Terry Cheng, Member of Culture Committee, Yew Chung Education Foundation
Taiwanese society can be said to be comprising five groups of people—the indigenous people, Hokkien (Southern Fukienese), Hakka, Mainlanders and new immigrants. They are not strictly ethnic groupings as most of them are Han Chinese with similar cultural backgrounds. These groups settled in Taiwan at different periods of time, and have developed differences and at times confrontations over history. In a recent trip to Taiwan in preparation for a study tour of Chinese Studies Course at Yew Chung International School, this writer visited places that shed light on the history of these groupings in their settlement in Taiwan.
This writer finds that despite their differences, these five groups of people are integrating into a new entity that will face a common destiny. This development will impact on the politico-social environment of Taiwan, and in turn affect its relationship with Mainland China and pose challenges to their reunification.
This Taiwan leg of the study tour is connected to the Beijing part, providing Year 9 students the opportunities to see for themselves the differences between the two sides regarding issues like how to integrate different ethnic groups, preserve cultural relics and interpret modern Chinese history.
(Originally appears in Issue no. 19, Minbaowuyu)