Folk dance is a national pastime in Taiwan - Israeli songs are a big part of the tradition


Jordyn Haime

Taiwanese dancers in Yilan practice a Ukrainian circle dance for a global dance rally in support of Ukraine.

YILAN, Taiwan (JTA) - It was a cool spring day in Yilan, a town on Taiwan's northeast coast known for its picturesque rice fields and delicious spring onions. On a concrete clearing beneath a bridge that doubled as a dance floor, against a cloudy mountainous backdrop dotted with white cranes, about 10 Taiwanese adults danced expertly to classic Israeli folk music - songs such as "Hinei Matov," "David Melech Yisrael," "Sulam Yaakov" - and other folk tunes from around the world. Altogether, over 35 dances were practiced over three hours.

For many of these locals, the dances are familiar, almost...

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