When we visited Tainan, I asked my buddy and her parents if the cost of living of Tainan is acceptable for them. They said that it was reasonable, however, I believe that my buddy's family is one of the richer ones since they own a big house. I learnt from our tour guide that the average salary of people in Tainan is sometimes lower compared to the things sold there. The Taiwanese also did not have any government subsides like we do.
Education (Individual post)
When we visited Sacred Hearts High School in Tainan, I noticed that the students there are all very proactive. They always raise up their hands to answer questions and they are eager to learn. I think this learning attitude is what we as Singaporeans lack of and it will be very beneficial if we adopt this mindset.
The first lesson for a student in Tainan starts at 7.15am, this is their self study period. After that, they will have a lunch break in between before school ends at 5.05pm, they have a 10min break in between lesson. Most of them will have tuition afterwards to about 8pm.
Tainan OELP Trip
Today, we started our learning journey in Kaohsiung. In the morning, we had our breakfast in the Ten Drum Culture Village where we lived the night before. The breakfast was scrumptious, after the breakfast, we are told to dispose the leftovers in a bucket. The guide told us the Taiwanese have strong will to preserve their environment, they do not throw their their leftovers away, instead they use the leftover food to feed the pigs. On the bus, the guide also told us that the Taiwanese categories their trash. There were very few dustbins on the road, the guide told us that most of Taiwanese people bring back their trash. I think that we should learn from the Taiwanese people, their acts are very eco friendly and it preserves our nature. We went to 3 museums, I was amazed that the Taiwanese had so many museums to tell people about their culture, I think this is good as nowadays, many teenagers do not know about their culture and history. By building such museums, we can let many people know about the history, this is very meaningful. We had our lunch at a Hakka restaurant, the dishes their tasted special. We went to the supermarket that day to find out about the standard of living of Taiwan.
We are amazed by the price of the products in the supermarket, they were very cheap as compared to Singapore. Our whole class went crazy and started to grab things, especially CID group 5, they filled 2 trolleys of instant noodles and other 特产 like pineapple tarts and milk candy. Our group wasn't too bad either, we filled 1 trolley and spent a lot of money there. After having a delicious dinner, we went to 六合夜市. Night market is something special in Taiwan, we are all very excited.
Today, we enjoyed a performance by the drummers of the Ten Drums Culture Village. Their
performance was very 振奋人心. After that, we had a long journey on the bus, we left Kaohsiung and
continued our trip in Tainan, we cannot bear to leave the Ten Drums Village because the people there is very hospitable. Then, we went to Anping old fort. There, we learnt about the history of Taiwan. We had our lunch at a restaurant in Anping old street, the food there was awesome, we all enjoyed it very much. Then, we went to Eternal Golden Castle and 赤崁楼, 这两个景点都是极其富有历史气息的，古色古香的建筑，在濛濛细雨下若隐若现，让人有一种身至仙境的感觉. We also bought a lot of souvenirs at the shops near the attraction.
We are also told to write a letter to our parents,
The next task is a poem, quite badly done
Today is the first day of emersion in 正心中学, all of us had being longing to that day. We were very
anxious either as we are to perform for Sacred Heart student and principal. We were afraid that they
would not like our performance that we had being practicing for months. However, the performance turned out to be a success, it was clear that they enjoyed our performance, they clapped for us very loudly.Then, we met our buddy in the school library. After that, we went to year 4 classes. My group was assigned to biology lesson. Surprisingly we did not learn anything about bio, instead we had a debate session over the topic should zoos exist? The lesson was interesting and the teacher is very nice. After having lunch, we went to a soya sauce factory, we learnt about the history of that soya sauce factory and we tasted the soya sauce they made. It was very nice and different from the soya sauce we eat in SG. Then, a n old uncle guided us through that street and told us about the history of a bridge. At night, we had dinner in a luxurious restaurant with our buddies and their parents. Our buddy's parents were very kind and we found out that the buddy's father studied in Singapore when he was young. We really enjoyed the meal.
Today, we went to the towel factory, puppet theatre and a storytelling place in the morning. We bspent a lot of money and bought many cute towels there. We also learnt how to make a towel cat, although it was not very well done, we still learnt the steps to make it ourselves. The puppet show was enjoyable, the normal puppet show is in Hokkien, but for us to understand better, the person used mandarin. The puppets were pretty. Thespis changed my impression of a puppet show, it was not boring as I thought it was. Then, we listened to a story about a storyteller using some wodden cardboard, I think it was interesting and unique as I have never seen it before.
In the afternoon, we had computer and balloon making lesson. During the computer lesson, we learnt how to make a robot, with the help of the sacred hearts student, I successfully made a robot. During the balloon making lesson, we made balloon swan and flower. During the process, I burst 4 balloons,
but the teacher was kind and did not scold me, instead, he gave me another one to try. At night, we were invited to a concert by sacred hearts students. Their performance was amazing, especially the percussion, I was impressed and amazed by how creative they used the drumsticks to hit the ladder at different heights to give ou different sounds. I also enjoyed the band and string's music.
Today, we went to sacred hearts in the morning to have lessons with the students. First, my group had a English and History lesson. Then, the whole class gathered to have home econ lesson to cook our lunch by ourselves. We worked together in groups and cooked very good food. After lunch, it was the time for us to go out with our buddy. I shared buddy with JingJing. The buddy's parent first brought us to a very nice drink store and treated us. Then, they brought us to the buddy's grandparents ' house on the mountain. The house was very big and nice. Our buddy showed us around the house and
showed the vegetables and fruits that they grow themselves. After that, we went to a honey shop, our buddy's mother gave both of us honey for presents. Next, we went to an extremely cute chocolate store, we can make our own chocolates that we like. We made chocolates and both me and Jing Jing bought a lot of chocolates to give to our friends in Singapore as the choclates there looked special. We had steamboat for dinner and then we were sent back to the hotel by the buddy's parents.
During the day with them, I learnt about many things that nobody in Singapore had told me. Tainan people lead a slow and peaceful lifestyle. Our buddy's parent told us that Tainan people do not rush like Singaporeans and other country people, instead, they do things that they like. 他们很淡然，每个人都有着悠然自得的生活节奏。因为台南的租金便宜，所以有不少怀揣着梦想的台南人会在街上开上一间属于自己的小小的咖啡厅，不用太大但是布置得温馨。不用赚很多钱，够用
Today is our last day in Tainan. We went to the 921 earthquake museum. There, we learnt about how earthquake happens and why Singapore does not suffer from that. Earthquakes are extremely salvaging and devastating. I think we should learn to not to take Singapore for granted. Our country had such and advantage, we should be thankful. After the visit to earthquake museum, we had a long bus journey to the Taoyuan airport, finally, we are going back to Singapore. Most people cried as we could not bear to leave Tainan where we had so much wonderful memories and our guide uncle Terry who had brought us so much joy.
1. Is the school fees in Taiwan cheaper than SG?
2. What is the average salary of people in Taiwan?
3. How much is the wifi in Taiwan.
Merlion as Singapore's national icon?
A national icon is something significant in a particular country that can represent the country so that when people sees the icon, they will immediately know that which country is it representing. For Singapore, the Merlion is one of the national personification. The Merlion (Malay: Singapore-Laut) is a traditional creature in western heraldry that depics a creature with a lion head and the body of a fish. It's name combines "mer" means the sea and "lion". The fish body represents Singapore's origin as a fishing village when it was called Temasek. The lion head was originated from the story which Sang Nila Utama, Prince of Palembang who had discovered Singapore. Singapore was a small fishing village then and the first creature Sang Nila Utama saw on the island was a lion. So he named this island "Singapura" which means "lion" in Malay.
However, personally, I do not think that the Merlion is the best national personification of Singapore as no one knows if the story of Sang Nila Utama was real or just a myth. Instead, I think a photograph of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew will be the best national icon to represent Singapore. Mr Lee was Singapore's founding father and first Prime Minister. He had transformed singapore from a third world country into a first country in less than 50 years. In these years, he had led Singapore through many hardships. Singapore was just a small red dot on the map and it does not seem significant at all, many say that Singapore would not made it. However, Mr Lee had faith in Singapore, and the enough, we did it. This year we are celebrating our SG50. Although it is a pity that Mr Lee Kuan Yew had left us, I believe that his soul would always be with Singapore. He was a great leader and I believe that many look up to him. Thus I think a photograph of our great leader should be a better icon than just. Myth.
Golden age of China
The Tang Dynasty was the "Golden Age" of China as the land of China during that time was the biggest as compared to other dynastys. China was also the most prosperous during the Tang and the technology during that time was very advanced. Education was one of the components that was emphasized upon during the Tang Dynasty, I think that this was one of the many factors which led to China's prosper as there were more educated children to grow up to be capable adults which can contribuilt more to the country.
Singapore now was just like the Tang Dynasty in the past. Singapore is a very prosperous nation, it is extremely impressive for such a small country to be so prosperous and modernized. Our late former Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew who was also the first Prime Minister of Singapore, had contributed much to Singapore. He had transformed Singapore from a third world to a first world country in the last 50 years. Without him, Singapore would not be at the "golden age". Singapore also emphasise on education which is like the Tang Dynasty. However, after its golden age, China began to fall and was not as prosperous as before. Although Singapore is at its golden age now, we must work hard to make it better. Mr Lee Kuan Yew devoted his whole life in building Singapore and we must not ruin it.
Reflection on the Suzhou Industrial Park
The China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park was founded in 1994. It was a cooperation between Singapore and China which was proposed by our late former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, and Singapore holds 65% of the shares. However, not long after the Suzhou Industrial Park was completed, a new competitor surfaced. It was the Suzhou New District which was just beside Suzhou Industrial Park. China copied it and and charges cheaper prices to foreigners. As Suzhou New District provided cheaper taxes and rental, the Suzhou Industrial Park became less popular in comparison and suffered great loss. Singapore then reduced its shares to 35% and shortly after that, the Suzhou Industrial Park began to earn revenue. Last year, its gross domestic product reached 200 billion yuan (U.S. 32.5 bil) in 2014 while its import and export volume was U.S.80.3 billion.
I think it was dishonest for China to copy the idea of Suzhou Industrial Park as it is the idea of Singapore and Singapore holds a greater share of it. China purposely made the price of Suzhou New District Cheaper so that people would only go there but instead of Suzhou Industrial Park so that only China is earning but Singapore on the losing end. Singapore spent the money but was not gaining any profits. Only when Singapore gave up the bigger share and took the smaller share, the park began to earn revenue but it was nothing compared to the lost. I feel that its was very unfair to Singapore, we had an agreement with China but they did not keep their promises. In China, people rely on guanxi (relationship) with others. Although Singapore had an agreement with The China's leader Deng Xiaoping, we do not have a good relationship with the person who was in charge of it, this is a lesson learnt for us.
Reflection on CID presentation
After this CID presentation, I feel that I did not do my best. I had a little stage fright and I stumble at times, I kept on peeping at my cue cards and had almost no body language. However, I think this presentation had taught me an important lesson, I learnt more things about our country while researching for my presentation and listening to others' presentation. The preparation of the presentation went quite well, I chose a picture of racial harmony. However, before my presentation, 2 other classmates chose the same picture as me, I panicked and had stage fright.
I think most of the other classmates did pretty well as they were confident and their scripts were good. Except that a few of them also had stage fright like me and could not finish their speech, most of them had excellent presentation skills.
Comments on the other group's presentation
We are commenting on group 4's presentation. Their product is the "Octopus broom". I think that their presentation is quite clear, they give detailed information of their product and demonstrated how to use their broom. I think their actions were hilarious and I was laughing throughout their presentation.However, I think that their presentation could be improved as when they were demonstrating, they were laughing together with the audience, so it seemed that they were not serious about the presentation.
China's economic growth
I think China's economic growth will cause Singapore's economic to decline. As China 's population grow, many businessman would want to go to China to start up their businesses s they can earn more profit and the manpower and rental is cheap. Thus there will be fewer people coming to Singapore to start up a business as it is much more expensive compared to China. In China, the product and corporate tax is also very cheap so I think most people are willing to go to China to buy things, resulting in fewer people buying in Singapore.
However, I think China's opening up to International Trade will help Singapore in becoming more prosperous . As the products are much more cheaper in China, Singapore businessman can get the products at a lower price but sell to other counties at higher price and thus resulting in more profit gained.
Future of Singapore
The population of Singapore is going to decrease as many of the young married couples do not want children as raising children are not easy. Our population will be aging as there are fewer babies been born each year but there will be more elders as the time goes as people nowadays tends to live longer as the the technology and health care are more advanced.The younger generation will be much more stressful as they must take care of their older family members. Singapore will have fewer people to take up the jobs so we need to hire a lot more foreign workers to fill up the jobs, this will cost the government more money.
However, the government had foreseen this crisis and they are giving financial help to couples to raise up children, so that more married couples would want to give birth to babies. However, I can see this is not working well as may people might think the help that the government gave is not enough for raising up a child. Nevertheless, there are still some people who give birth because of this policy so I still think that it is necessary.
Poverty in Singapore
In Singapore, it is highly unlike that you will find beggars lining the streets or see starving children walking the pavements, scrounging for food. The poor and needy in our society struggle with relative poverty-- simply defined as that their financial resources fall substantially below what is needed to pay for the necessities of living in Singapore.
No matter how rich or poor you are, every child is given a chance to go to school and study. Their school fees are subsidized by the government.
My December Holiday
During the December holidays,I went to Peking. I went to many places of attractions, my favorite ones are the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City.
I went to The Great Wall in the morning and spent 45min trying to climb. Though I did not reach the top, it was an unforgettable and special experience for me. I was amazed as I cannot imaging how did the ancient people build such a majestic building without modern technology. In 1957, the first part of the wall was opened to the public. It is the best preserved of the long stone serpent and is altitude of 1000 meters.
In the afternoon, I went to the Forbidden City. the Forbidden City was progressively built from 1406 to 1420. The City consists of 980 buildings and takes up the space of about 180 acres. Originally controlled by the emperors from the Ming and Qing dynasty, it is now under the control of the Palace Museum. There are many ancient wooden structure. It caught my interest knowing the history of China and I would definitely want to go there again.