Sat, Jan 23, 2016 - Page 11 News List

Amis voters wear traditional clothes to solemnly cast their ballots
都蘭阿美族部落盛裝投票 因為:慎重

Elders of Dulan, an Amis village in Taitung County’s Donghe Township, light a bonfire on the morning of Saturday last week, election day, in the hope that the nation’s conditions will keep getting better.

Photo: Chang Tsun-wei, Liberty Times

Seeking to choose the best candidates, first thing in the morning on Saturday last week, the day of the general elections, several elders from the Amis village of Dulan on the east coast went to the seaside at Daluan to light a bonfire and pray. They changed into traditional costume and solemnly cast their ballots, in the hope that the nation’s future would be better than today.

Laway Panai, chief executive officer of the Amis village cultural work group, said that fire is the source of Amis people’s life. In early years there would be a fire burning 24 hours a day in people’s homes so that they could cook straight away after finishing work and get up at any time of night. Laway Panai said that some Amis people light fires before holding ceremonial activities. He said that lighting the bonfire also symbolized their hope and wish that, no matter what the results of the election might be, everyone can, like the Aborigines, be optimistic, cherish the earth under their feet and treat nature with proper respect.

Several village elders wearing traditional costume lined up in the drizzle to cast their ballots one after another, attracting quite a lot of attention. Dulan village chief Pan Chin-tien, who is 75 years old, said that generally speaking Aborigines only wear traditional costume at important events such as the Ilisin Harvest Festival. The presidential and legislative elections are major national events, so, to express his solemnity in choosing virtuous and able candidates, he was going to vote wearing traditional clothes, while hoping that his preferred candidates would get elected without a hitch.

(Liberty Times, translated by Julian Clegg)


1. elder n. 長老;耆老 (zhang2 lao3; qi2 lao3)

例:Young people should heed the advice of the elders.


2. ceremonial adj. 儀式的 (yi2 shi4 de5)

例:A scepter is a kind of ceremonial object. (笏是一種儀式器具。)

3. drizzle n. 細雨;毛毛雨 (xi4 yu3; mao2 mao2 yu3)

例:Drizzle makes me want to stay in bed. (毛毛雨讓我好想賴床。)





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