HAC holds showcase on Hakka southbound exchanges

The Hakka Community and New Southbound Policy Collaboration Program (客庄南向國際交流合作專案) was launched in 2016 by the Hakka Affairs Council to foster exchanges between Taiwan and countries in Southeast Asia. A showcase of ongoing results and a consultation meeting about the program were held in Taipei on Dec. 24.

Minister Lee Yung-de noted that the exchange program focuses on constant cultural contact and interpersonal interactions, stressing that family-like relationships have developed between people from Taiwan and Southeast Asian countries over the past years at Hakka settlements participating in the HAC program.

Lee hopes that, through this annual program, Hakka culture will be widely promoted in the international community under the aegis of HAC and collaborating government agencies in Southeast Asian countries.

Building upon previous experience based on the principles of enhancement, continuation, and reciprocity, this year’s southbound exchange program was also made available to new immigrants and their children, as well as Southeast Asian students in Taiwan.

Subsidized by HAC, three Hakka associations — Hsinchu County’s Two Rivers Cultural Association (
兩河文化協會), the Kaohsiung-based Meinung People’s Association (美濃愛鄉協進會), and Miaoli Hakka Culture Promotion Association (苗栗縣中原客家文化推廣協會) — showcased their amazing results at the Dec. 24 session in Taipei.

Encompassing performances of Hakka martial arts and Singkawang mountain songs, products of Hakka indigo and Indonesian batik dyes, and handicrafts made of Hakka and Thai floral fabrics, these results reflect the potential benefits of tourism and market demand for cultural creations, as well as the close bond among global Hakka communities.

Following the presentation, a consulting meeting was held to solicit advice for future reference. It was attended by experts and scholars including professors Hsiao Hsin-huang (
蕭新煌) and Wang Li-jung (王俐容), who specialize in Southeast Asia studies and cultural policies.