cunˊ kiˇ sii tienˇ: Dibbling Workshop in Liugdui Hakka Cultural Park to Experience the Communal Culture of Yesteryear

Early spring is the best time to work in the rice fields. The Liugdui Hakka Cultural Park, Taiwan Hakka Culture Development Center (THCDC) organized the agricultural workshop titled cunˊ kiˇ sii tienˇ on the Park grounds for people to experience the dibbling of rice seedlings, as to promote agri-food education. Other than appreciating photos from the THCDC collection, participants prayed to the deity of the field, put on bamboo hats to dibble rice seedlings, experienced typical treats of communal workers, and handcrafted fortune straw ropes. The goal is to help people feel connected with the land, transmit environmental sustainability ideas, and make Hakka agri-food education widespread.
cunˊ kiˇ sii tienˇ: Dibbling Workshop in Liugdui Hakka Cultural Park to Experience the Communal Culture of Yesteryear
The Liugdui Hakka Cultural Park was named a model site after earning the Ministry of Environment’s Environmental Education Facility Excellence rating. Other than its emphasis on the cultural legacy of the Liugdui Hakka, the Park also focuses on using agriculture to link together environmental education and Hakka culture, achieving its mission of museum education.

The cunˊ kiˇ sii tienˇ dibbling workshop taught people about the culture of early rural society by leading them to offer prayers to the field deity, dibble rice seedlings, and taste typical treats of communal workers—an immersive atmosphere of early Hakka rural society and their unique culture of communal work. This fulfills the sustainable development ideal of cultural co-existence and co-prosperity. Chang Kuo-tung, Deputy Head of the Pingtung Distillery, Taiwan Tobacco & Liquor Corporation, was also invited to explain how rice planted in the Park is used to prepare Liugdui Good Wine in the distillery’s century-old facilities. This combination of Hakka cultural and environmental education fulfills the mission of an ecomuseum to transmit and promote knowledge.

The Agricultural Machinery Exhibition Hall, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology collaborated to showcase several pieces of traditional agricultural equipment. Paired with photos of the THCDC collection, participants were able to travel back in time and witness the evolution from manual to machine-assisted dibbling, appreciating the virtues of present and past.

Participants also learned to craft fortune straw ropes. Made by twisting unripe rice stalks and adorning them with fruits and flowers, these symbolize a great harvest and are believed to bring good fortune. Done by hand, each fortune straw rope is unique and represents people’s wishes for plentiful harvest in the rice fields for years to come. At the end of the event, people were treated to ngiu vun fi, traditional desserts of Hakka communal workers, as well as to sesame oil chicken prepared with rice cooking wine made in the Park, as to promote the Park’s Hakka cuisine and cultural and creative products.