Taiwanese culture is a hybrid mix of many sources, including aspects of traditional Chinese culture, owing to the historical and ancestral origins of the majority of its present inhabitants, Japanese culture, traditional Confucianist beliefs, and increasingly Western ideals.
Following their relocation to Taiwan, the Kuomintang enforced an official version of traditional Chinese culture on the island. The government began supporting Chinese calligraphy, traditional Chinese painting, folk art, and Chinese opera via a program.
The position of Taiwanese culture is being contested. It is debatable whether Taiwanese culture is a regional variant of Chinese culture or a separate culture in its own right. Politics continues to play a role in the creation and development of a Taiwanese cultural identity, reflecting the ongoing debate regarding Taiwan’s political position, particularly in the previous prevailing frame of a Taiwanese and Chinese duality. Taiwanese multiculturalism has recently been proposed as a relatively apolitical alternative view, allowing for the inclusion of mainlanders and other minority groups in the ongoing re-definition of Taiwanese culture as collectively held systems of meaning and customary patterns of thought and behavior shared by the people of Taiwan. Identity politics, along with almost a century of political isolation from mainland China, has resulted in unique traditions in a variety of fields, including food and music.
The National Palace Museum, which contains over 650,000 items of Chinese bronze, jade, calligraphy, painting, and porcelain and is regarded one of the world’s largest collections of Chinese art and artifacts, is one of Taiwan’s most popular attractions. The KMT relocated this collection from Beijing’s Forbidden City in 1933, and a portion of it was ultimately transferred to Taiwan during the Chinese Civil War. The collection, which is believed to represent one-tenth of China’s cultural treasures, is so large that only a fraction of it is on exhibit at any one moment. The PRC claimed the collection had been stolen and demanded its restoration, but the ROC has long maintained its possession of the collection as a necessary measure to safeguard the items from destruction, particularly during the Cultural Revolution. Relations between China and Taiwan have lately improved; Beijing Palace Museum Curator Zheng Xinmiao said that items in both Chinese and Taiwanese museums are “China’s cultural legacy equally held by people across the Taiwan Strait.”
Taiwan’s classical music tradition is thriving, with performers such as violinist Cho-Liang Lin, pianist Ching-Yun Hu, and Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society Artist Director Wu Han. Karaoke, which is based on current Japanese culture, is very popular in Taiwan, where it is referred to as KTV. KTV establishments operate in a hotel-like manner, renting out tiny rooms and ballrooms based on the number of visitors in a group. Many KTV venues collaborate with restaurants and buffets to provide all-encompassing extravagant evening events for families, friends, and businesspeople. Tour buses in Taiwan feature many TVs, however they are mostly used for singing Karaoke rather than viewing movies. A KTV’s entertainment equivalent is an MTV, which may be found considerably less often outside of the city. Movies available on DVD may be chosen and played in a private theater area. However, MTV, more than KTV, is gaining a reputation as a place where young couples may be alone and intimate.
Taiwan has a high number of 24-hour convenience shops that, in addition to the normal services, collect parking fees, energy bills, traffic infraction penalties, and credit card payments on behalf of financial institutions or government agencies. They also provide package mailing services.
Taiwanese culture has impacted other civilizations as well. In Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Europe, and North America, bubble tea and milk tea are accessible. Taiwanese television programs are widely watched in Singapore, Malaysia, and other Asian nations. Taiwanese films have received many international prizes at film festivals worldwide. Taiwanese filmmaker Ang Lee has directed highly praised films such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Eat Drink Man Woman, Sense and Sensibility, Brokeback Mountain, Life of Pi, and Lust, Caution. Tsai Ming-Liang, Edward Yang, and Hou Hsiao-hsien are three more well-known Taiwanese filmmakers.