Asian Values On Their Terms
Defying those who said it wasn’t in their DNA, the Taiwanese have created Asia’s most vibrant democracy and liberal society, with a raucous free press, gender equality, and respect for human rights and, increasingly, animal rights as well. The ancestors are still worshipped, and mum and dad still get their dues, but woe betide the politician who thinks it’s the people who must pander, and not him – or her. If you want to catch a glimpse of the people’s passion for protest, check out Taipei Main Station on most weekends, or just follow the local news.
The Tao of Today
Taiwan is heir to the entire Chinese tradition of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and that amorphous collection of deities and demons worshipped as folk faith. Over the centuries the people have blended their way into a unique and tolerant religious culture that’s often as ritual heavy as Catholicism and as wild as Santeria.Taiwanese temples (all 15,000) combine worship hall, festival venue and art house under one roof. Watch a plague boat burn at Donglong Temple, go on a pilgrimage with the Empress of Heaven, study a rooftop three-dimensional mosaic, and learn why a flag and ball have come to represent prayer.
Thanks to Lonely Planet for the content sharing.