Foreigners in Taiwan during the COVID-19 outbreak: TaindianDj

Indian Youtuber Dharamjeet. (photo courtesy/ TaindianDj)

TAIPEI (THe China Post) — The outbreak of COVID-19, along with the level 3 epidemic warning, has drastically changed the lives of people in Taiwan.

For foreigners living here, the situation has become even more complicated, especially when they are not familiar with the government’s policies and have trouble reading news in mandarin.

Indian Youtuber TaindianDj 台印Dj (DJ) has gained a following with his videos showcasing Indian and Taiwanese cultures, while also approaching topics regarding Taiwan from a foreigner’s perspective.

He has lived in Taiwan for seven years, and is currently a PhD research scholar at Academia Sinica. The COVID-19 outbreak in Taiwan has changed his way of living in various ways.

Working in the field of computer science, it wasn’t hard for DJ to carry on with his work from home; however, he found it unproductive after trying it out for awhile and thus decided to switch back to working at the office. His colleagues continued working from home, so they were able to follow the epidemic prevention measures.

Though his source of income was not affected since he was able to work normally, DJ admitted that the pandemic had negatively impacted him both physically and mentally as exercising and meeting up with friends was no longer possible.

Indian Youtuber Dharamjeet. (photo courtesy/ TaindianDj)

DJ explained that as a foreigner, spending the holidays with friends was really important to him, but all of this was disrupted by the outbreak.

Additionally, many foreigners have expressed that it is harder for them to stay updated on Taiwan’s epidemic prevention information due to a lack of English news. Even though DJ checks various English news sites every day, the information is still very limited.

“As per my knowledge there are only one or max [sic] two news agencies that are broadcasting the news in English video. Most of the foreigners are getting the information by reading the limited number of English articles, not the video”, he told The China Post during a recent e-mail interview.

According to DJ, many of his foreigner friends are interested in learning more about the government’s vaccine rollout plans and the releif package. However, a lack of detailed information in English can cause them to miss out on such opportunities.

Therefore, DJ hopes that Taiwan news media can improve on making bilingual information more accessible. “I’ll be more than happy to see more live broadcasting by the news agencies in English”, he said.

DJ and other Indians living in Taiwan also started a blood donation campaign after finding out that Taiwan is in urgent need of blood donations. The event was from June 2 to June 16, and 35 people donated to the cause.

He organized this event with Priya Lee Lalwani, who is also the admin of the facebook group “IiT-Indians in Taiwan”, as well as his friends Felix and Sana Hashmi.

After Taiwan faced a surge in COVID-19 infection cases last month, they started hosting clubhouse programs where they brainstorm ways to help Taiwan during the outbreak. He explained that’s how they got the idea.

DJ added that the Taiwanese government had donated masks, oxygen generators and other supplies to India during their time of need, which is why they were motivated to do the same for Taiwan.


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