Classic decorative tiles line the walls of Xianse Temple in New Taipei
City’s Sanchong District. (Chen Mei-ling)
- Taiwan is the center of the Mandarin
pop music industry.
- National Palace Museum in Taipei City
houses one of the largest collections of
ancient Chinese artifacts in the world.
Taiwan is renowned for its fascinating blend of traditional
and modern culture. To showcase the nation’s
history and cultural diversity, museums have been
established across Taiwan, including National Palace
Museum, National Taiwan Museum, National Museum
of History, National Museum of Prehistory, National
Museum of Taiwan Literature and National Taiwan
Museum of Fine Arts. Taiwan also has performance
venues nationwide, including National Theater and
Concert Hall, National Taichung Theater, National
Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying) and Taiwan
Traditional Theatre Center. Such high-quality facilities
have made Taiwan a center for the arts in Asia, hosting events like Taiwan International Arts Festival and Taipei
Arts Festival. Traditional architecture abounds, not only
in the country’s magnificent monuments such as temples
and official residences, but also in the many old
structures that have been revitalized for use as community
centers, cafes, stores and other public spaces. In
fact, many aspects of traditional Chinese arts, crafts and
customs are better preserved in Taiwan than anywhere
else. For example, Taiwan is one of the few places still
using traditional Chinese characters, and calligraphy
competitions are always popular events.
Traditional tenets of Buddhism, Confucianism and
Taoism continue to be well represented in everything
from temple celebrations and literature to the visual
and performing arts. In addition, visitors can learn
about the heritages of the country’s Hakka, Holo and
indigenous peoples. Taiwan also shares its cultural
riches throughout the world via programs such as the
Taiwan Academy resource centers.
At the same time, Taiwan’s larger cities are thriving
metropolises that offer 24/7 entertainment options.
There are highly regarded modern dance troupes,
as well as a vibrant music scene, which is hardly surprising
as Taiwan is the world capital of Mandopop,
or Mandarin pop music. The local television and film sector has seen a resurgence in recent years, while the
country’s booming cultural and creative industries are
evident in the many designer stores, markets and exhibitions
that are growing in number every year.
From literary arts and folk festivals to the lively atmosphere
of night markets, Taiwan’s traditions are closely
intertwined with everyday life, adding to a thriving culture
in which the past gives vitality and depth to the present.
Spinning tops are an important part of the local cultural
heritage of Daxi District in northern Taiwan’s Taoyuan City. (Huang Chung-hsin)