Inside the Taiwan time machine: Experiencing spirituality, architecture in a young country steeped in legacy

Date: Apr 13, 2019
By: Lakshmi Govindrajan Javeri

Fo Guang Shan Buddha museum and monastery

I don’t think I can ever forget “Penguin’s” laugh. The Taiwanese name of this six-year-old girl sounds rather similar to the word “penguin”, yet the language barrier was rendered irrelevant by her hearty, resounding laughter that reverberated through the corridors of the magnificent Fo Guang Shan monastery in Kaohsiung.

The largest Buddhist monastery in Taiwan, it was our final major sightseeing halt in the week-long sojourn before we wound down for the day and geared up for the flight back home.

Ageless in Taiwan

In essence, she was everything that Taiwan stands for: Young yet steeped in ancient cultural legacy, while being infectiously genuine with a powerful, all-embracing attitude to the world.

Despite all my research and preparation for the trip, I was pleasantly surprised at how this island is actually a bit of a time machine. It is a young economy that straddles rich heritage dating back centuries on the one hand, and world-famous ultra high-tech modernity on the other. One may say that this feeling of balancing the ancient with the futuristic is typical of the region, with countries like China and Japan leading the pack. Yet, Taiwan’s geographical, historical and cultural lineage coupled with its unique political landscape gives it a distinct identity.    [FULL  STORY]

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