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April 30, 2017

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Commentary > China Post > Alan Fong
A school event in Taiwan came to the forefront of international media attention last week. A group of students from a private high school wore self-fashioned Nazi uniforms and wielded swastika banners at their school's "Christmas and Thanksgiving Costume Parade" on Dec. 23.
 
When a group of Asian editors met Chinese leaders on Tuesday, they got right down to business.No, they did not discuss the state of China's economy or prospects for its reforms. Nor did they dwell on China's internal reforms or crackdown on corruption.
 
During the past May Day "Golden Week" holiday, one of the most important tourism periods in the mainland Chinese calendar, tens of thousands of people visited the yet-to-open Shanghai Disneyland.
 
Two days after Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) announced she would take a pause from a lifestyle that was "like a spinning top" on the campaign trail and enjoy some "deep reflection," People First Party (PFP) founder and presidential hopeful James Soong (宋楚瑜) said yesterday that he is also calling off public appearances for the next four to five days to "rethink his campaign strategy."
 
Upon Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng's (王金平) scheduled return to Taiwan today, the veteran politician will face one of the biggest challenges in his career.
 
As with other major Chinese festivals, Dragon Boat Festival is a palimpsest on which layers upon layers of origin stories, meanings, and customs were written over time.
 
The recent announcement by Simon Rattle that he will step down as the principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic when his contract ends in 2018 shocked the classical music world and inevitability spurred a guessing game as to his successor.
 
Local divas A-Mei Chang (張惠妹) and Jolin Tsai (蔡依林) have been known as "Taiwan's Queens of Pop" for years but it was not why they began recently to refer themselves in Chinese royal pronoun "ben gong" (本宮). Perhaps unexpected even to the rulers of the last Chinese empire themselves, the Qing Dynasty -- long been detested as a "foreign government" -- became popular among Chinese-speaking people.
 
People, even the most romantic ones, tend to get practical when it comes to their last will and dying wishes. In his last will and testament, William Shakespeare famously left his wife with "my second best bed with the furniture," bequeathed his daughter "my broad silver gilt bole" and his son-in-law "all the rest of my goodes.
 
I always start my emails with "Dear..." and sign off with "Yours sincerely" or "Best regards." For me it is a natural transition from the etiquette of paper envelopes and stamps (now known as "snail mail") to that of its digital counterpart. But apparently the formal ways of letter-writing are becoming as quaint as the very paper and ink they originated on.
 
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