Glove puppet heads carved by Lin Chao-yi, one of the few remaining craftspeople producing the items by hand (Huang Chung-hsin)
DO YOU KNOW?
- Taiwan is the center of the Mandarin pop music industry.
- The National Palace Museum in Taipei City contains one of the largest collections of ancient Chinese artifacts in the world.
Taiwan is renowned for its fascinating blend of traditional and modern culture. To showcase the nation’s history and cultural diversity, museums have been established across Taiwan, including the National Palace Museum, National Taiwan Museum and National Museum of History.
Traditional architecture abounds, not only in the country’s magnificent temples, but also in the many old structures that have been revitalized for use as
community centers, cafes, stores and other public spaces. In fact, many aspects of traditional Chinese arts, crafts and customs are better preserved in Taiwan than anywhere else. For example, Taiwan is one of the few places that still uses traditional Chinese characters, and calligraphy competitions are always popular events.
Traditional tenets of Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism continue to be well represented in everything from temple celebrations and literature to the visual and performing
arts. In addition, visitors can learn about the heritages of the country’s Hakka, Holo and indigenous peoples. Taiwan also shares its cultural riches throughout the world via programs such as the Taiwan Academy resource centers.
At the same time, Taiwan’s larger cities are thriving metropolises that offer round-the-clock entertainment options. There are highly regarded modern dance troupes,
as well as a vibrant music scene, which is hardly surprising as Taiwan is the world capital of Mandopop, or Mandarin pop music. The local television and film industries have
seen a resurgence in recent years, while the country’s booming cultural and creative sector is evident in the many designer stores, markets and exhibitions that are growing
in number every year.
From literary arts and folk festivals to the lively atmosphere of night markets, Taiwan’s traditions are closely intertwined with everyday life, adding to a
thriving culture in which the past gives vitality and depth to the present.
National Taichung Theater in central Taiwan’s Taichung City (Huang Chung-hsin)