Minnan festival to be held
The nation’s largest-ever Minnan culture festival will be held from Saturday to May 4 to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Fujian Province, according to the General Association of Chinese Culture. The week-long festival will feature the adventurous culture of the region, long a major hub of immigration, said former premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄), president of the organization. The festival will be held in Taoyuan County, Greater Tainan and on Kinmen — which have been the main gateways for Minnan immigrants to Taiwan since the 17th century. Academics and immigrant community leaders from Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Japan will also be invited to the festival to share their views on Minnan cultural heritage, Liu said. Kinmen County Commissioner Li Wo-shi (李沃士) added the event will also include a city god festival that will reach its climax early next month. More than 1,200 people from 37 city god temples in Taiwan and China will hold a parade to pray for good fortune, Li said.
Taiwan studies forum begins
An international conference on Taiwan-related research will open today at the Academia Sinica. The World Congress of Taiwan Studies is aimed at facilitating exchanges among academics doing research on Taiwan, which will lay the groundwork for future collaboration and raise the profile of Taiwan-related studies, the director of the Academia Sinica’s Institute of Sociology Michael Hsiao(蕭新煌) said. Taiwan studies programs have been established throughout Taiwan, Academia Sinica Vice President Wang Fan-sen (王汎森) said. About 170 researchers from 11 countries are expected to participate in the conference, which will run through Saturday.
Student, 14, gives birth
A junior-high school student in New Taipei City (新北市) yesterday gave birth inside a school restroom, prompting intervention from social workers and a police investigation. The school said it was difficult to recognize the student’s pregnancy because of her physical size and thus it did not know of her status. After complaining of a stomach ache, the 14-year-old rested in the school’s infirmary and gave birth to a girl at about 8:40am after going to the restroom, the school said. The nurse rushed in after hearing the cries of both the mother and infant and sent them to a hospital where a doctor removed the placenta. While the identity of the father is not yet confirmed, police have opened an investigation as the girl is a minor and it is an indictable offense to impregnate minors. The baby was nearly full term and healthy, the doctor said, adding that whether the baby would be put up for adoption would be discussed with the mother after she recovers.
‘General response’ nixed
The Presidential Office rejected a media report yesterday that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) is assessing the possibility of giving a “general response” to legislators’ questions following a “state of the nation” report. Presidential Office spokesman Fan Chiang Tai-chi (范姜泰基) reiterated said it would violate the Constitution if the president accepted questions from lawmakers, whether in the form of an alternating question-and-answer format or as a “general response.” Fan Chiang said that according to the Constitution, the Cabinet, not the president, is responsible to the legislature. If legislators were allowed to question the president, it would confuse the constitutional roles and duties of the president and premier, he said.