Hakka Singer Take Their Stand
Taiwan’s music scene consists not just songs in the familiar Mandarin and Taiwanese languages, but Hakka as well. Like other small ethnic tribes in the face of globalisation, Hakka people’s identity and culture can be easily eroded by the mainstream group. To preserve their own culture, they will have to protect their cultural carrier – language.
Golden Horse award winner Lin Sheng Xiang has chronicled the Hakka way of life through his music, advocating their rights and interests and awakening the recognition of their identity. What challenges did he encounter in the social movement?
Lai Yu Chiao had always felt alienated from the Hakka culture, but because of music, she began to learn and re-immerse herself in the language. Hakka brought a subtle change in her distant relationship with her father, drawing them closer together than ever before Two Hakkas from different generations took root in a pluralistic society through their music, giving voice to their own language and culture.
With the motherland setting the tone of Hong Kong in recent years, what can Hongkongers- born and bred and deeply rooted in a Cantonese speaking environment learn and reflect on the singers’ stories?