The recent announcement by the Ministry of the Interior of a measure requiring the renewal of national identification cards on July 1 has drawn calls on tribespeople to reclaim their Aboriginal names. \n"Aboriginal names have been buried under cultural and political oppression over the years," said Mayaw Biho (馬耀比吼), a documentary filmmaker and key player in a campaign to rectify the names of the nation's Aboriginals. \n"After more than 20 years since the launch of the first name-rectification campaign, many Aborigines are still reluctant to change their names," Mayaw said. \nMayaw has made several documentary films related to Aboriginal issues. The Amis tribe native uses his documentaries as a means to share Aboriginal culture with others. His films have won several awards and screened at film festivals around the world, including the 2004 Riddu Festival in Norway and the Taipei Biennial Festival. Capitalizing on July's national identification card renewal period as an opportunity to persuade more Aboriginals to change their names, Mayaw plans to shoot three promotional ads to raise public awareness about what he says is a necessity for indigenous people to use their native names. \nMayaw's plan has garnered support from private sponsors. He was awarded the 2004 Keep Walking Fund of NT$1,000,000. The fund, co-sponsored by the Chinatimes Cultural and Educational Foundation and Jonnie Walker Corp, encourages people to carry out their dreams through creativity. \nIn addition to television broadcasts, Mayaw's ads may also appear on the TV screens at MRT stations starting from May, with the assistance of the Taipei City Indigenous People's Commission. \nName rectification empowers Aboriginals and helps them become self-aware, People's Commission secretary Feng Ya-chun (封雅君) said, adding that Mayaw's ads might serve to subtly encourage Aborigines to adopt their original names. \nIn 2003, Taipei County's Administration Bureau of Aboriginal Affairs set up a one-stop service the enables Aboriginals to change the names on their identification and health insurance cards and other documents all at once. \nTaiwan's Aboriginals were not allowed to use their tribal names under the Japanese colonial period and the subsequent Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) regime. It was not until 1995, after continuous lobbying by activists, that the KMT government allowed Aboriginals to use their original names. \nThe 1995 amendments to the Statute of Names (姓名條例) assured indigenous people of the right to use their Aboriginal names. Later, in 2003, another amendment to the law gave Aboriginals the right to list their original names in Romanized form along with the Chinese version of their names on identification cards, according to the Ministry of Interior. \nBut Aboriginal rights advocates are not satisfied with the progress being made. \nMayaw said that after a decade of having the right to do so, only 756 Aboriginals have reclaimed their traditional name -- less than 1 percent of the total Aboriginal population, or around 450,000 people in Taiwan. \n"Discrimination against people with Aboriginal names discourages many from changing their names. The government has failed to give an additional incentives [to name changing] beyond amendments to the law," said Lin Pi-ching (林碧清), a non-Aboriginal webmaster of the Amis film-making team, which is dedicated to promoting Aboriginal name rectification through documentaries. \nMayaw, who began using his Aboriginal name instead of his Han Chinese name, Peng Shi-sheng (彭世生), in college, said he didn't changed it officially until 2000 because of the complicated procedure. \n"My father is not an Aboriginal, and my mother adopted a Han name when she married. In order to take an Aboriginal name, I first had to change my mother's identity back to Aboriginal so I could prove that I was an Aboriginal and rectify my name," he said. \nThe limited knowledge of staff at registration offices across the nation about the uniqueness of Aboriginal names also adds to the difficulty of name rectification. \n"The limited space for filling out names in most of the forms is inconvenient for Aboriginals, whose names are usually longer than the Han ones. Some officers would ask people to delete one character or two to have their names fit in the space, which is ridiculous and rude," Mayaw said. \nVice Interior Minister Chien Tai-lang (簡太郎) said the new identification cards will have no space limitation for names. \n"We understand the importance for Aboriginals to acquire their original names. Many city and county governments now offer one-stop services for name rectification, which are faster and more convenient," Chien said. \nBut the fact is that staff at local household registration offices haven't been trained to serve Aboriginals in this matter, which has resulted in negative experiences among many Aboriginals. \nBut Siew Cheng-chia (蕭成洽), chief of the ministry's Household Registration Administration, says name rectification procedure is not difficult. \n"I think the name rectification procedure is simple and easy. Our local offices are more than happy to provide assistance, so Aboriginals should have no difficulty in changing their name," Siew said. \nMayaw said the government should more actively help promote name rectification. In addition to training to local household registration office staff, the government should also allow tribal tours to educate people there of the importance of getting their original names back. \nNevertheless, the campaign for Aboriginal name rectification will continue until all Aboriginals adopt their original names, Mayaw said. \n"When you see Aboriginal politicians still using their Chinese names, you know that the campaign still has a long way to go," he said.
‘LONE WOLF’: The suspect was difficult to locate, as he did not use a cellphone, did not contact family and often lived in abandoned sites or parks, police said Taipei police on Thursday morning arrested a man accused of numerous burglaries and at least 14 incidents of sexual assault spanning more than 20 years, in what might be the nation’s most notorious crime spree in recent years. Sixty-year-old Tu Ming-lang (涂明朗) — who was yesterday placed in judicial detention, after a judge determined he was a flight risk without a fixed address — faces multiple charges of sexual assault and burglary, police said. A task force comprised of various law enforcement agencies arrested Tu as part of an investigation into an April 28 burglary in Daan District (大安), in which a
Ninth graders were asked to define “trolling” on this year’s standardized exam, reflecting efforts to make the test better reflect real-life situations. Adjustments to this year’s Comprehensive Assessment Program for Junior High School Students were revealed on Sunday, after the last cohort of students completed the test over the weekend. The Ministry of Education solicited feedback about the test from teachers, who approved of the new question in the English portion. Not only was question No. 20 “very much in line with real-life situations,” but it also used a new style in which students were asked to ascertain the correct dictionary definition based
Taiwan is on alert for monkeypox, a rare viral disease that has caused 87 infections in 11 countries over the past three weeks, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said on Saturday. The WHO on Friday convened an emergency session to discuss a sudden outbreak of monkeypox in North America and Europe. Since the beginning of this month, 87 confirmed cases and 28 possible cases have been identified in 11 countries. The countries with the highest case counts are England with 29 cases, and Portugal and Spain with 23 each. Monkeypox is a viral zoonotic disease occurring primarily in the tropical rainforest areas
ADAPTING: The CECC said the policy change would happen this week at the earliest, while PCR testing stations would be used to diagnose people and prescribe drugs The general public would be able to use a positive rapid test result that has been confirmed by a doctor for COVID-19 diagnosis starting later this week at the soonest, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported 79,441 new local infections and 53 deaths. The center on Saturday announced that it was expanding the rapid test diagnosis policy to people living in indigenous townships and outlying islands, starting today. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, yesterday said the policy might be further expanded to include “all people” this week, at the soonest. He