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Archive for November 29th, 2006

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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