The jobs in both industry and service tend to have regular work hours and also tend
to be located in the cities. These jobs have working hours from about 9:00 am to
about 6:00 pm. These regular schedules dictate the way of life as do school hours.
In fact schools can be much more demanding than many jobs, since some jobs leave
work at work.
School hours are quite long in Taiwan as most schools start classes at about 7:30
am and end at about 4:00 pm. To make life more difficult, many schools then require
a few hours of work to be done at home each night. It is not uncommon for Taiwanese
students to be doing school work well into the night, rarely having a chance to
relax. The summer break from about June to September is a nice break for most students.
The hard work often pays off in terms of money as the wages and incomes in Taiwan
have risen dramatically in the past couple decades and today most people have a
fair amount of discretionary income to enjoy their time off. For many young people
this is often spent in restaurants, bars, and other social entertainment venues.
For others the money is used for better schooling, vacations, or anything that an
The higher wages and incomes come at the cost of hard work, and not just as adults,
but beginning with school as a child. This is partially rooted in the culture, partially
based on societal pressure, partially based on inherent competition, and other reasons.
But ultimately, the culture demands respect for elders and pride in children as
parents always seek out the best for their children and for many this is believed
to come in the form of better education leading to better jobs, better pay, and
greater amounts of respect.