While attending the Mgay Bari Thanksgiving Festival of the Truku People for the 2016 Taoyuan City Indigenous Peoples' Coming of Age Ceremonies at the Bade District Cultural Plaza during the morning of October 2nd 2016, Taoyuan City Mayor Cheng Wen-Tsan expressed that the Truku thanksgiving festival of Mgay Bari perfectly demonstrates the cultural traditions of the indigenous tribe. Taoyuan City Government has been organizing various Indigenous Peoples' Coming of Age Ceremonies so that citizens can better appreciate the beauty of their cultures.
Mayor Cheng expressed that the purpose of holding Mgay Bari thanksgiving festival of the Truku was to offer thanks to the ancestral spirits and help build maintain lasting friendships and collaboration between members of the tribe. The Truku people are known for their handicrafts and musical creations, and such cultural traditions must be preserved and passed on.
Mayor Cheng also mentioned that there are about 69,000 residents of aboriginal descent in Taoyuan City. The city government therefore stipulated the Self-Governance Guidelines for the Indigenous Peoples of Taoyuan City and established a budget for the Indigenous Peoples Development Foundation to provide adequate support for culture preservation and education and to transform Taoyuan into the second homeland of the indigenous peoples.
Director-general Lin Jih-Lung (Temu Nokan) of the Department of Indigenous Affairs expressed that the Mgay Bari thanksgiving festival was communicated to all tribal members by the elders after holding a joint discussion to determine the scheduling. A man from every tribe and household must be present at the site of the Mgay Bari celebration before dawn. The lead priest will then lead tribe members to the venue to initiate the ceremony. The ceremony begins with the chieftains calling out the names of their ancestors to invite them to descend upon the mortal realm. Representatives from each family will then read an oration to honor their ancestors and provide a joint offering to the spirits before returning home to honor the ancestors of their households. After honoring the ancestral spirits, all attending members must consume the offerings at the venue as it is forbidden to take them home. Before heading home, every member who participated in the ceremony must undergo a passage of fire ritual which they walk over a pile of flames. The act signifies their separation from their ancestral spirits and bid them farewell.
Attendants to the event included Taoyuan City Councilor Shu Chih-Chiang, Secretary-General Li Hsien-Ming of Taoyuan City Government, Director-general Lin Jih-Lung (Temu Nokan) of the Department of Indigenous Affairs, and Bade District Chief Chen Yu-Ming.
Source: Taoyuan City