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TV documentary presents charm of southern Taiwan’s Hakka culture

  • Source:客家文化發展中心
  • Publication Date:2020/11/27
  • Last updated:2021/03/24
  • Count Views:605

To present the beauty of southern Taiwan’s Hakka culture as well as to warm up the tricentennial celebration in the Liudui region next year, the Hakka Affairs Council (HAC) partnered with National Geographic to produce a TV program named “Hakka Renaissance: Beautiful Liudui.” A press conference was held for its premiere in Taipei on Nov. 25.

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“Liudui” is a collective appellation for the Hakka settlements of Kaohsiung and Pingtung, which are made up of 12 townships/districts, including Meinong District (美濃區), Shanlin District (杉林區), Jiaxian District (甲仙區), and Liugui District (六龜區) in Kaohsiung City; as well as Changzhi Township (長治鄉), Linluo Township (麟洛鄉), Zhutian Township (竹田鄉), Jiadong Township (佳冬鄉), Xinpi Township (新埤鄉), Neipu Township (內埔鄉), Gaoshu Township (高樹鄉), and Wanluan Township (萬巒鄉), all in Pingtung County.

Noting that the Liudui region is more than the birthplace of the world’s champion chocolate that is made in Pingtung’s Hakka village, HAC Minister Yiong Cong-ziin talked about Liudui’s early history as recorded in “the Battle of the Burning Village,” which was fought by Hakka militia and armed civilians in southern Taiwan against the invading Japanese Army during the Japanese invasion in 1895.
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Yiong stated that Hakka ancestors began to establish their homes nearly 300 years ago, and many of them had to protect the land of Liudui at the expense of their lives. “The peaceful life that Taiwanese people enjoy nowadays is the product of our forebears’ sacrifice,” said the minister, adding that “we can really know who we are by means of reviewing the history of our homeland and always remembering the devotion of our predecessors.”

The show’s production team members include José Miguel García Sánchez, an award-winning Spanish director, and Sunny Han (韓欣欣), a celebrated documentary producer, working together to record the historical development of Liudui’s Hakka settlements from a broader perspective.

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In this TV show, director Sánchez visited every Hakka settlement in Kaohsiung and Pingtung, bringing his audience to experience the glamour of Hakka towns in southern Taiwan through vivid scenes of a Hakka banquet, the craft of oil-paper umbrellas, and traditional Hakka architecture “huo fang (伙房).”

At the press conference, Sánchez talked about his distinct recollections in the Liudui region, including the smell of handmade soy sauce, the taste of Hakka dried radish chicken soup, interviews with the cocoa farmers, and visits to Hakka old houses.

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