Scholar, publisher receive Taiwan-France Cultural Award

A Slovenian Sinologist and a Taiwanese publisher were presented with the Taiwan-France Cultural Award in Paris on Monday for their contributions to cultural exchanges between Taiwan and Europe.

Jana Rošker, a professor in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of Ljubljana, and Wu Kun-yung (???), the general planner of the book series “Collection Critique socio-politique” published by Editions Utopie, received the award from Taiwan’s Culture Minister Lee Yung-te (???), who was on a visit to Europe.

During the award presentation ceremony held at the Institut de France, Lee praised Rošker and Wu for having facilitated bilateral exchanges in their separate fields of expertise.

Now in its 25th edition, the award was set up by Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture and the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences under the Institut de France in 1996.

According to Lee, Rošker, who has visited Taiwan for research multiple times since 1994, introduced Taiwanese philosophy and its role in the greater Asian philosophy to Europe.

The scholar also facilitated exchanges between universities from both sides and introduced Taiwanese philosophers to academic fields in Europe, Lee said.

In a pre-recorded video for Monday’s ceremony, Rošker said in Mandarin that she felt very connected to Taiwan, which is like her second home.

She praised Taiwan for integrating Western philosophy and local Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism thought into a new Confucianism, which she described as a “unique” philosophy that plays the role of a lifebuoy in the protection of Chinese culture and philosophy.

Taiwan’s philosophy is “open-minded and making people feel hopeful about the future” because it “features human dignity, empathy and unity, which is what the modern world needs the most,” Rošker said.

Wu, who is also co-founder of Association Taiwanaise des Traducteurs de Français (ATTF), an association for French translators in Taiwan, has introduced social issues in Taiwan and France to both sides, according to Lee.

The publisher, who was awarded the Order of Arts and Letters in France in 2018 for his contributions to arts and literature, told CNA in a recent interview that both countries “have the same criticisms and resistance to control, as well as desire for freedom.”

Such a spirit represents humanity, and is universal, rather than existing only between the two sides, Wu stressed.

Lee began his eight-day European tour in Germany on June 13 before traveling to the Czech Republic and France.

He told CNA that the award has become increasingly influential in promoting mutual understanding between Taiwan and Europe.

On Monday, Lee met with Alain Richard, head of the French Senate’s Taiwan Friendship Group, in the French capital. Their talk touched on issues related to cultural exchanges between Taiwan and France, and higher education and academic research.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel