Prologue: a brief history of Taiwan for busy westerners
Hello, hello my friends,
I just got done with the jet lag…Hooray!!! it was a big one, and I have had to wake up at 3 am every night, forced myself to calm down and rest…hahaha! but it was totally worth it since I went back to my homeland Taiwan for two weeks and visited my family and friends. It was good to be back in touch with Asian heritage, find a new connection and different perspective to the culture I grew up with.
When I tell friends in the west about travels to Taiwan I feel the history intrigues many westerners but they have never managed to get a good short summary! So before I tell you about recent travels and current culture, why don’t we summarize a brief history?
The earliest aboriginals can be traced back to 10000 years ago, then, the next key point is Taiwan got governed by Chinese from the 10th century on, and at the beginning, there was not much effort put on this island, since it was a small colony compared to the big China territory. This continued until the 17th century, when the navy powers from the west, Netherlands and Spain, forced the Chinese government to realize the military advantage location of Taiwan and they started to focus on management and setting up efficient local government. It was not always successful, there is a short period that Netherland and Spain set their feet in Taiwan, for trading and religious missions. Then the biggest occupation came in the 20th century from Japan, which governed Taiwan for 50 years until world war II was over. From that moment, Chiang Kai Shek declared Taiwan independent from China, and yet that was the key moment when Taiwan became a great container of traditional Chinese culture, as it was free from the destruction of Mao’s cultural revolution in 1966-1976. Traditional Chinese characters, rituals, religions were kept in Taiwan plus the old colony influences from Netherland, Spain and Japan, so things getting interesting!. People who traveled between Taiwan, China, and Japan often mentioned in many ways the day to day lifestyle, Taiwan is close to Japan, however, the core of culture, religions and mural ideas is all back to the ancient Chinese.
Well, hope the small intro get you some ideas of Taiwan, are you still with me? 🙂
After the history background introduced, should we move on to the myth of Taiwan? People who had traveled to Taiwan before often felt really there is a fun place, with so many resources and entertainment with just a snap you can get everything you want. But why and how certain behaviors are the way they are? they couldn’t figure it out. In my next post, I’m going to tell you about eight of the most puzzling things people encounter in everyday Taiwan. [updated] Trip in Asia- Undercover series in Taipei, Formosa Taiwan Part I click here to see the common questions of Taiwan!