Taipei, Dec. 13 (CNA) Taiwanese young people who visited countries in Southeast Asia, South Asia and West Asia to take part in cultural exchanges through government-subsidized programs shared experiences of their trips in a presentation held Friday in Taipei.
The presentation took place at the Huashan 1914 Creative Park and was hosted by the Ministry of Culture (MOC), organizer of the Youth Cultural Gardeners project, which focuses on Southeast Asian and Pacific neighbors, along with two other programs that promote cultural collaboration with West Asian and South Asian countries.
The two other programs are the Cultural Exchanges and Collaborative Projects Between West Asia and South Asia with Taiwan and the Cultural Exchanges and Collaborative Projects with Personnel from Southeast Asia, both of which are also organized by the MOC.
In the presentation, a Taiwanese aboriginal group told how they admired Australian organizers on the way they merged installation art with the natural environment at the Darwin Festival, while another group that visited Thailand described an opera they performed in collaboration with their Thai counterparts in which the Chinese Monkey King meets Thailand's Monkey God.
Also during the presentation, a group of university students from Tainan recounted how they discovered something in common between Taiwan and Indonesia regarding the earth god in folk beliefs, while a Taiwanese dance troupe shared how they created a cross-culture performance with India's Kaishiki Dance Academy.
"We saw a lot of things on our trips and we saw how other countries promote their cultural development," said Suming Rupi, an aboriginal Taiwanese singer who participated in the Youth Cultural Gardeners project.
"We hope that our experiences can help our government create appropriate roadmaps to nurture Taiwan's cultural dynamics," he added.
The three programs are annual initiatives aimed at boosting Taiwan's ties with communities in the target regions through interaction in art and culture in order to deepen mutual understanding, and are part of the government's New Southbound Policy, according to the ministry.
MOC Secretary-general Chen Teng-chin (陳登欽) said during opening remarks that "we should set our vision southward, to understand ourselves more through understanding our neighbors," adding that although dominated by the Han culture, Taiwan is also a part of Austronesia in terms of language and culture.
This year, 19 groups took part in the programs and interacted with local groups in the destination countries in the fields of literature, theater, dance and other art forms.