Wed, Aug 12, 2015 - Page 5 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

Staff writer, with CNA

CULTURE

Local belly dancer wins title

Belly dance teacher Alida Lin (林介文) won first place in the dance competition at the “Rags, of Course” dance festival held in Egypt from July 23 to Monday last week. Lin started dancing at age three, but did not begin belly dancing until six years ago. She said this year’s festival sponsors offered classes to nearly 100 participants from around the world, and her long and arduous hours of practice helped her earn the prize. Lin, who won a championship in Beijing in 2011, said she practices at least two hours a day, and as a teacher she must study every detail of the art, which originated in the Middle East. She said she was pleased to beat dancers from so many countries, including Russia, the US, South Korea, Japan and China, “particularly Russia, whose nationals have dominated previous festivals.” Lin, who teaches belly dance in major cities in Taiwan, said she hopes to see more local dancers win honors on the global stage — which she said she has proved is not impossible and believes “every Taiwanese can do, too.”

TRAVEL

Passports gain advantages

Republic of China passport holders can now obtain visa waivers, landing visas or e-visas to 148 countries and territories, as five more countries and one region granted Taiwan preferential treatment, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Monday. India, Qatar and Ivory Coast have included Taiwan in their e-visa system; Iran and Armenia have granted Taiwanese landing visa treatment; and Somaliland, a breakaway state in Somalia, has given Taiwanese visa waiver status, the ministry said. However, the Iranian government reserves the right to deny landing visas to travelers if they have an Israeli visa in their passports, the ministry said.

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