Taiwanese media criticized for disrespecting indigenous culture

Taipei,  Taiwanese officials and a government agency on Monday urged the media to respect indigenous culture after some news reports took issue over the tribal attire worn by one of the winners during an award ceremony.

Pangoyod (鍾家駿), a 16-year-old actor and television host from Taiwan’s Tao tribe, received his trophy for best youth television program host at the 55th Golden Bell Awards in Taipei on Saturday wearing a traditional vest and loincloth.

His co-winner, Buya (陳宇), a member of the Atayal tribe, wore a traditional woven cloth that covered his upper body down to his knees at the ceremony.

In an interview after the award ceremony, Pangoyod said he was proud to wear his tribal attire on stage, adding that this would have been unimaginable in days gone by.

Buya, for his part, said indigenous people should have self- confidence because they are part of Taiwan.

Some media, however, immediately took issue over Pangoyod’s dress in their reports, with some describing it as “revealing” and some even focusing on his buttocks.

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) denounced the reports as “inappropriate” and “impolite” when asked to respond to the issue.

“Our friends from the indigenous community should be respected when they wear their attire and express their self-confidence in an event organized by the government,” Su said on the sidelines of a ceremony for the 2020 National Excellent Teacher Award.

“This should be viewed as part of Taiwan’s diverse culture,” he added.

Presidential Office spokesperson Kolas Yotaka, who is from the Amis tribe, praised the duo for daring to wear their traditional clothing on stage, saying that not even indigenous adults would have the courage to do the same today.

She expressed hope that society can give more encouragement to ethnic people seeking self-identity and make such encouragement part of Taiwan’s daily life.

The Ministry of Culture said in a Facebook post that the media should show respect for different cultures and look at things from a multicultural perspective.

The ministry said it was a proud moment for the Taiwanese people who have been advocating cultural diversity to see indigenous people sharing their achievements on stage wearing their traditional garments.

The loincloth that Pangoyod wore at the ceremony is usually worn by the Tao people at festivals and other special occasions. He wore it at the opening of the Tokyo International Film Festival in 2018 and at the Golden Horse Awards in Taipei in that same year.


Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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