The practice of Aborigines using Chinese-language surnames is a result of discriminatory government policies, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Kolas Yotaka said.
Chen (陳) and Lin (林) are the most common surnames for Aborigines, with 10.43 percent, or 57,340 people, surnamed Lin and 9.75 percent, or 53,583 people, surnamed Chen, a Ministry of the Interior report said.
Chen and Lin are the most common Aboriginal surnames nationwide, except in Nantou County and Chiayi County, where Lin is primarily used in areas north of Taitung, as well as Hualien, Taitung, Kinmen and Matsu, it added.
Kolas, during a legislative session on Wednesday, said that the “Regulations on Restoration of Original Names of Citizens of Taiwan,” promulgated by the government in 1945, forced Aborigines to adopt Han Chinese names, which disrupted their culture and society.
In the past, Household Registration Service Offices staff frequently named Aborigines on a whim, and occasionally gave different surnames to people living in the same household, she said.
Kolas called on the government to improve training for civil servants to address systemic racism, saying although the Name Act (姓名條例) was amended to facilitate the registration of Aboriginal names, Aborigines say that they are often confronted with uncooperative or unfriendly civil servants at household registration offices.
In related news, the ministry’s biennial report on the nation’s surnames indicated that Chen and Lin remain the most common surnames nationally, with 2,619,560 people, or 11.14 percent of people, surnamed Chen and 1,953,760 people, or 8.31 percent of people, surnamed Lin.
Huang (黃) is the third-most common surname with 1,421,439 people, or 6.05 percent of people registered, the report said.
Chen and Lin are a combined 19.45 percent of the population, while the fourth to 10th-most common surnames are Chang (張), Lee (李), Wang (王), Wu (吳), Liu (劉), Tsai (蔡) and Yang (楊); 12,406,443 people are registered under one of the 10 most prevalent surnames, or 52.77 percent of the population, the report said.
When weighed by the “aging index” — a value defined as the ratio of individuals over 65 years of age to individuals under 14 years of age — individuals surnamed Liu have an aging index of 99.73 percent, while the overall population has an index of 95.36 percent, making Liu the oldest surname, the report said.
Although Taiwanese laws have allowed parents to name or rename their children with the surname of either parent for the past 10 years, only 2.24 percent of the population, or 520,6596 people, are given their maternal name, the report said.
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
THE CHINA CONNECTION: As Beijing’s aggression increases, so does Taiwanese consciousness, making a new constitution imperative, Hsu Wei-chun said If the nation is to ratify a new constitution, it must first end any illusions about the current document’s relevance to Taiwan, an academic told a forum in Taipei yesterday. For the constitutional revisionist movement to succeed, it needs public enthusiasm, the right timing and a clear plan of action, Chung Yuan Christian University associate professor Hsu Wei-chun (徐偉群) told attendees at the event titled “Imagining a New Constitution for a New Era,” which was organized by the National Taiwan University Graduate Student Association. The Constitution exists under the “one China” framework and has little relevance to Taiwan, Hsu said, adding that
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up