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.
WAR FUNDING: A report by UK and Ukrainian defense analysts said that Taiwanese exports of a compound used in gunpowder have been helping Russia propagate its war About 20 percent of nitrocellulose — a compound used in gunpowder — imported into Russia has been sourced from Taiwan, a joint British-Ukrainian investigative report showed. Nitrocellulose is a key component of smokeless gunpowder, and the EU has banned export of the compound to Russia due to its ongoing war of aggression against Ukraine. The report said that nitrocellulose produced in Taiwan makes its way to Russia by passing through other countries such as Turkey. Only one company, T.N.C. Industrial Co (台硝), was named in the report, which also named China and Germany as key sources of the compound for
Individual tourists who arrive in Taiwan from tomorrow are eligible to receive limited-edition lucky bags to mark the Lantern Festival, Tourism Administration officials said yesterday. The Lantern Festival-themed lucky bags each contain a Year of the Dragon red envelope, a mini lantern, a NT$300 coupon for an amusement park ticket and a NT$500 Taiwan PASS coupon, the officials said. To get a lucky bag, visitors must present a passport or residence certificate and proof of their date of entry at a tourism center at either terminal at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) or Kaohsiung International Airport, they said. The
FOOD FRACAS: Legislative Speaker Han Kuo-yu called for the premier to deliver the address at 10:27am, but KMT legislators swarmed the podium to block him Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers yesterday temporarily obstructed Premier Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) from giving what is likely to be his last policy report to the legislature in protest at the Cabinet’s handling of food safety issues. The premier eventually delivered his report after a spat between caucuses about how and when Chen should deliver a special report on food safety. The KMT wanted the premier to make the special report yesterday, while the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) said that the legislature should hold an internal meeting on the issue today and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) proposed Friday. As they could not agree,
ROAD SINKING: The road surface of Qingcheng Street near the intersection with Xingan Street in Taipei’s Songshan District collapsed on Friday at about 9pm Grouting was yesterday used to repair a section of road in Taipei, after work on a construction site caused the surface to partially collapse on Friday evening, the Taipei Construction Management Office said yesterday, adding that nearby buildings were not affected. The road surface of Qingcheng Street near the intersection with Xingan Street in Taipei’s Songshan District (松山) collapsed at about 9pm on Friday. When police arrived they found four cars parked by the roadside tilting to one side. Police estimated the area that had subsided was about 4m by 30m, and was about 1.5m deep. They cordoned off the surrounding area