1992 / 3月
This is a comparative society. We compare the level of democracy and rule by law, compare wealth, compare fame and achievement, compare outstanding victories and dismal failures, compare. . . . Although people are not necessarily placed on this world to determine who or what is better in every respect, we discover that "it's hard not to compare."
In our cover story this month, "Restructuring the 'Logistics'--Career Women on the Offensive," the systems of backup support for women are being compared. It is discovered that "some homes are happy and others are sad."
After leaving the home: In the process of creating our economic miracle, women played an important role. In the sixties and seventies, they burned the candle at both ends. On the one hand, they cared for the family, handling the home so that men had no worries there, and on the other, they joined the work force to help bring about the export boom.
Because of the slowly evolving family and social structures and the insufficiency of support systems, this force of strength and benefit to society has started to shake.
Focusing on the lack of support for working women, some people believe that cheap and effective foreign maids should be allowed to work in Taiwan. Others are calling for an "Equal Employment Act" modelled on the legislation found in the advanced nations of Europe and America. And publicly or privately operated day-care centers are hoping that they can use various methods to fill the vacuum when the mother leaves the home to work.
Today, when there is growing feminist consciousness, we ought to respect the right to choose of women who have family and are willing to work. What's even more important is that men in the home, starting with the man in the mirror, must do their best to help their wives.
From Clear to Cloudy: The special feature of this issue of Sinorama provides more comparison--between the Chingshui and Lele rivers of Hualien County--in the article "From Clear to Cloudy."
These two rivers originate from the Central Mountain Range. The Chingshui (which means clear water) often wreaks havoc by destroying dikes and causing paddy fields to flood as the result of long-term logging and mining upstream.
The other river, the Lele (which means cloudy in Taiwanese), has avoided destruction because of inconvenient transportation and because it has been included within the scope of the Yushan National Park. It even has many species of rare animals active there. The two rivers converge in the Yuli Township. When there was big-time mining and logging on the Chingshui, Yuli boomed. But in recent years, with the vacuum left by these industries, it has returned to its former sleepy self. The only thing that's different are the changes to the natural environment. When comparing the two, one can't help but opt for the Lele (muddy in Taiwanese) over the ecological disasters associated with the Chingshui (clear water).
The performances of the Ming Hua Yuan folk opera troupe and the Hsiao Hsi Yuan puppet troupe, companies that use modern management methods, have changed the nature of traditional drama troupes in Taiwan over the past few years, launching these troupes into national theaters. Being compared with other drama groups, their charm is the topic of a fine Sinorama report.
Ishigaki Island's Taiwan Village: There are three articles on overseas topics.
The villagers on Japan's Ishigaki Island can be said to be Taiwan's first agricultural immigrants. During the Japanese rule of Taiwan, over a thousand farmers struggling in Taiwan moved there on what was formerly wasteland, introducing water buffalos in crop cultivation. With great efficiency they turned a "ghost town" into a thriving Taiwanese village. The history of their bitter struggle and the story of how they adapted there when Taiwan was returned to the R.O.C. are described in a report based on first-hand accounts.
One of the greatest four Japanese Universities, Waseda (which means morning rice paddy) was originally characterized by a spirit of opposition and rebellion and by its grassroots spirit. Its alumni dominate the political scene, accounting for over half of the members of the current Diet and such prime ministers as Noburu Takeshita and Toshiki Kaifu. Its alumni also dominate the media and hold their own in literature.
The focus of this report is describing how this school, with roots in the paddy fields, has and will develop. The focus of another article is in Southeast Asia, on the Malaysian Alumni Association of Taiwan Universities and Colleges. As more and more Taiwanese companies have invested in Malaysia, these alumni have been an important group, put in charge of Taiwanese investments--a scenario that they would have thought of as startling in years past.
Another article describes Karaoke supplementary classes, which have been fueled by the KTV craze. The classes have created a new industry, which caters to no small group of students, who, for varied purposes, shell out for these classes in the hope of one day belting tunes out beautifully.
Acer Inc. set up a day care center at its factory in Lungtan for children of its employees. Here it is visited by senior writer Jackie Chen (right). (photo by Huang Lili)