Theravada Buddhist Institutions in Taiwan (上座部佛教)

Re: Theravada Buddhist Institutions in Taiwan (上座部佛教)

Postby EM0 » 05 Feb 2011, 22:37

It would be interesting to see some statistics on foreign workers (by nation of origin) in Taiwan.

I happened upon an account of Thai factory workers living and working on the island; they seem to complain most bitterly about the food, and wish that their Taiwanese employers would import a Thai kitchen staff.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/36261860/Taiw ... ai-Workers

I did find some Taiwanese government statistics on migrant workers in total (including foreign ESL teachers, comprising many of the members of this discussion forum) and, to my surprise, the gender disparity has inverted during the last 15 or 20 years. Whereas there were previously more men than women, there are now more women than men, amongst the population of visa-bearing employees residing in Taiwan. I infer that the mass-employment of foreign garment workers is part of the skew (as many forms of manual assembly, including garment and shoe factories, predominantly employ women).
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Re: Theravada Buddhist Institutions in Taiwan (上座部佛教)

Postby EM0 » 25 Apr 2011, 18:05

(1) Currently, I only know of one active Pali translation project in Taiwan:

http://nt.med.ncku.edu.tw/biochem/lsn/newrain/

They published a significant tome in 2006 (however, I read
Chinese at a grade zero level ... so my opinion is superficial, etc.).

Remarkably, this project is based in Jiayi (嘉義縣).

(2) Nanhua University (南華大學) has a center for Pali studies (but I haven't visited it yet).
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Re: Theravada Buddhist Institutions in Taiwan (上座部佛教)

Postby EM0 » 11 May 2011, 13:39

The situation at Dharma Drum Mountain (法鼓山) is not at all what you might assume.

All of the students are required to either study Pali (巴利文) or Sanskrit (梵文) --and while I'd assume that they receive a very preliminary/introductory level of instruction (with Chinese as the medium of education) it is nevertheless a step forward that a new generation of Zen (禅) monks will be aware of the difference between Pali (巴利) and Sanskrit (梵) as languages and as extant corpuses of literature.

When asked how many monks were currently studying Pali (in Chinese) the answer was "about ten" (i.e., in 2011).

Some forum members will already be aware that the founder of Dharma Drum was known for propounding (and trying to revive interest in) the (so-called) "Agama literature" within the Chinese canon (while continuing to offer a mix of 禅 and 天台宗 in ritual and religious praxis) --and the "Agama literature" we're talking about here equates to (imperfectly) preserved recensions of the Pali canon (巴利文). What ensues is, doubtless, a cultural balancing act for many, and a philological balancing act for a few.

This also relates to the existence of more-than-zero Theravada content in the aforementioned C.H.I.B.S. journal --that seems to be more-or-less an emanation of Dharma Drum at this point (many of the contributors are annual guests of Dharma Drum, including, most obviously, the German Theravada Reverend Analayo).

E.M.
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Re: Theravada Buddhist Institutions in Taiwan (上座部佛教)

Postby EM0 » 20 May 2011, 20:36

Another strange echo of China's Theravada heritage is preserved at Academia Sinica (中央研究院).

If you've visited the (rarely-open) museum at A.S., you'll be aware that they have significant holdings of Yunnanese cultural artefacts, and, indeed, that they inherited a tremendous wealth of early 20th century fieldwork in Yunnan (despite the obvious geographic and political disjuncture(s) between the two). However, I was not aware that they had also brought back significant holdings of "Dai" manuscripts (西双版纳, a.k.a. Sipsongpanna) --some of them Pali.

I was informally told that the collection dates from the 1930s, and it is quite possible that it contains materials of great historical significance, given the generalized devastation that the area was to endure for the balance of the 20th century.

Reportedly, these manuscripts are receiving their first scholarly appraisal now (by a visiting scholar from Kunming).*

* [However, this may simply mean the first study in quite a long time; it is rare to be the first at anything.]

The collection is apparently housed within the department of philology (http://www.ihp.sinica.edu.tw/english/introduction.html) --and I assume that very few people are aware of it, given questions on closely related subjects that I've posed to specialists in the past.

E.M.
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Re: Theravada Buddhist Institutions in Taiwan (上座部佛教)

Postby Tazzie » 19 Jun 2011, 12:37

EM0 wrote:Another strange echo of China's Theravada heritage is preserved at Academia Sinica (中央研究院).
I was informally told that the collection dates from the 1930s, and it is quite possible that it contains materials of great historical significance, given the generalized devastation that the area was to endure for the balance of the 20th century.


It would necessarily be of great significance to anyone interested in the period.

It sounds like you are discovering quite a lot in and around Taipei.
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Re: Theravada Buddhist Institutions in Taiwan (上座部佛教)

Postby Tempo Gain » 19 Jun 2011, 13:14

I believe there is a small Therevada temple near me, in a residential apartment. I saw that name on it I think, and sometimes see southeast Asian appearing monks on the way to and from it. I'll check next time I pass.
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Re: Theravada Buddhist Institutions in Taiwan (上座部佛教)

Postby Tempo Gain » 23 Aug 2011, 13:47

yeah, "Theravada Educational Institution" it says. No. 15, Shipai Rd. Sec. 1, Lane 39, Alley 80.
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Re: Theravada Buddhist Institutions in Taiwan (上座部佛教)

Postby Confuzius » 09 Dec 2011, 22:20

EM0 wrote:I haven't had time to make use of this yet, but there is a (laboriously collated) digital listing of every Buddhist institution in Taiwan, here:

http://buddhistinformatics.ddbc.edu.tw/taiwanbudgis/

The problem with listings of this kind is that they rarely contain the type of information I want to know (as set out in the first message on this subject, the links to Theravada immigrant communities can sometimes be informal, or simply confusing to everyone involved). It may be that some of the Chinese institutions that would interest me most do not describe themselves as Theravada at all.


Not EVERY, my Temple is not there and I am sure others are missing. Nice resource! But not exhaustive
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