Friday, August 14, 2009

Paiwan grass-roots help for those affected by Typhoon Morakot

The following was sent out from the email of a Golden Melody Award winner 2004 for best singer - non-pop category Rs Livlivang [see]. She is from the Paiwan Austronesian people and has a cafe/studio in Hsindian. The Paiwan ancestral homeland is in the mountains of south Taiwan covering Taitung and Pingtung Counties - areas affected by some of the worst flooding/landslides, etc. It looks like you can be sure of direct and personal impact if you help them. I do not know any more details other than what is in the email, but from my interaction with them Rs and her husband seem very diligent in their labors on behalf of Taiwan's Austronesian peoples.

Their Cafe-Studio: 231 台北縣新店市大豐路 49 號 4 樓 4/f, 49 Da Fong Road, Shin Tien, Taipei, Taiwan

目前災區部落急需紙內褲、衣物、毛巾 等盥洗用品。煩請送來小劇場集中配送!台北縣新店市北新路二段16號3樓,如用網購或郵購可直接寄送到三地門鄉公所「歸麗卿」小姐收,屏東縣三地門鄉中正路二段100號,註明是穿裙子的獵人團隊的愛心。
Dear Friends:
The disaster areas urgently need the male and female disposal under wear, clothings, towels and other hygienic supplement. Please bring them to our office and we'll deliver the supplement directly to the village. Address: 3F, No.16, Bei Shin Road Section 2, Shin Tien City, Taipei County(台北縣新店市北新路二段16號3樓).
Best regards,
Allia Hu (胡健)

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The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan is also organizing relief efforts. See the following statement by PCT General Secretary Andrew T. C. Chang and Moderator of the General Assembly Leonard Tsung-jeng Lin.

If you are near National Taiwan University in Gongguan you can stop by their General Assembly Office and ask how you can contribute to help. Address: No. 3, Lane 269, Roosevelt Road, Sec.3, Taipei,106 TAIWAN
TEL: 02-2362-5282


The View from Taiwan blog also has an article with lots of pictures on taking aid down to Tainan's typhoon aid distribution center.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Taiwan: the roots of the Pacific and Indian Oceans' Austronesian culture tree

Music of Samingad is connected with that of Austronesian peoples from other places including Hawaii accompanying a video about Taiwan's connection with the peoples from Hawaii, Rapanui, New Zealand, Philippines, Malaysian, Indonesia all the way to Madagascar. I think this is a very good brief introduction to the languages, cultures, and history of the Austronesian peoples.

If you actually go to the youtube page, you'll see a lot of good comments from many places around the world that are quite helpful and informative.

Special thanks to Hōkūlani Kīna`ū (of Hawaii) for making this video.

Hawaiiki 臺灣 加油!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Save Taiwan's Creative Industries -- Keep China Out ; Keep China's Investment (enslavement) Money Out

In this video, you can see that Taiwan is capable of competing globally in music, videography, fashion and design. And you can see that the Taiwanese language also has an expressiveness not captured in Mandarin. Notice also the occasional splashes in the background of the main writing script for Taiwanese (apart from Han characters) -- a romanized alphabet, in which most of the books using the Taiwanese language over the past century have been written.

Now imagine what would happen if Ma Ying-jeou's ECFA and other schemes of causing Taiwan to be dependent on China were to be put into effect. This continued growth of creative expression cannot be sustained in an authoritarian environment such as China's. To allow Chinese music and film industries to invest in Taiwan's would be to allow China's government to control some of Taiwan's leading industries in Asia. What will keep China's government -- which makes decisions based on increasing its own power -- from taking steps to marginalize Taiwan's music and movie industry? Nothing would keep them once they leverage Chinese government controlled money in getting power over the direction of Taiwan's companies. And they will do it. So anyone in the industry who has visions of dollar signs dancing in their heads need also have those dollar signs linked by shackles of slavery. You will end up leaving your homeland and being forced to move to Shanghai or Beijing and also to self-sensor.

Over time, Taiwan would diminish. Anything "happening" would be "happening" across the strait. All the young folks would have to move their to make it big... Over time, the harsh-sounding Mandarin of the north would be imitated in the way the Chow Yun-fat has done in his interviews for the DVD's Pirates of the Caribbean -- At World's End. Though he could have spoken in English, or his mother tongue of Cantonese, he chose to use Beijing Mandarin, a language that was not in use at the era portrayed by the Pirates movies, but a language that already is infecting Hong Kong as the language of power and the language to toady to the dictators in Beijing. Maybe he's proud of the JUAN-SHR harsh curled sounds that he made. But it is sad that a native of Hong Kong would not use his own mother-tongue now that Hong Kong has been controlled by China for ten-plus years.

China would be even more harsh if it were to annex Taiwan some time down the road. It would attempt what the KMT started -- an eradication of any identification with Taiwan.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Taiwan - a cultural leader in styles of opera and dance

Ilan County is the home of the Koa-a-hi, a style of traditional opera that was started in 1910, and because of its robustness, it quickly spread, overtook, and replaced all previous styles of art song and theatre in Southeast Asia and China wherever there were communities of ethnic Han peoples who hosted and viewed these performances in conjunction with traditional religious practices and temple worship.

I-Lan is also the home of the Lan-Yang Dance Company, the most famous in Taiwan. Now one of its members has received international recognition. Lee Chen-wei (李貞葳), an I-Lan native, was recruited to perform with an internationally acclaimed dance company in Israel. We wish her well and hope that a successful career will bring Taiwan international respect and understanding as Tainan native Ông Kiàn-bîn 王建民 (usually transliterated into Mandarin as Chien-Ming Wang) has done through his career with the New York Yankees professional baseball team.