Today I got this comment from Shan:
SJL said… hi Bushman I just want to tell you about my blog. Please read the most recent one “Chiang Kai-Shek and me” and tell me what you think! peace!-Shan
Thanks Shan. As for CKS, I thought the old terminal smelled funny, but the new terminal is modern and a pleasure to visit.
OK, that was a bad joke.
In a twist on the same-same “expat blogger” theme we see worked to death, Shan is a Taiwanese now living in the US. Shan runs a blog and here is an excerpt from the post mentioned:
In the Culture Center of the second largest city in the South of Taiwan—Kaohsiung, sat an eight-meter, 26 feet statue of the former ruler Chiang Kai-Shek. Chiang was active in of the early twentieth century in Taiwan and China, whose influence shaped every aspect of the Taiwanese society. Chiang was also at fault for the drawbacks and defeats of modern Taiwanese history; the damages he’s done to the country and the regression he brought about, as we can see, will take generations of Taiwanese to repair and overcome. This week, the 26-year-old statue in the Kaohsiung Culture Center will be disassembled, removed and relocate to the city close to the burials of the Chiangs in North Taiwan. This is one of the many moves that the Taiwanese government made as part of the process to distinguish Taiwan from China. At the same time, the Taiwanese government is making clear that the modern government is different from the former authoritarian, military dictating rulership. Most importantly, this is an effort to separate politics from culture institutions. Outside the Kaohsiung Culture Center, which was recently renamed from Chung-Chen* Culture Center, a riot took place.
I particularly like this paragraph:
Growing up in Taiwan in the 80s and the 90s, many things I did in school, which I couldn’t understand at the time, were the leftovers of Chiang’s military dictatorship. As the principle of my class in elementary school, I was responsible for ranking my classmates into straight lines every morning before we sang the anthem and raise the flag. I was instructed to call out “attention!” and “at ease!” simultaneously in Zhejiang accent. It took me years to figure out why the two words had to be pronounced in such a way that sounded completely out of place in a native Taiwanese’ ear. Turned out, the Zhejiang born former ruler’s accent and the way he stressed the two words when he drilled the troops were passed down by the officials who wanted to sound like him. Overtime, “attention!” and “at ease!” sounded only natural when pronounced with Zhejiang accent for all the people of Taiwan.
Good stuff, well written and worth reading. Thanks for letting us all know about your blog Shan.
(btw is that you in the header photo?)
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