The biannual World Hakka Culture Conference was held from August 4th to August 6th, 2017 in the suburbs of Los Angeles, California. Hakka Affairs Council Minister Lee Yung-te traveled there to attend, not only to meet with Hakka people and groups from around the world, but also to encourage participation in Hakka affairs worldwide, and to encourage passing on Hakka language and culture from generation to generation.
In his speech, Minister Lee pointed out that the biggest problem the Hakkanese language faces is the danger of dying out. He advocated for laws to be put in place to create environments friendly to speaking the Hakka language. The Hakka Basic Act amendment drafted by the Hakka Affairs Council was reviewed and passed by the Executive Yuan this June. Key parts of the law include establishing Hakka as a national language, equal in status to the languages of other groups. Within this, in key development areas of Hakka culture with greater Hakka populations, Hakka should be made one of the national languages; government institutions are required to provide service in Hakkanese, to protect the autonomous development of Hakka language and culture.
In regard to infrastructure, there was the good news that the Romantic Provincial Highway 3 has the support of President Tsai Ing-wen, and will be included in the budget of the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program. Places that hold special meaning for Hakka culture, such as Yong'an Fishing Harbor, Zhudong Music Village, Zhubei International Arts Village, Miaoli's Chuhuangkeng Historical Park, and Taichung's Damaopu historic site, are all key locations for future basic infrastructure. The Program will continue to expand in innovative ways into Liudui and Eastern Taiwan.
This meeting brought up topics concerning medical care, Hakka NGOs, Hakka language & culture, and other topics. Group discussions were also held to discuss how the younger generation can do even more to participate in Hakka affairs, both in Taiwan and abroad. Taiwan's Rom Shing Hakka Opera Troupe gave a charity performance at the local Pasadena Civic theater.