Syaman Rapongan (夏曼·藍波安), a prolific author from the Tao (Yami) aboriginal tribe and one of the most-translated indigenous writers from contemporary Taiwan, will hold a salon talk in Kuala Lumpur on April 5 as part of the 2019 Tea Philo series in Malaysia.
Syaman Rapongan, 61, was born and raised on Orchid Island, a small island off the southeastern Taiwan coast. Although he was the first Tao student to be accepted by a public university without using his minority credits, returning to the island in his 30s was a challenge that included re-learning the traditional way of life of his people.
Amid the 1980s aboriginal rights movement in Taiwan, the self-proclaimed subaqueous loner resolved to write about the ocean and the traditional world of the Tao, which currently numbers less than 4,000 members today. "Drifting Dreams on the Ocean" in particular, details his sailing adventures to places like the Cook Islands, Fiji, Papua, and Taihiti on a traditional Tao canoe known as the tatala.
The author often describes each individual as an ocean full of drifting dreams, and that answers can only be sought by overcoming barriers and exploring the outside world. He cited his own childhood dream of becoming a navigator and sailing out to the South Pacific Ocean — a feat that was finally realized in 2005.
The admission-free April 5 salon talk will be moderated by Malaysian travel writer-photographer Chok Yen Hau (卓衍豪).
Organized by the Ministry of Culture's Kuala Lumpur office, the ongoing Tea Philo series invites outstanding Taiwanese professionals working in culture and the arts to share their expertise with Malaysian audiences. Follow the Tea Philo Facebook page for the latest announcements.
Tea Philo ft. Syaman Rapongan