Friday, February 28, 2014

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National 228 Memorial Museum, Taipei

2/28/2014 Taiwan Explorer

I visited the National 228 Memorial Museum today, I was there around 2PM. I thought there will be much more people visiting since it's 228, but it were less than I expected. There was a movie screening, which attracted a lot of visitors, but the exhibition areas were not that crowded. Are people losing interest in 228? Or it's because we had a sunny Friday, and many locals chose to go somewhere else? Maybe I wasn't there at the best time, I will never know. Meanwhile Taiwan's president Ma said something worthy to highlight:
"I am here to promise again that the government will defend democracy and freedom in Taiwan. It is crucial to consolidate the core values of democracy and institutionalize the protection of human rights so that tragedies like the 228 Incident will not happen again"
I'm not sure how accurate this quote is, because I could not find the Chinese original (I only found a summary), but in case it reflects his actual feelings, I commend him for this statement. Nevertheless many critics say his actions go against what he supposedly said.

The museum, that was established to remember one of the most horrible events in Taiwan's modern history, felt very unassuming, which was kind of surreal. You won't see much of the original footage of the gruesome massacres, but there's plenty of other evidence and relics of those times. The focus is more on remembering those who died, rather than how they died. Unfortunately only a small part is in English, and it's more like a summary. Nevertheless, it's still worth and important to visit, even if you're a foreigner, and not 100% fluent in Chinese.

Don't wait until the next 228. Visit any time.