Friday, November 1, 2013

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A free Taiwan continues to be a nation of innovation.

This from the Taipei Times, October 9, 2013:

"A local biotechnology company in Greater Taichung on Monday said it has developed paper cups that are resistant to high temperatures, acid and alkaline solutions...

...Chang Ching-wen (張靜文), the owner of a paper cup manufacturing company, has conducted research and development on high temperature, acid and alkaline-resistant paper cups.

Since traditional paper cups provide no resistance to high temperatures, acid or alkaline, many people inadvertently consume plasticizer released from the cups when the liquid they contain is too hot, Chang said...

...The cups can be placed in a microwave and are also acid and alkaline-resistant. They are 40 percent lighter than ordinary paper cups and their decomposition rate can exceed 97 percent. Chang said the cup has obtained patents from up to 100 countries and received SGS and US Food and Drug Administration certifications."


Looks like a good healthy environmentally responsible product. (So different from what you get across the strait.)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Countering brainwashing

From the Taipei Times, August 16. Note that at the end of the article a different case is cited where an Austronesian singer was pressured into saying that she is from China, Taipei, Pingtung County.  How can an Austronesian verbally give up Taiwan, THE AUSTRONESIAN HOMELAND, to Chinese in China?  Answer:  brainwashing by the KMT derived education system in Taiwan.

Dancers proud of national identity

By Wang Jung-hsiang and Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer.

China’s rise has attracted an increasing number of Taiwanese entertainers and businesspeople to the world’s second-largest economy, and while some are willing to gain fame and fortune at the expense of their national identity, an 11-year-old professional ballroom dancer and her father say nothing is worth such sacrifice.

Cheng Yu-hsin (鄭玉歆) has been dubbed the “little ballroom dancing diva” after she staged a duo performance with her father, Cheng Chu-hung (鄭竹宏), also a professional ballroom dancer, on a Taiwanese talent show and bagged the championship.

Cheng Yu-hsin started learning ballroom dancing at the age of six and won her first medal at age eight.
Over the course of the past three years, the 11-year-old has added more than 200 medals to her list of accolades, including six gold medals at this year’s World Chinese Cup International Standard Dance Transnational Invitational.

However, the Chengs faced a crossroad in December last year when they were invited to perform in a Chinese talent show, China’s Got Talent (中國達人秀), in Shanghai.

“Everything had gone smoothly until a few minutes before my husband and daughter were supposed to go on stage,” Cheng Chu-hung’s wife, Huang Tzu-ling (黃子玲), said earlier this week.

“The show’s director and some staff suddenly asked them to say in the preview to their performance that they came from ‘China, Kaohsiung’ (中國高雄), otherwise the part featuring them could be edited out,” Huang said.

Huang added that the director also tried to persuade them by saying repeatedly that they stood a good chance of getting the judges’ approval and that they could even earn the opportunity to launch a performance tour.

Although making an appearance on the show would have guaranteed them a shot at fame, the father and daughter decided to follow their hearts and tell the live audience that “we come from Taiwan Kaohsiung,” Huang said.

Huang said the statement apparently displeased the program’s director and staff members, as of the four judges on the talent show — including Taiwanese singer Annie Yi (伊能靜), Hong Kong superstar Leon Lai (黎明) and two Chinese entertainers — only Yi gave the Chengs her approval, while one of them even blatantly told the pair that “he simply doesn’t want to give them his approval.”

“The incident involving Aboriginal Taiwanese singer Yeh Wei-ting’s (葉瑋庭) made me realize the predicaments faced by most Taiwanese entertainers wanting to make a name for themselves in China, but I’m glad I chose to stick to my beliefs,” Cheng Chu-hung said.

Cheng Chu-hung was referring to the controversial statement Yeh made last month on the Chinese talent show The Voice of China (中國好聲音), in which she said she came from “China Taipei Pingtung District” (中國台北屏東區).    August 16, 2013

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Taiwan Austronesian Choir in North American Concert Tour

This choir will be performing in San Diego on 8/10/2013 at 2 pm. Who wants to go hear them perform with us? 

8/10 SAT 2:00pm 
House of Praise Evangelical Church of San Diego 
511 Encinitas Blvd., Encinitas, CA 92024

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Calling for Flash Mobs in Taiwan: Students in Taiwan could learn something from the young generation in Korea

Korean's have managed to keep their identity, language and independence through several thousand years of periodic invasions and occupation by the Japanese, Manchurians, Chinese, and Mongolians. The following video of a flash mob in Seoul is very moving. It starts off with a traditional Korean folk song and ends with the Korean national anthem.

Hope folks in Taiwan will organize similar events. But don't use R.O.C. songs and anthems. Use Taiwanese folk songs and for a national anthem, how about, "Verdant Taiwan"? We'll also need a Taiwan focused flag.

Now for Taiwan's flash mob:

Folk Song:

雨夜花 (though a different arrangement than the video below might be better....)

National Anthem:

《台灣翠青》 詞:鄭兒玉 / 曲:蕭泰然 * Tâi-ôan Chhùi-chhiⁿ - words: Tīⁿ Jyi-giokk; music: Siau Thài-jiân


You could use the Republic of Taiwan flag from 1895, only modify it to make it into a Taiwan Clouded Leopard instead of a tiger:

Or another flag you could use is the Don't Tread of Me flag, but make it into a Hundred-Pacer-Snake... and change the words into Mandarin:

There are lots of other possibilities. Perhaps we should have a mix?

臺灣加油! (leave off the weird Chinese Taipei designation) :~(

The following was posted on Taiwan Democracy Movement Blog ======================================================== Last night, a Friday night!, the streets of Taipei were virtually empty and quiet as everyone was indoors watching Taiwan play Japan in baseball. Following was a post this morning on someone's facebook timeline:

I noticed last night that Taipei 101 flashed 中華加油. And people post things like "Go Chinese Taipei!" What is "Chinese Taipei"? It is such a strange artificial formulation. What other country in the world is named by their capital? You never hear, "Go American Washington, D.C.!" or "Go Japanese Tokyo!" or "Go Chinese Beijing!" In the early 1970's after twenty years of the government in Taiwan claiming to represent China, the UN finally gave the "China" seat to China. However at that time Chiang Kai-shek, the dictator in Taiwan, was offered a new UN seat, a "Taiwan" seat. But he refused to take it because he could not identify with the country that he actually governed. That one chance for Taiwan has now been lost. Chiang Kai-shek's delegates marched out of the UN in protest claiming that they were still the legitimate government of China rather than admitting that they only governed Taiwan. --- Whatever weird name is forced on Taiwan's sports teams by the international sports organizations and a complicit governing regime in Taiwan, at least Taiwanese can simply say, "Go Taiwan" and everyone will know what they mean. 臺灣加油! Tâi-oân Ka-iû!

(Photo Source: 職業棒球雜誌官方粉絲團 )

Friday, February 22, 2013

Family Education Key to Preserving Taiwan's Languages - DPP

Family education crucial to preserving languages: Su

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter, Taipei Times

Family education is the most significant factor in promoting and preserving mother languages in Taiwan, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said yesterday on International Mother Language Day.
“It is regrettable that some parents have not tried to teach their children how to speak their mother language,” Su said at a press conference organized by the Taiwan Mother Tongue Alliance to promote native languages, including Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese), Hakka and other Aboriginal languages.
The alliance launched an annual event two years ago in which consumers who speak native languages at select businesses receive a discount. More than 100 clinics, restaurants and stores across the country are supporting the campaign this year.
People cannot abandon their mother tongue, which is the root of any culture, Su said. The respect of mother languages is the respect for the cultures of all ethnic groups.
The government’s policy on mother language and culture is crucial in preserving native languages as well, Su said, citing the example of the Japanization movement initiated by the government during the Japanese colonial period and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government’s banning of native languages after it fled to Taiwan in 1949.
“Mother languages will not be preserved unless the nation’s leader has the right attitude toward linguistic heritage and true respect for cultural diversity,” Su said.
Chinese was the only language used on public address systems for a long time until the Taiwan Provincial Assembly demanded the government add Hoklo and Hakka to the service when Su served as a provincial councilor in the 1980s, he said.
The event, which runs from yesterday to Monday, aims to encourage people to speak native languages and pass on diverse cultures, as well as to promote equal status for all languages in Taiwan, alliance chairman Li Khin-huann (李勤岸) said

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Maori and a Samoan follow their ancestors back to Taiwan

Please check out the following documentary, Made in Taiwan. Taiwan is Hawaiiki, the Austronesian homeland. It is important for Taiwan to preserve its Austronesian languages and cultures.

Tâi-oân Bó-gí Liân-bêng

Marching for Your Mother Tongue

Friday, January 11, 2013

Do you know your own ancestors and their cultures and languages A young man discovers his Tayal heritage and starts a non-profit organization to preserve and promote it.

Voices in the Clouds (trailer) from Aaron Hose on Vimeo.

Voices in the Clouds (trailer 2) from Chris Bremer on Vimeo.

"A lot of mothers would teach their kids their native language but she made a concerted effort to shield us from her culture..."

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Saving Austronesian Languages and Cultures

Linguist Races to Save Aboriginal Languages in Taiwan, Birthplace of a Major Language Family
Src: AP January 9, 2013

DAKANUA, Taiwan – Her eyes lit bright with concentration, Taiwanese linguist Sung Li-may leans in expectantly as one of the planet's last 10 speakers of the Kanakanavu language shares his hopes for the future.

"I am already very old," says 80-year-old Mu'u Ka'angena, a leathery faced man with a tough, sinewy body and deeply veined hands. A light rain falls onto the thatched roof of the communal bamboo hut, and smoke from a dying fire drifts lazily up the walls, wafting over deer antlers, boar jawbones and ceremonial swords that decorate the interior like trophies from a forgotten time.

"Every day I think: Can our language be passed down to the next generation? It is the deepest wish in my heart that it can be."

Kanakanavu, Sung says, has a lot more going for it than just its intrinsic value. It belongs to the same language family that experts believe spread from Taiwan 4,000 years ago, giving birth to languages spoken today by 400 million people in an arc extending from Easter Island off South America to the African island of Madagascar. "Taiwan is where it all starts," says archaeologist Peter Bellwood, who with linguist Robert Blust developed the now widely accepted theory that people from Taiwan leveraged superior navigation skills to spread their Austronesian language far and wide. At least four of Taiwan's 14 government-recognized aboriginal languages are still spoken by thousands of people, but a race is on to save the others from extinction. The youngest good speaker of Kanakanavu, also known as Southern Tsou, is 60, and the next youngest, 73.

"To survive a language has to be spoken," Sung said. "And with this one it isn't happening."

It's a story repeated in the remote corners of the earth, as younger generations look to the dominant language for economic survival and advancement, whether it be English or, in Taiwan's case, Chinese. Aboriginals account for only 2 percent of the Taiwanese population of 23 million. Many young people are leaving Dakanua, a picturesque village in the south that is home to the Kanakanavu language, to work in the island's cities.

Sung is clearly revered by Dakanua's tiny cadre of Kanakanavu speakers, who are happy to spend long hours going over their language with her and a small group of graduate students she brings to the village from National Taiwan University in Taipei. On a recent Saturday afternoon, they sat outside a well-ordered cluster of whitewashed concrete buildings, painstakingly documenting the proper use of the imperative and the grammatical subtleties of concepts like "it could be that" or "it is possible that." In the background the bamboo and palm tree covered contours of Mt. Anguana protruded through a moving blanket of fog and mist, and a thin rain fell in the Nanzixian River valley below.

... Even many 40- and 50-year olds are incapable of mouthing anything more than a few simple phrases in their native tongue.


Regarding their struggles including Typhoon Morakat

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The San Francisco Symphony will perform legendary Taiwanese composer Tyzen Hsiao's An Angel from Formosa at their annual Lunar New Year concert on Feb 2. Click here to find tickets. It is unfortunate, though that the website calls it a "Chinese" New Year concert rather than a "Lunar" New Year concert. Koreans, Japanese, Taiwanese and Vietnamese probably do not take kindly to their lunar calendar new year celebration being called "Chinese."


Following is a brief introduction written by Jeanette Yu, representative of the San Francisco Symphony and a member of the board of directors of the Tsunah Taiwan Culture and Education Foundation.

Tyzen Hsiao, born in Taiwan’s southern port city of Kaohsiung in 1938, has been a figurehead in the Taiwanese musical community as a composer, pianist, conductor, and teacher since the late 1960s. His compositions are strongly associated with the Taiwanese cultural movement that revitalized the country’s literary and performing arts in the 1970s and 1980s, and which restored a national pride in traditions and history.

An Angel from Formosa is on many levels a work of remembrance. The piece evokes a sense of the quiet, rural life in Hsiao’s homeland of Taiwan (historically called Formosa, from the Portuguese "Ilha Formosa," meaning "Beautiful Island")—a simple opening melody is warmed by the slow, breathtaking rise of a solitary flute, lifted by the oboe as if by a gust of wind over Taiwan’s idyllic rural landscape, embraced and strengthened by a sea of undulating strings, and finally embodied in an achingly lush brass solo. For its pure melody without pretentious effect, brilliant orchestral colors, and honest emotion, Tyzen Hsiao’s An Angel from Formosa has drawn numerous comparisons to Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings, one of the most popular of twentieth-century orchestral works. The composer dedicated An Angel from Formosa to the late Taiwanese pianist Wen-wan Chen (陳文婉), who championed and performed Tyzen Hsiao’s works on the international stage. Full of pathos, the piece closes with the strumming of the harp, an angelic final call for remembrance." --- Jeanette Yu


UPDATE: The latest press release says "13th Annual Lunar New Year Concert." However, its own webpage title and everything linked from it still says "Chinese" New Year.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Mr. Ma, People on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait are NOT all ethnic Chinese.

From the Taiwan Democracy Movement blog:

President of ROC in Exile -- Ma's new years speech: "The people on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait are all ethnic Chinese..."

Why do the Austronesians of Taiwan still vote for the KMT?


We could add, that unless the Austronesian peoples begin to do something about their children going to Chinese language schools, in 50 or 100 years, the Austronesian cultures will be virtually obliterated. This is the intent of the ROC government education policy. One hour a week of language class in a mother tongue is not enough. It is enough to lull people into complacency while their language and culture dies.

If you are in Taipei, visit the National Taiwan University Library. There is one room that is supposed to be for Austronesian / Aboriginal cultures and languages. Almost all the books are in Mandarin. The children's books that tell traditional stories from Taiwan's Austronesian peoples are also in Mandarin. They did not even bother to try to write the Austronesian language of the story alongside the Mandarin. When there is some Austronesian language included, it is often included as a simple "gloss" for sounds, but without any order that would show the Romanization to be true written language -- that is, capitalization and punctuation of sentences.

P.S. Also please remember that even the Hakka and the Hoklo "Taiwanese" speakers of Taiwan are ethnically mixed, that is, they have both Austronesian and Chinese ancestry with a little Dutch thrown in.