Beauty of Taiwan Culture
The island of Taiwan
boasts flora from the tropical, subtropical, temperate and frigid zones, and has
a climate that ranges from equatorial to polar. Taiwan's topography and diverse
range of fauna and flora are unmatched elsewhere.
From a cultural anthropology perspective,
Taiwan's aboriginal peoples share a common heritage with those of the South
Pacific islands. They flourished in the mountains and along the plains bordering
the ocean, developing a mountain/oceanic culture. Over the past several hundred
years, Han Chinese culture was added to the mix, as Chinese immigrated to Taiwan
from the Chinese mainland. And at various intervals, the Dutch, Spanish, and
Japanese colonized Taiwan, bringing with them their own cultural influences.
These two kinds of diversity attest to
Taiwan's inherently pluralistic and inclusive nature. With so many different
kinds of flora and fauna, and the stimulus of various ethnic traits, Taiwan's
cultural landscape is unparalleled.
Culture is an overall manifestation of
life so different eras exhibit different cultural visages. Taiwan has
experienced various stages of colonial history, and from the mid-20th century
onward has undergone one social sea change after another from an agricultural
economy to a handicraft, industrial/commercial and now high-technology economy,
and from authoritarian politics to multiparty democracy. Amidst these rapid
changes, many have seemingly forgotten their culture. They may love Taiwan, but
don't know what to love about Taiwan, or they seem overly smitten by culture
When we reflect on our culture, Edward
Said's Orientalism comes to mind, reminding us that "Oriental" nations must
learn to affirm existing values on their own terms rather than defining
themselves through concepts assigned them by the West.