Military Dependents’ Village Cultural Festival – October 10th for Village Nostalgia

While attending the 2016 Taoyuan Military Dependents' Village Cultural Festival on October 10th for Village Nostalgia at Neili Elementary School in the evening of October 9th 2016, Taoyuan City Mayor Cheng Wen-Tsan pointed out that Home Nostalgia is the theme for the 2016 Taoyuan Military Dependents' Village Cultural Festival, and aims to identify and restore cultural elements, good food, fine tastes, childhood games, and the lifestyle of the Villages. The Neili region is home to over 20 military dependents' villages, many of which were converted to public housing projects. The October 10th for Village Nostalgia event at Neili aims to help visitors reminisce about the good old days and lifestyles. Attractions and features include traditional children's toys and DIY activities, village cuisine, and open-air movie theaters.

Mayor Cheng said that the Taoyuan City Government has initiated the Iron Triangle Project of Military Dependents' Villages that aims to completely preserve the three military dependents' villages of Matsu Xincun (New Matsu Village) in Zhongli, Taiwu Xincun (New Taiwu Village) in Daxi, and Xianguang Er Cun (Second Xianguang Village) in Guishan. Matsu Xincun of Zhongli was originally established as residences for military officers serving in Matsu. Artist residences will be arranged in the future to help promote cultural and artistic development. Taiwu Xincun of Daxi, on the other hand, provided residences for soldiers garrisoned at Kinmen, and plans have been made to develop the village into August 23rd 1958 Artillery Battle Memorial Hall. Finally, Xianguang Er Cun in Guishan will be the site of Taiwan's first Immigrant Museum to present the history, text, videos, and installation artworks of immigration in Taiwan.

Mayor Cheng said that Taoyuan city is a miniature cultural and ethnic map for the entirety of Taiwan. The military dependents' villages are one of the Taoyuan's key features. Taoyuan is home to 98 such villages that come in all sizes and forms. Most residents of the military dependents' village came from various places across the entire country, and many lived under the same roof the days of war. This eventually gave rise to a culture that survived thanks to mutual aid, support, and sharing. Due to the difficulty of those times, the women of the military dependents' villages used many local ingredients and came up with many simple yet nostalgic foods such as mantou (steamed buns), congyoubing (scallion pancakes), mian geda (dumpling knots), and fuxingcai (reconquest meals).

Mayor Cheng said that the time of the military dependents' villages have passed on, yet the emotional ties they created remain. Unrelated strangers from across the land were united in a place and became like family members, making such valuable experiences the best showcase of the human dignity and endeavors in times of war. The Taoyuan Military Dependents' Village Cultural Festival welcomes those who grew up in these villages as well as those who did not but are interested in experiencing and understanding the unique cultures of these villages. The aim of the festival is to pass on the legacy and values of the village lifestyle characterized by camaraderie and mutual support.

Attendants to the event included Taoyuan city councilors Chang Yun-Bing, Huang-Fu Shu-Hsiang, and Peng Chun-Hao and Taoyuan City Deputy Mayor Wang Ming-Teh and Deputy Director-general of the Department of Cultural Affairs Tang Lien-Cheng.

Source: Taoyuan City