"Taiwan-Malaysia: The Launching of Six Translated Titles,” a Spotlight Taiwan program promoting cultural exchanges and mutual understanding through publishing, held a yearend showcase at the Kuala Lumpur-based Malaysian Institute of Translation & Books (ITBM) on Dec. 22.
Co-organized by the Ministry of Culture, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Malaysia, and ITBM, the program aims to introduce Taiwanese culture and ideas to the Malaysian public by making Taiwan literature available to non-Chinese readers. Moreover, it also seeks to increase the overseas exposure and foreign readership of Taiwan literature.
Malaysian bestsellers including "Kampung Boy (甘榜小子)” by Lat (Datuk Mohammad Nor Khalid), "Sang Kancil and the Crocodiles (小鼠鹿與鱷魚大隊)” by Khairun Nisa, and "Entimuk and Kejuang (安蒂幕與柯珠安)” by Isabella Jali have been selected by the program and are now available in the Chinese language.
Taiwanese picture books, including "The Blue Little Dress (藍色小洋裝)” by Chang You-ran (張又然), "Waiting & Hope (等待&希望)” by Mai-sai Kyo (馬賽kyo), and "Wings of Kopule (柯普雷的翅膀)” by AKRU, were also selected for Malay translations.
Representative Chang Chi-ping (章計平) of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Malaysia noted that it was an honor to partner with ITBM through the Ministry of Culture's Spotlight Taiwan Project, which aims to deepen bilateral cultural exchanges, and foster understanding and appreciation of Taiwan culture among communities overseas. The project also seeks to organize diverse Taiwan-themed activities through building long-term collaboration with key international cultural institutions and universities.
As picture books contain both visual and verbal narratives, which are preferred by younger readers and help all readers appreciate different perspectives, the program offers an opportunity for both the Taiwanese and Malaysian public to learn about each other's cultures through literary works.
In the future, the program hopes to facilitate more exchanges and dialogues between Taiwan and Malaysia, and introduce more Taiwanese picture books and authors to Malaysian authors, artists, and illustrators to prompt interdisciplinary collaboration.
From left to right: The event was attended by Mohd Khair Ngadiron, head of the Malaysian Institute of Translation and Books (ITBM); Mohamed Juhari Shaarani, director-general of Istana Budaya; Budiman Mohd Zohdi, ITBM chairman; Chang Chi-ping, head of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Malaysia; Wu Heng Can (吳恆燦), chairman of the Malaysia Han Culture Centre; and Peggy Chou, director of the Cultural Division in Kuala Lumpur.