Aboriginal communities sing not for pleasure, but to preserve their culture and history, Puyuma singer Sangpuy Katatepan Mavaliyw said on Friday.
“The stereotype of Aborigines is that we love to sing. However, we do not sing for the pleasure of singing. Instead, we sing because song is the medium through which Aboriginal culture and history are passed down from generation to generation,” Sangpuy said ahead of a performance at the National Theater in Taipei.
Sangpuy gained fame domestically and abroad with his album Yaangad, which means “life” in the Puyuma language.
Photo provided by the National Theater Concert Hall
He bases his songs on actual events, Sangpuy said.
“I am inspired by everyday life. I feel that if I create something that even I like and am moved by, it would move others,” he said.
He writes about environmental issues that he has seen, but have not garnered much attention, such as spent nuclear rods on Orchid Island (Lanyu, 蘭嶼), plans to build a solar installation in the Jhihben Wetlands (知本濕地) in his home county of Taitung and attempts in 2012 to relocate traditional burial grounds to develop tourism.
Photo: Chen Yu-hsun, Taipei Times
He uses his songs to introduce Taiwan to his audience, allowing them a glimpse of the nation and showing them that Mandarin is not the only language spoken here, Sangpuy said.
He uses natural elements in his compositions and insists on singing in the Puyuma language.
“Aborigines are not alone in seeing their language slowly die out; it is a situation shared by minorities the world over,” Sangpuy said.
As long as he continues to create in Puyuma and speak it on a daily basis, the Puyuma people continue to live, he said.
Despite his emphasis on the language, Sangpuy said that he does not see the need to change his official name, Lu Chieh-hsing (盧皆興), to his Aboriginal name.
“Everyone in the village [Katatipul in Taitung] calls me Sangpuy. They know me as Sangpuy,” he said, adding that it is important what his people call him, not what his identification card shows.
He left the village at the age of 27, which was perhaps why he placed great stock in his people’s traditions and culture, Sangpuy said, adding that his first album, Dalan, also influenced him.
He created Dalan with his father, who died before its release, which convinced him to continue creating music, he said.
“I believe it was, in part, my father’s last wish [to remain a full-time musician], while my belief that music helps preserve our traditions was also a factor” in his career path, Sangpuy said.
“As fish require water to swim and birds the sky to fly, so do I require music to be myself,” Sangpuy said.
BY OTHER MEANS: China could see CPTPP membership as a means of circumventing trade restrictions imposed by the US, amid an ongoing trade dispute between them The US could invoke a clause in its trade agreement with Canada and Mexico to block China’s application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a government official said yesterday. Under Article 32.10 of the Exceptions and General Provisions of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), if either Canada or Mexico enter a free-trade agreement with a nonmarket economy — such as China — the US could withdraw from the agreement. “If that clause applies to multilateral free-trade agreements such as the CPTPP — which Mexico and Canada are members of — that might be cause for the two
National Taiwan University Hospital’s (NTUH) Ethical Review Committee on Tuesday approved the hospital’s application to conduct human trials of mixed Moderna and Medigen COVID-19 vaccines. The hospital yesterday said that 220 volunteers aged 20 to 70 who have received one dose of a Moderna vaccine eight to 12 weeks ago are to be enrolled in the program. The volunteers are to be separated into two groups — a treatment group and a control group — and a double-blind study would be conducted, assigning Medigen or Moderna vaccines to the groups on a random basis, it said. The trial is expected to start
AT ODDS: The KMT called on the government to seek bilateral dialogue with Beijing to resolve the issue that led to the ban on custard apple and wax apple imports Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials and lawmakers yesterday condemned China’s sudden ban on imports of custard apples and wax apples from Taiwan as “obvious political retaliation,” while the opposition called for a scientific investigation into Beijing’s claim to have found pests in imports of the fruits. China earlier yesterday announced a ban on the importation of the two fruits from today, citing repeated discoveries of Planococcus minor, a type of mealybug. The announcement follows a similar ban on Taiwanese pineapples imposed in February. At least Beijing gave a few days’ notice when it banned pineapple imports, an unnamed government official said yesterday. This time
TAIWAN TIES: The foreign ministry said like-minded nations continue to express support for Taiwan’s ties with Lithuania, highlighting a letter by Slovenia’s PM US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday saluted Lithuania’s championing of democracy in Taiwan and Belarus. Lithuania in July agreed to let Taiwan open a representative office using its own name, prompting a pressure campaign by China. “We stand against economic coercion, including that being exerted by China,” Blinken said as he welcomed Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabrielius Landsbergis in Washington. “We stand strongly for democracy, including in Belarus, where we’re very much working together,” Blinken said. Landsbergis told reporters afterward that he and Blinken discussed “economic, financial, political measures” that can be taken to withstand Chinese pressure. “We discussed various possible measures