Sun, Jan 22, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Foreigners join New Year festivities

CNA , TAIPEI

As Lunar New Year approaches, foreigners in Taiwan are also getting into the spirit of this traditional holiday.

Stephan Gleixner, an engineer from Germany at the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) in Hsinchu, said during a telephone interview that the Lunar New Year is a precious holiday that he would like to spend with his family here.

"There are many similarities between the New Year holidays in Taiwan and Germany," he said. "In our company, the employees get invited to quite a few dinner parties where the ambience is good with lots of good food and wine."

"During this week, we've already had three year-end dinners. The members of my department were invited to one of them, while two other bigger dinners were organized by the company," he said.

Comparing the holidays in Taiwan and Germany, Gleixner said that employees in both places enjoy about one week off, only in different ways.

"In Germany and most other parts of Europe, everyone enjoys a holiday before the new year starts. But here, it is different. People work until the last day of the year and then start the new year with a week long holiday," he said.

Charl Goussard from Capetown, South Africa is a lawyer in the ITRI's property legal department. Although he has spent five years working in Taiwan, he still hasn't experienced Lunar New Year here.

"I haven't experienced it yet because when the holiday starts, I immediately fly back to South Africa to get together with my family," he said.

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