Culture and Customs of Taiwan

Culture and Customs of Taiwan

Culture and Customs of Taiwan

Culture and Customs of Taiwan

Synopsis

Taiwanese society is in the midst of an immense, exciting effort to define itself, seeking to erect a contemporary identity upon the foundation of a highly distinctive history. This book provides a thorough overview of Taiwanese cultural life. The introduction familiarizes students and interested readers with the island's key geographical and demographic features, and provides a chronological summary of Taiwanese history. In the following seven chapters, readers gain insight into Taiwanese customs and culture through its thought and religion; kinship and marriage systems; literature and art; architecture; festivals and leisure activities; music and dance; cuisine and fashion. The final chapter presents the most recent information regarding children and education, and explores the importance of the Taiwanese family in the context of meaningful relationships amongst acquaintances, friends, and institutions that make up the social universe of the Taiwanese.

Excerpt

Geographically, Asia encompasses the vast area from Suez, the Bosporus, and the Ural Mountains eastward to the Bering Sea and from this line southward to the Indonesian archipelago, an expanse that covers about 30 percent of our earth. Conventionally, and especially insofar as culture and customs are concerned, Asia refers primarily to the region east of Iran and south of Russia. This area can be divided in turn into subregions commonly known as South, Southeast, and East Asia, which are the main focus of this series.

The United States has vast interests in this region. in the twentieth century the United States fought three major wars in Asia (namely, the Pacific War of 1941-45, the Korean War of 1950-53, and the Vietnam War of 1965- 75), and each had profound impact on life and politics in America. Today, America's major trading partners are in Asia, and in the foreseeable future the weight of Asia in American life will inevitably increase, for in Asia lie our great allies as well as our toughest competitors in virtually all arenas of global interest. Domestically, the role of Asian immigrants is more visible than at any other time in our history. in spite of these connections with Asia, however, our knowledge about this crucial region is far from adequate. For various reasons, Asia remains for most of us a relatively unfamiliar, if not stereotypical or even mysterious, "Oriental" land.

There are compelling reasons for Americans to obtain some level of concrete knowledge about Asia. It is one of the world's richest reservoirs of culture and an ever-evolving museum of human heritage. Rhoads Murphey . . .

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