Overseas Hakka organization officially registered in Taiwan

Hakka Affairs Council (HAC) Minister Yiong Con-ziin (楊長鎮) attended a conference held by Taiwanese Hakka Association of the World (THAW, 世界台灣客家聯合會) at Baozhong Yimin Temple in Hsinchu County on June 13.

Following the conference, THAW, an overseas Hakka organization established in the United States in 1997, was legally registered as a domestic nonprofit organization in Taiwan.

Due to COVID-19 pandemic, representatives of Hakka associations from various countries participated in the meeting through video conferencing, including THAW President Chang Wei-bin (章維斌), Asia Taiwanese Hakka Association (ATHA) President Peng Chung-nien (彭仲年), President of the Oceania Hakka Federation Michael Yeh (葉義深), President of Taiwanese Hakka Associations of America (THAA) Charles Chung (鍾振乾), African Taiwanese Hakka Federation President Luo Ying-chao (羅應肇), and President of the Association of Hakka of Taiwan in Spain Lee Wang-tang (黎萬棠).

At the conference, Yiong extended his congratulations to THAW for its formal establishment in Taiwan. He said that the organization aims not only to unify Hakka communities and promote Hakka culture, but also to uphold democratic values and protect the rights of ethnic minorities. Yiong emphasized that democracy and civil liberties, which contributed to cultural revivals and social movements, are a very important part of Hakka activism in Taiwan.

Even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Yiong said overseas Taiwanese Hakkas have made positive contributions to cultural diversity, Taiwan’s democratization, and global efforts to curb the virus – achievements that he said greatly moved him. The minister declared that whenever members of Hakka communities around the world need assistance, HAC will never hesitate to extend a helping hand.

THAW was founded in Dallas, Texas 23 years ago, focusing on helping establish international Hakka-related organizations based on the Taiwanese background, passing on Hakka culture and language, promoting Taiwan’s Hakka spirit, and pushing forward non-governmental diplomacy.

After becoming a formally registered organization in Taiwan, THAW can integrate resources at home and abroad to promote Hakka affairs in partnership with overseas associations, showing the unity and solidarity of Taiwanese Hakkas through humanitarian actions.

Based on the principles of native language rights, cultural rebirth, civic participation, and devotion to the homeland, THAW has abided by the idea of neo-Hakka, a notion conceived by late Hakka doyen Chung Chao-cheng (鍾肇政) to build a global network and sponsor regular events for Hakka compatriots on different continents.