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Paiwan children's choir raises enough money for Hungary visit

2016/06/16 22:24:32

CNA file photo

Taipei, June 16 (CNA) The Puzangalan Choir, famed for singing the national anthem of the Republic of China at the inauguration of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on May 20, said Thursday that it has raised enough funds to travel to Hungary for a competition in August.

In a Facebook post, the choir said it has raised enough funds for traveling to Hungary in the past two days, "so please do not donate anymore and thanks for the support and concerns of all people concerned."

The group was scheduled to attend the International Choir Festival organized by Cantemus Choral Institute in Nyiregyhaza, Hungary, August 16-21.

President Tsai donated NT$500,000 (US$15,437) of her book royalty revenue to help support the choir's trip to Hungary, after Tsai Yi-fang (蔡義芳), the choir's executive officer, said the group was short of funds for the trip on Wednesday evening.

Tsai Yi-fang said the choir needed NT$1.3 million in transportation expenses and they have secured a subsidy of NT$350,000 from the Ministry of Education.

The choir, founded in 2008, is composed of 41 students, from second to 11th graders, of the Paiwan tribe in the southernmost county of Pingtung, with most members being elementary school students. Twenty-four members will travel to Hungary to participate in the choral competition, said Tsai.

Meanwhile, the legislative caucus of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has raised more than NT$700,000 for the choir in a day.

The DPP caucus said additional funds will be used to support the choir in coordination with Pingtung County's Education Department.

The choir was scheduled to perform in Guangzhou in southern China on July 20, but was noticed that the invitation had been withdrawn one week after the children sang the ROC anthem at the presidential inauguration.

People in mainland China should have a chance to listen to and appreciate Taiwanese indigenous children's pure and beautiful singing, former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said in a press conference on Thursday.

Cultural interaction should not be influenced by political consideration and "we regret some moves" by Beijing regime, said Ma.

The choir's visit to mainland China would be purely for an art performance and could promote the understanding between the people of Taiwan and China, said Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正), deputy minister of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC).

The MAC hopes that the mainland China regime would not bring political considerations into cultural and art interactions, which could harm people's feelings on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

(By Kuo Chu-chen, Hsu Chih-wei, Justin Su, Claudia Liu, Chen Chia-lun
and Kuo Chung-han)
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