Weaving Stories from the Pacific
Excerpt from the eRenlai Magazine February 2013 newsletter:
In November 2012, the Ricci Institute and the Taiwan Society for Pacific Studies helped the Council for Indigenous Peoples to organise the International Austronesian Conference (IAC). This conference attempted to bring awareness of aborigine issues while exploring the historical and spiritual resources of the Austronesian peoples. Over two days, the conference engaged both scholars and artists in a vibrant discussion focused on weaving together different memories and stories from the Pacific.
This month we present to you selected excerpts of the conference in addition to exclusive interviews with participants in order to give you an overview of the discussions. Professor Morgan Tuimaleali'ifano discussed issues surrounding the colonization of history and how it can be remedied and avoided, both in his native Fiji and in other Pacific nations. Ahronglong Sakinu, the famous Taiwanese aborigine poet, presents us with his tribe's traditional and beautiful way of recording wisdom by having them perform a song and then reciting one of his own poems. Finally, our third excerpt focuses on the Q&A section of the third session of the conference, in which issues of war and colonialism, as well as the ways to reach peace and forgiveness, are explored through audience interaction
We interviewed Professor Paul D'Arcy, who delivered the keynote speech at the opening of the Conference, and here discusses the role Taiwan plays in the Pacific with an emphasis on sustainable fishing and preservation of the environment. In his interview, Fabrizio Bozzato also approaches sustainability, although from a slightly more pessimistic angle; he ponders solutions for small island nations engulfed by rising sea levels and explores the possibility of artificial island structures. Jon Tikivanotau Jonassen reflects on indigenous autonomy in a globalising world, and how to properly achieve it, in addition to sharing anecdotes and stories. Professor Bondan Kanumoyoso talks about the role colonialism can have in shaping culture and discusses the lasting remains of multiculturalism in his native Indonesia. Finally, Madeleine King reviews the section of the conference focused on documentary filmmaking and gives us her own insights on the issues discussed.
Press Review (Archives)
Taiwan: Apart from or a Part of the Pacific Region
Professor Tsang Cheng-Hwa (Institute of History and Philology at the Academia Sinica) discusses the need for researchers to work across disciplines on an international scale towards a more comprehensive understanding of the Pacific and Taiwan's current and future role there.
Taipei Ricci Institute
Taipei Ricci Institute named after the great Italian sinologist, Matteo Ricci, the Ricci Institute was founded in 1966 by FFr Yves Raguin (1912-1998), Jean Lefeuvre and other Jesuits as a work of the Chinese Province of the Society of Jesus. The purpose of the Institute was originally to continue the Jesuit lexicographic endeavor while developing research in comparative spiritualities and Chinese religions. The TRI is the co-author of the Grand Ricci. Since the beginning of the 90s. the Institute has refocused its work on (a) Taiwanese studies, especially aboriginal languages and religious/ cultural transformations; (b) dialogue with Chinese intellectuals on cultural diversity, sustainable development and spiritual empowerment; (c) and, presently, coordination of various research programs on Pacific and Austronesian studies.
eRenlai is a pan-asian magazine of cultural, social and spiritual concerns which centers on the interaction between the youth of Asia and of the rest of the world, with special focus on the link between cultural diversity, sustainable development and spiritual empowerment, encouraging change by reporting on replicable success stories at the local level. Therefore, eRenlai is also a network of readers and project builders. It aims to gather a new generation of independent info-mediators, contributing to build a pan-asian community. The site offers videos, documentaries, animations, articles and networking tools, available in English, traditional and simplified Chinese.