(Photo courtesy of the Pingtung County Department of Labor Affairs)
Taipei, April 29 (CNA) Eulis Komariah is a domestic caregiver from Indonesia who had the good fortune of finding an employer in Taiwan who not only afforded her the chance to learn tai chi chuan, but also took her to local and international tai chi tournaments so that she could excel and eventually become a certified international tai chi judge.
Komariah's story was shared with local media reporters Friday, when Lin Te-hui (林德輝), head of the Pingtung County Department of Labor Affairs, visited the residence of the Indonesian worker's employer, only known by his surname of Lee, to express what an honor it was to have such remarkable people in the county.
According Komariah, she first came to Taiwan as a caregiver in 2007 and was not hired by Lee in Chaozhou Township of Pingtung County until five years ago. She was initially hired to care for Lee's father and after his passing, she then began caring for his mother.
At the Lees, she frequently watched Lee's wife, Liu Yu-hsia (劉玉霞), practice Tai Chi and eventually began following Liu when she practiced her movements, Komariah recalled. At the time, Komariah was in poor health, but after training with Liu every day, her level of fitness gradually improved, she said.
The Lees have treated her as part of the family, and they encouraged her to pursue her education at a university in Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia, through video conferencing. Liu, who is a tai chi chuan teacher, also took her to all kinds of tai chi competitions in both international and domestic arenas, Komariah said.
So far, she has won more than 50 medals, including gold at the fifth World Cup Tai Chi Chuan Championship in Taipei in October 2014. Furthermore, she is now a qualified tai chi judge, who can serve in international tournaments, she said.
During holidays, Komariah takes the opportunity to teach her compatriots how to practice tai chi in Donggang, Pingtung County. After her contract ends in late October, she said she will return to her homeland in Bandung, where she will open a tai chi school to teach the locals the Chinese martial art.
The 45-year-old caregiver is married and has two children who live in Indonesia. Her positive interactions with the Lees, who praised Komariah for her diligence and determination to seek higher achievements, have attracted the attention of not just the local government but also Indonesian media.
(By Kuo Chu-chen and Elizabeth Hsu)