused quiz show.