【看CP學英文】「我姓康名豹號阿呆，台語叫恐怖。」中研院研究員康豹教授Paul R. Katz，自述從美國嫁來台灣，在台灣各大學教書，和研究台灣民間信仰30多年不寒而慄的經驗。
“My name Paul R. Katz and in Taiwanese, it sounds just like ‘scary.’”
As a researcher at the Academia Sinica, Paul shared with NOWnews and The China Post his experience, starting from arriving in Taiwan and teaching here, to his creepy encounters with spirits while researching folk religion in Taiwan.
Initially, Paul came to Taiwan to learn Mandarin, and it was only after he left Taipei that he realized there was also another language — ”Taiwanese.”
When he traveled to Changhua County with his assistant to do more in-depth research, he became better acquainted with “Wang Ye Religion” (王爺信仰) and participated in local religious events including the “King Boat Ceremony” and “Beehive Fireworks Festival.”
When asked about whether or not he had any supernatural encounters while doing his research, Paul revealed that he once rode his scooter with his assistant late at night but came to a sudden stop for reasons he couldn’t explain.
When he looked ahead, he realized that the road he was on had a 2-meter deep hole in it, and if he were to have continued, he would have died or been gravely injured.
“If you ask me whether or not I’ve seen ghosts, the answer would be no. But if it were ‘whether or not I’ve felt them’, then the answer would be a definite yes,” Paul explained.
After conducting most of his research at the temple in Xinzhuang, New Taipei City, Paul has come to have a greater understanding of the rituals of folk religion and realized the impact it has on soothing people and helping a community come together.
Upon reflecting on his 30-plus years in Taiwan, Paul regards the island as a very friendly place and feels that Taiwanese people are not that opposed to accepting outsiders or new things.
Even though he was a foreigner speaking a different language and looked very different from the locals, he had always felt welcome in Taiwan and have realized that “fate” (緣分) was what brought him to this wonderful place.