YouTube has deleted a video showing Tao elementary-school students on Orchid Island (Lanyu, 蘭嶼) dancing in traditional attire after it was erroneously flagged for “obscenity,” the children’s teacher said yesterday.
Yayu Elementary School teacher Yan Tzu-yu (顏子矞) said that when he logged into the school’s YouTube account recently, he was greeted with a message saying that a video he uploaded in 2018 of the children performing a Tao dance to mark the construction of a new classroom had been removed.
The video was flagged by a user, and after a review by YouTube staff was found to have breached the platform’s community standards, the message read.
Photo: Huang Ming-tang, Taipei Times
Yan said the misunderstanding likely stemmed from the Tao clothing worn by the children in the video.
Traditional clothing for Tao males is a cloth tied around the lower body in a manner resembling a modern-day thong, but does not carry any of the implications of a thong in Tao culture, he said.
“My word, in that case all of my flying fish season videos will be deleted,” he said, adding that he was frustrated because YouTube apparently did not respect cultural differences.
It was not the first time the school had had a controversial encounter. The school’s performance troupe, Flying Fish, performed at Poland’s 27th international children’s arts festival last year.
At the festival’s opening ceremony the troupe refused to carry China’s national flag as requested and instead carried Taiwan’s national flag when entering the arena, Yan said, adding that the move gained them praise from Taiwanese.
“Our culture on Orchid Island is beautiful and unique. These children put a great deal of effort into their dances — what is the problem?” Yan said.
Yan said he has contacted YouTube about the misunderstanding, but has yet to receive a reply.
The “thong-style” attire of the Tao is an element of the people’s seafaring culture, and helps them stay cool on Orchid Island’s hot tropical climate, Yan said, adding that the garment is custom-made for each Tao man by a Tao woman.
“That connection also serves as an emotional ‘bridge’ between the man and the woman who made the garment for him,” Yan said.
YouTube should recognize the difference between breaching social customs and traditional culture, and should avoid making “reckless judgments,” Taitung University professor Liu Chiung-hsi (劉炯錫) said.
Taitung County Indigenous People’s Bureau Director Fang Ming-tsung (方銘總) agreed, calling on YouTube to respect Aboriginal culture.
921 EARTHQUAKE: The magnitude 7.3 quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged The Central Weather Bureau yesterday received about 50,000 views on Facebook after it posted the data that it collected on Sept. 21, 1999, when the nation was devastated by a magnitude 7.3 earthquake. The data showed that the 921 Earthquake hit the nation at 1:47am, with the epicenter being 7km southwest of the bureau’s quake detection center in Nantou County’s Yuchi Township (魚池) at a depth of 8km. The quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged, with the cost of the damage estimated at NT$300 billion (US$10.8 billion at the current
British newspaper The Mail on Sunday reported that Prince Charles met with Bruno Wang (汪家興), a Taiwanese fugitive who describes himself as a Chinese philanthropist and donated ￡500,000 (US$683,522) to the prince’s charity, the Prince’s Foundation. The newspaper reported that Wang is wanted in Taiwan on charges related to money laundering and being a fugitive from justice, allegations he denies, and drew comparisons between Wang and the Russian banker Dmitry Leus. Investigation and cooperation with foreign authorities have found that Bruno Wang’s father, Andrew Wang (汪傳浦), had stashed proceeds from a scandal involving the procurement of Lafayette frigates in 61 bank accounts,
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
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