Taiwan, July 28

A thunderstorm just ended, which is a relief because it’s been a while since it rained in Zhongli, and it was burning hot today.

This afternoon I traveled to Chung Yuan Christian University in Zhongli to interview a Hakka student.  The interview went great.  The student I interviewed was born and raised in Guanyin, a Hakka village, and her father and relatives speak Hakka, which is how she learned it.  As a child, her aunt taught her Hakka songs, and during holidays they cook Hakka food.  In middle school, she participated in a Hakka speech contest, and this sparked her interest in exploring Hakka history, language and culture on her own.  Although she does not use Hakka as much now (since she usually speaks Mandarin with her parents), she still watches Hakka TV so she does not forget the language.  In addition, she researches Hakka history and culture on the Internet because she never learned about it in school.  She has also joined Hakka Facebook groups that focus on learning the Hakka language.  She believes it is important to keep the culture as aspects such as the language and culture may be lost through the generations.  She says it is up to the Hakka people to preserve these aspects because once it’s gone, they are just the same as others in Taiwan.  In addition, she believes schools should also teach Hakka history as a part of Taiwanese history.

I don’t have anything planned for the rest of this week, other than picking my sister up from Chientan.  I may not blog for a while unless anything interesting happens.  So here are my goals by the end of this week, in order of priority.

Research goals

1. Contact two new sources that I was introduced to.

2. Finish the interview data spreadsheet that I have created.

Coding goals

3. Review Ruby on Rails and practice building apps.

4. Learn how to use the canvas element in HTML.

5. Learn Python.