To learn about efforts in reviving tea culture and empowering local communities in the central county of Nantou, Culture Minister Cheng Li-chiun visited local cultural hotspots and talked with Nantou residents on Jan. 16.
The trip aims to promote collaboration among central and local government agencies in revitalizing Taiwan’s tea culture, and to use such culture to raise global recognition of Taiwan.
The first stop of the trip was the Yuchi Branch of Taiwan’s Tea Research and Extension Station. As the R&D center of Taiwan tea under the Council of Agriculture, the institution offers guidance and instructions for producing and marketing tea products. The institution’s Tea Culture Exhibition Hall also displays different types of Taiwan tea and the industrial history of tea.
Minister Cheng noted that as Taiwan tea embodies rich history and culture, the Ministry is seeking the collaboration of the Agriculture and Food Agency and Nantou County Government. The Ministry will also assist with enhancing facilities and developing tea art designs as well as researching regional tea history.
The second stop was the Se Shui Community in Yuchi Township, a region known for its black tea industry. The community has brought back local memories and knowledge through connecting industries such as tea, ceramics, and bamboo charcoal with local lifestyle and history. The community also publishes three volumes of “Story of the Se Shui People (澀水人ㄟ故事)” and released “Love of Ceramics (陶之戀~我的少女時代),” a micro film that documents the ceramic-making process of the community.
Minister Cheng then visited the Paper Dome New Homeland Foundation in Taomi Community to learn about how social enterprises helped empower a community in an eco-sustainable fashion.
Minister Cheng made her last stop at REST Book and Bed (籃城書房), an independent bookstore located in a rural village of Puli Township. The bookstore brings art and culture to the community while introducing the unique region to the public.
The Ministry also invited seven teams of young professionals from different backgrounds to share their projects for empowering local communities. After learning about their efforts, Minister Cheng noted that the Ministry will help deepen the roots of local cultures and industries through refining its cultural policies.
Minister Cheng also announced that the Ministry will convene a national community development conference in mid-2018 to develop policies that meet the requirement of local cultural development and make the best use of available resources.
In the future, the Ministry will continue offering assistance to local communities through projects such as the new Hometown Community Building Project (Phrase III) and the Youth Village Cultural Development Project, which connect public and private resources to promote and pass on local knowledge and wisdom to upcoming generations.
- Taomi Community Development Association
- Thao Cultural Development Association in Yuchi Township
- Youth Village Cultural Development Project