Taipei, June 30, 2022 (CNA) — The Embassy of Saint Christopher (Saint Kitts) and Nevis in Taiwan donated a set of five English books written by authors from the Caribbean country to the National Central Library (NCL) on Thursday to promote cultural understanding between the two ally countries.
At a ceremony held at the library that was attended by teachers, educators, and officials from Taiwan’s foreign and education ministries, Saint Christopher and Nevis Ambassador Jasmine Elise Huggins said the book donation brings the people of her country and Taiwan closer.
“This donation forms part of a broader initiative that seeks to introduce to elementary schools, high schools and universities in Taiwan, a wider spectrum of English literature through books written by us and about us, the diplomatic allies of Taiwan,” Huggins said.
Among the books is a children’s book titled “Adventure at Brimstone Hill” by Carol Ottley-Mitchell which tells the story of three children who set off on an adventure by following a mischievous monkey through a secret passage at the Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park in Saint Kitts.
Another is a historical novel “Crossing the River” by Caryl Phillips that tells the story of various people during different time periods and on different continents as they struggle with the separation from their native Africa.
Huggins said she hopes the books can help Taiwanese to appreciate, learn, and understand more about her country’s culture.
“To know that we are also an English-speaking country, whose books are rich with stories and experiences about which they can relate. To show that we are more alike than we are different,” Huggins told CNA.
Huggins said she hoped the books could also help further the efforts by Taiwan’s government to make the East Asian country a bilingual nation by 2030.
In Saint Christopher and Nevis, where English is the official language, children are encouraged to read voraciously so that they can learn more and master the English language, Huggins said.
NCL Director-General Tseng Shu-Hsien (曾淑賢) said the public will be able to start reading the books in the library from July 2 when they are placed in a dedicated “Saint Christopher (Saint Kitts) and Nevis Corner” decorated with ornaments and art from the Caribbean country.
The donation of the books came after a visit to the NCL by a group of ambassadors led by Huggins in April when a proposal on cultural collaboration and exchange was presented, Tseng said.
The NCL is glad to function as a platform to help the people of Taiwan know more about its allies, Tseng said.
In addition to keeping the donated books at the NCL, the library will also purchase more copies of the books and send them to public libraries across Taiwan, Tseng said.
As for educational institutions, Huggins said she hopes to visit them around Taiwan and to develop partnerships with schools and universities so that the books can be part of the English teaching curriculum.