Thursday, August 29, 2013

Taiwan Tea @ Chicago Global Hakka Conference (8/17/2013)

Josephine and I were invited to Chicago Global Hakka Conference during 8/16-18/2013.  We were honored that our program to be keynote for this conference.  Our audience are mainly from Taiwan's tea producing districts, and they might also worked in tea fields back in their early days... This is indeed a very different challenge for us.   We are so used to share tea and culture with friends that do not have "tea tie" - and that gave Josephine and me a good opportunity to adjust our approach.  So, we decided to bring in our TOST program as part of our presentation.

While the PPS and Projector were still setting, I have invited two of our good friends, Ben Chang from DC., and Grace Kan from Toronto, to have their Hakka 3 Line Poems reciting in front of the audience.  They are simply the best.  This is part of our Taiwan Hakka Enlightenment Movement - we want to encourage our Hakka friends to pick up their pens to start write in our own mother tongue.

(BIG Ben and Grace Kan)

Josephine shares with our friends - What is TOST ? Why are we having this program? How this program conducted?      Her photos presentation are actually very convincing... as we almost can sense the breath of our participants, everyone is very focused on the photos and her stories... Our friends might wonder why those places will be so attractive to our tea friends from the Northern America?  Why tea could be such a powerful bridge to link up people from east and the west?  We just hope our humble message could be delivered:  "Everyone can help promote Taiwan and Taiwan's history and culture."...but must be well prepared to group up the information and share it with special program...  TOST is heading for its 6th Annual Taiwan Oolongs Study Tour - it is indeed helping Taiwan tea industry to have many more "Ambassadors of Taiwan Tea" to be outreaching to many more places in the Northern America... this year we have extended to England and Australia....

Before my Tea-One Tasting Class, Josephine has led a "We Want Tea" chanting with all audience...we sure have fun alright... Many friends there are not used to this type of play... but they got it fast... the
ball room is loud with the chanting:
We want tea, we want tea, we want Taiwan Oolong tea!
Oolong tea, Oolong tea, Taiwan Oolong the best tea!

I  am glad that our audience are so passionate to this Taiwan tea workshop - in a very different way they were expected.  We virtually bring everyone back to the chemistry labs in their high schools...

Mr. Chung (our VIP from Hakka Affairs Council, Taipei, Taiwan)
Reiling Chang (President of The Midwest Hakka Asso. Chicago)
Tiffany Chen (Reporter of Pacific Times, DC)
Davis Chang (CPA and Former President of THAA, SF)

Not only these four volunteers are having their fun in tea making...but all our audience also got to be served with fine Taiwan oolongs, plus they must have refreshed their great memories along our tea workshop.... I  have received many questions and I did have these questions answered in Hakka 3 line Poems... to be seen in the 飲茶 link

We are very grateful to THAA and The Midwest Hakka Association to put up such a wonderful event.  Not only tea, there are several marvelous speakers for various interesting topics, plus two
evenings in a row with top entertaining performances by the local Hakka groups and the Taiwan Hakka Opera (榮興客家大戲).   We have also met so many good friends that we don't use to see...
Great time, great experience!
Maybe next year we will meet each other in Paris, France for our 2014 Global Hakka Conference.

Please also see the report from Pacific Times.

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