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Hakka Yimin Festival

One of the differences I’ve noticed between university education in Taiwan and in Sweden (and probably most Western countries) is that here the number of mandatory activities not directly related to studying is a lot higher than at home. It might be in the form of meetings, social gatherings and whatnot, activities that in Sweden would be arranged, but would never be compulsory for students to partake in. Last week, we had two activities planned, and we needed to attend at least one of them. For various reasons, later frustratingly enough rendered void (I had planned to meet with Vanessa), I decided that the Sunday Hakka Yimin Festival would be better for me. I knew very little about the activity when I left home six o’clock on Sunday morning, but as it turned out, I had quite a good time.

We arrived in Taipei City around eight and changed clothes (I’m still not entirely sure what function we foreigners played, but there were lots of groups dressed up in a traditional fashion, not only Hakka people, with us having had the opportunity to choose among a wide collection of clothes earlier during the week. Lacking something Swedish, I decided to go with Richard (who is from London), and thus chose something British. This is what I ended up with:

Soldier boy.

This festival of the Hakka people (one of the many minority groups in Taiwan, with a distinctive culture and language) commemorates the ancestral warrior who died to protect their people during a number of civil wars.During the Qing dynasty (18th century), the Hakka people helped to quench a rebellion against the dynasty, for which the they were awarded the name Yimin (義民)or Righteous People. See the bottom of this post for more information about the festival itself.

The day can be roughly sketched using only a few words: walking, having our photos taken and eating, mostly in that order (I did watch some of the performances and shows, but since it’s all in Chinese and quite enigmatic, I didn’t learn very much from it).

The photos below are Ian‘s (the other guy from England in my class), who has been kind enough to let me use his pictures here. These are but a minuscule fraction of the number of photos taken of us during the day; I’m quite serious in saying that if I tot up all photos ever taken of me, this day probably doesn’t miss the halfway mark by much. In short, the day was great and apart from the photographs, it also left a lingering wish to buy a nice hat, although perhaps not the one I wore today.

Richard and I parading along.

Enjoying a brief respite in the shade.

Alas but a  brief moment in the limelight.

Well, normal photos do get a bit boring. Please don’t notice the shoes!

More information about the festival
TaipeiTravel Net
Taiwan Today

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  1. Ola’s avatar

    ??! awesome outfit! Tyvärr lade jag märke till skorna ;-/


  2. Martin Ackerfors’s avatar

    Ni är allt bra märkliga på er sida planeten… :D


  3. Johan’s avatar

    You handsome mofo ;)


  4. Queena’s avatar

    wow it seems fun lol!

    why u dressed like a soldier boy?

    so u all wore the costumes that represent yer countries?


    1. Olle Linge’s avatar

      I think the original idea was to dress in costumes from our respective countries, but there were no Swedish clothes, so I just picked something I liked, and I think a lot of people did that. And yes, it was quite nice. :)


    2. Carin’s avatar

      Awsome! :)


    3. Carin’s avatar

      .. eller awesome om man vill.