The activity of “Foreigners Visit National Museum of Natural Science” was held by the National Museum of Natural Science. English volunteers served as narrators to introduce related exhibits of Chinese culture through interesting games in order that Chinese Knot Ornament DIY be experienced, attracting many more foreigners to integrate into local life in Taichung.
Participating in these activities were learners from several countries, such as the UK, the US, France, Bulgaria, Rumania, Russia, the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Thailand, Poland, Macedonia, etc.; among them were English teachers, computer engineers, wine tasters, Chinese learners, and many excellent international students (who were masters or doctors in domains of veterinary, biochemistry, international politics, agricultural economics, culture, and philosophy), as well as foreign brides, who married Taiwanese.
In the exhibition hall, local narrators and English volunteers were grouped into teams to serve as narrators to explain to the English-speaking foreign audience the details of outstanding exhibits in exhibition areas, such as “Chinese medicine”, “Chinese science and technology” and “Chinese persons’ spiritual life”, etc. Games were interactive in these narrations to increase interactions between the exhibits and the audience. Finally, our foreign friends were taught how to make an auspicious Chinese Knot Ornaments in National Museum of Natural Science, they were encouraged to take these ornaments home as souvenirs of experiencing interesting Chinese craft culture.
There were two occasions of educational activities for “Foreigners Visit National Museum of Natural Science”, which were held in May and June, by the National Museum of Natural Science, attracting more than 50 foreigners, and their families, to visit the National Museum of Natural Science. Chen Huei-Ling, a member of the Science Education Department in National Museum of Natural Science, pointed out that there are more than 22 thousand foreigners in Taichung, and about 7 thousand of them come from Europe or America. Many foreigners do not know that they can visit the National Museum of Natural Science by making an advance appointment for foreign language tour-guides, resulting in fewer opportunities to visit and gain local experience. Through activities like “Foreigners Visit National Museum of Natural Science”, we hope that more foreigners will be able to gain profound understanding and use the National Museum of Natural Science to integrate into life in Taichung.
Chen Huei-Ling stated that for “Foreigners Visit National Museum of Natural Science”, English was offered throughout the whole course to introduce the foreign audience to the exhibits, offering some interactive games to increase the fun of the visit. This activity was offered to arouse foreigners’ interests in Chinese culture and further their understanding through fun and the educational functions in the National Museum of Natural Science. Furthermore, foreign cultural seeds in the National Museum of Natural Science can be developed, encouraging more foreigners to be attracted to attend the National Museum of Natural Science.
For most of the foreigners, this was their first visit to the National Museum of Natural Science. Throughout the course of this activity, many exchange students were writing down elaborate explanations of cultural contents, while concentrating on narrations. After listening to the introduction of “Gods and Spirits in the Universe”, an English teacher from the US picked up the red luck-divinations (Zhi Jiao), and loudly spoke out her wish ” I wish I can save enough money to go back America”. Just as expected, three positive forms appeared in a row. She was so happy that she raised her hands and said “Bravo” loudly.
Pottery-model pressing, as well as DIY Chinese Knots, where arranged by the National Museum of Natural Science. The beautiful and auspicious Chinese Knot Ornaments attracted significant numbers of foreigners. Chen Huei-Ling stated that visiting foreigners expressed a wish that more, similar activities would be held by the National Museum of Natural Science, allowing foreigners to learn more about Taiwan. The National Museum of Natural Science plans to offer many more interactive activities for foreigners through programs, such as the “Foreigners Visit National Museum of Natural Science”, which will be available again in November and December, allowing the National Museum of Natural Science to step into the international community and offer the world a chance to walk into the National Museum of Natural Science.