Caitlyn Black traveled to Taipei, Taiwan for one month during the summer of 2017. She took a class on Global Perspectives on Chinese Business and Economy in which she learned of Taiwan's economic growth and its relations with China. She learned about Taiwan’s economic dependence on China through trade, along with the never-ending debate on Taiwan’s independence from the mainland. Taiwan was a life-changing experience for Caitlyn. She was integrated with Taiwanese students and others from all over the world. Caitlyn’s favorite meal to grab was the freshly grilled squid and a bowl of frog eggs, along with kumquat and green tea bubble tea. Hot Pot was another very popular meal in Taiwan as well, in which she cooked raw meat in a huge pot of soup with a continuous supply of vegetables, seafood, and flavorings to add. The temples were a favorite spot to explore with their extravagant decorations and colors could be found in the cities or hidden in the mountains. Caitlyn experienced worshipping gods and goddesses as the people gifted them with mangoes, candy, and bows with incense in their hands. Every chance Caitlyn got she traveled to a different part of Taiwan to be engulfed in the new culture. She ensured that she took time away from campus to explore as much of Taiwan as possible. She experienced tastes, smells, sounds, and sights she had never came across before. Taiwan was a valuable and essential part to her growth academically, globally, and individually. Taking that experience, she has established a deeper desire to travel the world and see more of Asia.
CEE Title: Art Expression Across Three Nations
Our CEE, Art Expression Across Three Nations, showcases the diverse values and traditions from three vastly different countries. Taiwan, Czech Republic, and Spain have unique artistic representations that make them exclusive to others. The Peking Opera of Taiwan expresses the importance of traditional Chinese and Taiwanese art forms in unique performances - including unique sounds, dances, detailed “Painted Faces” masks, and martial arts. Czech Republic is full of artists with raw, peaceful, important buildings and sculptures that make a statement against its former communist regime of the Soviet Union. Spain consists of multiple types of architecture that resemble different eras of control and dynasties throughout history. The community was then given the opportunity to create art that are specific to the countries. Attendees were able to create their own “Painted Face” by painting masks with colors that correlate with specific meanings, along with trying Bubble Tea that originated from Taiwan. The community added to our own John Lennon wall with any statement, idea, or picture that represented the real wall in Czech Republic. In addition to tasting the traditional Medovnik dessert, the attendees could pair it with Spain’s popular Tortilla Espaniola dish while creating fans that are popular to use within that country. Our presentation and activities were a means of showcasing diversity through a visual and tangible manner. We informed and involved the attendees, and extracted forms of art from each host country to help create their own art pieces.