USC

‘Double Ten Day’ celebrated by students Sunday

Taiwanese National Day honors service members and allows students to reconnect with others who identify as Taiwanese.

Four individuals waving the Taiwan flag and walking in the street celebrating Taiwan National Day

Taiwanese National Day, also called “Double Ten Day” because it falls on Oct. 10, celebrates Taiwan’s history and its uniformed servicemen and women, including athletes, disaster response personnel and the military.

The origins of the holiday can be traced back to the start of the Wuchang Uprising on Oct. 10, 1911. The uprising led to the collapse of the Qing dynasty and the establishment of the Republic of China (ROC) in 1912. After the Chinese Civil War, ROC leadership lost control over mainland China to the Chinese Communist Party and fled to Taiwan, which had previously been occupied by Japan.

While this is an important holiday for those in Taiwan, it is celebrated all across the globe by individuals with Taiwanese backgrounds, including many right here at USC.

The Taiwanese Student Association plans to celebrate the holiday by hosting a bonfire at Dockweiler Beach.

“I see it as a chance for [Taiwanese] people who are alone abroad to have a chance to meet people from our country and just chill together,” said Vivian Chang, a member of the Taiwanese Student Association. “Because the language in the USA is English, I think you feel like home again [when you] have people who actually speak Mandarin around you.”

Chang said the day is a chance to connect with other students with Taiwanese backgrounds.

“I think it’s important to spend this day with Taiwanese people because we all know our background, we share a similar cultural background, similar values, and similar views on social justice,” Chang said.

In Taiwan, streets are flooded with parades and rallies in front of the Presidential Office Building in Taipei on the day. Performances such as martial arts, folk dances, and fireworks are also displayed at Taipei 101 — the country’s tallest building.

Dr. Suh Chen Hsiao, clinical associate professor for field education at USC, described the importance of the day and reflected that it is a celebration of Taiwan’s national identity.

“It’s really a celebration for our own civil rights and it’s really important for the people in Taiwan,” said Hsiao.

Hsiao said she was looking into traveling to Taiwan in 2019 but so far hasn’t been able to visit her family due to strict COVID-19 travel restrictions.

What normally would be a reason to return to Taiwan and celebrate in person, COVID-19 forced the celebration to be scaled back in 2020 and canceled in 2021. Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced on Sept. 25 that the National Day reception was canceled and no foreign delegations had been invited to visit Taiwan due to the pandemic.