Taiwan :: Chiang Kai-shek Memorial

“It is not worth it to sacrifice the interest of the country for the sake of my son.” – Chiang Kai-shek

Chinese military and political leader Chiang Kaishek joined the Chinese Nationalist Party in 1918. Succeeding party founder Sun Yat-sen as leader in 1925, he expelled Chinese communists from the party and led a successful unification of China. He died in Taipei in 1975 and there is an impressive memorial built in his honour.

Chiang Kai-shek

Chiang Kai-shek

I managed to get to the memorial in time for the changing of the guards. These displays are always impressive and this one went on a while. It was so extensive I got the feeling they probably put a little extra in there for the spectators (even for a changing of the guards it was long).

Walking through the memorial grounds I could see several young people practicing drilling with fake rifles and/or flags. Throwing them in the air, twirling and tossing, it was another impressive display – in addition a small group were practicing their drum skills right next to the main building and I actually stopped to watch them for a few minutes. It was obvious that one was drilling the others because he kept drumming with each of them one after the other. They weren’t putting on a show, they were clearly just practicing there, in the scorching sun…

The memorial itself, the white building at the top of the stairs, was pretty impressive being so simple and austere, and at the same time huge. There’s a massive statue of Chiang Kai-shek inside, a marvellous ceiling and the walls are lovely, marble “bricks” with some lettering here and there, but other than that there are very few ornaments. I found the lack of “over the top”-decor beautiful.

The crowd gathered for watching the changing of the guards was pretty big, though, I wonder exactly how early the people in the front got there… O.o

There was also what seemed like a Mothers’ Day kind of “beauty pageant” going on at the front of the steps leading up to the memorial chamber… Really weird *lol*

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