This Saturday elections are being held to determine mayors, county magistrates, and city/county councils here in Taiwan. Trucks with noisy loudspeakers blaring candidate mottos ride up and down the streets. A funny rhythmic one I heard last week is: 口湖鄉長要換，不然口湖會更爛！Our county is one of the hotly contested elections, so extra efforts are being made by the candidates to get their message across. Here’s an example I caught on video last night:
As a westerner who values privacy, I find all the noise obtrusive. Similarly, a Canadian coworker shared the following anecdote earlier today with us: “One day while I was chatting with a local friend, I was feeling very annoyed with a passing advertising broadcast truck. To me the blaring female voice was like fingernails on a chalk board. I was startled when my friend turned to me, obviously enjoying it, and commented how nice it sounded to her. （那個女人的聲音很好聽！）
Although the loudspeakers are just a bunch of noise and invasion of privacy to us, they are an acceptable form of communication/advertisement here. Wouldn't it be exciting, if, after the election, I could commission those same trucks to take the following message in colloquial Taiwanese to every street in every village in our two townships:
Thiⁿ-sài kā in kóng, Bo̍h-tit kiaⁿ; in-ūi góa pò lín tōa hoaⁿ-hí ê hó siau-sit, hō͘ peh-sìⁿ lóng ū hūn;
in-ūi kin-á-ji̍t tī Tāi-pi̍t ê siâⁿ í-keng ūi-tio̍h lín siⁿ chi̍t ê Chín-kiù-ê, chiū-sī Chú Ki-tok.
Lín beh khòaⁿ-kìⁿ chi̍t ê eⁿ-á ēng pò͘ pau, khùn tī chô-ni̍h ê, chit-ê chiū-sī hō͘ lín chòe kì-hō.
Hut-jiân ū chōe-chōe thian-peng kap hit ê thiⁿ-sài saⁿ-kap tī-teh, o-ló Siōng-tè, kóng,
Tī ke̍k kôaiⁿ ê ūi êng-kng kui tī Siōng-tè, Tōe-chiūⁿ hô-pêng tī I só͘ hoaⁿ-hí ê lâng ê tiong-kan.
In English that would be:
The angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
Instead of the candidate's portrait, we could post a picture of the Nativity, the angels, or the star of Bethlehem burning brightly in the night. The drivers/trucks will be available soon…