Friday, October 23, 2009

Benefit Concert for Taiwan's Typhoon Morakot victims (Pasadena, CA)

November 14, 2009 in Pasadena, California

Highlighted will be works by award-winning Taiwanese composer Dr. Tyzen Hsiao
For more information: Love Taiwan Society

Truly more people in Taiwan need to learn to love their own native land!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Submit Nominees for Awards of Hoklo Taiwanese (Minnan), Hakka or Indigenous Language Literature

Awards of Minnan, Hakka or Indigenous Language Literature to Accept Submissions Starting on September 2

August 20, 2009

The Ministry of Education is looking for literary masterpieces in Minnan, Hakka, or indigenous languages for the nomination of the annual literary award. Contestants will be divided into teachers, students, and general public. The top three of each group will receive monetary award of ten thousand to fifty thousand NT. Contestants must send in their works between September 2 and October 16. For more information please check out the official website.

Download: Mandarin text [.DOC format]

Ministry of Education
No.5, Zhongshan S. Rd., Zhongzheng Dist., Taipei City 10051, Taiwan

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Introduce your friends to Taiwan.

by Joel H. Linton • 蔡明憲 譯

Let us rebuild our mother tongue 讓我們重建我們的母語
And fill in the cracks 添補縫隙裂痕
And rediscover old paths 再發現那古老路徑
And trim the overgrown parts 修剪那無用的枝椏

Let us write our language 讓我們記述我們的言語
In this age of writing 在此寫作豐盛的時代
Holding people's respect 以得到人們的尊敬

Let us pave a new highway 讓我們開闢一條新大道
A road to self-determination 一條通往自決的路
Taking us out from 帶我們離開
The shadow of neighbor nations 鄰國的陰影

Out of oppression 離開壓制
Out from darkness 離開黑暗
That suffocates our life and breath 因為它窒息我們的生命
Into our free air 邁向自由的天空

Let us teach our children 讓我們教育我們的子女
So they do not forget 因此他們不會迷失
Lest our descendents become 以免我們的後裔
Another man's offspring 變成別人的子孫

Either give them schools 或是給他們學校
Where our languages are honored 可學習我們受遵重的語文
Or let us teach them at home 或是在家中親自教授
We will overcome 總之我們必定戰勝

The beauty of our culture 美麗的文化
Must not fade 不能凋謝消失
Or else this world 否則這個世界
Will lose all colors 將黯然失色

Following: A translation into French by Hsia Eiu-Long Cyril

A L’AIR LIBRE Into the Free Air - by Joel H. Linton

Laissez-nous reconstruire notre langue maternelle
reboucher les fissures
redécouvrir les anciens sentiers
Et débroussailler les parties envahies

Écrivons notre langue
En cet ère de lettres
Et gagnons d’autrui le respect

Pavons une route nouvelle
qui mène à l’auto-détermination
Pour nous sortir enfin
De l’ombre des nations voisines

Loin de toute oppression
Loin de l’obscurantisme
Ou l’on étouffe et suffoque
Jusqu’à l’air libre

Laissez nous éduquer nos enfants
Afin qu’ils n’ oublient point
Que nos descendants ne deviennent pas
La progéniture d’un inconnu

Qu’on leur donne leur des écoles
qui respectent leur langue
Ou on leur enseignera à la maison
On atteindra notre but

La beauté de notre culture
Ne doit pas disparaitre
Ou bien ce monde
Y laissera toutes ses couleurs

Friday, October 2, 2009

Taiwan's Majority Working Together

This just in from Jerome Keating who is the author of many books and articles including Taiwan: The Search for Identity published by SMC Books in 2008, as well as the very important June 8, 2009 article in the Taipei Times laying out the facts of the political history of Taiwan.


Taiwan’s Aborigines Suffer More Than Morakot
Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

Typhoon Morakot did more than expose the incompetence and lack of leadership in the Ma administration; it highlighted another salient issue in Taiwan, the plight of its aboriginal people. Like many indigenous people suffering the fates of past colonialism, these people are pulled in opposite directions. Tugging on the one side is the wish to maintain their traditional life styles and identities; on the other side are the demands for survival and dignity in the modern, fast-paced, high-tech society surrounding them. As a result, they are being marginalized to the point of extinction. Even if they do fit in, at best, they often face the life of second class citizens teetering on the brink of welfare. If ever the aboriginal community needed vision and leadership, it is now.

Where to find it? The sight of aboriginal villages washed away and wiped out after Morakot has been horrendous; worse, however, is the realization that the causes were more than the typhoon. The devastation came as the result of lack of strong environmental policies and how mountainsides denuded of trees are unable to stop mudflow. Worse still is the fact that the decisions on deforestation and vulnerability were made by profiteers and forces outside the sphere of influence of the villagers.

Living in isolation on ancient ancestral lands, aborigines are often removed from the decision making processes around them. Further without pursuing pertinent related education and degrees that would help legitimize members and businesses in influencing the government’s decision making processes, they find their lives controlled by the outside.

The aborigines do live and participate in Taiwan’s democracy, but they have not yet learned to use their democratic vote to their advantage. Like any minority, they must fit in. But in fitting in while certain minority advantages are available in education and such, their leadership has no grand plan for their people. Instead, for example, they are satisfied with “vote buying handouts” and small gifts. The aboriginal vote has always favored the wealthy Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) like a dog begging for scraps. This in effect is selling their birthright for a mess of pottage.

As they pick up scraps, the aborigines have been unable to grasp the larger reality that the KMT is a Sino-centric party influenced by its hierarchical Confucian philosophy. In such, no matter how pleasant or inflated the talk, the aborigines will always rank as second class citizens and/or “Uncle Toms.” Further, they ignore how they have already been culturally denigrated and stereotyped as lazy, and drunkards with questionably loose morals by the same hand that gives them a dole.

One way to counter this cultural stereotyping is to elect new leaders, those who are able to relate to and stress a Taiwanese identity for them. For by DNA it has been demonstrated that 85 per cent of Taiwanese have aboriginal blood. This must be repeatedly emphasized. For with its admission and truth, aborigines are then not a minority but part and parcel of the majority. They share a common heritage with the most Taiwanese. Only one group, the waishengren are not one with them; yet it is those same waishengren who buy them off cheaply and look down on them.

In establishing a true vision of fitting in, the aborigines must realize that their best hope is in the building this Taiwanese identity. It is only within the framework of that Taiwanese identity that they will be able to find and maintain a true dignity and a competitive and cultural advantage. Because of this, the current president, Ma Ying-jeou, is actually their worst enemy. Ma repeatedly has tried to emphasize the fabrication of zhonghua minzu with all of its hierarchical implications and past baggage. Ma’s patronizing paternalism has already been demonstrated on numerous occasions by treating aborigines like children and second class citizens.

The answer to aboriginal problems will likewise not be found in legislators like Kao Chin (Gao Jin) Su-mei pandering to the money of Beijing for Beijing operates from the same paternalistic, hierarchical paradigm. A simple look at the plight of the Tibetans, and the Uyghurs demonstrates the results of that hierarchy. Both have become aliens and suffer in their own lands. If the aborigines think they will fare better because of temporary handouts from China, they are sadly mistaken. Morakot should be their wake up call. Where have 50 years of handouts from the KMT gotten them?

Instead, an additional alliance that aborigines of all tribes must forge is that with the environmentalists in Taiwan, both in politics and life. This is a natural alliance since all want to preserve and protect the ancestral lands of Taiwan. Included in this must be the commitment of some aborigines to long term education in these matters, just as some must make a commitment to areas like Austronesian studies. Such studies can also give them dignity. The fact that most recent research points to how the vast Austronesian Empire across the Pacific originated in Taiwan should spur them on to recapture their past dignity and rightful place. Pride in the past will never be found in an outmoded zhonghua minzu, but in an empire that they once did build and why it was lost.

Other writings can be found at