President Tsai Ing-wen said April 20 that the government is making significant progress in strengthening Hakka culture and ethnic diversity in Taiwan.
It remains a top priority of the government to keep revitalizing Hakka culture while safeguarding the language and heritage of Taiwan's minority groups, Tsai said. This is being achieved under relevant legislation designating the Hakka tongue as a national language and ensuring it is taught in schools, as well as establishing radio stations, she added.
Equally important are three projects aimed at developing a special industry based on promoting Hakka culture, tourism and traditions, Tsai said, adding that they are transforming three regions with large Hakka populations in northern, southern and eastern Taiwan.
Tsai made the remarks during the launch ceremony of a Hakka culture park dedicated to renowned novelist Chung Chao-cheng in Taoyuan City, northern Taiwan. The 95-year-old Chung is considered a trailblazer in Taiwan literature for daring to produce texts containing strong local elements during the Japanese colonial era (1895-1945).
According to Tsai, the cultural park is a central plank in the government's Taiwan Romantic Route 3 initiative. The 150-kilometer section of Provincial Highway No. 3 links Hakka villages in 16 districts and townships starting in northern Taiwan's Taoyuan City and finishing in central Taiwan's Taichung City.
It is expected the park will enhance public awareness of Chung's contribution to Taiwan literature while spurring development of the local economy, Tsai said.
The latest data from the Cabinet-level Hakka Affairs Council reveals that Hakka people are the second-largest ethnic group in Taiwan comprising 19.3 percent of the nation's 23.5 million population. Hakka communities can be found in many parts of Southeast Asia and the rest of the world.
Source: Taiwan Today