Music and No Nukes on Fulong Beach

Hohaiyan Music Festival on Fulong Beach

Yesterday I attended the first day of the 2011 Hohaiyan Music Festival (海洋音樂祭) at Fulong Beach. The festival, organised by the New Taipei City (formerly Taipei County) Government, has been running since 2000. The festival has two stages with the main stage on Fulong Beach. There are also food stalls and toilets set up on the beach and a huge staff to keep things running smoothly.

No Nukes group at Hohaiyan

When I arrived on the beach I saw members of the No Nukes group (諾怒客) handing out posters and talking to people. It is a reminder that just a few kilometres away from this beautiful beach the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant is under construction.   Continue reading

My parents visit Taiwan

Mum and Dad at Hotel One

My parents have just spent the past week in Taiwan. This was their second visit to Taiwan following their first visit in 2008. The week long visit was just enough time to see a few of Taiwan’s highlights.

Fengjia night market in Taichung

The first day was spent relaxing and enjoying some of the good things in Taichung. We drank Taichung’s best coffee at Orsir. Then we had lunch at Hotel One with a great view of the city. In the evening we visited the Fengjia Night Market. Thankfully it wasn’t too busy and crowded on a Monday night. Continue reading

The naming of “New North City”

On 25 December this year Taipei County will be upgraded to a special municipality. The Chinese-language name of the new municipality will be Xīnběi Shì (新北市). About a month ago I sent an e-mail to Taipei County Commissioner Chou Hsi-wei enquiring about the official English name of the new municipality but received no reply. A story in today’s Taipei Times provides some answers though.

According to the article Yang Yi-te (楊義德), the Commissioner of Taipei County’s Department of Civil Affairs , said the County Government chose “Xinbei City” as the official name because “New Taipei City” would be too similar to Taipei City.

The Taipei Times also reported on a group of Tongyong Pinyin advocates protesting against the use of the Hanyu Pinyin “Xinbei”. Chang Shu-feng (張淑芬), director of Taiwan Pinyin League, said the government should use “Sinbei City” or “New Taipei City” as the English name. The article also says a final decision on the English name of the city will be made by the Taipei County Council in September. Continue reading

Sanying Community celebrates another year

On Saturday the Amis community of Sanying (三鶯部落) in Sanxia held its end of year celebration. The event attracted a crowd of about 500 people which was more than last year’s event. The community had also undergone a lot rebuilding after its demolition in February 2008.

The afternoon began with dancing by members of Sanying and also the nearby riverside community of Saowac. As the evening approached the dancing ended and there was a generously catered meal enjoyed by everyone in attendance. Continue reading

Hopes and dreams on parade

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The streets of Taipei came alive this afternoon with the vibrant, noisy and colorful Hope Parade (世界夢想嘉年華). The parade is an annual event organised by the Dream Community (夢想社區) in Xizhi (汐止), Taipei County.

The parade began at Freedom Square before a short march through the streets to Ketagalan Boulevard. After arriving on the boulevard in the late afternoon there was a stage set up with a concert going on into the evening.

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Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) was on hand to start off the parade and rode on one of the floats for part of the parade. Continue reading

No Nukes Concert at Fulong

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When I got off the train in Fulong (福隆) yesterday afternoon there was a bit of cloud cover and a sea breeze making the temperature a little more bearable than in Taipei. While many people come to Fulong to cool off at the beach I headed to the area in front of the Dongxing Temple (東興宮) for the No Nukes Concert (諾努客之環境音樂會).

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An article by T.C. Chang explains the reasons for holding the concert. Chang writes that Gongliao is a very important place in the history of Taiwan’s environment movement. In 2000 the Taipei County Government began holding the Ho Hai Yan Music Festival (海洋音樂祭)  on Fulong Beach. In the early years of this annual festival the Green Citizens’ Action Alliance (GCAA; 綠色公民行動聯盟) held activities to inform people about the nuclear power plant. However, Ho Hai Yan has become very commercialised the GCAA decided to hold their own concert to return to the original spirit of Gongliao.

The fourth nuclear power plant is clearly visible at the end of the beach (see top photo) and served as a constant reminder of the reason for holding the concert. The construction of the plant has been subject to many delays and it is not expected to commence operating until 2012. Continue reading