During the 2008 Presidential Election, a presidential candidate once said, “What am I treating you as? I’m treating you as human beings. So I can educate you all.” The saying immediately brought the relocation of Taipei County’s Xizhou community under the national spotlight. It was then that I realized people of Xizhou were mostly Pangcah (how Northern Amis people call themselves) from Hualien.
Lee Bing-Rui, a late 19th century Qing Dynasty official stationed in Taiwan once wrote:
“Travelling in the mountains, one often encounters howls of ghosts and spirits, the saying goes: “To pay such tolls, a toss of hell money will do.” Encounter with ghosts were feasible, once encountering the howls of the savages, the toll will be paid in heads…….”
“ As peculiar as it could be, the faces of the people here looked much healthier and more solid than the urbanites. It seemed that they were less susceptible to setbacks…… I also learned one thing here:
No matter how difficult life is, the only thing that could defeat us is not the external forces but ourselves.”
I visited Taiwan for the first time 5 years ago with my wife, who’s Taiwanese; at that time, I knew next to nothing about the country’s history and people. This has made observing and photographing life here all the more interesting to me. It is also a clear signifier to me that in the West we seem to lack a concept of what a Taiwanese identity is……
“The only thing an Atayal man needs to survive is a knife, a lighter and salt”
I’m sipping some hot soy milk in an Ikari Coffe near Zhongxiao Station and thinking that I would’ve never be caught dead craving soy milk at 10 in the morning before coming to Taiwan……
Kaxabu is one of the Taiwanese indigenous peoples living in Central Taiwan. Although not yet recognized by Taiwan’s central government, Kaxabu people still wield their own language and maintain their ceremonies, including muzaw a azem, the new year ceremony every 11th month……
He recalled the process of having the tattoo in one personal inerview years ago, they used a wood fixed by four needles to prick around on his face, and then dyed with the dyes made from Taiwan red pine:
The Taiwanese Canadian Association celebrated its 50h anniversary in late June, 2013. To commemorate the arrival of Canadian doctor George Leslie MacKay and his contribution in education and medicine in Taiwan, a “Life Time Contribution Award” was given. Receiving the award in his place was MacKay’s aging grand-daughter, Margaret MacKay. Margaret was moved to tears and was unable to speak for some time.“I really miss Taiwan,” said Margaret in fluent Taiwanese Hokkien, before once again breaking into tears.