Aiming to promote Hakka landscapes along Provincial Highway 3 (also known as Taiwan Romantic Route 3), the Romantic Route 3 Arts Festival co-organized by the Hakka Affairs Council (HAC) and five local governments is taking place in Taipei City, Taoyuan City, Hsinchu County, Miaoli County, and Taichung City from Oct. 19 through Dec. 15. Accompanied by lawmaker Chiang Chieh-an (蔣絜安) and Ho Ming-guang (何明光), director-general of the Department of Hakka Affairs of Taoyuan City Government, HAC Minister Lee Yung-de attended the opening event of the Taoyuan leg of the festival in Longtan District on Oct. 23. The curatorial focus of the Taoyuan program falls on Raknus Selu Trail (樟之細路), which combines indigenous Atayal and Hakka words for “camphor” and “path” to collectively describe the historic trails on Taiwan Romantic Route 3, in an attempt to display the cultural and historical richness of this area. At the opening event on Oct. 23, festival curator Lin Shuen-long (林舜龍) and artist Pan Yu-yo (潘羽祐) guided visiting officials through the concepts of various installation pieces that were jointly created by Japanese artists and local residents for the Hakka festival. Comprising the three themes of highways, waterways, and trails, the festival presents the contemporary ideal of slowing down one’s pace in life and visiting revitalized Hakka settlements, said Minister Lee, adding that the newly designed artworks have helped to re-define the features of Hakka culture. He also noted that the grand cultural event, which seeks to present the tranquil lifestyles of those who live and work along Provincial Highway 3, can nearly rival Japan’s Setouchi Triennale in scope and surprises. Director-General Ho explained that the festival is being held at the villages of Sankang (三坑) and Daping (大平) — which make up the starting point of Raknus Selu Trail — because of the rich history in this region. Ho added that all visitors are welcome to join a series of activities during the Taoyuan festival, including music concerts and Hakka theater plays, and explore the glamour of Longtan District, one of the most distinctive Hakka settlements on Taiwan Romantic Route 3. Detailed information can be found at www.romantic3tylt.com.tw.