TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Five newly naturalized immigrants of Taiwan sang the country's national anthem during the flag-raising ceremony in front of the Presidential Office on New Year's Day.
This year, the Office of the President broke the tradition of inviting soldiers to sing the anthem on New Year’s Day. Instead, five “new Taiwanese from around the world” were invited to participate in the singing of the anthem for the televised ceremony.
The five new Taiwan citizens are Peter Kenrick (柯彼得), Ugur Rifat Karlova (吳鳳), Tran Ngoc Thuy (陳玉水), Quincy Davis (戴維斯), and Lily Yang (楊萬利).
Australian-born physician Kenrick has practiced medicine in the eastern Taiwanese county of Taitung for more than three decades. Kenrick said he was lucky the hospital he's been working at for 33 years is located in Taitung, a place which suits him down to a tee. He said if it were Taipei, he might have left.
Television entertainer Ugur Rifat Karlova was born and raised in Turkey. He received his ROC citizenship earlier this year after having stayed in Taiwan for 12 years.
Tran Ngoc Thuy of Vietnam published a Mandarin-Vietnamese translation manual on important legal terms to help Vietnamese people living in Taiwan, according to a Central News Agency (CNA) report.
American-born Davis, who first came to Taiwan in 2011 to play in the local Super Basketball League (SBL), helped his team clinch its first championship title in 2012, the CNA report said. After being offered the chance to join Taiwan's national team, he renounced his U.S. citizenship and obtained Taiwanese citizenship in 2013.
Yang is a Burmese of Chinese descent who has lived in Taiwan for more than 20 years, the report said. She immigrated to Taiwan with her parents when she was 10 years old to escape poverty in Myanmar.
The 2019 flag-raising ceremony also highlighted cheerleading and band performances from local artistic groups, including Taipei First Girls High School ‘s Honor Guard.