Minister of Culture Lee Yung-te vowed to provide local cultural facilities with more resources as a concrete step towards revitalizing cultural assets when visiting three Changhua-based cultural sites on June 19. While expressing his appreciation for local efforts to promote Taiwan's literature and native languages, the Minister said he hopes the central and local governments can work hand-in-hand to foster cultural sustainability and deepen the nation's cultural roots.
While visiting prominent writer Lai Ho's (賴和) memorial hall, Lee said many Taiwanese writers have been inspired by Lai, whose works, thoughts, and ideas have profoundly influenced Taiwan's literary scene. Describing the significant figure as the "Godfather of Taiwan Nativist Literature (臺灣新文學之父)," Lee said such venues are crucial in accumulating the collective historical memories of this country, and the Ministry will continue to enhance the memorial hall's operational and training capacity.
As next year will be the centennial anniversary of the Taiwan Cultural Association (台灣文化協會), which was founded by Taiwan democracy pioneer Lin Hsien-tang (林獻堂) in 1921 and included Lai as a member, the Ministry will collaborate with civil society and solicit ideas from the public through citizen forums to mark the birth of the most important cultural enlightenment organization during Japanese rule, Lee said.
With such efforts, the Minister said, the humanistic ideas and profound social care shared by Lai and intellectuals of his time would be more widely known to younger generations and current members of society.
The Minister also paid a visit to Tâi gí-bûn Tshòng-i Hn̂g-khu (台語文創意園區), otherwise known as the Taiwanese Language Creative Park, Taiwan's first cultural facility dedicated to promoting, rejuvenating, and passing down Taiwanese. During his visit, Lee said the educational park's role in boosting the use of the language is the reason he chose it as one of his first stops to visit outside Taipei since he was officially appointed Minister of Culture on May 20.
Language is the foundation of culture, and the Ministry will continue to support local and non-governmental organizations to promote diversified language experiences, raise awareness of the importance of mother tongues, and encourage the use of native languages, the Minister said.
Lee went on to urge the government and non-governmental organizations to work together and foster an environment conducive to the learning of native languages. The hope, he said, is for everyone to be able to communicate with their mother tongues in everyday life.
Among Lee's stops was the Lukang Branch of Radio Taiwan International, which has ceased to operate since 2017. The former guarded compound that broadcasted psychological warfare programs aimed at disrupting China was registered as a "Cultural Landscape" along with its surrounding environs in 2018 by the Changhua County Government.
During his visit to the 51-year-old radio station, Lee said the revitalization of this historic site is a central focus of his term and reiterated that his Ministry will team up with local authorities to promote the preservation and rejuvenation of Taiwan's cultural assets.