|[a] Beginning/ending ritual RF|
Rituals of "opening" or "beginning" are far more important in East Asia (I speak of China, Japan, and Korea specifically) than, say, in the United States, where they are hardly insignificant. Unless it is shirts-against-skins on the playground, a basketball game (or any other sporting contest) has a ritual beginning. So do legislative sessions and academic years. The difference, at least as I see it now, is that every school day begins with a brief ritual event.
|[b] Reading RF|
Let me add just one more point here. This almost meaningless little note is a good example (to my mind) of why we take down fieldnotes in the first place. As "data" it is irrelevant. Without moving from observation to jotting to fieldnote, however, I would not have focused as clearly on the rhythms of nature and culture as well as the theoretical possibilities wrapped up in opening rituals. The note in itself means little; the process makes all the difference in the world.
—"Opening" ceremonies are very common in at least larger companies and retail locations. I have always enjoyed watching the daily opening at the Quanjude Beijing duck restaurants. All employees stand together and sing the company song before reverting to their hierarchical roles and getting to work. This is just one small example of a phenomenon in East Asia that is so common it is often forgotten.
—Of course, the "Taiwan national anthem" to which I refer is, more precisely, the Republic of China national anthem. It is curious but not surprising that I and almost everyone else tended to say "Taiwan" for both.
|[c] Dismissed RF|