Saint Vincent and the Grenadines embassy in Taiwan donated eleven (11) books and literary works to the Taiwan National Central Library in a ceremony on Thursday, January 12th, 2023
The donation is a central part of the Platform for the Promotion and Enhancement of English Language and English Literature in Taiwan, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Ambassador Andrea Bowman said in a speech.
The platform is an initiative developed by the ambassadors of Taiwan’s English-Speaking Caribbean allies in 2021 “to contribute to the Taiwanese government’s push to achieve bilingualism with English and Mandarin by the year 2030,” she said.
Bowman told Taiwan News that the donation of books, all written by Vincentians, is a great way to get Taiwanese to “really understand” the Caribbean ally of nearly 42 years.
“One of the objectives of our embassy is to ensure the Taiwanese see, hear, and understand Saint Vincent and the Grenadines,” Bowman said. “More than anything else, it brings Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and the English-speaking Caribbean (region) to the Taiwanese audience,” she added.
The selected texts are “wide-ranging” and cover various topics suitable for young readers and adults alike, Bowman said.
The ambassador revealed that she plans to set up a reading room at the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines embassy by February 14, to “attract and present significant English texts for our audience in Taiwan.”
The books will include Vincentian authors as well as other English-language works, Bowman said. The reading room is meant to encourage people to “come in, relax and read,” she said.
Bowman feels people are not spending as much time on quiet and reflective reading, “which gives you a time to interact with the authors.”
The ambassador said Prime Minister Gonsalves will send more books to the embassy for donations in the future, and the embassy is seeking to expand to other libraries across the nation.
“We want to move out, not just donate to the National Central Library, but to more libraries.”
She added that she has been visiting a number of schools and universities around Taiwan and will continue to do so.
National Central Library Director General Dr. Tseng Shu-hsien (曾淑賢) said the book donation “is of great significance in terms of promoting and carrying out cultural exchanges.” “It can increase Taiwanese’s understanding of our allied countries’ culture and society,” she said.
The eleven books selected include:
“Diary of a Prime Minister” and “Our Caribbean Civilisation and Its Political Prospects” by Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves
“Honey and Lime” and “Shape of a Warrior” by Peggy Carr
“James Mitchell Beyond The Islands” by former Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister James Mitchell
“The Green Legacy of St. Vincent and the Grenadines-the King’s Hill Forest Act of 1791 and the St. Vincent Botanic Garden” compiled by Permanent Ambassador to the United Nations Inga Rhonda King
“Doctor Grandad: A Caribbean Doctor and His Little Patients and Family” by Dr. Cecil Cyrus
“Call It Our Village” by Margaret Soleyn
“Flippity Floppity Wing” by Hayden Billingy
“Nia’s Summer Vacation in the Caribbean” by Danielle Fairbairn-Bland
“Global Wings Flying to St. Vincent and the Grenadines” by Dr. Michelle Huang of the Global Cultural Initiative of Yuan Ze University and Nicketha Toney, a Vincentian student of Yuan Ze University.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, one of Taiwan’s strongest allies, has had diplomatic relations with the Republic of China (Taiwan) since 1981.
SVG opened its embassy in Taipei on August 8, 2019 and represents Vincentians and Vincentian interests with a view to strengthening bilateral relations with Taiwan.