Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the government of Norway has announced to suspend all crowded gatherings, including the National Day parade. Meanwhile, Taiwan hosted Norwegian National Day events yesterday (May 17th), within the border ever since diplomatic ties between Norway and Taiwan were broken in 1950.
Norwegians in Taiwan put on a parade in Taipei together with a Taiwanese civil organization, Taiwan Digital Diplomacy Association (TDDA). It could be the only public Norway’s National Day parade in the world in 2020, writes the press release published by the organization.
There were about 70 people joining the parade around Daan Forest Park in Taipei, consisting of 20 Norwegians, which is 80% of Norwegians in Taiwan, and joined by enthusiastic Taiwaneses. They kept the tradition of paying tribute to the Royal family by saluting to the portraits of them. After the parade, people gathered to raise the Norwegian flag and sang the National Anthem together.
Being an NGO dedicated to public diplomacy, Taiwan Digital Diplomacy Association (TDDA) has been cooperating with Norwegians in Taiwan to hold a series of Norwegian cultural events since the early April, making a Norwegian culture map and traditional Norwegian desserts. The non-governmental organization has facilitated in-depth exchanges between Norway and Taiwan. They hope to deepen the connection between Norway and Taiwan through this special National Day celebration.
“Although everyone in the world is forced to change their living ways during the pandemic. We hope by the event, we can let the international society who are still coping with the fear in the face of pandemic, realizing that the future will be better and brightened day by day, and bringing positive and hopeful spirits for the international society.” Chiayo Kuo, President of Taiwan Digital Diplomacy Association (TDDA) gave the speech for the event and shared the purpose of this celebration.
Taiwan: A special case for Corona
“Taiwan is independent from COVID-19.” A Norwegian freelancer, Geir Yeh Fotland, who was born in Taiwan, raised in Norway, shared in the celebration.” We can no longer live as before or do as we want to. Necessary restrictions are needed to prevent the infection from developing freely. The strategies around the world might have been a little different. But the overall goal has been the same: To prevent the virus from taking life.”
He is delighted to see so many Taiwanese who want to know more about Norway and to make this happen in Taiwan for their Norwegian friends.
Leo Lin, a Taiwanese student studying in Norway shared his reflections : “This celebration is significantly important to me since I am the organizer who has been living in Norway and thus I do have the ability to make a contribution. I’m glad the event is successful and feel thankful to all the organisers and participants. Norway is such a lovely and inclusive country, that’s why we wanted to make this happen.”
”We enjoy the National Day celebration event, and feel pretty happy to stay here during this pandemic. We think that Taiwan is the safest place to live in now in the whole world.” a group of Norwegian students shared their feedback after the event. They switched their exchange studies from Hong Kong to Taiwan due to the Hong Kong protest last year. But they found that Taiwan is actually a nice place to study, which is a pity for them to leave soon.
Norwegians in Taiwan enjoy the celebrations held in Taiwan and recognize its positive impact on the global community. The pandemic is gradually getting better, and both organizers and participants wish the whole world is working together to get back to the track.