Do you know what Taiwanese feeling when they see a Muslim?
Some of my Muslim friends said their experiences when Taiwanese met Muslim.
In general, Taiwanese are calm and a little bit quiet when they see Muslim. Sometimes some of them just want to stay away from us, while few of them are interested.
Meanwhile, I got different experiences when I took a walk and I thought that was only happen for Muslim who wears hijab.
1. Three Taiwanese (one of them is Bill) were asked me whether I stayed in Malaysia. They did not know that Indonesia have so many Muslim people. Then, I know the reason. They only visit Bali for vacation.
2. Four Taiwanese said that I was beautiful wearing hijab ~ my favorite word from them were 你很漂亮. He He ~
3. One Taiwanese girl wants to wear it.
Do Muslim face problems in Taiwan?
Some peoples got bad experiences with Taiwanese. And mostly it happens to them who work in Taiwan. Some of them do not have a chance to pray on time, some had argued with them, got a problem in eating, can’t wear hijab, etc.
As a student, Alhamdulillah I was happy there.
a. In the road
I could walk alone in every road in Taiwan even in the night. When I got lost, they willing to help me show the way. There was a moment when I look at the maps in MRT station for 5 minutes, and then a beautiful old lady came to me. She wanted to help show me the way. MasyaAllah! What a moment!
b. In the canteen, food court, stores, and Night Market
When I went to 7 Eleven to buy foods, sometimes the cashier told me that the food I took was not halal. I can say that mostly Taiwanese are willing to help us showing the ingredient of foods we choose.
c. In the market
Honestly, I could not speak Zhongwen (Chinese Language) fluently. I only remember the basic conversation and also numbers. Alhamdulillah. With my body language and my poor language, I brought some foods in the market. I suggest if you cannot speak zhongwen, it is better if you do 2 things. Bring a calculator or borrow it; or bring big money so you just only take the foods you need and only receive the money returns. He he.
But be careful. When you want to buy food, please make sure that the bowl or the food ingredient is not mix with the food you want.
d. In the public area
Actually in my opinion, Muslim will not have a problem to pray in the public area. We can pray in every sacred place. So, 3 things we need to bring as Muslim traveler are bringing Sajadah. Rukuh, and compass.
Ups. The strangest moment happened when I went to see orchestra. I walked together with my friend looked for a road, then several Taiwanese comes from a car. Each of them brought cameras. At the moment, I thought they were young people who study photography. And suddenly they took a picture of me. Some in hidden, euw! I thought I became their object. One phrase came to my mind at that moment was why they don’t ask me so I they could have a better pose. Ha ha, just kidding ~
Do you feel like Taiwan is friendly for Muslim in general?
This is also my friend’s experience. Some of Taiwanese are interested with Islam and want to ask some questions but they were afraid.
Again, other experience happened to me.
Five Taiwanese ask me about my hijab. They also ask about how we pray, why Muslim needs to pray at least 5 times a day, why Muslim needs to take a wudhu, why Muslim can’t eat pork including the oil, why Muslim only eat special foods, and many forbidden things that looks so unfair for Muslim.
And I do not know why, mostly they will ask about polygamy. Oh my God, that was the hardest question to explain. I got 2 Taiwanese and 1 group of Taiwan Primary School Children!
But the thing is, most of them have wrong idea about Islam, whether they get it from news and media. But the messages that they are getting about us is actually wrong! Media and news mentions Muslim as terrorists. And of course, we are not. Islam as the religion teaches us peace and love. Islam does not allow us to harm people nor harm ourselves. But some Taiwanese people don’t know about that. Media spread wrong information through western perspective. Yet, some of them do not know the obligation of Muslim such as pray Muslims have to pray five times a day, foods, and many more.