So…last week I mentioned to my Monday class about Forumosa.com. I told them it was a resource/chat website for English-speakers living in Taiwan. I told them there are many forums that discuss anything and everything you can think of when moving to or living in Taiwan.
To get them interested, I mentioned topics in D&R and taught them “psycho xiaojie,” which they thought was hilarious. (This is a Japanese company I teach at, employees are either Japanese, or speak it.) Another topic I brought up was the thread “Can you drink the water in a dehumidifier?,” which they thought was funny as well.
So, today, we hooked the laptop to the screen and we made our way down the Index page. We looked at the Forumosafieds, then each forum, down to Living in Taiwan.
Ohhh boy…I don’t know if it was the right thing to do to tell them about this site, cuz I think a couple of them are hooked. They had some choice words for the “Funniest Things Your SO Says” and “TW Girl Acting Like a Child During a Break-Up” in D&R. There will be more, I’m sure.
But the reason why I decided to finally introduce them to the site is because they are in their 20s-40s, so they have a pretty “set” view on things, unlike teenagers who are more flexible when it comes to cultural differences. I thought about the recent “Baby Emily” issue, and the American guy that got beaten in Gaoshiong, and so figured it would be a good thing to let these students see things from the angle of many foreigners. I mentioned to them also the discrimination many foreigners face here, and they were a bit stunned.
There are so many pre-conceived notions about Southeast Asians, Americans, Eastern Europeans, East Indians here, that I want to do some good, even if it’s showing Taiwanese being mocked in many F.com threads. I will have to explain to them the issues foreigners face here are the same issues Taiwanese people face when they immigrate to another country. I hope to “enlighten” my students, I suppose.
What kind of reaction did you encounter when you introduced Forumosa.com to non-English speaking Taiwanese friends/families/co-workers/students? Did it help them see things from foreigners’ perspectives?