Ambassador’s Banquet and Fire Dances for Longgang Rice Noodle Festival
When attending the “Longgang Rice Noodle Festival Banquet for Overseas Ambassadors” held at A-May Noodle Café at Pingzhen District in the evening on April 24th, Taoyuan City Mayor Cheng Wen-Tsan described the Longgang Rice Noodle Festival as a unique Yunnan cultural festival in Taoyuan. In addition to elements of Yunnan culture, folk traditions from Thailand and Burma were also included. The entire event thus included a rich diversity of activities such as Songkran (Water splashing festival) and Dutzie (Torch festival). Various ambassadors as well as representatives of institutions stationed in Taiwan were invited to the event so that everyone could enjoy the multicultural charms of Taoyuan.
According to Mayor Cheng, Yunnan culture in Taoyuan was a result of a unique moment in history that span multiple countries, ethnicities, and culture. In 1949, a unit of Kuomintang was forced to retreat into Yunnan, Thailand, and Burma, and endured severe hardships in these foreign lands. In 1954, large numbers of this unit began to make their way from the Golden Triangle to Taoyuan, and the first batch who arrived in Taiwan established Zhongzhen New Village in Longgang. Thus, Longgang became their center and about 6000 more immigrants increasingly migrated to here.
Mayor Cheng pointed out that many people who served in that KMT unit happened to be intelligence personnel who preserved many artifacts and documents during the war. Despite being in foreign soil with no land of their own, this unit managed to defend their honor and colors. The war, fortunately, ended and the people have been living in Taoyuan for over 60 years. Longgang happened to be located at the boundary of Zhongli, Pingzhen, and Bade, forming yet another Golden Triangle. The previous Golden Triangle was filled with the cruelties of war, yet the new Golden Triangle was filled with cultural charms. Residents brought Yunnan cuisine, music, dance, and cultural elements and made Yunnan culture a part of Taoyuan. Taoyuan City Government made plans to formally establish a “Yunnan Legend Hall” to collect and display historical artifacts, videos, and images and help people appreciate this unique part of our history.
Mayor Cheng then attended the Dutzie banquet at Yunnan Cultural Park. According to Mayor Cheng, Dutzie is a unique cultural festival in Yunnan. The Longgang Rice Noodle Festival served as an intangible knot that tie everyone''s emotions together, with many fellow residents whose ancestry could be traced from Yunnan, Thailand, and Burma gathering to celebrate the event and transforming the festival as a key tourist destination in Taoyuan.
VIPs attending this event included ambassadors from the Marshall Islands, Palau, Tuvalu, Nicaragua, and Saint Lucia, as well as representatives from various institutions in Taiwan from Thailand, Korea, Germany, Italy, Russia, Poland, Burma, Vietnam, and Canada.