Sun, Dec 08, 2019 - Page 2 News List

‘Disorder’ voted character of year

By William Hetherington  /  Staff writer

The Chinese character for “disorder” (亂) has been voted as the representative character for this year, local media reported yesterday.

Visitors to a Web site established by Chinese-language United Daily News chose from 42 characters over the 24-day annual event, which this year was cohosted by the CTBC Foundation for Arts and Culture.

The same character had also been voted as the representative character of 2008 and is the only character in the 12 years of the event to have been voted into first place twice, the United Daily News said.

In order of number of votes, the top 10 characters this year were: “disorder,” “lies” (謊), “sorrow” (憂), “to overstep” (跨), “to frighten” (驚), “to consider” (慮), “to initiate” (啟), “to deceive” (詐), “to change” (換) and “loneliness” (孤).

Out of 79,915 votes, the top three characters received 10,323 votes, 6,819 votes and 4,000 votes respectively, the United Daily News said.

The news from the past year has been filled with disorder, both domestically and internationally, it said, citing the Hong Kong protests, the US-China trade dispute and the introduction by the Taiwanese government of some contentious policies.

The character for “disorder” had been recommended for the list by director Ang Lee (李安) and National Tsing Hua University honorary professor Lee Chia-tung (李家同), the United Daily News reported.

Asked why he chose the character, Ang Lee said: “It’s very obvious. Things are very tense everywhere.”

The tension was a backlash from people with ideals, he said, adding that he hoped people would learn something from the current situation.

He hoped there would be a year represented by the character “peace” (和), Lee said.

“I hope for people to understand each other, to respect each other, to be friendly to each other, to think about others and share life together,” he added.

Lee Chia-tung said he had chosen the same character after he reflected on events over the past year.

He said that the controversy surrounding Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe allegedly signing a congratulatory message to the nation on Double Ten National Day, ongoing investigations into the derailment of Puyuma Express No. 6432 in Yilan County last year and controversial changes to national curricula were examples of this.

“The government has never given a reason for the derailment, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs went hoopla over this congratulatory message and the curricula reforms have caused myriad problems. These issues have made me feel that the country is in disorder,” Lee Chia-tung said.

The top-voted characters from past years of the event were: “disorder,” 2008; “expectation” (盼), 2009; “diluted” (淡), 2010; “praise” (讚), 2011; “sorrow,” 2012; “fake” (假), 2013, “black” (黑), 2014; “to change,” 2015; “hardship” (苦), 2016; “haziness” (茫), 2017; and “to overturn” (翻), last year.

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