Luisa's World of España ＆ Hispanoamérica
臺大九十校慶 ＆ 國際活動英文版
Spanish is the world’s second most widely spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese. To recognize the non-native Spanish speakers worldwide and their contribution to the language, the Foundation Duques de Soria of Spain invited non-native Spanish linguists and foreign academicians to Madrid to attend a unique gathering held during September 24-27. Prof. Luisa Shu-Ying Chang, NTU’s Vice President for International Affairs, was the only scholar from Taiwan and one of the very few from Asia (one from each of Japan, Korea, and China) to be invited to join the gathering.
Felipe VI of Spain personally welcomed the 58 non-native Spanish scholars and expressed his sincere admiration and appreciation to them, as well as his hope that research about Spanish and in Spanish would be further advanced worldwide.
Years of careful planning went into this grand event, graced by the monarch Felipe VI and Duke and Duchess of Soria (the uncle and aunt of Felipe VI). The scale and sophistication of the service awed the Spanish experts, who expressed their profound gratitude to the Foundation and the royals. The guests’ stay in Spain was garnished with soulful flamenco guitar music and an exclusive tour to the world-renowned Museo Nacional del Prado, which was closed to the public to host the delegation of 58 scholars.
The welcome banquet held on September 25 was chaired by Duchess of Soria (named Infanta Margarita), a personable and learned scholar who has been blind since birth. She greeted the guests with warmth and Spain’s signature hospitality. As she greeted Prof. Chang, the Duchess correctly identified today’s Taiwan as Ilha Formosa, dubbed by Portuguese sailors in the 17th century.
The next day, a ceremony was held at Palacio Real El Pardo near Madrid to pay homage to the international Spanish scholars. The Duchess of Soria gave her opening remarks from a Braille text. The remarks, expressed smoothly and pleasantly, encouraged the scholars to work harder to build a global, scholastic network about Spanish as close-knit and colorful as a tapestry of rich and royal hues.
Felipe VI noted that the event was heartfelt, profound, significant, and very special. He acknowledged the contribution of the Spanish scholars and their role as ambassadors of Spanish culture.
Many of the institutions of higher education with which these guest scholars are affiliated have engaged in longstanding partnerships with NTU, including the Free University of Berlin, the University of Tübingen, Sorbonne University, the Catholic University of Leuven, Monash University, Korea University, and Kyoto University.