Here we look to highlight some of the basic information about Taiwan, from introduction to its people, geography and just about anything that you should know when starting your journey to learning about Taiwan.
Taiwanese Indigenous People
Long before Republic of China, Japanese colonization, Qing Dynasty and even the Europeans shouting “Ilha Formosa,” there were indigenous people living in Taiwan. Taiwan’s indigenous people are considered Austronesian, or Austronesian-speaking people. They belong to the the same language family as those in Southeast Asia, Oceania and Madagascar. *Note: the term “aboriginals” is longer used,…
Taiwanese Hokkien (Tâi-Gí）
Taiwanese (Tâi-gí 台語) refers to the language that is spoken by a large majority (roughly 70%) of the population on the island nation of Taiwan. While Mandarin Chinese is the official language of Taiwan, Taiwanese has recently gained national language status along with Hakka, and 16 aboriginal languages, which allows access for public services in these languages, gives funding for radio broadcasting, television shows, films, and media publications, and provides additional resources for elective courses in the primary and secondary education system.
Hakka accounted for 1/3 of the Han population in Taiwan prior to 1945. Now, at least 1/5 of Taiwanese are of Hakka descent including all 4 democratically elected presidents. The term “Hakka” is Cantonese that means “guest people” used to describe the people that were guests in the Canton region. It is not a self-designated label, but it has stuck since.