After the Sunflower Student Movement, a group of Ukrainian friends spontaneously made a short film to support Taiwan and called it “Ukraine supports Taiwan in 20 languages". When I saw it for the first time, I was deeply moved. I flew to Kyiv to personally express my gratitude to the team responible for making this film.
It was close to the first anniversary of the student-led Sunflower Movement, when I made a decision to place a half page ad in famous local Ukrainian anti-totalitarian newspaper, Kyiv Post, released on March 7th. I did it to show appreciation to these unsung heroes and to show my concern about worsening Ukrainian crisis. Beside words of gratitude, I wanted also to encourage Ukraine not to give up hope. It was time for Taiwan to give support to them.
The ad was written in Ukrainian language. Below is the English translation:
“Hello, Ukrainian firends! We send you greetings from Taiwan.
We saw your striving for democracy, we support your determination to resist totalitarian ideology. Your ideal inspired us greatly.
Last spring our democratic values also suffered the attacks of totalitarian system. Taiwanese students courageously initiated Sunflower Student Movement to protect our homeland.
Thank you Ukraine, for giving us a helping hand when we were shedding tears. Thank you Nastya.
The sun will soon rise, the spring will come. Let us stand unafraid like free citizens.
Pleas refer to YouTube film “Ukraine supports Taiwan in 20 languages"."
During these ten days which I spent in Kyiv, they took me to many famous places, including Independence Square – legendary sacred place of the revolution. I introduced Taiwan to them, they told me about Ukraine and the story behind making the film. The person in charge, Nastya, was once an exchange student in Soth Korea. This is how she met Taiwanese student Jinlei.
After the Sunflower Student Movement broke out, Jinlei has shown Nastya some films that made her think of all kinds of misfortunes which happened in Ukraine. Because she sympathize with us, from out of her heart sprout out the flaming zeal. In a very short time, she managed to called twenty Ukrainians all together, take the digital camera and start making the film to support Taiwan.
After the first version has been cut and edited, they realized the quality was far from satisfactory, so they visited one of the Ukrainian television stations to borrow professional movie camera and made a new film one more time.
The television station was touched by their strong motivation to support Taiwan. They not only agreed to lend equipment, but also provided technical advisors to help them with film-editing for free. As the students and television station worked together, they finally accomplish the new version of the film, the one which we can watch now on YouTube.
It is hard to imagine that they were actually willing to put so much effort to encourage distant country in the Pacific Ocean. At that moment, I decided to do something in return. At first, I wanted to make a film, but then I realized my abilities are inadequate and I am unable to undertake this task. I recalled the event in the last year, when people were making donations to place an ad in New York Times. And so I changed my plan. I decided to put an ad in Ukrainian newspaper.
It was a way to express my gratitude to Ukraine, but I also hoped that it can help raise public consciousness about Taiwan issue.
After I formulated my plan to put an ad in the newspaper, I found few illustrators to work together with. It took three months and countless discussions to finally choose the work of amateur illustrator Ye Fan. I started to contact Ukrainian newspapers offices.
The first one was very influential local Ukrainian anti-totalitarian newspaper, ZN,UA. The editors had to hold a conference during which they decided that my ad cannot be published because of the content, and so I was rejected.
Later I contacted another anti-totalitarian newspaper, Kyiv Post. After they hold a conference, my ad was accepted and they agreed to put it on the inside page of a newspaper released on March 7th.
It took me few months to perfectly complete the whole plan.
After the newspaper was released, the members of the team responible for making this film and few of my Ukrainian friends all were excitedly sending me photos, saying they recived this expression of good will. When I was looking at their smiling faces, I knew it was all worth it. Even if this ad is not as wonderful as their film, this intention must be expressed. We should repay for the kindness we recived. This is the basic principle of being a human.
If you have been moved by their film, please leave a supporting comment on YouTube!Do not forget that Taiwanese and Ukrainian young people whoencounter challenges, all once selflessly support each other. This kind of building intercultural relationships that go beyond money and authority, exist for real.