Taiwan Church News
October 27 - November 2, 2014
Why Celebrate Taiwan Retrocession Day On October 25? The Indigenous Protest Their Lands Annexed And Their Histories Wiped Out Beginning From This Shameful Day
Reported by Chiu Kuo-rong
Raising the placards, "Our own land, we will retrocede! Our own land, we will take it back!", the Indigenous Peoples Action Coalition of Taiwan(IPACT) takes on the street on October 24 and holds a press conference on the Katagalan Boulevard, appealing to restore back the original name of their home land. In addition, they accuse the KMT government still carries on annexing their tribal land and wiping out the histories of the indigenous peoples.
Rev. Yabu Eyo, from PCT Tayal Presbytery, takes his own tribe -Piyaway- as an example, explaining how KMT government forced his tribal people to forget their original tribe as Piyaway and changed name into "Fu-hsin"(meaning "retrocede" in the Chinese). All this is just to commemorate that KMT Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek has retrocede or take back the indigenous peoples from the hand of Japanese army.
Rev. Omi Wilang, General Secretary of IPACT and Secretary of PCT Indigenous Ministry Committee, points out that not only Piyaway was name changed as "Fu-hsin", but the aboriginal Sbtunux hill standing against Piyaway tribe was also re-named as "Shi-ko", which was named after Chiang Kai-shek's home town in Zhe-jiang Province of China. It is said one day Chiang stood on the top of Piyaway and being stunned by the beautiful scene of Sbtunux, which reminded him about "Shi-ko" of his old home town in China. So, the barbarian name-change started and the identity and the histories of the indigenous was wiped out!
Except the geographical names, remarks Rev. Omi Wilang, many his tribal people are also arbitrarily designated a family name by Chiang Kai-shek's KMT regime. For example, if there were many taro produce in some tribes, then most their family name would be rendered "Yu"(meaning taro in Chinese); if there were many rocks in the tribe, then they would be given family name "Hse"(meaning rock in Chinese). Even when a very powerful KMT politician, James Song, in his high tide with popularity, many aboriginal people were allowed to change their family name as "Song" to claim and become Song's privileged relatives in an illusion and false pride.
Rev. Omi Wilang concludes with a insightful comment: the history of Taiwan Retrocession Day is actually a history full of blood and tears from the indigenous peoples, in the words, the lands of the aboriginal are annexed and the histories wiped out! And the biggest problem behind all these unnecessary turbulence and upheaval for the Taiwanese aboriginal, which is also what PCT try to engage and tackle most, is how to stop the brutal violence of this invisible state machinery, guided by the one-China policy, unabashedly betrays the interests and well-being of Taiwan. "We are the Austronesian people. And there is absolutely nothing could be related to China!", said Rev. Omi Wilang.
Translated by Peter Wolfe