Welcome to a Taiwanese Elementary School

Lis, Hana and Penny eat their lunch together in their classroom.

What language do you speak at school? How do you say "Hello" in your language?:

At school, Hana, Penny and Lis speak mostly Mandarin Chinese which is referred to as the national language. However, they also have English classes and Indigenous language education and cultural classes, though many students and Indigenous people wish they would have more opportunities to learn Indigenous language. 

To say hello in Mandarin Chinese, we say "Ni Hao," which looks like this: 你好

What are some common kids' names at your school?:

After thinking long and hard about this question, Lis said that the last name "Lin," which means forest, is common in Xikou village. As for first names, Taiwanese people often have two characters put together. Lis said that she has heard the characters "zi" and "chen" in many people's names. It is important to note that names continue to be a big part of the tension between the Taiwanese government and Indigenous people. Hana's indigenous name is "Hana," which is also her English name, but she also had to choose a Chinese name for legal purposes.

What subjects do you study in school, and which one is your favorite?:

"In school, we study English, gym, Chinese, math, health, sociology and community, Indigenous language, natural science and we even take swimming lessons," Hana said.

What is your favorite class?

Hana: Natural science

Lis: Swimming

Penny: Swimming

What is your homework like?:

Students in Taiwan have a lot of homework.

"We have around four hours of homework every day," Lis said.