Fri, Oct 17, 2003 - Page 2 News List

A-Ha! A Hakka culture and arts festival

By Debby Wu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Council for Hakka Affairs Chairwoman Yeh Chu-lan, center, is joined by composer Lee Tai-hsiang, second left, and other artists to pose for reporters during a press conference yesterday promoting a Hakka cultural festival, which will be held in Hakka communities around the country from Oct. 25 to Nov. 16.

PHOTO: CHIANG YING-YING, TAIPEI TIMES

The 2003 Hakka Culture and Arts Festival -- A-Ha! Hakka -- starting next Saturday features 76 cultural groups giving 182 performances in 16 cities.

The festival is being organized by the Council for Hakka Affairs.

The festival will open with a ceremony in front of the Presidential Office at 7pm with performances from several celebrated artists and groups.

Renowned Aboriginal composer Lee Tai-hsiang (李泰祥) has composed a new symphony, Mountain and Earth, that includes elements of Hakka agricultural culture to present at the ceremony.

The renowned dance group Chu Meng will also perform Looking into Hakka: Looking for the Beginning of Hakka to tell the story of the Hakka people's migration to Taiwan.

The Taiwan Hakka Folk Song Group will present a new set of the traditional Love in the Tea Tree Mountain folk songs mixed with contemporary music.

Council Chairwoman Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭) said yesterday that the festival would gather the best artists to present the essence of Hakka culture to the public.

"The most important presentation throughout the festival is the Hakka language, while all the performances will be based on Hakka culture. We hope to present the new appearance of Hakka culture to the public," Yeh said.

"We have the best artists to create the new Hakka image, and we hope that via the festival we can attract more artists, both Hakka and non-Hakka, to devote themselves to Hakka-related arts creation, so that the spirit of pluralistic cultures can have a new interpretation in Taiwan," she said.

Lee said that as an Aborigine, he could sympathize with the Hakka people's status as a minority group.

"My piece is based on the Hakka's hard-working and stoic sprit, and their wisdom in solving problems posed by nature. It is an expansion from minimalism and praises the Hakka's belief in the old saying that man is the master of his own fate," Lee said.

"This is not the only method to present the Hakka spirit, but I think my choice will not disappoint," Lee said.

Major performances in the festival include a Hakka carnival from 3pm to 5pm on Oct. 26 at Chao-yun Temple, Shanlin township, Kaohsiung County; a Hakka rock `n' roll gig from 2:30pm to 4:30pm on Nov. 1 at the Taichung City Bureau of Cultural Affairs; a Taitung carnival from 2:30pm to 4:30pm on Nov. 9 at the Taitung County Bureau of Cultural Affairs, and the closing show from 7pm to 9:30pm on Nov. 16 at Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts.

For more information and the complete event listing, visit http://web.hakka.gov.tw/hakka/new/hakka2003/index.html (Chinese only).

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