Tue, Oct 14, 2008 - Page 2 News List

Liouduei Hakka Festival to re-enact historical battles

HISTORICAL LEGACY Liouduei refers to six Hakka military camps that were scattered in Pingtung and Kaohsiung counties to protect against the Hoklos

By Loa Iok-sin  /  STAFF REPORTER

The year’s biggest Hakka cultural event — the Liouduei (六堆) Hakka Festival — will start on Saturday, with the two-day Liouduei Games set to begin on Oct. 25.

Council for Hakka Affairs Minister Huang Yu-chen (黃玉振), accompanied by mayors from 12 townships in Kaohsiung and Pingtung counties, made the announcement during a press conference in Taipei yesterday.

SIX CAMPS

Liouduei, or six camps, refers to six volunteer army camps originally scattered in a region inhabited by Hakkas that covers 12 townships in Kaohsiung and Pingtung counties today.

The six camps were set up by Hakka settlers centuries ago to defend their homes — notably against the Hoklos, as conflicts between the two ethnic groups in the area were severe.

Although the military camps no longer exist, the name and culture have been passed down.

The Liouduei Games are one such example. Originally designed as physical training for soldiers, the games were transformed more than four decades ago into an annual event with residents competing in traditional sports.

The aim of the Liouduei Hakka Festival is to “promote the rich culture and to preserve the history of the Lioudui region,” Huang told the news conference.

To inaugurate the festival, hundreds of actors will dress up in the uniforms of volunteer soldiers from ancient times on Saturday.

PARADE

After meeting with teams organized by local community groups, schools and businesses at the square in front of the Matsu Temple in Neipu Township (內埔), Pingtung County, the volunteers will walk in parade to the Liouduei Hakka Cultural Park.

The Liouduei battles will be re-enacted at the park.

“Solidarity and cooperation are important elements of the Liouduei Hakka culure,” Pingtung County Hakka Affairs Department Director Ku Hsiu-fei (古秀妃) said.

“Faced with the current global crisis, I hope that these values will be remembered and put in practice in our daily life,” she said.

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