Happy Double Ten Day: Taiwan’s ‘Birthday’

Today is Double Ten Day or “Taiwan’s birthday”.

Taiwan, or the Republic of China, turned 101 this year. As usual, the day was marked with festivities and fireworks. At least that is what I’ve read on the news. In the 6 years of living there during my childhood as an expat, I’d always assumed that Double Ten Day was Taiwan’s birthday. At the same time, I was often – no, I still am – very confused about the whole thing.

This is what I know, or think I know. If I’m wrong, you know I’ve been mis-educated or I’m super confused:

  • Double Ten Day marks the anniversary of the Wuchang Uprising in China in the early 1900s, I think 1911 or 1912, and the fall of the Qing Dynasty. But then came the Communist Party that forced the Nationalist Party to run away and seek refuge in Taiwan. Taiwan became the Republic of China. *Please note that China is the People’s Republic of China!*
  • Taiwan uses the ROC flag (with the white sun against the blue patch in the corner of the red flag), as well as the ROC anthem. Those who left China before 1949 or just after remember the ROC anthem (just as many Germans who’ve settled in North America remember “Deutschland Ueber Alles“).
  • Taiwan was once called Formosa or Ilha Formosa, by the Portuguese explorers in the 1500s, which means ‘beautiful island’.
  • Some of the people from Taiwan have Chinese roots; others have aboriginal roots and still others have a mixture of some sort.

That’s pretty much it. 😐

I’m not sure whether or not Taiwan is truly independent right now but I do hope it will be allowed to be its own country one day, to be recognised not as Chinese Taipei as it is in the Olympics and Paralympics, but as Taiwan.

Flag of the Republic of China

Flag of the Republic of China (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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