Saturday, 13 December 2014

Global Indigenous Peoples Performing Arts Festival 2014 Taoyuan

Taiwan has flourishing indigenous cultures. Currently, there are 14 (16?) indigenous tribes (recognized by the Council of Indigenous Peoples CIP) in Taiwan, and each of them has its own society, language, lifestyle, dance formations and musical culture. 14 of the recognized groups are:
Amis 阿美族, Atayal 泰雅族, Bunun 布農族, Kavalan 噶瑪蘭族, Paiwan 排灣族, Puyuma 卑南族, Rukai 魯凱族, Saisiyat 賽夏族, Sakizaya 撒奇萊雅族, Seediq 賽德克族, Tao 達悟族, Thao 邵族, Tsou 鄒族 and Truku 太魯閣族.

Seediq-tribe girl 賽德克族

Friday, 12 December 2014

Taoyuan City - Hutoushan park - Sansheng Temple (三聖宮)

There are three important temples in the Hutoushan Park, or close to it. They are Sansheng Temple (明倫三聖宮), Confucius Temple and Former Shinto temple that serves now as Taoyuan Martyr's Shrine (桃園忠烈祠). This article will tell about Sansheng Temple. In fact the two others are more interesting, but we will come back to them later.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Taoyuan City - Hutoushan park - people

Hutoushan park is an excellent place to meet people. One Sunday afternoon, as I was taking photos by the river, an old gentleman came to me leaning on his walking stick. "Where are you from?" he asked. Later on he told me that "I was born in Nanjing in 1911." It means that at that moment he was 103 years young. Maybe he meant the year 11 in Taiwanese calendar. Then he would be only 92 years young. I was moved by his joy and peace.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Taoyuan City - Hutoushan - on top of the hill

Now we go up to the Hutoushan hill. The highest point is 251 meters above the sea level. Usually people go up early in the morning, but I prefer going a bit later, because I enjoy walking and taking photos in peace, without adapting too much to other hikers pace. August is very hot in Taiwan, and especially afternoon it can be unbearably hot. Up in the hills it is always a bit cooler.

The stairs up
Come up here

Monday, 10 November 2014

Taoyuan City - part 2 - At the foot of Hutoushan

In the first part of the series we learned basics of Hutoushan or Tiger Head mountain 虎頭山. In this article we see what does it look like before climbing up. There are two main entrances to the Hutoushan Park (虎頭山公園), one for pedestrians only along the Nankan river, close to the Taoyuan High School, and another one for vehicles further up on Chenggong Road to the right just before the Veterans Hospital (台北榮民總醫院桃園分院)


When you approach Hutoushan from the County Stadium, you need to pass through this small street along the river. You will see majestic trees on both sides of the road, they are called Chinese Banyan. The scientific name is Ficus microcarpa. It was first described scientifically by Carl Linnaeus the Younger in 1782. In Europe they are growing mostly indoor in flower pots, very often as bonsai trees. But in Taiwan Ficus microcarpa is a huge tree. Distinctive to it are the aerial roots hanging down rom high. With the aerial roots the tree take water from the humid air. If the roots are let to grow and they reach the ground, they will become pillar roots and finally develop into secondary trunks. In this way a banyan style tree with pillar roots and secondary trunks is developed.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Taoyuan City - Tiger head mountain (Hutoushan, 桃園虎頭山)

Taoyuan City is located in the North-West of Taiwan. It is the gateway to Taiwan, since the most important international airport is located there. It is an industrial city, where my mobile phone was made (or designed).

Taoyuan City by night.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Trip to Finland - birds of South-Western Finland

It is much easier to take photos of plants than birds. Therefore this article is short.

The common crane (Grus grus), also known as the Eurasian crane, Kranich in German, kurki in Finnish, is a bird of the family Gruidae, the cranes. The Common Crane is a large, stately bird. It is 100–130 cm tall with a 180–240 cm wingspan. Crane is slate-grey overall. The forehead and lores are blackish with a bare red crown and a white streak extending from behind the eyes to the upper back. The species is a long distance migrant predominantly wintering in northern Africa.

You cannot avoid seeing cranes when driving through South Western Finland in June. These are having lunch at Purmojärvi. Cranes eat everyting, plants, roots, leaves, seeds, potatoes, fruit, fish, snails, crabs, rodents, small birds, Cranberry got its name from cranes.