A thousand guests for tea on the lawn, part 2: The children of tea


Children and tea, two words that are not frequently associated and certainly not in ways that implies a positive connection in certain western countries. Curiously, it is usually those same countries that consider normal to serve high sucrose content beverages and other processed concoctions from the food industry to their children… and here ends our social commentary. Our aim is not to condemn the idiosyncrasies of the West and certainly not to issue a moralizing critique of it. We aim today to celebrate, by way of example, how tea is an all-inclusive beverage here in Taiwan drunk by all generations, children alike.

It would be exaggerating to say that it is as natural for children to drink tea as it is water or other beverages. After-all, the food industry is as well implanted here as elsewhere. But, what is undeniably true is that there are no stigmas associated with drinking tea when a child. The sharing of tea is part of the activities of all families making it an integral part of the social fabric of this country. You communicate through it, you greet and show respect to people with it; you serve tea to your in-laws if you wish to get married; you serve tea to mend tensions between you and your spouse, and so on. As a defining component of the culture, tea is a form of language and learning about it as a child is as important as learning to write or speak. And, as a form of language, it has its vernacular as well as its poetry. It is the poetry that we will showcase today as we bring you back, in pictures, to the “tea gathering” that was held at the Nantou Global tea Expo earlier this October. We will let what our camera witnessed speak for itself, as we present you the children of tea as they interact with and celebrate tea, with all their beauty and simplicity.

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