Taipei, Dec. 3 (CNA) Three of Taiwan's allies took center stage on the first day of the annual Taiwan Reading Festival in Taipei on Sunday by showcasing their country's books and inviting children to take part in fun activities to promote their respective countries to Taiwanese people.
The first day of the festival, which is held at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Park, saw the booths of the embassies of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), Saint Christopher (Saint Kitts) and Nevis, and Belize become a popular hit with its arts and crafts, storytelling, and English-language books.
Scores of children, accompanied by their parents, crowded the booths to get hands-on experience painting the flags and national symbols of the countries and listen to excerpts read out from the books by ambassadors and specially-trained teachers of English.
The reading booths of the Embassy of the SVG had four fully trained Caribbean teachers of English to interact with the Taiwanese audience.
Andrea Bowman, Ambassador of SVG and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps said her embassy's booth wants Taiwanese people to see how much SVG shares with Taiwan.
"We can see that through our books and of course you get to understand SVG, because there's still so many Taiwanese that have no idea of SVG, whereas I can tell you every single Vincentian is aware of Taiwan and aware of Taiwan's role in SVG without a doubt," Bowman said.
Saint Kitts and Nevis Ambassador to Taiwan Donya Francis, who earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees in Taiwan, said it gives him a sense of excitement to present his country to locals.
"I always tell people I'm a Taiwanese, so I always accept the opportunity to give back to Taiwan. Yes, I did my studies here, my bachelor's and master's, and so I always look forward for the opportunity to teach Taiwanese about Saint Kitts and Nevis," Francis said.
At the festival's opening ceremony, Belize Ambassador to Taiwan Candice Pitts donated six books, five for children and one for adolescent readers, to the National Central Library (NCL), the main organizer of the festival.
"To help expose Taiwanese, particularly the children, help them to be internationalized," Pitts said. "So, we are delighted to participate in these projects to help build people-to-people understanding between our countries."
The Taiwan Reading Festival, which is typically held on the first weekend of December, feature over 130 booths this year. It will continue on Sunday in areas surrounding the library with talks by iconic actors and authors, including Taiwanese actress Brigitte Lin (林青霞) and Taiwanese writer Pai Hsien-yung (白先勇).