For most foreigners who did not understand the local history and merely followed the official sightseeing brochure, may visit the National Palace Museum or Sun, Yat-Sen Memorial Hall for their first stop in Taipei. While it is surely personal preference, different perspective of historic views will alter the way we see this island. The National Palace Museum and Sun, Yat-Sen Hall were built by KMT government before the Martial Law was over. As the normal civilian without joining any political party, some official museums seem to be exotic places where I could learn lots of Chinese cultures but Taiwanese.
Taipei 228 Memorial Museum
The 228 massacre was the most traumatized history on this island, compared to previous occupation eras, no other countries had ever slaughtered our people so madly and entirely. And that triggered the hatred of Chinese for a long period of time, even now locals are trying to avoid mainland Chinese under normal circumstances, not to mention the CCP. Other reasons may be different thoughts and behaviors for now. Many elites lost their lives at 228 incident, and the KMT government only designated Chinese as the leader of many official organizations, creating systematic unfair to locals and only the very talented person could be able to stand out. Before the Word War II, Taiwanese spoke Japanese and lived like Japanese or at least complied to what the Japanese government required of. After the War, the National Chinese government, KMT, landed our island and started their ruling until now. Locals not only lost the initiative, but went to another circle of life by learning new language and culture.
The 228 museum
Different languages of brochures are offered to introduce the whole incident, visitors can go upstairs to see historical items happened 74 years ago. The Tien Ma cafe, March of Happiness, where the official mistakenly killed a woman for seizing smuggled cigarettes and this act was spread through Taiwan Radio Station by that time. Soon the whole island of protesters started to rebel the government and lots of people were dead.
People who went to negotiate with the government or went out on the street to buy daily supplies would be killed by troops for the March pacification movement in 1947.
If locals were brave enough to build our own country with the arms of force from Japan, those who died for no reason could be saved and the current Taiwan will be different.
National Taiwan Museum
At the Taiwan Museum, visitors can discover many interesting topics whether its architecture, agriculture, topography, ethnic groups, bio-diversity and so on.
Natives believe that every being is spiritual and people should respect for them. They hunted animals and deem nature as their gods. Different groups of natives have their own totem for recognition.
The decoration of art displayed by the culture of Paiwan tribe, Kacalisiyan, people on the slope. Over thousands of years, material properties and spiritual items have contributed to the distinctive Kacalisiyan culture.
The translation of Sinkang Manuscript Price List was discovered by experts, and predicted that this was the first local language translated by foreigner with alphabetic spelling.
This was once the most popular puppet show, Poo-Te-Hi, in Taiwan, causing sensations among whole island despite of different ages. Unfortunately, the KMT party feared that locals would quit working and ignore the policy for speaking Mandarin Chinese, so the puppet shows were canceled. Though the government lifted the ban after a decade, the popularity and the television broadcasting caused diminishing spectators. Now younger generations are no longer able to speak Taiwanese fluently nor join the puppet industry.
Normally the front stage looks like this with puppets before the curtain, so viewers can see from the front. The narrator dictates the story, so the puppet controller can follow the music and the plot to perform for audiences.
There are more to be discovered, if you are interested in local cultures. For those who like to understand deeply about 228 incident, can join the historical route with guidance to experience the tragic history.
Others who like to know more about nature and geography are welcome to the Taiwan Museum. I will try my best to share with everyone the most localized experience that we had in our lives. Hope people will visit these museums one day.