2016-05-21

Taiwan jaiyou!

In Taiwan the expression Táiwān jiāyóu! (臺灣加油) is analogous to Vive le France! in another country. It is a rousing cheer, an exhortation to dig deep and step up, and a summons to victory.

Newly elected Tsai Ing-Wen (蔡英文) first greeted the Twitterverse with 'Taiwan jiayou!' And it's a cheer that regularly greets Taiwan's athletes when they enter the arena of world competition.

The word jiayou is probably best left untranslated. It gathers all the meanings we convey in English exhortations like 'onward', 'forward', 'go', 'good luck', 'fight', 'win', 'hail', 'long live', and 'forever'. Jiaoyou is viva and vive and a bit of über alles. It does all this work for individuals and teams as well as countries. And, like 'rah', it's an easy word to get your voice behind.

We've been hearing this greeting often in the past week as this country marks another peaceful transfer of power in celebration of its first twenty years of democracy.

Taiwan jiayou!

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2016-05-20

President Tsai


Once again, the people of Taiwan have shown the world through our actions that we, as a free and democratic people, are committed to the defense of our freedom and democracy as a way of life. Each and every one of us participated in this journey. My dear fellow Taiwanese, we did it.
I would like to tell you that, regarding the results of the January 16th elections, I have always had one interpretation only. The people elected a new president and new government with one single expectation: solving problems.
[....] I would also like to tell you that the multitude of challenges before us require that we face them honestly and shoulder the responsibilities together. Therefore, this speech is an invitation. I invite every fellow citizen to carry the future of this country.

Today Dr Tsai Ing-Wen was inaugurated as Taiwan's fourth elected president. The full text of the president's speech is available online in English translation.

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