Facts About Taiwan's Culture
Taiwanese culture is extremely diverse due to the Chinese, American, European, and Japanese influences in the region. Because Taiwan is in such a strategic location for global trade, many cultures have made an impression on the region. Taiwan has a booming population of more than 22 million people, many of which are Taiwanese. Most of the people that currently live in Taiwan are descendants of settlers that were Han Chinese, a group of people that settled in Taiwan during the 17th through the 19th centuries.
Mandarin Chinese is the official language. However, some of the older residents of Taiwan have the ability to speak Japanese due to the Japanese occupation of Taiwan that lasted for fifty years up until 1945. Although a visitor can expect to hear Mandarin Chinese while in Taiwan, English is a subject usually taught to Taiwanese children.
One interesting aspect of Taiwanese culture is the initial interaction displayed when meeting someone. In the West, cultural etiquette dictates that a person look an individual in the eye as a sign of respect. In Taiwan, an individual must look towards the ground when greeting someone to display their respect.
Taiwanese culture has adopted the Chinese ideology of the "Importance of Face." This concept is important in Taiwanese culture and influences the interactions people have on a personal and business level. The Importance of Face is a concept that supports the idea that a person can give, lose, or save their "face" by their words and actions. The word "face" is used to represent an individual's character.
People in Taiwan practice a mixture of Buddhism and Taoism. Buddhism focuses on changing oneself through meditation. The religion also teaches individuals how to determine their own truths. Taoism, is simply a set of guidelines for living a good life. In Taiwan, these two religions are merged and dominate the culture.
Many Taiwanese firmly believe in the concept of Feng Shui. The central idea of Feng Shui is that everything holds cosmic energy and the placement of an item in a home can result in good or bad fortune. Feng Shui plays such a prominent role in Taiwan culture that the floor plans of homes and the dimensions of rooms are carefully planned to complement Feng Shui ideology. Some Taiwanese will strategically place charms around their home to bring happiness or a long life.
Taiwan is an interesting country with a complicated and intriguing history and its culture continues to evolve due its strategic location in the world. The introduction of pop culture and technology has also changed the culture, however, the Taiwanese still hold on to many traditional values.
Kay Wiki loves literature and started writing for for various websites in 2009. She also publishes her own website that focuses on etiquette. Wiki attended Harold Washington College and Regent University. She has a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in intercultural relations.