In an effort to educate younger New Taipei City (新北市) residents about their area, the city government has produced cartoon-style maps introducing the characteristics of its 29 districts, the city government’s department of civil affairs said.
Department head Chiang Chun-ting (江俊霆) said the various specialties introduced on the maps include traditional activities, renowned local snacks, interesting architecture and tourism hot spots, and had all been chosen according to the number of votes each specialty garnered in an online poll.
This method of choosing the special characteristics also revealed that New Taipei City was a place that came highly recommended, he said.
Taking Banciao District (板橋) as an example, Chiang said that netizens had agreed that the New Taipei City Hall, the Nanya Night Market and the Lin Pen-yuan Manor were representative of the district.
The Lin Pen-yuan family (林本源家族) was one of the five most important families in Taiwan, with a history dating back to the Qing Dynasty. The name Lin Pen-yuan is not the name of an actual person, but the trademark of the family business.
Chiang added that over recent years, the city government has tried to make the city hall a landmark in the area and hosted its Christmas celebrations there last year.
A cartoon of Santa Claus climbing a Christmas tree on the map illustrated that New Taipei City has become known for celebrating Christmas events, he said.
Department officials added that to make the map more appealing for younger students, the department used different humorous pictures to show the local characteristics of each district.
For example, the pictures illustrating Pinglin District (坪林) — known for its tea — showed two men drinking tea, the department said, adding that the map also shows a student holding a test paper with full marks, meaning that many people were successful in their academic pursuits in the district’s schools.
Another picture shows New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) holding a golden shovel in one hand and a baby in the other, which illustrates the city government’s policy of encouraging families to have more children.
The word for shovel in Chinese, chan zi (鏟子), is here used as a homophone for childbirth, chan zi (產子).
The department said that it sought to incorporate recent newsworthy topics and movies, for example using a large rubber duck as a symbol for Jinshan District’s (金山) specialty of duck meat, and scenes from You Are the Apple of My Eye (那些年，我們一起追的女孩), Ghost and Mission: Impossible to represent the annual sky lantern festival in Pingsi District (平溪), the famed pottery of Yingge District (鶯歌) and the Gold Ecological Park in Rueifang District (瑞芳) respectively.
The map also includes the many annual events held in the city, such as the flag-raising ceremony on the first day of every new year and the rock festival held in Gongliao District (貢寮), the department added.
The city government expects to give the first editions of the cartoon maps depicting New Taipei City and its many local specialties to elementary schools, junior and senior-high schools, the department said, adding that residents of the city can obtain a digital version of the map on the department’s Web site.