On weekends or holidays, the Zhongli train station in Taiwan is always filled with migrant workers. The voices and odors in the station almost trick someone into thinking they’re in another train station in some Southeastern Asian country.
The total population of migrant workers in Taiwan has exceeded that of Taiwanese aborigines. They migrate for better economic or living conditions, a not-so-uncommon phenomenon that can be found throughout history. Today the world sees a surging wave of war refugees, from Afghanistan, Somalia, to Libya, from Myanmar’s Rohingya people to five million refugees of Syria. If we think about the millions of Mainlander troops and civilians who retreated to Taiwan after the Kuomintang lost the 1949 Chinese Civil War, these immigrants, the author's father included, are regarded as “displaced persons” under the category of sociology. And they would be considered as refugees during the Chinese Civi l War, a stranger away from home.
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