For years we along with many Taiwanese American here in the Greater New York Area have protested from the Time Square to the U.N. Headquarters and the World Health Organization (WHO) without making any progress/result. I still remember I pushed my daughter in a stroller and held her older brother in my other hand in one of theearly-year protesting for Taiwan. And now they in the late 40’s and early 50’s.
This year we finally get the resources to join the Teamorganized by the North American Taiwanese Medical Association and North American Taiwan Women Association in Los Angeles and embark on a trip to Geneva for the Big rally and protest for Taiwanfrom May 17 through May 29, 2019 to partially fulfill our belief that Health Care without Border, Health Care For All, and Taiwan can help, since she has achieved one of the best health care systems in the world for years. The only problem is the annual blockage from China.
At Geneva on May 19, our Team with 42 people gathered around the Big Three-legged Chair area to begin our rally and protest. (Exhibit 1) We were joined by other Taiwan groups: one from the Europe, one from Taipei, and another from Taichung. We were told that last year our Taiwanese protesters were stripped off their green color shirts. Worst yet, one couple were retained by the Geneva police in the police office for hours. The night before our rally, our Team leaders talked to the local Taiwan Representative officials about the last year’sincidence, and would like to make sure that we will not be “arrested” by the Geneva police. We have decided (Exhibit 1), if arrested, to go together to flood their Police Department. Fortunately, this year the local police waved to us, and gave 2 big oranges and 2 bananas to each to us to boost the energy to “shout” and protest.
Exhibit 1: Many Taiwanese Protest Groups At the Three-Legged Chair Area
Exhibit 2: Walk and Talk Rallying and Marching
Later in the evening, the Taiwan Geneva representatives gave a party for us called The Taiwan Night to some sort of “celebrating.” While one group representative sang “Don’t Short Change or Slight Taiwan” one of thefamous Professor Shiao, Tai Zan songs, our Team sang the simple and yet powerful song, “We shall Overcome,” the U.S. civil right movement anthem. Yes, “health care for all” is a human right.
The next day we began our marching and the tour. At the Olympic site area, suddenly, a Chinese young man approached our Team Leader, Dr. Chiu, and asked him, “Are you a Chinese?” Dr. Chiu, replied, “No, I am a Taiwanese.” The Chinese young man was agitated and told Dr. Chiu to “get out” orGuen Dan in Chinese.” I was marching right after Dr. Chiu when that exchange took place. I thought, “Hey, this is Geneva, Switzerland, not China, and we are all just visitors here.” The Chinese young man should have behaved like a member of a civilized country. Obviously, he has no respect for the Taiwanese people. I heard that there were one thousand and three hundredsChinese visitors from some retail in Florida at Geneva at this time. They are very noisy. After the incidence, I keep asking myself why this Chinese young man has no respect for the Taiwanese. It is a shame. I wonder, is this the old middle kingdom mentality at work? To them, Taiwan is just a part of the Southern Barbarian; or is this the Chinese historical dynasty dictatorship, plus the Communistpolitical ideology against the western values? there is no such a thing like democracy, freedom and human rights or civil rights!!
Luckily, with our very knowledgeable tour guide from Taiwan at hand, we kept the tour moving on theplanned pace. We visited one of most beautiful pristine mountain ranges in the world – the Alps - with its villages, high mountains, waterfalls, rivers, special railroad, highway all intertwined together. The picturesque Alpine’s vertical distribution of vegetation with glacier rock mixed together is just stunning. A scene to remember. (Exhibit 3)
Exhibit 3: An Alpine Scene
Europe is known for its castles. It takes many years to build one by the king. However, it takes a real field work to see how gorgeous it can be, and how difficult it is to climb up and down, especially the new Swanstone Castle. My husband and I with most of our Team did climb 210 steps up and down. We landed safely back on the ground, but it is an excruciating trip. We are very proud that we made it!
On our trip to Jungfraujolt, the top of Europe, we were told that the tunnels through the glaciers were painstakingly blasted and made by the local brave workers and excellent engineers. Their courage and hardship have brought us the fruits of what they are today proudly looking down the Europe, literally. When I was going through the ice tunnel, my husband called me and took a picture as in Exhibit 4. It was slippery against my sneaker. I had to hold onto the supporting pipe on the wall to preventfrom falling.
Exhibit 4: Me In the Ice Tunnel Holding Onto The Rail Guard
Munich is also a town to remember. We visit the BMW Headquarters show room and museum. Particularly I am always fond of its Mini Series.
The romantic Rhein. Nowadays, the Rhein river is known for its tourist picturesque towns and villages. Physically speaking, the Rhein region is like our upstate Susquehanna River regions, with rivers and glacier terrain like drumlines, remnant hills pushed by the glaciers. Our Finger Lakes are like the lakes in the Rhein region of the same glacier origin. We also have vineyards along the Finger Lakes. The difference is that we do not have railway trains going through our backyards. On the way home to New York, I was dreaming of having a nice train ride from New York City to Ithaca, and the Finger Lakes, even better along the Susquehanna River, through the picturesque villages, and breathing the cool and clean air, enjoying the local cuisine and fresh produces in the famous farmers’ market without the burden of driving!
I also do enjoy practicing dancing led by our woman Team Leader April Wang at one of our tour Bus ride breaks. The song is to praise the beautiful A-li mountain young indigenous women and the strong young men like mountain, and the great green high mountains and the deep blue river water of the A-Li Mountain, Taiwan, while other members did the Tai Chi exercise. (Exhibits 5 and 6)
Exhibit 5: Dancing Practice 1
Exhibit 6: Dancing Practice 2
As the Minister of Health and Welfare of Taiwan, Dr. Chen, Shih-chung (Exhibit 7) told us after the rally for Taiwan, we should take good care of ourselves first. Yes, we will follow his advice, and we are very proud of the fact that WHA did accept a few of Taiwan representatives as individuals including our Team Leader, Dr. Chiu, as observers to the WHA session this year. We will continue to do everything we can to help the people of our homeland Taiwan to get the respect they deserve from the whole world. Yes, together, “we shall overcome, we shall overcome, we shall overcome someday. Oh, deep in my heart. I do believer we shall overcome someday.”
Exhibit 7: Minister Chen of Taiwan Health and Welfare with Us The Pen Club This article was published in North American Taiwanese Medical Association Yearbook 2019