Published on 24th January 2019 by

How does in Taiwan spirituality and modern life go together? Are people in Taiwan more into spirituality or are is there modern life more embracing it? Is Taiwan a place where spirituality is part of culture and therefore also their modern life? In this documentary we visit Taiwan and experience modern life and spirituality.

After a burnout due to stress, Dutch director Sunny Bergman decided to investigate how people deal with spiritual strain and depression in countries that seem less affected by it.

Episode 2/3 – Taiwan

Taiwan is just as densely populated as The Netherlands and the pressure people experience at their jobs is very high. The country has a very strong spiritual tradition from taoism to buddhism. They do not visit a doctor only when they are sick, but also to stay healthy. Sunny Bergman is curious how the Taiwanese handle complaints like burn-outs and stress, since she experienced it herself. She visits a brain centre, where the effects of meditation on the stress levels are being researched.

Does spirituality contribute to our mental health? Four out of ten people in the Netherlands suffer from depression, insomnia, ADHD and stress. Sunny Bergman studied how people in Ghana, Taiwan and Brazil deal with these psychological symptoms, in an often spiritual way. These 3 countries are just as modern as western countries, but there, traditional rituals are treated as powerful medicine. Does that approach work? And what is a normal mental condition anyway? There is hardly any country in the world that spends so much money on mental health care as the Netherlands. Where do all these mental problems come from? Are they diseases arising from abundance?
Director: Sunny Bergman This is a co-production of VPRO and BOS

© VPRO December 2015

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English, French and Spanish subtitles by Ericsson and co-funded by the European Union.


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