Sun, Jan 09, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

Staff writer, with Agencies

SOCIETY

Nun celebrates 77th birthday

A Catholic nun, Sister Edmara Ulrich of Switzerland, who has served in the country for nearly half a century, yesterday celebrated her 77th birthday at her church in Chiayi County. National Immigration Agency Deputy Director-General Ho Jung-tsun (何榮村) went to the Fenchihu Catholic Church on Alishan (阿里山) to wish Ulrich happy birthday in person and to give her a birthday cake. Ho also presented Ulrich with a gift of a Republic of China (ROC) Centennial commemorative badge as a token of gratitude for her contribution to the care of disadvantaged Taiwanese. Ulrich and another nun, 71-year-old Clemens Dietl of Germany, have served at the church for 20 years. They have both been in the country for more than 45 years and speak fluent Mandarin and Taiwanese.

TOURISM

Hotels targeting Japanese

Some hotels said they have been tailoring their promotional campaigns to attract more Japanese tourists since the opening of direct flights between Taipei Songshan Airport and Tokyo’s Haneda Airport in October. Spurred by higher consumption levels among Japanese tourists, the hotels said they have been devising special packages geared toward Japanese. Westin Taipei said it has been giving its Japanese guests high-end cosmetics gift sets because it knows Japan’s society is brand-driven. Likewise, the Regent Taipei said it has chosen a limousine model that is popular in Japan to transport guests between the hotel and Songshan Airport. Regent Taipei said Japanese guests account for up to 70 percent of its business and that the opening of the Shongshan-Haneda route was a good move.

SOCIETY

Kinmen bridge work begins

Construction on a 5.4km bridge linking Kinmen Island (Greater Kinmen, 大金門) and Little Kinmen (小金門), also know as Lieyu (烈嶼), will begin today, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said yesterday. Lu Jie-pin (呂介斌), an engineer at the ministry’s Taiwan Area National Expressway Engineering Bureau, who is in charge of the project, said it would take more than five years because of the difficulties involved in building underwater piles. The cost of the project is estimated at NT$7 billion (US$233 million) and it is scheduled to be completed in June 2016, he said. When it is finished, the “Kinmen Bridge” will be the longest in the Taiwan-Fujian area and is expected to boost local tourism and improve transportation between Greater Kinmen and Little Kinmen.

CULTURE

Paiwan creche wins third

A Taiwanese creche, entered by the Tainan Catholic Diocese, won third prize in the foreign division of an exhibition of nativity scenes in Rome on Friday, with an entry that featured Paiwan Aboriginal heritage. The creche depicted a Paiwan stone-slab stable made from driftwood found during floods caused by Typhoon Morakot in 2009. The figures of baby Jesus, his mother Mary and Mary’s husband, Joseph, were all dressed in traditional Paiwan costumes. According to the jury, the Taiwanese exhibit was delicate, yet full of strong emotions. While representing the humble birth of Jesus, the work shows the infant Jesus with arms open, as if to embrace the whole world, which sends a message of joy, the jury said. This marks the first time that a Taiwanese entry has won a prize in the annual international exhibition, now in its 35th year. This year’s foreign division was won by Chile, while the first runner-up was Hungary.

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