Lives & Cultures
Recreating the Passion Towards the Land – Thousand-Mile Trail

Trail after trail, winding through town after village, thread together Taiwan’s cultural and natural landscape. When a day comes that such meandering trails cover all of Taiwan, they will form a network encircling the island, calling people who accustomed to fast-paced city life to learn to slow down, relax, and appreciate the beauty of this land with their feet and hearts.

he Marriage Certificate of Dr. George Leslie Mackay

God created Man, male and female, Adam and Eve, and they lived happily in the Garden of Eden. Eve, however, unfortunately fell into temptation and ate of the Forbidden Fruit.She and Adam were thus expelled from the Garden of Eden and condemned to a mortal existence. Ever since, humanity has been beset with all manner of troubles. Humanity must deal with floods, wild beasts, war and plagues, but none of these can compare with the domestic strife of Adam and Eve. The squabbles between man and woman have troubled humankind for thousands of years. With the bondage of marriage, quarrels between husband and wife have become so petty that not even God can help.

Marriage in Traditional Taiwanese Han Society

In the early years of Qing rule, a disproportionately male population in Taiwan led to the prioritization of finances in affairs of marriage. To marry, the groom had to prepare a huge amount of betrothal money, while the bride had to be accompanied by a hefty dowry, causing marriage to become a ritual show of wealth.

The Season of Golden Harvest--The Kuroshio Fishing Culture

Before the Chinese Lunar New Year, Chenggong fish market looks like a checkerboard filled with seas of marlins on each square. After the New Year, however, the marlins are replaced by mountains of golden-colored common dolphinfish. Attached on top of each mountain of fish is a piece of paper with the net weight of the pile beneath it. Moving through the fish market at this time of the year requires exceptional agility, for you need not only to navigate through the mountains of fish to make your way, but to look out for sudden 'attacks' from the fish flipping and flopping on top of these piles. Crisscrossing our way through the fish market, we couldn't help but feel amazed at the ever-growing height of the piles of common dolphinfish.

The Old President's Trinkets

Until recently, seals were widely used to sign documents and packages. Although most seals found on ancient calligraphy work, paintings and plaques express the individual style and character of the owner, seal impressions of the President, however, display few distinguishing characteristics. They were stamped on official documents, delivered, and passed from hand to hand. Eventually they became smudged and altered, ultimately vanishing with the passage of time. The owner of this collection of seals was the longest serving president in the history ROC. For a long time, whenever the title “President” was heard, whether in abuse, praise or ridicule, it had to refer to the old President Chiang.

Year-end Gathering at Baihua Hall—The Classical Chinese Poetry Salon for Taiwan’s Scholar-Gentry

Poetry and lyric lie at the heart of traditional Chinese literature. During the Qing dynasty, Taiwan, though located at the periphery, saw a relatively high level of prosperity among its people. Primary amid the concerns of well-to-do, educated Chinese on the island was to train their descendents and clansmen in the Confucian classics; the widespread establishment of private schools instituting a Confucian curriculum was mainly dictated by this concern. In addition, among the Chinese settlers in Taiwan were a substantial number of older mainland gentry and imperial officials and their retainers, who, by constantly seeking metaphors to express their thoughts and feelings, soon turned chanting and recitation into a new vogue. Such literary movement can be traced back to the middle of the Qing dynasty, during which verse exchanges among local scholar-gentry had been frequently conducted by poetry societies specifically established for the purpose of intellectual exchange and cultivation.

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