Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin and Hsinchu County Commissioner Chiu Ching-chun on March 16 signed an agreement of intent for cooperating and making exchanges to promote Hakka culture and industries. The agreement is expected to help Hsinchu County and Taipei work more closely in a series of events dedicated to yimin, or Hakka martyrs. The two governments will also be organizing Hakka cultural events together, and use Taipei’s vast economic and information platforms to promote Hsinchu County’s agricultural products throughout the nation.
On the morning of the 16th, Hau was accompanied by Chiu and others during a visit to the Baojhong Pavillion Martyr Temple in Sinpu Township. Legislator Hsu Hsin-ying, representatives from various organizations, Hsinchu County Hakka leaders and Hsinchu County Government leaders were all in attendance, apparently testing the waters for Hau’s bid for the next presidential election. Temple chairman Hsu Te-hsin even yelled out, “Martyrs please protect Mayor Hau as he enters the Presidential Palace in 2016.” Chiu also gave Hau a written invitation to attend the Hakka Yimin Festival and a multi-colored pig deity.
Hau then went to Sinpu Township’s Jinhan Dried Persimmon farm, where he and Chiu signed the agreement, had a go at the art of persimmon dyeing and completed a calligraphy couplet with the words “good things usually come in twos, pure, unadulterated love is given.” Chiu also gave Hau a pottery piece with the words “persimmons impart life” inscribed on it, saying that he hopes “good things happen and everything goes smoothly” for Hau.
Hau says that he is grateful for Hsinchu County’s help during the Deaflympics and the Flora Expo and for offering to provide a venue for the 2017 Summer Universiade. Taipei Expo Park and Hakka Cultural Park both have booths set up selling agricultural products from Hsinchu County. Since signing the agreement, agricultural products from Hsinchu County no longer have to pass through an exploitative middleman. Instead, they can go directly to the consumer, who will be able to get fresh products right away, making for a win-win situation, Hau says.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)