Hakka novelist’s birthday celebrated in Taoyuan

To celebrate the upcoming 96th birthday of Chung Chao-cheng (鍾肇政), an exceptionally important pioneer in Hakka literature, the Taoyuan City Government held a party on Jan. 19.

Born in Taoyuan, Chung is the first novelist to complete a roman-fleuve in contemporary Taiwanese literature. He has a strong sense of literary creativity and has become the subject of national recognition after winning numerous awards. The luminary has participated in many activities to push for the establishment of memorial halls for Taiwanese authors since the 1970s, as he is deeply concerned about Taiwan’s literary environment and cultural infrastructure.

At the birthday party, Hakka Affairs Council (HAC) Minister Lee Yung-de and Taoyuan City Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) unveiled the plans for reshaping the landscapes surrounding Chung Chao-cheng Literary Park (鍾肇政文學生活園區) in Taoyuan’s Longtan District.

Mayor Cheng noted that three other Hakka-related programs — the publication of Chung’s complete works; the construction of new Hakka cultural sites, including Taiwan Hakka Tea Culture Museum (台灣客家茶文化館), 1895 Yi-Wei Battle Memorial Park (一八九五乙未保台紀念公園), and Yongan Conch Cultural Park (永安海螺文化體驗園區); and the preparation of the inaugural World Hakka Exposition in 2022 — are also dedicated to the esteemed writer who has devoted himself entirely to the promotion of Hakka culture.

Minister Lee stated that, apart from carrying out the aforementioned projects with the Taoyuan City Government, HAC will continue to promote Hakka affairs and fully support the World Hakka Exposition as well. Through fruitful partnerships between central and local governments, Lee expects that the literary park will become another stronghold of literature and arts along Taiwan Romantic Route 3.

According to the Department of Hakka Affairs of the Taoyuan City Government, many projects are in progress, including improving the environment of regional commercial districts, revitalizing Hakka villages, and promoting local industrial transformation, all aimed at boosting Longtan District’s economic development and tourism industry.