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Special Exhibition on Liudui Games held until 2022

  • Source:客家文化發展中心
  • Publication Date:2021/07/15
  • Last updated:2021/08/23
  • Count Views:676
Special Exhibition on Liudui Games held until 2022 展示圖 Special Exhibition On Liudui Games

In celebration of Liudui’s 300th anniversary, the special exhibition on Liudui Games is held at the Liudui Hakka Cultural Park from April 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022.

With its 300-year-old history, Liudui—a collective appellation for the Hakka settlements in Kaohsiung and Pingtung—has developed a very unique culture. The Liudui Games is a cultural memory exclusive to the Hakka region in southern Taiwan. The Liudui Games has gone through three kinds of regimes under different social contexts: starting from a military organization in the Qing Dynasty of the 18th century to sport promotion during the Japanese rule (1895-1945). After the World War II, the sport event became a local tradition that unifies Hakka settlements of Liudui.

Immigrating to Taiwan from China due to natural disasters and overpopulation, ancestors of Liudui organized militias to defend their land from outside aggression during reclamation at that time. The military organization, however, was dissolved in the era of Japanese rule. Nevertheless, various types of sports had been introduced to Taiwan through school education, and sports competition regarded as a way of social interaction became the basis for the development of the Liudui Games in the future.

Trying to evoke Liudui’s unifying spirit in the context that athletics was continuously promoted, local youths decided to hold the inaugural Liudui Games in 1948 with the support of old folks and influential people. However, the next edition of the Games was suspended for 18 years because of the political situation and financial problems at the time. Fortunately, thanks to the concerted efforts made by Liudui people, the sports event is able to continue to this day.

There is a close connection between the Liudui Zhongyi Temple (六堆忠義祠) and the Liudui Games. Initially, the sporting event was jointly held by the temple and townships of Liudui. Every year the Games’ torch relay starts from the Zhongyi Temple. The identity of Liudui people has been strengthened since people carried the statue of Zhong Yung Gong (忠勇公)—the Deity of Loyalty and Bravery—to join the temple parade in 2006, which is part of the Liudui Games.

In early times, the games competitions were mainly focused on track and field races because of the sports venues’ easy availability. Later on, varied types of sports began appearing in the Liudui Games. Then, to attract more people’s participation, competitions integrated with the local landscape and Hakka customs have been included in the games. Through sports, people can learn more about Liudui’s Hakka culture and solidify the ethnic identity. The Liudui Games becomes a manifestation of Liudui people’s emotional bonds and community solidarity. 

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