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  • In the 1970s up until the end of the 1980s

  • I couldn't see any future for aboriginal people

  • The languages were on the brink of disappearing

  • All the rites and ceremonies had been abandoned or changed in form

  • The methods of Aboriginal industry had changed inherently

  • The authority of the tribe, became that of the village then the township, it became caught up in bureaucracy

  • The way we cultivated authority in the tribe, or, to put it another way, the tribal discipline,

  • The systems of authority all fell apart

  • We couldn't see any future

  • So in my early writings I said that aboriginal peoples were an ethnic group in the dusk of life

  • Hanging on by the skin of its teeth

  • It was a very real feeling

  • I'm not even talking about the next generation, Even my generation had withered away to nothing

  • We hadn't yet envisioned a stop-Loss point

  • Luckily it was from the 1990s, due to the amendment of the constitution in Taiwan

  • There was a lot of change in Taiwan As a result of shifts in social power

  • So, when we talk about multiculturalism or multicultural values

  • Although they are still not very powerful concepts, and some people just use them simply as catchphrases,

  • There has actually been some relaxing of ideas

  • This was the process of the amendment of the constitution in the 1990s,

  • And the setting up of the Council of Indigenous Peoples,

  • Then under the support of the constitution there was an administrative body,

  • Which unites those things which relate to indigenous affairs

  • I think we can more or less envision a stop-loss point now

  • This is an important responsibility for our generation, those of us in our fifties and sixties

  • Because we once had experience of tribal life, even if just for a short time

  • We can speak to the younger generation in our mother tongue

  • We have experience of growing up in a tribal setting

  • We've attended sacraficial rites

  • Attending those rites are what's important, not hearing someone else's experience or watching footage

  • We all have a greater or lesser experience with tribal discipline

  • That the older generation are all so healthy and cheerful is really a blessing from God

  • In the short 20 years since 1990

  • We're a lot more visible, whether in aboriginal literature, or in legal and political institutions

  • Although its been a little lopsided, we're still there

  • Even in the revival of rituals, although there are some corruptions within it

  • Because the ritual is still there, and those who could sing the songs are still here,

  • So the thread is still there

  • Therefore our generation has an important mission

  • To leave these threads in tact

  • To what purpose you might ask? For the next generation

  • To give them a foundation for creative work, or in forming a new culture in the future

  • If you have no foundation, I always think

  • Like before when I was promoting aboriginal literature letting aboriginal authors be recognized amongst writing circles

  • And we did research into memories of tradition among aboriginal peoples, and then translated it

  • One might think that has nothing to do with today

  • But this is all preparation for the aborigines 50 years from now

  • The children of the aborigines of 50 years from now want to trace the steps of their ancestors

  • At least it won't be as hard for them as it was for us

  • Except for the advantage of the little experience we had

  • We had no written resources or records

  • So after joining the Council of Indigenous Peoples I set up the Council for Indigenous Documents

  • With an aim to look at Dutch and Spanish documents

  • Although they weren't written from our perspective

  • There are lots of details and clues in them

  • As well as Chinese literary sources that talk about aboriginal peoples, and writings in the Japanese Colonial Period

  • We'll exert ourselves to pass on these kinds of threads to young people

  • In regard to our young people, I don't really approve the way some people

  • Pronounce aboriginal culture to be set in stone with an unchanging nature

  • This simply isn't true

  • Nothing in the world is like that, that is only an ideology

  • Although sometimes we need ideologies

  • Although it may sound awful, the reality is that

  • Anything to do with identity is ideological

  • From an individual perspective, our egos are built on narcissism

  • We try to focus on the good stuff and avoid facing up to the true nature of the ego

  • I think society works in the same way

  • With this in mind, how do we find an ideological identity that fits with reality?

  • If a culture or a people has no way of resonating with the age in which it finds itself

  • It is nothing but a mummified corpse it lacks meaning

  • It must be able to find a propelling force within itself,

  • As well as having the threads of traditional experience within its grasp,

  • To allow it to dialogue with new experiences

  • Which in turn endows it with the ability to see and do things impossible in its traditional system

  • This is what we call the dialectic between tradition and modernity

  • We now have to form that dialectical relationship

  • In terms of expectation of the next generation I don't expect them to be fluent in the mother tongue

  • That's just like asking an African American to learn his ancestor's native tribal tongue

  • You don't have to know the language to attain their identity

  • Even if we're using Chinese language in confronting modernity

  • I know that the generation of my brother, or my mother or my grandfather

  • Had this kind of convoluted experience

  • This convoluted experience endows them with a unique perspective from which he sees things

  • Aboriginal Literature is written in Chinese but it is completely different ethnically Chinese writers

  • Just like American Indian Literature and African American Literature

  • Rituals won't die off, from a conservationist perspective

  • The problem is how to keep them active

  • Our first effort was to preserve them

  • As to keeping them active, that will depend on the willingness of the next generation

  • This 'next generation' refers not only to aboriginal people but Taiwanese people in general

  • Because they are part of Taiwan's cultural heritage

  • If we want a new form of Taiwanese culture and even of Taiwanese language

  • To differentiate us from Mainland China

  • The elements are all there already

  • The question is whether or not you want them

  • The next generation have to put in an effort, including those of Chinese ethnic origins

  • And treasure this piece of our cultural heritage

  • I'm not to keen on forwarding the idea of a natural characteristic

  • Or go too far in terms of the human right's angle that would ignore certain realities

  • However, when we discover a human rights's issue

  • We have to get rid of it

  • Which gives the next generation freedom, freedom to choose

  • Someone might be born on Taiwan, born into the Puyuma tribe

  • He has a collective sense of belonging culturally to the tribe

  • But that sense of belonging is only a part of their life, or their being

  • The other part is the individual realizing themselves, and their harnessing their creative power

  • This is a balance that needs to be sought out for the younger generation

  • This was clear to me even before I became the Minister of the Council of Indigenous Peoples

  • We have to prepare them for this in my opinion

In the 1970s up until the end of the 1980s

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台湾の原住民文化産業の未来 (臺灣原住民文化產業的未來 The Future of Aboriginal Cultural Industries)

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    阿多賓 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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