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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.

Posted in religion, Taiwan, Wikipedia project | 2 Comments »

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 )

Posted in religion, Taiwan, Wikipedia project | Comments Off on Religion in Taiwan

The world of Islam

Posted by levonar on November 9, 2006

Muslim has the world-wide believers and the fastest growing rate as well, however, it has been considered as –“the religion which is easiest to be misunderstood.” The reason could be the difference between Western and Eastern Culture. Sometimes, the westerns have certain stereotype toward estern culture.They might think the easterns are mysterious, hard to unveil the secrets of life, and even consider the eastern world hasn’t well-civilized yet (both in life style, concepts toward value, the stability of politics and the degree of industrialization).

However, I think the religious idea of Islam is not so hard to understand. Most of the Islamic creeds are designed for the environmental conditions. The Five Pillars of Practice are actullay helping the Muslims live in the desert well. Therefore, if the Non-Muslims would like take a positive attitude to understand the basic meaning of Islam, the misunderstanding between Muslims and Non-Muslims could be getting less and less. It can also make the world more peaceful as well.

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Do Hajjis have Racial Discrimination?

Posted by kyleepai on October 30, 2006

Hello, I’ve watched the film of Hajj and seen some discussions between my classmates and partners from
Kuwait. I found that some people’s questions are just like mine, and just like my classmates, I am also very impressed and amazed about Hajj and Hajjis. The film shows that how belief directly influence people’s actions and minds; I felt very moved when the Muslims melt into tears because they finally came to
Mecca. The process of the
pilgrimage Muslims take to the holy city of
Mecca is full of difficulty
, but Muslims can overcome it. So, I think that their painstaking to attain their goal in life is praiseworthy and I admire their firm and persistent determinations. I remember that a forty-year-old man said that Muhammad can do it when sixty and he can do so. However, I still feel confused somehow. My question is just like what Rachel mentioned.

In the video, there is a black man who receives unfair treatment when resting at the tent during the pilgrimage. I am wondering if this violates God’s wish of every man is equal? Besides, there is an American woman who joins Hajj as well. She says she still gets people’s doubts of her being Muslim.

Why couldn’t the black stay in the same tent with the other people? To quote in the film, ““God doesn’t look a face. God doesn’t look a body…God is looking for what? Your heart! ” I think a faithful heart is more than everything, but I don’t know if Muslims think so. Do they have racial discriminations? Although in the end of the film the black and the American woman are glad that God accept them, I still want to know why they have some unjust treatment during the pilgrimage. What I am wondering is that why God can accept them but the other Muslims can’t; it really confuses me.

Posted in Kuwait, race, religion | Comments Off on Do Hajjis have Racial Discrimination?

Questions about Islam and Kuwait

Posted by raybeast on October 29, 2006

Hello everyone~~ I have watched the film about Haj and read some discussions about Kuwait in the Wikipedia. First of all, I can deeply feel that how important the Haj is to islamites. I really do appreciate the religious principles of Islam which is about “no discrimination between human race, no matter you are poor or rich,”however I still wondering about how do islamites think about homosex? I know it is a weird question, but can someone answer me? Secondly, I’d like to know what are peoples’ daily life in Kuwait? I mean do people in Kuwait live like Taiwan? In Taiwan, we usually get up at nine or ten and go to school and office then we have lunch at about eleven or twelve(maybe one hour for taking a nap) then at about five or six we go home. This is a basic daily life in Taiwan which means we spend about eight or nine hours on studying or working. How about people in Kuwait? I want to ask this question is because Kuwait is a rich country, maybe people in Kuwait can spend less time on working. Ha…

Posted in Kuwait, religion, sexuality | 8 Comments »


Posted by tottietsai on October 29, 2006

I think that many people have a stereotyped about Islam because of Osama Bin Laden and the Terrorist attack. After watching this film, I was very surprised that Muslims have such strong belief to make a pilgrimage to
Mecca. Every year people can see millions of Muslims from the whole world go to
Mecca to worship their God. Every time when I watch this news, I am very impressed on their determination and great belief on their religion. These Muslims
practice what they preach. I am curious about why that they have such strong belief to go to
Mecca and know that they may lose their life through this pilgrimage? Also, I am curious about the black stone and what its significance and role on Islam? Through this film, I have known the Muslims process and some rituals to
Mecca. From their process to
Mecca, I was impressed by the scene that when some of Muslims arrived
Mecca, they burst out a cry. I was very touched by this scene because I can feel that their dissolve on their accomplishment of the pilgrimage. Also, the ritual to throw stone is quite impressed me. I was wondering what ritual’s significance on Islam? Hope I can get answers from you to understand more about the Islam culture. Thank you.

Posted in media, religion, stereotyping | 3 Comments »

Hajj and Islam

Posted by doris0724 on October 29, 2006

After watching the video, I feel so impressed by the documentry. I am so impressed by their strong belief. It is common that some people say they have strong belief about religion, but for Muslim, they are even willing to walk for a long long time to worship their God. I think that’s why that Islam is the religion that cause the most misunderstanding. We are not Muslim, so we may regard those things what they have done is incredible. However, after watching the documentry, I feel touched by their strong belief and now I can understand why they are willing to do so many things for their belief. I still remember one scene, an American woman cried because she finally arrived Mecca. I am wondering why they have so strong belief about Islam but other religions, and I try to find the answer in this documentry. I think the answer is that Muslim says in documentry, because they believe that their God is equal to everyone. No matter their appearance, gender, race, country and so on. When they are going to pray at Mecca, they all have to wear Kobe. I think that is another way that shows everyone is equal in front of God. They also have a lot of ways to worship their God, but I can’t understand two of these ways. The first one is called “standing at Arafat”. What is the significance about that? And why at Arafat but other places to worship their God? The second one is they will throw stones. We can find the meaning of throwing stones is for getting rid of the devil in their inner heart. But why do they want to use this way to get rid of the devil? Don’t they think it is very dangerous? Since it is a different culture that we are unfamiliar with, but I think no matter what kind of religion, they all have the same function that is make our life become better and better. Like people says at the end of the video, it is an kind of improvement and learn, and they will give away what they have learned to make everyone better and better.

Posted in religion | 1 Comment »

Amazing Hajj

Posted by lucyhuang on October 29, 2006

After watching the video of Hajj, I deeply sense the strong power of Islam. There are many words uttered by people in the video really touch me. For instance, “God doesn’t look a face. God doesn’t look a body…God is looking for what? Your heart!” The South African man appreciates God about the equality, for black men usually receive racial discrimination. But he thankfully found Islam to accept him. Besides, in Islam, only spiritual status matters but materials are of tiny importance. They wear the same outfits. And everyone look all the same there. It not only shows the equality before God, but also emphasizes the materials are not important. Hajj only cares about the connection to the God mentally. They can sleep on the road side without hesitation, and they can eat simple food without extra desire. They talk about their belief with passion and expectation. After the pilgrimage to Mega, a man said, “I would like to be a better man…I want to play a better role of whatever I am supposed to be in.” I used to be confused about the function of pilgrimage but now I get an understanding from his words. Everyone has his/her expectation in life. They just hold a faith, and realize it through Hajj.

There’s a question comes into my mind after watching the marvelous scene of hajj. Since there are millions of people in
Saudi Arabia believe in the same religion, I am quite curious about what if someone doesn’t believe in Islam? Will he/ she face great pressure or be despised? Compared to the American female in the video who chooses her own religion even though she comes from a Catholic family, is there any religious freedom in
Kuwait at all? I believe that in the past, the conventional society must not allow this kind of situation, but I’m wondering if the situation remains the same till now. I’m expecting to hear from your opinions in near future!

Posted in religion | 4 Comments »


Posted by winniepan on October 29, 2006

I watched the video about the Haj and I feel it is amazing. So many people come from different countries to Saudi Arabia in order to worship God. I think it is a very significant event to Muslim and they actually cry when they pray at Mecca. I’m not a Muslim but I understand the feeling that touches their hearts when they’re so near the holy place they dream to come.

In the video, I learn some culture and attitude toward Muslims. During they life they wish to go to Mecca at least one time and they learn to be a better man after they back home. A woman from America in the video says that the real point to come to Mecca is to improve oneself. Moreover, people get together because of love during the worship, no matter what races or social status they are. The video also mentions that people should be patience, courtesy and respect and I think it’s very important to have these three elements when people join the Haj. Furthermore, I think Muslims are all confirmed about what they do. They are also very religious, they devote to the things that Abraham and Hagar do. In the video, people walk quickly for several times on the path that Hagar searching for water for her son. Besides, they are willing to walk to Arafat instead of by car because they believe they can do it when Abraham did it at the aged of 60.

After watching the video, I have some questions. Do people in Saudi Arabia wear robes all the time or when they join Haj? Also, I have see some news report point out that many people were asphyxiated or tramped to death because of too many people or hit by the throwing pebbles during Haj. In your point of view, do you think it is still worth to go to Mecca even though one might be killed there?

Posted in religion | 4 Comments »

Hajj and Islam

Posted by rachelhsu on October 29, 2006

It is really impressive for me to see the emotional and spiritual impacts a religion has on so many people. When watching the video clip on Google, I was really touched and amazed by all the Muslims’ strong beliefs in God and their continual devotions. One of the significant scenes in the clip for me is when an old man says his prayer and then begins to cry – I can as if to feel his connection with God. But here I have some questions about this video: Frist,what is the significance of the cover on Kabba? Why do Muslims have to make a new one every year for the Hajj? Second, why do the Muslims walk in circle around the Kabba seven times? Is there any particular meaning behind ”seven times”? Actually, I quite like the idea of wearing white robes (how do you call them?) when attending the sacred ceremony to make everyone equal in front of God without the difference of sex, gender, race, status, so on and so forth. However, in the video, there is a black man who receives unfair treatment when resting at the tent during the pilgrimage. I am wondering if this violates God’s wish of every man is equal? Besides, there is an American woman who joins Hajj as well. She says she still gets people’s doubts of her being Muslim. I don’t know if the race of pilgrims will make any difference or draw special attentions?! It will be great if you can answer my questions. 🙂

Posted in race, religion | 3 Comments »