Sat, Jun 13, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

■CULTURE

Sculpture Festival opens

The 2009 Guandu International Outdoor Sculpture Festival opens today at Guandu Nature Park (關渡自然公園) in Taipei, with installations by two Taiwanese and six international artists on the theme “Land, Water and Culture.” The sculptures, all made from bamboo or reeds and other natural materials found in the park, are designed to raise awareness about environmental issues such as global warming and sustainable growth. The exhibition runs through Sept. 27, but this weekend there will be do-it-yourself workshops from 2pm to 5pm with the artists at their installation sites. The foreign artists come from the US, Norway, the Netherlands, India and South Korea and park staff will be on hand to help translate from English into Mandarin at the workshops. The park is open Tuesdays to Fridays from 9am to 5pm and to 5:30pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is NT$50, though concession tickets are available for students and the elderly. More information on the festival is available on the park’s Web site (www.gd-park.org.tw).

■CHARITY

Rummage sale at TAS today

Taipei American School’s (TAS) Orphanage Club will hold its annual end-of-the-school-year rummage sale in the school’s lobby today from 10am to 5pm, rain or shine. Items include clothing, toys, household items, electronic appliances and lots and lots of furniture. The club will use the proceeds to fund its programs for orphans and needy children in Taiwan and overseas. TAS is located at 800 Zhongshan N Road Sec 6, in Tianmu (天母).

■HEALTH

Diabetes more prevalent

Nearly one in 10 people in Taiwan suffered from diabetes last year, a study released yesterday by the National Health Research Institutes (NHRI) showed. The study found that 9.2 percent of the country’s population was affected by the disease last year, up 2.7 percentage points from 2002, when the prevalence rate was 6.5 percent. The highest prevalence was found among men aged 65 and older — 28.5 percent last year, a sharp rise from 17.6 percent in 2002 and 13.1 percent for the periord from 1993 to 1996. Chang Hsin-yi, an associate research fellow at the NHRI’s Institute of Population Health Sciences, said diabetes treatment now claims the fifth-largest share of National Health Insurance expenditure and was the fourth-most common cause of death in the country in 2007. To prevent the disease, people should adopt a diet with a high proportion of vegetables and whole grains to maintain an ideal weight, the Department of Health said.

■LANGUAGE

Hakka test registration opens

Registration for this year’s Hakka proficiency tests will begin on Monday and close on July 15. The beginner level test will be held on Nov. 28, while the medium and medium-high level test will be held on Nov. 29. “The exam is not just about testing your Hakka proficiency, it’s also about establishing a Hakka cultural identity,” Council of Hakka Affairs Minister Huang Yu-chen (黃玉振) said. “We welcome anyone who loves the Hakka language and culture — regardless of their nationality, ethnicity, gender, age or occupation — to sign up for the test.” To encourage young people to take the test, the council will waive the registration fee for people under 19. The registration form can be downloaded online or purchased from designated locations across the country. For more information, visit kaga.hakka.gov.tw or dial the toll-free number at 0800-099-288.

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