Author: Brian Canave

TAIWAN: Keeping the Hakka Tradition Alive

Recently, the national Hakka cultural and economic summit was held at Taipei’s Hakka Cultural Park, by the Cross-Strait Hakka Cultural and Economic Association. Among those who attended were former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Wu Poh-hsiung, Hakka Affairs Council Deputy Minister Lee Chao-ming, and China Review News Editor in Chief, Guo Wei-feng. Hakka are an ethnicity of people who make up about 20% of the population in Taiwan. With that being said, many attendees of the summit called for more cultural preservation through several methods. Poh-hsiung “encouraged Hakka people to let their voice be heard by harnessing the power of social media.” Language, an important aspect of culture, is also important in preserving Hakka tradition. Huang, the former chairman of the Central News Agency, claims that the revitalization of the Hakka language is important [because] if [they] don’t act now, the number of people speaking the Hakka language could be no more than 5% of the country’s population in 30-40 years.” By harnessing the social tools of the time, the Hakka language and culture might better be preserved. Although some colleges have implemented Hakka studies, more effort needs to be channeled through fairer media coverage, use of social media, and language preservation. For more information:...

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AFGHANISTAN: What Future for Women’s Rights?

Wall Street Journal writer Maria Abi-Habib’s recent article in that newspaper on the rights of Afghan women in the present, and the direction their rights are heading towards as the US withdraws from Afghanistan, is compelling and urgent. Although 11 years have passed since the ousting of the Taliban regime by U.S. troops, citing “Afghanistan’s abuses against women as part of the reason for the invasion,” the U.S. backing of President Hamid Karzai has returned the domestic situation to where wives fleeing domestic abuse are routinely imprisoned, as are raped women. At the same time, let us not forget some of the progress Afghan women have made in recent years, due partly to international pressures from organizations such as the European Union and United Nations: they now can hold office, walk in cities without a traditional burqa covering, and study at university. However, this progress is overshadowed by the vast amount of systemic misogyny. Abi-Habib does a great job exemplifying some of these happenings with not one, but multiple cases of Afghan women imprisoned for adultery, despite the aforementioned progress. She tells powerful stories of three Afghan women victims: Rokhshana, a woman who was forced to smoke opium and was raped by her cousin multiple times; Sharifa, married off in exchange for money to a man who beat her and raped her as well; and Golnaz, a victim who was raped by her cousin and later interviewed and was made into a documentary which was later blocked for release...

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ASIA MEDIA INTERNATIONAL is a student-driven publication of Loyola Marymount University’s Asia Media Center – a vital part of LMU’s Department of Asian and Asian American Studies (AAAS), in an alliance with the university's award-winning Dept.of Political Science, and with the influential Pacific Century Institute.

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