In the hinterlands of Kaohsiung, far in Taiwan’s south, there is a strong center of Hakka culture. In most areas of Taiwan, Hakka people are a minority, even if a fairly visible one. In Kaohsiung’s rural Meinong District, though, virtually everyone belongs to this ethnic Chinese subgroup, and the Hakka language and culture are entrenched like almost nowhere else in Taiwan. Celebrating Hakka culture- and Meinong’s local take on it- since 2001 is the Meinong Hakka Culture Museum.
Here, the basics of the area’s traditional Hakka way of life are spelled out plainly in displays of everyday tools and objects. But the museum is more than just an assembly of things. There, you can also learn about local traditions of music and entertainment, see how key events in Hakka lives have been marked through the centuries, and try your hand at making local crafts. The museum is also kid-friendly, a place where children especially can gain an appreciation of Hakka culture. With me to discuss the Meinong Hakka Culture Museum today is the museum’s Lee Chun-ting.