Sun, Sep 30, 2007 - Page 8 News List

Letter: Judy gets it wrong

I agree with Ron Judy in his letter (Letters, Sept. 26, page 8) about the China-centric way in which exchange programs with Taiwan are advertised and how annoying this can be. However, I must take issue with Judy on two points.

The first is his perception that a large number of Taiwanese are "ashamed" of their own culture. I don't see this. I see most Taiwanese as being very proud of a culture rich in music, literature, performing and culinary arts and that has given us Ang Lee (李安), A-Mei (阿妹) and Ju Ming (朱銘).

Secondly, I believe that Taiwan is a great place to learn about "Chinese" culture. In some ways those who promote the "Chinese-ness" are right. Think about it. Hong Kong and Singapore have increasingly come under the cultural influence of China. Taiwan has, in many ways, become the last bastion of traditional Chinese culture -- ironic considering the government's de-Sinification campaign. Hong Kong and Singapore have replaced traditional Chinese characters with simplified characters. Students who come to study in Taiwan will be fortunate to be able to learn traditional Chinese writing and calligraphy -- and see it used all around them every day.

Tim Greenwood


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