Sunday, January 01, 2006

Live from the Renegade Province

It used to be that New Year's wasn't really a big deal in Taiwan, but it seems to be getting to be more and more of one all the time. Maybe it's the festivities and fireworks at the Taipei 101 building that are drawing more interest. But still, for Taiwanese, the real "new year" is the one on the lunar calendar. I was really surprised when I went to Japan and found that not only do they not celebrate the lunar new year, but that they have moved its celebrations over to the January 1st one. Going to a Buddhist temple on Jan. 1st just seemed so bizarre to me at first. But I got over it--I mean, apparently Jesus was actually born in April, but that doesn't stop us from celebrating Christmas on Dec. 25th (with Pagan trees for decorations).

I am indulging in a bit of Taiwan nostalgia today by checking out the webcams on this page put up by the government.

I discovered this right after who else pops up in my New York Times RSS feed but President Chen Shui-bian. In the article, the following appears:

The speech was Mr. Chen's first major policy address since his Democratic Progressive Party fared badly in islandwide municipal elections on Dec. 3. His party favors greater political independence from the mainland.

Until today, Mr. Chen had said fairly little in the weeks since the Dec. 3 islandwide municipal elections in which his Democratic Progressive Party, which seeks greater political independence from the mainland, fared badly.

Is the NYT trying to hypnotize me? And what does it mean for Taiwan to seek "greater" political independence from "the mainland"? Seems pretty damn independent already, just no one can call it as it is because of the big C. "The Independence that Dare Not Speak its Name!"

Cheers to Michael Turton for the link to the webcams.

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