Thu, Oct 03, 2013 - Page 5 News List

Hoanya hope fests will revive culture

IDENTITY:The Hoanya, like most of the other Pingpu communities, are not recognized as an indigenous people by Taiwan’s government

By Tung Chen-kuo and Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The Austronesian cultures and languages of the Mountain Aborigines and the Pingpu Aborigines are related to Malay-Indonesians and Polynesians of the Pacific Ocean, including the Maoris of New Zealand.

According to Teng, the traditional Hoanya Festival, with ceremonies and other activities that lasted four days, was still being held during the Japanese colonial era (1895 to 1945).

Like the Hoanya, much of the language and culture of other main Pingpu groups was still very much alive at the end of the Japanese colonial era and into the early decades of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government’s rule.

Hoanya leaders and other activists said the current government, with its Council of Indigenous Peoples, should end the state’s discriminatory policy against the Pingpu.

They said that denying their existence and refusing to grant them “indigenous people” status is a violation both of the Constitution and the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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