Wed, Jul 20, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Taipei uses Confucianism to attract Chinese tourists

Staff Writer, with CNA

Taipei is mixing Confucianism with soap opera and gourmet food in the hopes of attracting independent Chinese tourists, government officials said yesterday.

Confucianism, an ethical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius (孔子), is considered a quasi-religious philosophy that has influenced the culture and history of East Asia.

Through a modern interpretation of Confucianism, Taipei can present to Chinese tourists a traditional culture that was largely demolished in China during the Cultural Revolution, but which is still well-kept in Taiwan, city officials said.

“Confucius is a great cultural icon cherished by every tourist,” said Chao Hsin-ping (趙心屏), -commissioner of the city’s Department of Information and Tourism.

“What we are doing is giving a little bit of background to let tourists experience Confucianism themselves,” Chao said.

In its latest tourism promotion campaign on Confucianism, the department launched a film production in which a couple falls in love because of their common passion for Confucius’ teachings. The story starts with a light quarrel, with the boy and the girl disagreeing on the manner of drinking coffee.

It is a refreshing way to illustrate how Confucian principles dictate not only how the dishes are cooked, but also the order in which they are brought out, project supervisor Su Yu-chin said.

Since the characters in the film were based on the different -personalities of Confucius’ disciples, Su said the love story makes the educational material accessible for Chinese tourists who want to pursue in-depth travel in Taiwan.

Besides the short film, the city also offers Confucian cuisine, which reflects Confucianism by following strict rules governing different classes of banquets according to the status of attendees and the specific event.

Prepared with specific -nutrition, flavor, color and aroma under Confucian rules, all the dishes are named after great people in Chinese history, including revered poets.

“We want to succeed in making a name for Taipei as a source of Confucius’ legacy,” Chao said.

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