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Cultural Education

Introduction

  The Cyberfair Group has travelled through times to seek dragon traces, which proved to be fruitful. We have been fortunate to trace cultural inheritance and evolution step by step along the footprints of our ancestors in the advantaged Changhua –Banxian. Dragon has been in Chinese history for thousands of years, ranging from the feudal monarch age to today’s era of science and technology. We have found in historical sites that dragon culture has been passed on for generations with high and stable status. When the ancestors went across the Taiwan Strait to explore in Ilha Formosa, they integrated dragon symbols into buildings and cultural relics for belief pray for blessing in order to express their wishes for auspicious omen and prestige. These artistic attainments of craftsmen have always inspired amazement in people, either in terms of roof ornamentation of temples - Chi Dragon, Chiwen (fish dragon), Azure Dragon, or of roof girder counterfort, inserted gusset, Dragon column, temple gate, prayer table, incense burner, God beast in ancient China, and wall engravings on both sides, all with various kinds of dragon totems. Meanwhile, we have experienced the rich cultural implications and understood the blending of man and nature which we have adhered to since ancient times. The pray for equilibrium between yin and yang has been a manifestation and driving force of national vitality.

  However, with ageing historical relics and buildings, improper disaster prevention, poor implementation of protection measures, and the impact of diverse beliefs, technological and economic development on inheritance, we began to fear of the lack of understanding on the part of the modern offspring of Taiwan, the new residents. Meanwhile, the craftsmen of temple buildings have no successors. We hope that our Cyberfair project can focus public attention on these cultural crises, which have been ignored by the public, so that people will pay more attention to local culture and contribute their share. 


Suggestions

  Here are several ideas and suggestions out of our discussions:

  1. The deepening and inheritance of history and cultural education requires enhancement of cultural and educational work by integration of central and local resources, promotion of investments by civil enterprises, including restoring monuments, cultivating talents by craft education, and improving the level of historical and cultural education. Furthermore, historical records and research on cultural relics cannot be ignored.
  2. TWe suggest the authorities pay attention to those failed to be listed among cultural relics because of damage caused by reconstruction and make efforts on remediation, preservation or management. Relevant policies and decrees should be revised accordingly.
  3. TEducation on historical sites should start from schools. Student guidance training and education will help students better understand our local history and cultivate cultural promoters.
  4. TStudent courses can be integrated into major local folk custom activities, such as teaching visits.
  5. TFor some temples, in addition to religious belief, their cultural implications need to be further emphasized by relevant units.
  6. TCultural education issues with certain subjects can be added to Changhua tour guiding talks, such as dragon culture experience and dragon has nine sons, which link history of sites and inheritance education closely to tour visit, inspire enthusiasm in cultural education with new research elements, and carry forward the mission of social and historical inheritance.
  7. TCraftsmen should have the opportunity to inherit: to encourage master-apprentice inheritance and skill cultivation, and to set up a special unit for technique instruction and certification.

Conclusion

   A nation with no culture resembles the rootless duckweed. The study on dragon culture has shown me the multifaceted implications of dragon image. In addition to beautiful craftsmanship, its religious significance also has had a profound impact on me. The comforting and compassionate image and the power to protect human souls against fear demonstrated by the dragon shocked us to the core.

  Dragon has been deemed as the message-conveyor between humans and gods since ancient times, and as shown by the specific image of “Nine Similarities Sharing by Dragon”, ancient people prayed for the power and belief to gather the nine animals. Dragon has been their spiritual ballast, which reflects their respect for dragon and reverence for deities belief. In the so-called mother nature, water is the life source of all things on earth, and dragon is the master of water. But at present, humans, for high-tech life, have severely damaged natural environment, which means they are breaching our commitment to the dragon, destroying the ecological balance of nature, causing extreme changes in the climate, affecting the continuation of many organisms on Earth and creating human food shortages and wars. Therefore, dragon culture and inheritance can never be downplayed.

  Recently, Changhua City Office has begun to inspect on the electric wires of historical sites and take action on disaster prevention and control, which is praiseworthy. We hope never to witness fire accidents in historical sites again. During the research, we also experienced the traditional craft – dough figure culture. We found it interesting to make the lovely dragon in our mind with our own hands. And the traditional folk custom craft experience and realization have made the dragon culture field survey all the more significant and fulfilling. Finally, we presented our findings completely on the Cyberfair project webpage and promoted the history and culture unique to Taiwan with the amazing technology, accomplishing our task as history and cultural promoter.

Acknowledgement

1.Changhua County Government provided press news photos of 2016 Dragon King Rite of Lukang: Dragon Boat Light Opening

2.City and Tourism Development Section, Changhua City Office, and Ms. Hsin-yi Tseng assisted in professional culture and history in guiding talks

3.City and Tourism Development Section, Changhua City Officeguiding teachers : Fu-mei Lin, Hsin-jung Chiang, Chih-ping Huang, Hsiao-mu Wei

4.Changhua Yuan Ching Kuan, a volunteer teacher specializing in culture and history in folk art museum, gave guiding talks

5.Mr. Chun-te Wu, curator of Changhua Wu Family Dough Figurines Hall, called on all staff to assist in the dough figure culture guiding activity and Dragon Doll DIY teaching.

6.Mr. Tsung-hsien Lin, Fair Media and local reporter, took time to interview and report our project and help promote our tasks and roles as a historical culture conveyor.

7.Kai-chi Chang provided “Chinese Jurassic—Discovery of the Mystery of Dragon” image-text authorization

8.Wu-lang Cheng from “Lok-a-kang Culture Office” gave in-depth talks and guidance on the Cyberfair project.

9.Principal Chien-wen Tsao, the back-stage promoter of 2017 Hsin-Yi Public Junior High and Elementary School Cyberfair project, has devoted time and energy without claiming credit.

10.Support and hard work from students and their parents in the 2017 Hsin-Yi Public Junior High and Elementary School Cyberfair project.



Trace of Dragons in Changhua - Meet the Dragon through Time  / Team:Dragon Seekers
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