Welcome to the Taiwanese American Cultural Festival, the highlight of Taiwanese American Heritage Week and Asian Pacific Heritage Month. This is the second time we have held the festival in San Francisco following last year’s overwhelming attendance. This year we are excited to celebrate the “Taiwanese Culture Day in San Francisco” proclaimed by Mayor Gavin Newsom.
The United States is a “Melting Pot” of diverse ethnic backgrounds and cultures unlike any other nation in the world. Cultural awareness promotes a more harmonious society. We are happy to share the Taiwanese culture with you today.
Taiwan is a subtropical island in the western Pacific Rim. Taiwan’s culture is a blend of local and western influences. Multiple ethnicities including aborigines, Han Chinese, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese and post-WWII immigrants all helped to shape Taiwanese culture.
Today’s program includes traditional dances, folk songs, puppet shows and martial arts. Please discover several Taiwanese food delicacies. Technology exhibits also showcase the modern Taiwan today.
Politics had a great influence on Taiwan’s culture. While under Japanese colonial rule for 50 years and a Nationalist Chinese government for another 50+ years, Taiwanese culture struggled to survive. During these times, Taiwanese language and history were not taught in school. After martial law was lifted in 1987, there has been a resurgence of Taiwanese identity and culture. Today, the Taiwanese language is spoken in all levels of government and Taiwanese literature is gaining popularity. As a relatively young democratic nation, the future of Taiwan lies with its 23 million people and the support of the international community.
An event like this takes months of planning and preparation. I would like to thank all volunteers who have worked so hard to make this festival possible, especially our Festival Director, Nancy Horng, for chairing this effort. The generosity of the financial contributors is critical and greatly appreciated. We are also thankful for assistance from the Taiwan government agencies. Thanks to the City of San Francisco for providing this wonderful facility.
Finally, thank you for coming and I hope to inspire you “Discover Taiwan” today.
Muh-fa Chen President/Taiwanese American Federation of Northern California
Posted in 2015/07