Tsai pledges to revive Hakka culture and language

President Tsai Ing-wen has pledged to promote and preserve Hakka culture and language. Tsai was speaking Friday at the opening of Taiwan's first Hakka language radio station. The station is sponsored by the Hakka Affairs Council.

Speaking Hakka, Tsai said the radio station not only demonstrates her determination to preserve the language, but also signals the government's effort to revive Hakka culture.

We will introduce a comprehensive policy to promote Hakka culture. The public is concerned about a project [involving 16 Hakka communities] along the 3rd Taiwan Provincial Road. The project will not only be carried out by using an annual budget. In our infrastructure plan, there will also be a special budget to boost the rejuvenation of Hakka communities, which combines cultural innovation, agriculture and eco tourism," said Tsai.

The president said the Cabinet has already passed a draft bill for the Hakka Basic Law. The bill lists Hakka as a national language and learning the language will be required for elementary and middle school students.

Hakka belongs to the Chinese language family and has an estimated 30 million native speakers, mostly in southern China and parts of Southeast Asia as well as Taiwan.

Source: Radio Taiwan International