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Everyone is a book worth reading: big-catch flags tell life stories of NSYSU alumni and students

National Sun Yat-sen University is revitalizing the fading culture of big-catch flags once thriving in the fishermen community in Kaohsiung. NSYSU students from disadvantaged families interviewed outstanding alumni of NSYSU and then used the serigraph printing technique to create big-catch flags featuring key words extracted from the alumni stories. The Flag of Life Project, jointly organized by the team of the USR Project: The City as a Commuseum – Socially Embedded Community Engagement, and the Office of Student Affairs, won the USR Sustainability Plan Award in 2020 Taiwan Corporate Sustainability Awards.

Vice President for Student Affairs and Executive Director of Social Engagement Center Professor Ching-Li Yang said that this project is expected to help students from disadvantaged families with little interpersonal connections who have limited career development opportunities by letting them expand their network.

Professor Yang further explained that big-catch flags (大漁旗) are also called full-load flags (滿儎旗) and are meant to be a wish of a good catch to the boat owner. During this project, the students could interview their senior schoolmates, draw from their work experience and absorb their knowledge, as well as broaden one’s horizons and expand network to head towards the future with confidence.

The students and outstanding alumni engaged in exchange and extracted words that represent the key to career success and strong, life-changing motivation. Key words listed by the alumni for the students included 撐 (support), 毅 (firmness), 堅 (solidity), 拓 (expansion), 機 (opportunity), while the students compressed the absorbed knowledge into positive key words, such as: 勤 (diligence), 韌 (toughness), and 穩 (stability).

One of the students chose 敗 (failure) as a key word. He said that “failure” is a valuable lesson that “lets me grow and turns me into a dreamer”. He said that because of his family situation, he needs to work while studying and that this project loaded him with positive energy, as he could interact with outstanding alumni and learn about their career experience – knowledge that cannot be translated into monetary value.

The alumni and students calligraphed and printed the key words on colorful big-catch flags using the serigraphy technique. Their art work, representing life stories of the alumni and students will be displayed in front of the Administration Building until January next year. “Everyone is a book worth reading” – this is the message of the exhibition.

More information about the project (Chinese version only):
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