The Ministry of Culture celebrated Taiwanese Culture Day (臺灣文化日) on Oct. 17 with a Taichung concert presenting a repertoire of songs penned by the forbearers of Taiwanese consciousness and nativist music.
Taiwanese Culture Day is observed on Oct. 17 to honor the founding of Taiwanese Culture Association (臺灣文化協會) on Oct. 17, 1921 by democracy pioneers such as the late doctor-scholar Chiang Wei-shui (蔣渭水) and Taichung intellectual Lin Hsien-tang (林獻堂).
The Taiwanese Culture Association promoted freedom of association, freedom of speech, and local autonomy for the Taiwanese people under Japanese colonial rule. It sought to bring forth Taiwan’s cultural enlightenment through education and unrestricted flow of knowledge.
In memory of their pioneering spirit and courage, the Oct. 17 concert in Taichung performed songs with lyrics penned by Chiang, such as the “Taiwanese Culture Association Anthem (臺灣文化協會會歌),” as well as those composed by late maestros Deng Yu-shian (鄧雨賢), Wang Yun-fong (王雲峰), Kuo Chih-yuan (郭芝苑), and Lu Quan-sheng (呂泉生).
Led by Swiss-trained Taiwanese conductor Yeh Cheng-de (葉政德), the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra (國立臺灣交響樂團) Youth Division and the Peng Ching-Chen Memorial Chorus (台中靜宸合唱團) performed against the backdrop of the outdoor courtyard of the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts.
Upon the end of the concert, Culture Minister Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) voiced her agreement with a statement made by the late doctor Chiang, noting that Taiwan belongs to the Taiwanese, and that Taiwan also belongs to the world.
She vowed to expand the scale of Taiwanese Culture Day celebrations next year, and to look into the possibility of establishing a Taiwanese Culture Day Promotion Committee (臺灣文化日推動委員會) to carry forth the pioneering spirit of 1920s Taiwan.
In other related news, the late Yunlin educator and fellow Taiwanese Culture Association member Tsai Pei-huo (蔡培火) will be honored in separate concert on Oct. 22 in Tainan. The National Museum of Taiwan History has curated a program featuring such songs as “We Taiwan (咱台灣)” and “Beautiful Island (美麗島)” composed by Tsai but never released during his lifetime due to Japanese censorship.