Hi! Good morning! Bon dia! My name is Liao Chia-Chi (廖家琪) and I am originally from Taiwan. My family name is Liao (廖) and my given name is Chia-Chi (家琪). Chinese people always write the surname first, which sometimes leads to confusion when the name is translated or used in western countries. So, I am Chia-Chi and I have both the honour and privilege to be the curator of Catalan Voices during this week.
I arrived to Catalonia in July, 2011. I met my boyfriend Lluís Sala (@lsala66 and @lsala66pro) in 2010 and we decided to give our relationship a serious try, so I moved to Girona. It definitely was a big decision in my life! The biggest challenge for me was that I didn’t know Spanish or Catalan. I had not even heard about Catalonia before and, believe me, not even about Barça or Messi! Another big thing in my life right now is that Lluís and I are expecting a baby for early October.
I’m from Taichung, a city located on the western part of Taiwan. You may see here high-tech products made in my country, such as the HTC smartphones or the Asus and Acer computers, to name a few. Taiwan is an island on the South China Sea. There are 23 million people living there, triple than in Catalonia. You can imagine how busy the traffic can be in the cities and the roads, but it also makes the life there quite animated. Our official language is Chinese, the same one than in mainland China; however, we write it with the traditional Chinese characters, whereas in mainland China they use the simplified Chinese characters, after changes that started in 1956. Taiwan is a democracy and people have total freedom to vote and to express their own opinion.
Since my arrival to Catalonia in July, 2011, I have lived in Girona. It’s a perfect city for me: medium-size, with a beautiful old quarter and with a civilized environment. There always a lot of activities to attend all over the year. I also enjoy the landscape and the nature here and being able to easily go from the sea to the Pyrennes –and anywhere in between. I have also been able to tour quite a lot around Catalonia and I have discovered many fascinating and exotic places –for me at least!
I am currently studying Catalan language at the Consorci per a la Normalització Lingüística (CPNL) in Girona. I passed the 3 courses of Bàsic and now I am into the Elemental 1 level. It is not easy for me, but now I can start to see the progress I have made during these years.
Apart from studying Catalan and getting adjusted to life here, Lluís and I are running a website called Sinalunya (http://sinalunya.com). It is a blog in which we compile news about the economic, social and cultural relationships between Chinese cultural countries and Catalunya. This has given some visibility to us in order to offer assistance to communication in Chinese to whoever might need it. So far, I have translated the websites of Wikiloc, Laketània Tours and Calderon-Folch-Sarsanedas Arquitectes. Recently we also started another website, Catalonia Land of Wine (http://www.catalonialandofwine.com), aimed at helping to get the Catalan wines better known in the Chinese environment. Please feel free to take a look at them, if you feel like!
When I was offered the chance to be a curator of Catalan Voices I chose the week of the Girona flower festival, Temps de Flors. I think it is the most beautiful time and one of the biggest events of the year for the city. I will do my best to bring you an impression of how the city looks like these days, so if you have never been here to see it in person you could consider coming.
Let’s start it!