Global Q&A ‘How important is your country to the world?’

November 4, 2009 Updated: November 18, 2009

Achievements of historical value, geographical position, living in harmony and cultural contributions are some of the significant features of different countries to the world today. This is what Epoch Times reporters from Rio de Janeiro to Ankara discovered when they asked locals this week, “How important is your country to the world?”

 
Joanna Janas, Poland
Joanna Janas, Poland

Poland
Joanna Janas, 24, Graduate of Rzeszowski University

Many well-known individuals of historical significance have come out of Poland. The most important of these was Pope John Paul II, but also others, such as Maria Curie-Sklodowska, Nicolaus Copernicus or Frederick Chopin, as well as the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Lech Walesa. These people are proof that Poland was and continues to be a country of considerable importance to the world.

Taipei, Taiwan
Ch'en Wei-hsiang, 46, General Manager of a publishing house

Taiwan is the heart of the world, whether it’s geographic location, or in terms of strategic or economic advantage—it’s all important.

 
Ch'en Wei-hsiang, Taipei, Taiwan
Ch'en Wei-hsiang, Taipei, Taiwan
 
Pinar Cikrikci, Ankara, Turkey
Pinar Cikrikci, Ankara, Turkey
Ankara, Turkey
Pinar Çikrikçi, 18, Student of Gazi University

Turkey has a very special geographical and strategic position. It is like a bridge between Europe and Asia. In addition, Istanbul and Canakkale Bosphorus are very important for international trading. So Turkey is a very important country both for Europe and Asia. Turkey has a young population in general and has rich underground resources.

Sofia, Bulgaria
Lyubomira Damyanova, 28, Telecommunications Engineer

At the moment, my country does not have any significant achievements that could make it important for the world, but in the past we gave a lot. First, Mr. John Atanasoff invented the computer. Bulgaria is known for the yoghurt and Bulgarian bacteria used for the preparation of yoghurt called Lactobacillus bulgaricus. Also, the Bulgarian Air Force was the first to use air-raid during the World War I. Last, but not least, Bulgarians have invented the anti-baby pills. I am sure that we will give other important inventions to the world in the near future.

 
Lyubomira Damyanova, Sofia, Bulgaria
Lyubomira Damyanova, Sofia, Bulgaria
 
Jan Provaznik, Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic
Jan Provaznik, Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic
Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic
Jan Provaznik, 21, Student

I think we don't play a big role because we are not an economical or political world power. On a European scale we are a middle state; on a worldwide scale we are a small state. It's important that the Czech Republic is integrated into the European Union; otherwise, our low position worldwide would be much lower.

Broadbeach, Australia
Alicia Dunn, 40s, Jet Ski Hire Business Owner

I think Australia is really important to the world. I think we are a good example of multiculturalism, and how we all live well together, that we respect other people’s diversity. I think that other countries can learn from Australia in leaving issues behind when they start afresh here. I think that we’re a great example of how to live in harmony, and the fact that we have a beautiful country, and we all seem to respect it.

 
Alicia Dunn, Broadbeach, Australia
Alicia Dunn, Broadbeach, Australia
 
Piero Ricci, Italy
Piero Ricci, Italy
Italy
Piero Ricci, 50, Businessman

There’s no need to think that one country is different to another country or has a special individual importance for the world… all are together. If we can feel this, we can feel together as brothers with everyone. That's the mentality for me all over now. To explain, we cease to feel an identification with a small city because this place has grown, and when provincial people identify with that province, when that province has grown, people identify with the region. When the region has grown, people identify with the nation, and then with the continent. We are now in the global world; each one has a different story, habits, customs and folk, but all are part of the whole together. This mentality of a virtual wall was in the past. Now, all the walls are collapsing and breaking down in the same way as the collapse of the Berlin wall.

Bangalore, India
Phalgun Gujjar, 24, Chartered Accountant

I think our country India is very important to the world as it is the treasure house of culture and democracy. India is the biggest democracy in the world, where various cultures, races and religions coexist together. I guess that’s what makes our country so special and unique. It is the largest secular democracy in the world.

 
Phalgun Gujjar, Bangalore, India
Phalgun Gujjar, Bangalore, India
 
Rita Luziete da Silva, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rita Luziete da Silva, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rita Luziete da Silva, 49, Nursing Assistant

Currently, in the area of culture, I would say that the carnival is enjoyed by foreigners from all around the world, mainly in Rio de Janeiro, Bahia and Pernambuco. In the area of tourism, the natural beauty of Rio de Janeiro, Ceará, Fernando de Noronha, etc., are made known internationally through postcards. Regarding exports, I have in mind ore and oil. In the area of sports, we also export soccer, volleyball and basketball players, both male and female. In the case of entertainment, we export novels and TV series to various countries around the world. We must not forget the Amazon jungle. The whole world is watching it. Due to it being the world’s oxygen cylinder, we have it as a way of saving the world.

 

Stephan Bobeth, Kassel, Germany
Stephan Bobeth, Kassel, Germany
Kassel, Germany
Stephan Bobeth, 40, Storage Logistician

I think Germany was very good in social benefits, but this is all over now. But regarding technology in all areas, such as industrial, environmental, and so on, I think we are in the first ranks, but we get sold out, especially to China, and also the rest of the world. They are copying our technologies. This is especially true for the automotive industry, but also for other areas. In a political regard, I think Germany is very important; we have strong lobbies in technology.

 

Frank Dijkstra, Woerden, Holland
Frank Dijkstra, Woerden, Holland
Woerden, Holland
Frank Dijkstra, 40, Accounts Manager

I would say the eighth place. Not thinking about the tax system, our health care system is still exemplary; also our trading spirit, and with sports, especially judo, sailing, soccer, and wheelchair tennis. We have accomplished quite some things for such a small country. Even with the military we play our part. Like in Afghanistan, we are there. Not so much repressive, but rebuilding, more socially seen. Actually, I am kind of proud of our small country.

Look for the Global Q&A column every week, when Epoch Times correspondents interview people around the world to learn about their lives and perspectives on local and global realities. Next week’s global question: “How much are elderly people valued in your society?”