From "Qili Xiang" to fall in love with traditional characters, Malaysian scholar Lin Zengyi settled in Taiwan to take root in research and contribute to the global forest.

Published: 2024-05-21 Author: mysheen
Last Updated: 2024/05/21, From "Qili Xiang" to fall in love with traditional characters, Malaysian scholar Lin Zengyi settled in Taiwan to take root in research and contribute to the global forest.

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Lin Zengyi has two rings on his finger, a wedding ring on his left ring finger and a tail ring on his right hand from the Canadian Forest Society (Canadian Institute of Forestry). Anyone who has obtained a forest degree from an academic institution recognized by the Association will be awarded one.

"the tail ring should be worn on the hand that used to write," says Lin Tseng-Yi, who now teaches in the Forestry Department of National Taiwan University. The aim is to remind himself that every document signed may affect the forest ecology. "you must be careful."

Lin Zengyi, a Chinese of Malaysian origin, chose Taiwan to teach and studied the forest characteristics of Taiwan. (photography / Yang Yuyun) at the age of 15, he sets his life ambition and is determined to move forward on the road of forest research.

Lin Zengyi, a third-generation Malay Chinese born in the Kuala Lumpur metropolitan area, has had little contact with nature since childhood. Why did you embark on the road of forest research and come to Taiwan to teach?

When he was a student, he was deeply influenced by "Star Trek" and "space-time fortress". He wanted to be an engineer and a robot. Lin Zengyi did well in school, and Lin Zengyi was also quite popular with his classmates, but he always felt that something was missing in his life, like the "lost corner" of a picture book, which was not perfect.

At the age of 15, Lin Zengyi took part in a youth event organized by the Malaysian government and camped in the national park for five days. It was the first time he had entered the forest, and it was also the first time for him to explore at night, survive in the wild, rope rescue and other activities. It is obvious that he has never had any experience before, but Lin Zengyi has a sense of familiarity and comfort. "it turns out that this is the corner I lack." he had a great insight after camping, and at the age of 15, he decided to go on the road to forest research.

The direction is set, but the path to the goal has to be carved out on its own. Only one university in Malaysia has a forestry department, but Lin Zengyi, who is studying in a Chinese secondary school, is unable to apply for the examination because of the country's complex enrollment system, so he has the idea of going abroad. But his parents objected to his studying in the forest department, thinking that "it was a department that would starve to death," and tried to persuade him to choose an environmental science department that was more likely to have a job and related to the forest.

From the second year of high school, Lin Zengyi quarreled with his family for a year without success. Fortunately, when his uncle came to Malaysia from China to visit relatives, he said something fair: "how many teenagers are confused and do not know where they are going. It is rare that the Lin children have such a clear dream. Parents should make it happen." Only in this way did Lin Zengyi get what he wanted.

Lin Zengyi took a photo with instructor Dr. Douglas Maguire in Oregon Douglas Pine State Park. (courtesy of Lin Zengyi) across three continents and six countries, completing degree training

In early 1998, Lin Zengyi went to Canada to study in a prevocational course. Half a year later, he applied to enter the School of Forestry and Environmental Management at University of New Brunswick, UNB University, where he obtained a bachelor's degree in a department specializing in training talents needed by forestry. Lin Zengyi said that his alma mater cooperates closely with the Canadian forest industry, and teaching fully adopts problem-solving orientation, including forestry management, land use, ecological protection, wildlife management, and other industries, as well as various solutions and technology. teach it to the students. Not only let the students have practical experience, but also really promote the progress of the industry.

After graduating from UNB, Lin Zengyi went to study for a master's degree in tropical and international forestry at Georg-August-Universit ä t G ö ttingen in Germany, and then transferred to Oregon State University, OSU in the United States to study for a doctorate.

During his study, Lin Zengyi accumulated a lot of interesting experiences in various countries. He lived in Sweden for a year as an exchange student at university, participated in the study of forest soil fragmentation in Switzerland as a master's degree, and went to the Tarim Basin in Xinjiang to study how Populus euphratica protected the Tarim River from desert cover through the cooperation between the University of Berlin and the Beijing government. In addition, he has completed postdoctoral research at the Center for forests and Climate change in South Korea and the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at the University of California, Berkeley.

Lin Zengyi studied Populus euphratica in Tarim Basin, Xinjiang. (courtesy of Lin Zengyi) from Malaysia to Taiwan, from industry to academic road

In addition to his complete academic experience, Lin Zengyi's several jobs after his return to Malaysia are all related to what he has learned. He worked as a statistical consultant in a United Nations program called "protecting Biodiversity through Forest Planning tools" in Malaysia, and later joined the Forest Trust of a non-governmental organization, responsible for designing sustainable production chains of raw materials for large industries. For example, look for palm oil that meets sustainable standards for Wilmar International Limited, the world's largest food industry, or find FSC-certified pulp for Nestl é's Kitkat chocolate wrapping paper and shipping cartons.

Lin Zengyi said that solving the problem of environmental sustainability from large industries is far more influential than individual consumers' efforts on environmental protection, and he likes the direction of the trust department's work. It was just that he was shaken when he learned that there was a vacancy in the department of forest environment and resources at National Taiwan University.

Before that, Lin Zengyi only accompanied his family to Taiwan for sightseeing, and later recalled that "taking a tour bus for seven days" was the only impression. However, since he graduated from high school, he has traveled around the country of study and work, so it is not difficult for him to move across borders. In addition, he has several academic problems in his pocket that he has always wanted to solve. Compared to solving the difficulties of the industry, he thought: "after teaching, we can do research to accumulate more knowledge, which may be more helpful to the global forest!"

After all, it was a determined ambition at the age of 15, and accomplishing academic challenges was still an achievement he wanted to pursue. Lin Zengyi came to Taiwan with his wife and 5-month-old daughter, a country where he had only a superficial impression.

Knowing traditional Chinese characters from Qilixiang is like finding your own roots.

However, it is not entirely correct to say that Lin Zengyi has a shallow impression of Taiwan. He has a good friend in Canada who is Taiwanese, and teaching him the beauty of traditional Chinese has a great influence on him.

Lin Zengyi's grandfather emigrated to Malaysia from Guangxi in his early years, while his grandfather came from Fujian. When Lin Zengyi's parents, that is, the second generation of Hua, attended the Chinese language school in Malaysia, the textbooks were still in Chinese characters. I don't know why, when the third generation entered the school, the textbook became a simplified character. Lin Zengyi speaks Chinese and Cantonese at home, as well as Malay and English. at that time, he did not know the difference between formal and simplified Chinese, and words were just a means of communication.

When studying in Canada, a good friend from Taiwan introduced Lin Zengyi to read Xi Murong's poetry collection "Qili Xiang" (obviously Wen Qing, who actually immigrated with it), and introduced to him the origin and allusions of each word. Lin Zengyi tried to reread the ancient Chinese poetry taught by the school when he was young, and unexpectedly found the artistic conception that the simplified ancient poetry could not convey. He suddenly realized that it was not a matter of the number of strokes between Zheng and Jane.