The Dilemma of the Revitalization of Intangible Cultural Heritage and Global Homogenization: The Case of Techno Nezha in Taiwan

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Authors:
Leo Yuan, MingDao University, Taiwan
Holger Briel, Monarch University, Switzerland & Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, People’s Republic of China
Email: leoyuan@ms4.hinet.net
Published: September 30, 2016
https://doi.org/10.22492/ijcs.1.2.04

Citation: Yuan, L., & Briel, H. (2016). The Dilemma of the Revitalization of Intangible Cultural Heritage and Global Homogenization: The Case of Techno Nezha in Taiwan. IAFOR Journal of Cultural Studies, 1(2). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijcs.1.2.04


Abstract

This article concerns itself with the rise of a specific kind of representation of the Daoist deity Nezha in contemporary Taiwan, namely that of Techno Nezha. In many celebrations, the traditional figure of Dancing Nezha has been revitalised into the popular deity dancing to techno music. The article further analyses a survey undertaken by Yuan (2013) which came to the startling conclusion that rather than distracting from the spiritual message, Techno Nezha was able to inspire as much religious reverence and awe as the traditional character. Building on this, a theoretical discussion then ensues on how far tradition can be pushed before it loses the very content it attempts to transmit. This is especially relevant in times of global cultural symbolism in which local cultural intangible heritage knowledge is severely challenged.

Keywords

Nezha, intangible cultural heritage, traditional culture, Taiwan