Glimpse of Asia
In a lot of fantasy movies, many people see amazing landscapes and complex cultures that they crave to experience. Sadly, the movie ends and they are left thinking that those fantastical views and cultures are false. Well fear not, because the real world itself is a wondrous place. One of the places that has an especially unique and beautiful atmosphere is Asia.
If one is going to Asia and wants to see something a bit more colourful, then the Rainbow Family Village in Taiwan is the place to be. This small village is hand painted in vibrant colours that brings life to this otherwise simple town. The reason for the town’s colourful appearance is because of an 87 year old man named Huang Yung-Fu who suddenly got up and began to paint the town (literally). Even though Huang is the only person living in the village, it’s still a very beautiful place to visit, especially since the town is under the threat of demolition.
The town’s country, Taiwan, also contributes to the culture that is found in the Rainbow Family Village. Many celebrations are celebrated throughout the lunar calendar. For example, on the first day of the Chinese New Year, the people of Taiwan celebrate the Spring Festival. The day before the festival, people would focus on feasting and parents would also give their children little red envelopes with money inside. On New Year’s Day, the families would go out and pay their respects to their deceased family members, gods and elders by burning incense at a local temple. On the last day of the festival (which is the fifteenth day), the people would hold a Lantern Festival in which children would bring lanterns to a local temple and light fireworks to symbolize unity.
In Taiwan, their diet is mainly based on fish. Their food is either slowly cooked in soups,stews or fried. Teas are also a staple commodity in Taiwan and tea houses will appear everywhere. Economically, Taiwan is big on trade, with their biggest exports being electronics, textiles, plastic products, etc. Their steady flow of income also built up social classes and divisions in wealth. Social classes consist of the working class, middle class (educators, lower government officials), lower bourgeoisie (farmers, small business people, artisans) and the upper Bourgeoisie (high ranking government officials, owners of large businesses). This information alone barely scratches the surface of what the Rainbow Family Village and Taiwan has to offer.
Another wondrous place that is worth visiting is Mt. Fuji in Japan. This iconic snow-capped mountain (commonly known as Fuji-san) is an active volcano that has the highest peak in Japan and is considered as one of the three holy mountains. Every year, more than 200,000 people make the trek up the mountain to see its beauty.
The New Year festival is a very important time in Japanese culture. In Japan, they have different festivals held for the boys, girls, stars and chrysanthemums that are held on different days of the celebration. Many people would celebrate religious ceremonies by dressing up in traditional wear and visiting a Shinto shrine. Speaking of religion, the majority of people living in Japan are either Shinto or Buddhist. This also means that many would take pilgrimages up Mt. Fuji for spiritual purposes. Rice is a staple food for the Japanese people for over 2,000 years as it had once been traded as currency. Growing rice is very laborious and time consuming so wasting the rice is considered very rude and whatever leftovers are present is put to great use. Fish is also important to the Japanese diet. Fish connoisseur out there will appreciate that Japan is home to the world’s largest fish and seafood market (Tsukiji Fish Market), so if you’re traveling to Mt. Fuji, you’ll be well taken care of.
One thing that can easily set Japan apart from anywhere else is their fashion. In Japan, there are many sub-fashions and traditional wear that can be spotted from time to time. Traditional clothing called Kimonos and are easy to point out for their flowing fabrics and bright floral patterns. Even though many people today don’t wear them as street wear, the outfits are still worn for special occasions and ceremonies. Many Japanese modern wear, however, have more of a mainstream – but still outlandish – look to them. One of the sub-fashions of Japan is called cosplay, in which one will dress up as a character from a manga, game, movie, anime, etc. Another sub-fashion is called Lolita, which involves someone to dress in vintage clothing that resembles something out of the Victorian era. Another, very popular, fashion
pretty well off with its revenue. Even so, the rich continues to get richer and everyone below them stays where they are so the gap is projected to increase pretty quickly over the coming years.
When one thinks about where to vacation, they might consider the Caribbean, Europe or even Las Vegas. In reality, Asia is actually the place to be when it comes to the breath taking views, culture and one-of-a-kind experiences that cannot be found anywhere else.