Last week Bunun people throughout the nation sparked controversy as they organized traditional Ear Shooting Festival hog-catching contests. The Council of Indigenous Peoples (CIP) also issued a request that the Animal Protection Act not be violated at tribal events, which has caused a backlash among local Aboriginal councilors. During a regular meeting of the Taitung County Council on May 12, councilors lambasted the CIP and animal protection groups for not respecting traditional culture, demanding that Taitung County’s Indigenous Peoples’ Department Director Chang Chi-hsu share local sentiments with the higher-ups.
Ethnic Bunun Councilor Hu Chiu-chin, Amis Councilor Chen Lanmulo and Paiwan councilors Tsai Yi-yung, Lin Tsung-han and Chu Lien-chi all on May 12 questioned the legitimacy of the CIP’s handling of the issue. Hu and Chu said that Aborigines have always had this tradition of catching hogs and that every festival makes use of pork, adding that hog-catching contests do not equate to the abuse of animals. They have suggested inviting animal protection groups to hold discussions that would reconcile their misunderstandings.
The ways that a hog is caught or tied up always carry unique significance, Lin says, adding that Aborigines care first and foremost about protecting nature and wildlife. Lin asks if Aborigines are not allowed to catch hogs, should Taiwanese still be allowed to eat pork? In that case, all of the meat markets could just as well be shut down, Lin says.
Every person has a different interpretation of traditional Aboriginal culture, Chang says, adding that every culture must be respected and that he will deliver this message to the central government.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)
1. backlash n.
反彈；強烈反應 (fan3 tan2; qiang2 lie4 fan3 ying4)
例: Foreign workers fear a backlash since the new immigration legislation passed yesterday.
2. higher-up n.
高層人物；上司 (gao1 ceng2 ren2 wu4; shang4 si1)
例: The higher-ups get to play golf while we’re stuck toiling away at the office.
3. reconcile v.
化解 (hua4 jie3)
例: Let’s reconcile our differences.