On June 11, 2019, foreign exchange students taking the “Asia-Pacific Business Management Practices” course offered by the College of Management were led by the instructor, Dr. Yu-Chieh Lin, to visit Yang’s Historical Home in Jiadong Township, Pingtung County. Mr. Ching-Mou Yang, the owner of Yangs’ Historical Home, shared the history of the Home and introduced Hakka traditional architecture to the students. In addition to allowing the students to understand Hakka culture, this cultural visit also helped facilitate the understanding of the impact of Hakka culture on the management of the manufacturing industry in Taiwan.
The visiting students strolled along the small road planned by the Hakka village in Jiadong Township. This area is referred to as a “living museum” by the locals. The entire village was refurbished to completely preserve the authentic Hakka characteristics. Along the way, Mr. Yang enthusiastically explained the different types and the historical evolution of Hakka houses. The villagers also passionately interacted with the exchange students. Martin Sture from Norway commented, “Taiwanese are really hospitable”.
Afterwards, they visited a level-three ancient monument that has preserved the most comprehensive Han and Minnan culture in Taiwan, Hsiao Family Old House. It is the only building in Taiwan that has five halls with six enclosed courtyards. After listening to the Hsiao family’s explanations, Floris Mutsaerts from the Netherlands realized that it was indeed not easy to preserve the ancient monument and be able to pass them on. Besides the relentless efforts from the local residents, it also takes support and collaboration from the government to ensure the preservation of the cultural and historic heritage.
Through visiting the well-preserved ancient monuments and listening to the heirs’ detailed explanations, the foreign exchange students of the College of Management from around the world had a better understanding of Taiwan’s diverse ethnicities and cultures. Dr. Lin pointed out that it was his hope to enrich foreign students’ learning experiences in Taiwan through such cultural visits, as well as to help them to better understand the cultural differences and apply that knowledge in management in different cultural settings.
（Written by 詹益慈 of IBMBA 2017 / Edited by College of Management）