SVG donates books to Taiwan’s National Central Library

[Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.] Focus Taiwan announced that the Embassy of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) donated 11 English books, mostly written by authors from SVG to the National Central Library (NCL) to promote English language and literature in Taiwan and to build cultural ties between the regions.

At a ceremony held at the library, Ambassador of SVG and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps Andrea Bowman said the donation followed a proposal by ambassadors from Taiwan’s English-speaking Caribbean allies to the NCL to create a platform for the promotion and enhancement of English language and literature in Taiwan.

“One of the objectives of this platform was to contribute to the Taiwanese government’s thrust to achieve bilingualism with English and Mandarin by the year 2030,” Bowman said at the ceremony attended by teachers, educators, foreign diplomats and officials from Taiwan’s foreign ministry.

Among the books, two were written by SVG Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, who made his 11th visit to Taiwan as prime minister in August.” Diary of a Prime Minister: Ten Days Among Benedictine Monks,” published in 2010, was inspired by his experience spending 10 days living in a monastery in Mount St Benedict, Trinidad in 2005, Gonsalves said in a recorded video. “Our Caribbean Civilisation and Its Political Prospects,” published in 2014, contains three essays that explore Caribbean ideas, leadership, and culture, he said.

Other books written by SVG authors included Peggy Carr’s poetry collection “Honey and Lime” and young adult historical fiction novel “Shape of a Warrior,” published in 2006 and 2020, respectively.

Carr said literature can be one of the tools used to build cultural ties between Taiwan and SVG. Her novel “Shape of a Warrior” gives readers an insight into the history and culture of her country, which is not very well known in Taiwan, she said.

“It highlights the life of the early Indigenous people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and their close connection to nature. I think Taiwanese readers will identify with that aspect of the story, as it is probably not that much different from the history of their own early Indigenous people, on an island with similar topography,” Carr said. [. . .]

For full article, see https://focustaiwan.tw/culture/202301120024

[Shown above: Ambassador of SVG and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps Andrea Bowman (center) with Taiwanese elementary school students at the National Central Library. CNA photo Jan. 12, 2023.]

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