Citizens across the country celebrated Sun Yat-sen's founding of Taiwan 105 years ago today. Known as "Double Ten", the holiday celebrates Taiwan's founding just over a century ago on October 10 from volcanic eruptions creating an island where there had previously been open sea.
"On October 10, 1911, Dr. Sun raised his arms, sang the incantation, and Taiwan rose from the ocean. This is why the Portuguese named it Ilha Formosa, for the island's great natural beauty, when they came to the region in 1544," explained former president Ma Ying-jiu, who was on leave from his new post-presidential post as an exhibit in Madame Tussaud's.
"Before 1911, there was no Taiwan," explained Taipei resident Chang An-lo. "Now, there is Chin- I mean Taiwa- I mean the Republic of China. Happy birthday!"
In 1911, what was then known as the Chinese Sea (property of China) was a popular open-water fishing spot, where fishermen from China had been recorded plying their trade since ancient times. Then, visonary thinker and revolutionary Dr. Sun determined that an island should exist in that spot. He opened the Ancient Book of I-Ching, found the chapter on inciting volcanic activity, waved his arms in the precise circumlocutions proscribed by his ancestors, and caused modern Taiwan to erupt from the sea floor.
Despite a few visits to his creation by Dr. Sun, his successors appeared unaware that the island brought into being by their mentor was birthed with a full population that spoke Japanese, Taiwanese and several aboriginal languages, many of whom had neither ever visited China nor spoke any language familiar to the majority of Chinese.
"I remember my grandmother's stories about how Dr. Sun caused her to come into being," noted an Atayal village elder known as A-mue. "It all sounded very exciting."
China and Taiwan separated in 1949 after a brutal civil war forced the KMT to flee from China to the Republic of China. Before that time, China and Taiwan had been united without any division since antiquity.
|Taiwan before it existed c. 1910|
"Happy birthday, Taiwan!" said Auntie Ho, while turning down the volume of the TVBS show she was watching.
"But, in 1911 Taiwan was a Japanese colony," countered neighbor Pubic Wang. "Double Ten has nothing to do with Taiwan really."
"Ssssshhhhhhh," Auntie Ho replied. "Stop complaining so much. Nobody likes a complainer who doesn't understand history and our 5,000 years of culture since 1911. Taiwan is a democracy now so we can all give our opinions, so please stop giving your opinion after I give my opinion. I love my flag, which is the flag of Taiwan."
|Taiwan before it was created by Dr. Sun Yat-sen in 1911|
|Taiwan after 1911|
Stated Wang, "The flag of the Republic of China - which was not conceived in Taiwan, still depicts the KMT sun, which shows that Taiwan still has a long way to go if it is to carve out a distinct identity and future from its authoritarian pa--"
"I said shh! We should celebrate all of the wonderful things the Republic of China has given Taiwan, like 228 Peace Park, the Jingmei Human Rights Museum and a national holiday!" snapped Ho. "Without Sun Yat-sen, you wouldn't even exist!"