Jia Yi/Chia Yi 嘉義

This city is famous for its turkey rice (雞肉飯).

My uncle took us to 噴水雞肉飯 (English translation: Spraying Water Turkey Rice). I forgot to bring our camera. However, this blog has a picture.

Address: 600 嘉義市東區忠孝路 499 號
T: 05-271-9200

T and I were pretty hungry because we didn’t eat much for breakfast in Alishan and together we shared 3 bowls of turkey rice. It was good (a bit oily) and pretty simple. I think they fried the cooked shredded turkey with onion (kind of like the minced pork in minced pork rice 魯肉飯). I am not sure why it’s so famous in Chia Yi/Jia Yi. (I also find the phonetic translation to 嘉義 a bit strange because in Mandarin we say “jia” not “chia”.)

After lunch, my uncle took us for a walk.

Ren Yi Reservoir - My uncle and my niece.

Renyi Reservoir was established by the Dutch. It’s the main water source for people of Chia Yi/Jia Yi.

My uncle is now retired and looking after his grandchildren. He seems really happy.

His three daughters are all teachers. A lot of the Huang daughters are teachers.

I had some interesting conversations with them when I was visiting.

Some points about Taiwan’s education system:

  • students (of all grades up until high school) are responsible for the cleanliness of their classrooms and school area; there is a time set aside for clean up everyday – I had to do this when I was in elementary school in Taiwan. I think it’s a good idea, it teaches students to be responsible. I told a parent this experience and he/she exclaimed, “Really? I send my kids to school to learn not to do the janitor’s job!”
  • strict discipline; corporal punishment is banned but still happens because some parents support it – I remember being punished in kindergarten when I didn’t want to take a nap. In my second or third grade class there was a girl, who came from a family of lower social-economic status, she’d always get punished for not having her nails trimmed properly and for not having her homework – we felt so bad for her but none of us did anything because you’d also get punished. It was horrible to see her get punished almost everyday.
  • classes generally start at 7:30 AM and end at around 5 PM, on top of that a lot of students go to afterschool learning centres, often until 9 or 10 PM – T asked my cousins what they were doing on the weekend, most of them said classes/homework. There is a high level of competitiveness and the reason is in the next bullet.
  • entrance to high school and university is based on exams, somewhat like the 11-plus in UK’s system; third year of junior high, students participate in the national senior high school entrance exams and students are assigned to their senior high school based on their score – My cousin is going through this right now and there is so much pressure put on him. A lot of students become so stressed because of the exams, and many become depressed. Students also go to so many classes in preparation for the exams, day and night, and what does this do to their social skills?

My cousin (a teacher) asked me if Canada had a similar system to Taiwan (in terms of the entrance exams) and I said no. She then asked me if students in Canada had less motivation in school.

In a strict system like this, the “motivation” comes from fear and pressure. Is this really better?

This reminds me of the discussion about Tiger Mom.


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