As part of preparations for the Republic of China (ROC) centennial next year, the Tourism Bureau and a local Internet portal yesterday launched a campaign encouraging people to tell their stories of happiness or to recommend local stores that have been around for more than 100 years.
Tourism Bureau Director--General Janice Lai (賴瑟珍) said the bureau had recommended 100 travel routes in Taiwan for the celebrations, adding that a venture with Yahoo-Kimo would help tourists identify the things that touch them the most when they travel in Taiwan.
Sharing a story of her own, Lai, who grew up in Changhwa County, said she once found an owl on a school field trip.
“For the field trip, my mom packed me a lunch bag with a boiled egg and some oranges,” Lai said. “However, back then, resources were scarce … and I didn’t eat my lunch until I got home.”
Frank Chen (陳建銘), vice president of sales at Yahoo-Kimo Taiwan, said the more than 100-year-old Red House in Ximending (西門町) was a perfect example.
“In the past, famous singers would come to the Red House to perform every day. You can call it the nation’s cultural and creative center,” Chen said.
Shi Jyong-yong (施炯鏞), owner of Shimeiyu Incense Co, which was founded in 1774 in Fujian Province, China, said the second generation of his family came to Taiwan to establish a branch in Lugang (鹿港), Changhua County.
A seventh-generation descendant of the Shi family, Shi said the company has kept its production in Taiwan. He also presented an incense stick in the shape of a dragon at the inauguration ceremony.
“To me, happiness is to produce eco-friendly incense that does not harm people’s health,” Shi said.
The Jiu Zhen Nan Taiwan Pastry Co has been making -Taiwanese-style wedding cakes in Kaohsiung since 1890.
“When a mother comes in the store with her daughter, she says to her daughter: ‘I also bought my wedding cake here.’ That, to me, is happiness,” company manager Tsai Shui-song (蔡水松) said.
For 99-year-old Chen Chung-hsiu (陳仲脩), his entire family was able to catch the last flight from China after the Chinese Communist Party took over China in 1949. To him, “happiness” is to know family members are around.