International Dragon Boat Championships Kicks Off with a Bang Foreign Ambassadors and Representatives Celebrate Dragon Boat Festival in Tainan
Foreign ambassadors and representatives in Taiwan were invited by Tainan City Government to take part in the 2019 Tainan International Dragon Boat Championships. The opening ceremony and friendly match was held on June 3. A total of 31 representatives from 21 countries participated in this year's event, making this the race with the most foreign representative participants so far. This is the first time the Tainan City Government team competed with not one but two foreign representative dragon boat teams.
Tainan Mayor Huang Wei-che wished all guests a wonderful time competing at the Tainan Dragon Boat Championships, the most unique dragon boat race in Taiwan. He also hoped that this event can stimulate the city's tourism. Huang asked the representatives to share their Tainan experiences - the hospitality, food, and friendship - with their fellow citizens and let more people know about and even fall in love with Tainan.
This is Saint Christopher and Nevis Ambassador Jasmine Elise Huggins' third time celebrating the Dragon Boat Festival in Tainan. As the most senior official of the group, she spoke on behalf of the foreign representatives. Huggins thanked Tainan City government for their annual invitation and warm hospitality, and pointed out that Tainan's charm comes from not only its traditional culture and delicious snacks, but also its kind and friendly people. As a foreigner living in Taiwan, this is especially impressive. In the end she remarked that the representative team has never won any dragon boat races in Tainan, and jokingly asked the City Government team to let them experience the joy of winning for a change.
In honor of the event, Tainan City Government launched a new dragon boat made by the esteemed master boat builder Hong Quan-Rui. The life-like dragon boat was an extremely popular photo subject among the representatives. During the race the Representative Red Team took the lead and won the competition by nearly half-boat length, followed by the City Government Team. This is the first time a representative team has won the competition. The participants were very excited, and the audience celebrated with them. All representatives expressed that they would love to come back next year since they had such a wonderful experience celebrating the festival in Tainan.
In addition to organizing a dragon boat race for the foreign representatives to experience festivity customs, Tainan City Government also arranged a city tour, inviting the representatives to visit Tainan Art Museum Building 2, which just opened earlier this year; and Hayashi Department Store, which is an example of historical building revitalization. The foreign guests can have a deeper understanding of Tainan culture and the latest city infrastructure progress after the tour. Ambassador Mr. Joseph P. Waleanisia from the Solomon Islands said while he had visited Tainan four times, this is the first time he visited Tainan on foot and is delighted to see the city from a different angle.
This year Tainan welcomed 31 representatives from 21 countries, including Saint Christopher and Nevis, Haiti, Belize, Solomon Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Peru, Germany, Turkey, Paraguay, Austria, Hungary, Italy, the Philippines, Indonesia, Argentina, Switzerland, Canada, Japan, and Belgium.