Minister promotes Hakka cultural soft power at local events

Hakka Affairs Council Minister Lee Yung-de attended Hakka cultural events held in Taipei and Taoyuan cities on Nov. 2 to promote rejuvenation of Hakka culture, art, and tourism.

Joined by President Su Chia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) of the Legislative Yuan, Township Mayor Chiu Pu-sheng (丘埔生) of Guoxing, and several lawmakers, Minister Lee first visited the Legislative Yuan Kang Garden, where a series of events were held to promote the upcoming Chenggong Festival, one of the 12 major Hakka festivals selected by the Hakka Affairs Council.

Minister Lee noted that Guoxing Township has the greatest number of Hakka people, accounting for 62.2% of total population in Nontou County. However, Hakka culture has dwindled rapidly due to cultural assimilation, geographical barrier, and policy. To revitalize Hakka culture, the Council will partner with local public sectors to hold Hakka festivals for people of Hakka descent to rediscover Hakka history and culture.

Minister Lee next attended the opening ceremony of “HO CHAU-CHU Invitational Exhibition” held at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. Ho Chau-chu (何肇衢) is a Hakka oil painter who has dedicated his life to art. Born to a poor family in 1931, Ho never succumbed to the hardship of life but created paintings diligently to express his love toward the land of Taiwan, said Minister Lee.

Following the ceremony, Minister Lee attended the groundbreaking ceremony that marked the beginning of construction of the Hakka Tea Cultural Hall (臺灣客家茶文化館) in Taoyuan. Minister Lee thanked Taoyuan City Government for its efficiency and corporation with the Council in implementing the Taiwan Romantic Route 3 project.

According to Minister Lee, the project of the Hakka Tea Cultural Hall has been evaluated thoroughly by the Council and the city government to prevent it from becoming a venue that is rarely visited. As the location of the venue enjoys advantages of transportation and local natural resources, he believes that the cultural hall will become a highlight of tourist destinations in Taoyuan in the future.

With construction scheduled to complete in April, 2019, the cultural hall will become a base for promotion Taiwan tea and Hakka culture. It is also expected to boost the tea industry and extend the Taiwan tea business to the world.