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Archive for November, 2006

The Golden Horse Award in Taiwan

Posted by doris0724 on November 30, 2006

The movie industry has developed in Taiwan for many years, and no matter what the directors or cinemas we all have some achievements in the world. Since we get a lot of good movies every year, it is reasonable that we have the festival “The Golden Horse Award”

The Golden Horse Award was created and sponsored by Taiwan itself, and we have had long history about this festival in Taiwan for forty-three years. The 43rd Golden Horse Award ceremony was held last Saturday, and it got a happy ending. Besides, Taiwan also has The Golden Horse Film Festival and Awards (金馬影展) before the ceremony every year. The goal of The Golden Horse Film Festival and Awards is try to attract much more people who have great passion on movie know more about the Golden Horse Award.

Why the famous award named Golden Horse (金馬)? The name comes from the island Quemoy (金門) and Matsu (馬祖). The name is meaningful to commemorate the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis.

Furthermore, what kind of movies that can attend to The Golden Horse? Basically, it is must be a film that talks in Chinese language(華語), but it doesn’t have to be the Mandarin Chinese. Therefore, according to this rule, the film mainly in Cantonese, Taiwanese, Shanghainese and so on all have the chance to attend this competition.

Some people may doubt about whether is the Golden Horse really a fair competition or not. It is clear to see there is no way that the Golden Horse never has injustice judgment. For instance, Taiwan doesn’t have good relationship with Mainland China for many years, but we never ignore the right of the films or the actors from Mainland China. If there were a wonderful film or actor, we still would confirm their achievement in this award. The article from Wikipedia gives us a good example, it says “Since 1996, a liberalization act allows for an artiste or film from the People’s Republic of China to be eligible for the Awards, as in Best Actor Xia Yu (夏雨) (1996) and Best Actress Qin Hailu (秦海璐) (2001).” Like the Best Actor Xia Yu (夏雨) in1996 and the Best Actress Qin Hailu (秦海璐) in 2001, and they are both from Mainland China, but they are still ride the golden horse successfully.

Via the Wikipedia, I think I get a lot of information that I want to find. It gives me a detail description about the Golden Horse. However, I think the history discussion could be much more to talk about. For instance, we can compare the Golden Horse with Asia-Pacific Film Festival (亞太影展). Since they are both festival about film in Asia, I think we can get a lot of information if we do the compare and contrast. Besides, I think it is also a good idea that talks about the development of Taiwan’s culture of movie, because movie industry in Taiwan has developed for many years. I think it will be interesting if we can talk about the changes of Taiwan’s films.

I think movies in Taiwan are important that they can always reflect on a lot of things, such as the background at that time of society. Via those movies and films, we can know more about something happen in different time cause different influence. Like the movie “A City of Sadness”(悲情城市), it reflects on the background and life at that time in Taiwan. Gradually, the movie industry has formed a culture. Therefore, that’s why the Golden Horse Award should be exist, because it can encourage the creativity of movies, also via this famous award, we can let the world know more about our culture. I think this is the main reason that the Golden Horse exists, because culture is really important for a country and the Golden Horse has the responsibility to keep promoting our culture.

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My self-interpretation on Religion in Taiwan from Wikipedia

Posted by levonar on November 30, 2006

Religion has been a very complicated issue in Taiwan. It is not only the consolation to Taiwanese, but also a moral standard to us. People are usually identified by their religious groups. This phenomenon is very common in the country sides. Taiwanese often unite the self-community by religious power or identity. The current main-stream religions in Taiwan are Buddhism and Taoism. To be more specific, I think the religion here, especially Buddhism, it is more like a combination of Buddhism and Taoism.
Because the ethnic groups in Taiwan mostly come from the southern mainland, they bring their religious mixture from their homeland. The middle and northern mainland is influenced by the Buddhism from India. The south part creates own Chinese religion, which is Taoism. As time passing by, both Buddhism and Taoism recreate a new type of “Buddhism” and “Taoism.” The new religious type is the combination of Buddhism and Taoism. Taiwan ancestors bring this religious branch into Taiwan. Thus, we have the current religious situation here.

However, in Wikipedia, it does not mention about the religious branches, and the specific religious mixture in Taiwan. Furthermore, it makes a comparison of the min there religions in Taiwan and United States. To me, I do not agree that Confucianism is part of religious idea, even our icc textbook categorize it into religious part. Probably, it comes from the misunderstanding between the Westerns and Easterns.

Moreover, I suggest that Wikipedia could provide further discussion about other religions in Taiwan, such as Christianity, Mormon, and Catholic. It is better that Wikipedia makes a comparison of the three main American religious influences. It could provide the reader a clearer macro point of view to know the deeper part of Taiwanese religions.

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Taiwanese Opera

Posted by aronyeh on November 30, 2006

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Wikipedia Project: Education in the Republic of China

Posted by theresewu on November 29, 2006

I choose the article “Education in the Republic of China” which contains public, primary, secondary, higher, and also private education. First, it mentioned “national exams”, “discipline” and “corporal punishment” in public education. It means that students have to wear uniform and required to clean classrooms everyday and as for the corporal punishment, parents would allow teachers to punish their children since they give the teachers the authority to direct and teach their children. Also the brief introductions from primary to higher education are involved, such as subjects and the time of going to school. Then, Scoring high on national entrance exam is pointed out as the primary goal of every junior and senior high students, which is the pressure of them. Third, it introduced higher education, which includes university, medical school, law school, and technical institutes such as five-year, two-year junior colleges; four-year and two-year institutes. Then, it mentioned some highly regarded universities in Taiwan and finally the private education which includes the cram school and kindergartens, which pointed out the doubt of bilingual education in kindergartens.

I checked the “history” tab; the article has been changed about the grammar and a few changes of wording.

I saw a discussion and the title is “dispute about success of education system”, and in fact it just linked to the article, which shows the brief introduction of China.

I think the author focus on education in Taiwan. Therefore, I think the dispute here is that since Taiwanese children have huge study pressure and it leads to the suicide of students. However, about the title of this discussion, I do not think our education is successful since I hate the drill teaching.

After reading this article, I think foreign people would wonder why Taiwanese need to go to cram school and think that maybe the education in school is not so good and there must be something wrong of this educational system such as the ways of teaching. Besides, about the “corporal punishment”, they may think it amazing that Taiwanese parents would allow teachers to punish their children. Before ten years ago, I think parents all allow the “corporal punishment” and be very happy that teachers help to direct their children. However, nowadays I think that it is not true for all the parents since Taiwanese couples bear only one or two children so they would protect their children from any hurt. Also it does not mention the problems of education in Taiwan and just simply introduce the form and system of education in Taiwan briefly. Besides, I think that the teaching of math and science in Taiwan is successful and it can show the reason of the success. My advice for those people who want to know Taiwan education more is that they can read some information about Confucianism since it influences us deeply and it can refer to our thinking toward education, such as getting high educational background for good jobs and also the high social status. (Nov. 29, 06)

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Religion in Taiwan

Posted by shirleyy on November 29, 2006

Taiwan is a country full of diversity. Due to the races and culture, we can get the idea Taiwan is open to foreign things, not to mention the religions are of the same kinds. In the western world, the Crusade did fight for religion difference. However, unlike mainland China, in Taiwan, we have absolutely freedom of religion, and believers of all religions get along peacefully.

According to the article on Wikipedia, originally, there was only nature worship which Taiwanese aborigines believed. Few years later, with the dominion of the Dutch, Spanish, Japanese and Chinese migrants, they brought Protestant Christianity, Catholicism, Shinto, Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism to Taiwan. Since then, people in Taiwan have got the freedom of choosing their own religion, instead of being partly oppressed like Chinese people.

In order to get a concrete idea of the religions list below, I think the author should add some examples to show how the religions affect Taiwanese society. Take the blended religion for example, the most famous religious activity is the tour of Dajia Matsu holy pilgrimage. This pilgrimage began from the Ching Dynasty, and it last eight days. What’s more, the tour is about 280 km to go. No matter what the motives of the followers are in this pilgrimage, they all have the devoted hearts toward Matsu. Growing up in a small town where every year the Dajia Matsu holy pilgrimage will stay at for one night, I’ve been looking at their march for many years. However, recently, I’ve found out something different from what I saw in the childhood: people who used to raise the shrine on their shoulder have become younger, in my personal opinion, some of them are somewhat “playful”. In addition, there are more and more “electronic floats?” (電子花車) in their march. Does Matsu like to hear pop remix songs? I think the idea of the pilgrimage has been distorted in some way.

After saving the donation from all walks of life for many years, some mainstream religions have started to set up organizations to help those in need. Take Buddhism for example, the well-known leader might be the Master Cheng Yen. She set up the Tzu-chi foundation, advocating people being volunteers in social work. Their kindness is spread throughout the world. No matter which country has a catastrophe, the Tzu-chi volunteer would offer their help as soon as possible. Recent years, due to the globalization, Christmas has become a meaningful festival for Taiwanese. It provides another good chance for people to give their warm blessings in this cold December. On the other hand, as for the similarity, both Buddhism and Christianity set up hospitals, schools, and orphanages. Speaking of the social education, they both offer camps or courses to help people to gain knowledge. The famous English-learning magazine “The Studio Classroom” is a good example which does a great favor in improving Taiwanese’s English level. Besides, both Buddhism and Christianity have their own TV channel to let people understand their belief more. The Da-Ai channel which belongs to Buddhism is known for their pure quality of their news broadcast and drama. Without the politics, scandal, paparazzi, pornography and violence, this channel is still popular. The Good channel which belongs to Christianity has relaxing religious songs, English-teaching programs, programs that talk about the God etc. It makes people get closer to their own belief. Although the Confucianism is not like the so-called religion, it has great influence on Taiwanses’ daily life and personal character. As the author mentions, “Confucian temples are not places of worship, but rather memorial halls honoring Confucius.” he’s so good a model of teacher that we pay much respects on him.

Speaking of Islam, though it’s a mainstream religion, it has fewer believers than the religions that I mentioned above in Taiwan. Beside the affairs of Islam country, we seldom hear the news about Islam in Taiwan on TV. Although the indonesian workers bring in the Muslims, according to a statistics of Executive Yuan, there are only 20,000 dedicated Taiwanese Muslims left.

Looking at the “History” part, the article has been revised many times because of the diction or spelling. Comparing the former ones, the paragraph of Islam changed more than other religion did. The former one talks about “There was no spread of Islam and no mosques were built”. Time passed, though it’s not as prosperous as other religions, now we have 6 mosques in Taiwan. What’s more, the present version mentions about the Indonesia workers add the number of Muslims in Taiwan, this point has been also be modified recently. With the change of labor policy, more and more southern-west foreign labors come to Taiwan to find a job. As for the “Discussion” part, there’s no discussion being brought up.

The diversity has been the feature of Taiwan. Except for the Elmer Gantrys who sometimes deceive people of their money or even body, in fact there is no so-called good or bad religion. As long as it teaches people to be good, then we can accept it and even appreciate it. The miscellaneous religion has made Taiwan a more liberal society. I think this is the point we should be proud of. (2006/11/29 )

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Wikipedia project: Languages of Taiwan

Posted by ashy7495 on November 29, 2006

Since I am interested in languages, I have chosen the article “Languages of Taiwan” which offers introduction of languages or dialects that have been using in Taiwan. According to the article, it contains Mandarin Chinese, Taiwanese, Hakka, Formosans and Japanese.Then it connects with our unique “Zhuyin system” and inconsistent romanization system in Taiwan. At last, Taiwanese and Hakka are introduced in linguistics aspect, then briefly Formosan languages and Japanese.

From the outline contents at the beginning, you can see how they are divided into topics from their official usages. First, it expalins the complexity of Mandarin Chinese and Taiwanese, the article provides more specific introduction of Mandarin, including how it has become the National language and how it is spoken due to the influence of Taiwanese grammar. I think there is another thing we can mention to show people’s attitude toward them. It is that even some second generation of mainlanders speak fluent Taiwanese; however, some Minan children only speak Standard Mandrin due to the lack of practice within their family. Though what different areas may result in different language usages, it does not 100% represent where you were from. In “Taiwanese Mandarin”, it explains the language blending in Taiwan society.

Second, Taiwan use “Taiwan Tongyong Romanization”, which sometimes based on Mandarin Chinese and sometimes on Taiwanese. I think in Wikipedia, they can add examples of Taiwanese confusing traffic signs, esp. location naming. It will help people understand more. Besides, more articles in “Zhuyin Fuhao” articles have a more precise comparison table between Zhuyin, Tongyong Pinyin & Hanyu Pinyin. On the other hand, I heard another 台羅拼音(Taiwanese-Romanization) a few months ago, it states as a pinyin system for original Taiwanese pronunciation. One thing interesting that has been mentioned, “In advertisements, ㄅㄆㄇㄈ phonetic symbols are sometimes used to write certain particles and mass media.” Since ㄅㄆㄇㄈis one method for inputting Chinese text, I think in the article we can add “Martian words (火星文)” among younger generation. It is a result of blending ㄅㄆㄇㄈ and Chinese characters, sometimes it could be confusing because of the incorrect or dual pronunciation among every reader. For example, 你很美.(accurate) v.s. 你粉美 (Martian version). 你們這樣好嗎? (accurate) v.s. 你ㄇ醬(ㄐ一ㄤˋ=這樣 )好ㄇ(Martian version)? This is another recent issue that government has been working on improving students’ standard usage of languages. One thing I have different ideas of “Zhuyin Fuhao” (line 7)-“The system uses 37 special symbols to represent the Mandarin sounds: 21 consonants and 16 vowels.” I think here the definitions of consonants and vowels her are different from English. For example, I think “ㄅ” is not pronounced purely as a consonant sound “P” in English. It is not about voiced or voiceless, “ㄅ” actually pronounces P +ә /o (with vowel sound). “ㄇ” pronounces M+ә /0. “ㄈ” pronounces F+ә /o. Besides, 16 vowels contain single vowels, diphthongs, and nasal vowels. For example, “ㄞ”= ai, “ㄟ”= ei, “ㄠ”=au, “ㄡ”= ou, “ㄢ”= an.

This article is rated as “HIGH” scale for understanding Taiwanese culture; however, there is not much discussion going on. After reading this article, I think foreign people probably have 2 questions. The One is like what is the exact consistent pinyin system that Taiwan practically use? And the other question might be, what is the main difference of Mandarin Chinese and Taiwanese? I would like to give people some advice here- many issues in Taiwan caused from historical incidents and political tension we have been having with Mainland China. Maybe this is part of the reason why people think Taiwanese culture is so rich. Basically many simple questions have been complicated.

(2006. Nov. 29)

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Media in Taiwan

Posted by kyleepai on November 29, 2006

The article that I choose is “Media in Taiwan”, which mentions Taiwan’s cable television, radio, newspapers, magazines, periodicals, and internet. Just like what the article says, “The media in Taiwan is one of the freest and most competitive in Asia”, and media in Taiwan is really various and the media also presents Taiwan’s multiculture.

To begin with, the article talks about “cable television”. It point outs, “Programming is mostly in Mandarin Chinese and Taiwanese, with some Japanese and English channels.” There are also “a dedicated station for Taiwan’s Hakka minority” and an aboriginal channel. The original language with traditional Chinese subtitles are used in most of the programs. Then, it gives a list of the cable television. From the list, we can see many different kinds of channels in Taiwan, about News, politics, talk shows, variety, drama, food, shopping, sports, English movies, Japanese programs, Christian, Buddhist, stocks, animals, children’s programming…and so on. It tells that ROC government is pushing to have digital television services so that the number of the channels will be increased.

In addition, it also talks about the radio in Taiwan; there are many stations which contains talk show, popular music and classical music across AM and FM. For example, Kiss Radio and Hit FM both play Chinese popular music. ICRT is the only station in English in Taiwan. What’s more, it gives some names of newspapers in Taiwan, like Apple Daily. There are also three English newspapers in Taiwan- China Post, Taipei Times, and Taiwan News. However, the content of “magazines and periodicals” is a stub.

Apart from that, it mentions a popular feature now in Taiwan. That is “internet cafes (Chinese: 網咖, Pinyin: wǎngkā), which are often 24-hour and sell a variety of food and drink so that the mainly teenage online gamers who inhabit them do not have to stray too far from their monitors.” “.tw” is used by Taiwan’s websites to present they comes from Taiwan. The last, it provides some available online resources about Taiwan in English.

It is a pity that in both “history” page and “discussion” page, people only discussed about the name of our country- ROC or Taiwan. Overall, I think the article make people know more about media in Taiwan is multiple in many ways, but it still has some places that needs to be improved. For instance, the list in every part- in cable television, radio, newspapers… is incomplete. I can think of a new channel for shopping-MOMO but it is not on the list. Next, as I know, our government has already provided the digital television service. Nevertheless, for others, they can at least have a basic idea about the variety of cable television, radio, newspaper and internet in Taiwan after reading this article. (2006/11/29)

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Taiwanese VS. Mandarin Chinese

Posted by winniepan on November 28, 2006

My article is about Language of Taiwan, and it is focus on the difference from Taiwanese and Mandarin Chinese or so-called Standard Mandarin of Republic of China. It separates the topic into three parts, pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary. In pronunciation part, it indicates that the main difference between Taiwanese and Mandarin Chinese is the tone. The second part uses some examples to explain how people speak differently with the different grammar. Last, the article indicates the cause of people using different vocabulary are different from loaning words from different countries, technological words, idioms, and words specific to living in Taiwan.

Examining the history of this article, I found out that there are not many big changes in the content and the biggest change is that people add more examples to help readers to understand the text.

After reading this article, I have some pro and con about the text. First, the article mentions after Kuomintang took over the government from Japan, they started to make Mandarin Chinese as the official language of Taiwan and forbad people using different language than Mandarin Chinese. This action produces people’s aversion and they think Kuamintang sees them as secondary citizen. But without this action, people in Taiwan would speak different languages and that would probably cause many misunderstanding. Moreover, how should we educate our children, separate them into different languages schools? I think it is not right that people in Taiwan often examine an issue only on one side (often bad side) instead of to examining in different view. Second, I think it is interesting to look at an article that uses analyzing way to introduce the difference between Mandarin Chinese and Taiwanese. As native speakers, we probably wouldn’t find out the reason why it causes different between these two languages. Through this article, I actually learn something which I never pay attention before. For example, people using 有沒有 differently to express the same sentence. Taiwanese would say 你有汽車沒有? (Do you have a car or not?) while Mandarin Chinese would say 你有沒有汽車? (Do you have or not have a car?) However, I think the example is explained a general idea about different styles of speaking but when people speak, they’ve already mixed up the two speaking style. In other words, I think people using language they prefer and not really matter about which style they use. Also, they speak different styles would probably because they speak to different person. People use Taiwanese style would probably talking to grandparents who speak Taiwanese. Nevertheless, by those examples in the article, I think the non-Chinese and non-Taiwanese speakers would at least learn briefly about the two languages as I do. (Nov. 23 2006)

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Wikipedia project: Music of Taiwan

Posted by lucyhuang on November 28, 2006

Since music is an important living necessity for me and background of local music is common sense that we need to have. Consequently, I decide to choose the article “Music of Taiwan” as my topic.

There are four parts in this article, including Hoklo (or Holo), Hakka, aboriginal music, and pop& rock. “Taiwan is densely-populated and culturally diverse, including a majority of Han Chinese.” As a result, most features of music in Taiwan are transcended by Han Chinese. At the beginning, we know that main groups in Taiwan are Holo, Hakka and aboriginals. Instrumental music (like beiguan and nanguan), Taiwanese puppetry, Taiwanese opera and Holo folk music are music genres that the Holo brought to Taiwan. And “mountain songs” is the most distinctive form of Hakka. It might relate to their living style. In the aboriginal part, although aboriginals are just minority compared to Holo and Hakka, it has more significant place because of its special and delicate creativity in music. As to the pop & rock part, it mentions, “Until the 1987 lifting of martial law, Taiwanese pop fell into two distinct categories.” That is, Taiwanese pop and Mandarin pop. I think the time stands for when music industry has been set free. As time goes by, more and more different kinds of pop music emerge. And present music culture in Taiwan is various and changeable.

For those who use Wikipedia to realize music of Taiwan, my suggestion is that they could pay more attention to Aboriginal music. Recently, aboriginal culture has been promoted and emphasized more and more. This article does mention several successful examples. However, plenty of aboriginal singers have brought much more influences on pop music than those mentioned in the article. Some of those singers insist to sing and compose only aboriginal songs instead of following the pop music trend, like Hon-yen Wang (王宏恩); some sing pop music with aboriginal elements or styles, like A-mei (張惠妹); some go into the pop music field even without being known as aboriginals, like Vivian Hsu (徐若瑄). Each kind of these aboriginal singers influences Taiwan pop music. Since pop music is the mainstream now in Taiwan, I think it’s important to observe the phenomena how aboriginal has to do with pop music.

On the other hand, there is a confusing part for me– the Roman phonetic transcription, especially those music instruments and genres. It might also confuse people who use Wikipedia to know more about music of Taiwan. My suggestion is that the transcribed words of specific music terms should be all added with clear interpretation altogether but not just some of them.

Overall, I did gain general impression of early development from the article, especially Holo and Hakka parts which I was not very familiar with. That helps me realize where those traditional music forms appear. Besides, the article doesn’t change a lot through history. Most of the changes are mainly about the unspecific terms used.

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Cinema of Taiwan

Posted by raybeast on November 27, 2006

   Due to the “Golden Horse Film Festival and Awards” which closing two days ago in Taipei, I think it is a good idea to look closer to Taiwan’s films.  From the articles in Wikipedia, they provide very organized ideas of the history of cinema in Taiwan. From different period to different period, films in Taiwan become stonger and stronger.

   At beginning of this section in Wikipedia, the editor indicates that “From 1901 to 1937, Taiwanese cinema was strongly influenced by the Japanese”. During the Japanese colonial era, many customs in Japanese movies were learned by Tawinanese filmmakers. It does suprise me that I don’t know the history of cinema in Taiwan was begin at such early time. Second, Tawianese movies were challenged by Hong Kong movies in 1980s. Under such a difficult circumstance, in order to compete with Hong Kong movies, filmmakers began to support young directors. Such as Edward Yang(楊德昌)…etc. The films in this period were known for their realistic, down-to-earth and portrayals of Tawianese life. Compare with the kong-Fu movies in earlier decades, films in this period began to care about Taiwan. Third, the great fundation of supporting the young directors in 1980s receives the glorious gifts. Many notable directors and actors are shining on the stage of the world, such as Ang Lee, Tsai Ming-Liang..etc.

   In fact, I think films in Taiwan are still influenced by Japan and Hong Kong or even America. However, films in Taiwan have their unique style and techniques which are different than other films in other countries. For example, the movie” Double Visions” (雙瞳) which is about the Taoism leading one girl committed crimes. Moreover, “Silk” (詭絲), the backgroung of the story is taken place in Taiwan. I think editor could talk more about the unique styles in Taiwanese movies. On the other hand, I think filmmakers in asian countries are beginning to cooperate with each other. To compete with mainstream movies form Hollywood, movies in Asia would be a great power.


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