7. (Ir)religious Taiwan(沒)有信仰的台灣

Posted By on August 14, 2019


I’m from Taipei in Taiwan The scope and space of my daily life has a very limited range I don’t really like travelling either I come from a very conservative Christian family My uncle is a priest I am always surrounded by Christians Though nowadays I won’t particularly emphasizing my Christian identity I think that many Christians today Are lacking this inner dialogue and search for self-understanding I think a large part of religion should be about getting to know yourself I’m talking specifically from the point of view of living in Taipei Having experienced living abroad, travelling and discovering another culture I feel actually helps you to live a spiritual life There are great similarities between travelling and following a spiritual path For starters it’s a path, you are going somewhere You are necessarily open Firstly, because we are alone We have this humility and solitude when facing the other We experience difficulties We also open up to the Other If we don’t, we remain in solitude It forces us to transcend ourselves Forces us to have this wakening, this opening In many ways this opening and confrontation with the Other Shares many common points with a spiritual undertaking Taiwan itself isn’t a Christian country The Christian population is actually relatively small Therefore starting out as a Christian, you may think Myself included, perhaps That believing in something most other people don’t believe Is something very exceptional I think this is a sort of vanity I admit that I once thought that way But less so now I don’t deny this phenomenon exists in Taiwan Some people join simply because it’s a foreign culture They feel they should have some contact with it Especially in my line of work as an English teacher Many teachers at my office are also Christians I often wonder Is it simply because they studied English that they felt they should join Or have they really had their revelation I don’t deny that this situation exists But I have no comment Everyone experiences it in their own way Despite what we could call a rampant materialism I think we can still ask What are the values that remain? What are the values, and the expectations, of the youth? There are young people with whom there is little dialogue But I also meet many youths who are interesting and passionate Who are very open to the world Who want to change their society Who have a relationship with the Other A faith in the Other Which is not religious But nevertheless has a concern for the O ther that is present in other religions That’s a good thing I’ve met some Taiwanese With an extraordinary level of intelligence But they’re not Catholic nor religious There is a real connection and attention to the other To what others expect Something that I think many people in the West have lost Something I can sense in Chinese societies I think that whether we’re talking about China, Taiwan, Japan or Korea Most Asians I have met have antennas They are capable of sensing the most subtle of variations In my facial expressions or emotions To anticipate They always have a formidable attention to detail I saw this in Thailand also Asians really have an incredible care for the Other Something which we have lost There is also a respect for others Which might stem from ‘face’ There is constant attention to what the other is doing Because they live more collectively Yes, they focus more on the collectivity The way we live now in the West France is an individualist society We pay more attention to ourselves Our ego Our wants, our needs and our rights Compared to Asians or Asian societies That still pay great attention to collective life

Posted by Lewis Heart

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