Showing posts with label current_events. Show all posts
Showing posts with label current_events. Show all posts

Thursday, July 28, 2011


For once I agree with a KMT politician!

Wu Dunyi (Den-yih, whatever) did the obvious - but no less right - thing and has rejected in very strong terms the references made by Anders Behring Breivik (I assume I don't need to tell you who he is) to Taiwan as a good model for "monocultural" society.

Although Wu's remarks were said in a very blue way ("Chinese culture with Taiwanese characteristics"? Seriously?), nonetheless I'm with him on the fundamentals. Whatever that Norwegian psycho believes about Taiwan and "monoculturalism" is false, because Taiwan is not monocultural. Anyone who's been here for any length of time can tell you that - and if they can't, they aren't paying attention.

If anything I would say that Taiwan is far more diverse than Japan and Korea, other countries mentioned in Breivik's creepy tirade - not more diverse than China, but then the Chinese like to pretend they aren't diverse - a cultural tic I have not observed in Taiwan except among a very few individuals. Layers of culture of various aboriginal tribes, Hoklo culture that has evolved in Taiwan over hundreds of years, strong Japanese influence, a big wave of Chinese influence, a huge chunk of Westernization that I do not see in Japan or South Korea - I find the Taiwanese to be more progressive in so many ways - and skeins of influence from Southeast Asia (if you don't believe me go hang out in Donggang for a few days, and tell me you don't feel the Indonesian and Filipino influence).

I find Taiwan friendlier to cultural change - and yet amazingly flexible enough to retain many traditional elements - and friendlier to foreigners than I ever felt in Japan or Korea. Mind you I've only visited and not lived in those countries, but that's the impression I got. I find Taiwan to be a great destination for female expats in Asia in terms of equality, respect and rights - something that was not originally a characteristic of the culture here (remember just two generations ago baby girls were given away if the family lacked money, while boys were revered). I find the Taiwanese more open to other cultures and more willing to admit their admiration of other cultures while still taking pride in their own.

I don't see where a "strict immigration policy" comes into it, either. Sure, it's hard to gain Taiwanese citizenship but it's certainly not hard to live here - granted I say that as a privileged Westerner and not a domestic worker or foreign laborer from Southeast Asia, or a bride from China.

So, uh, in short, Wu's right.