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Grand Opening of Taichung Dongshi Sindingban Festival on 2/24, with Limited “Taichung Hakka Railway Bento”

Chairperson Chiang and distinguished guests welcome everyone to Dongshi.
Chairperson Chiang and distinguished guests welcome everyone to Dongshi.

The Taichung Dongshi Sindingban Festival, with its century-old history as a traditional Hakka cultural event, stands out as one of the most emblematic Hakka festival brand identities nationwide and is set to unfold magnificently on February 24 and 25 at the Dongshi Hakka Cultural Park, Taichung Hakka Story Museum, and the Wenhua Street area of Dongshi Township. According to the Council for Hakka Affairs, Taichung City Government, this year's festivities will continue to embrace the three core values: Dou Ban Culture, Encouraging Childbirth, and Spreading Happiness, as well as featuring time-honored Dou Ban contests, solemn prayer rituals for the community, and a partnership with the Taichung Blood Donation Center to encourage active participation in giving back to society through blood donation, thereby addressing blood supply shortages.

Today (31st), the city government's Council for Hakka Affairs held a press conference at the Yangming Municipal Building, chaired by Chairperson Chiang Chun-lung on behalf of Mayor Lu Hsiu-yen. Chairperson Chiang emphasized that establishing a distinctive Hakka festival brand identity is one of Mayor Lu's key objectives among her 15 happiness initiatives. Last year's events, centered around the core values of Dou Ban Culture, Encouraging Childbirth, and Spreading Happiness, were considered successful as the prayer ceremony resulted in new life for six families, proving its efficaciousness. At the same time, the blood donation drive set an impressive record with 187 bags donated in a single day.

Deputy Chairperson Fan Tso-ming of the Hakka Affairs Council explained that in the past, residents of Hakka villages in Dongshi prayed for new births by offering rice cakes to the gods, and their prayers were always answered, earning this tradition the name "Sindingban" (new birth cake). Over time, villagers increased the quantity of these rice cakes offered as tokens of gratitude, and the local temples gradually transformed this practice into the unique "Dou Ban Culture" (rice cake contest culture) of Dongshi. This year's event, featuring local industries and cultural performances, promises to be a grand celebration. People across the country are invited to Dongshi to participate in promoting and preserving the Dabu Hakka culture.

Chairperson Chiang Chun-lung of the city government's Council for Hakka Affairs also noted that this year's event has partnered with a century-old brand, the state-owned Taiwan Railways. Together, they have introduced a special edition, "Taichung Hakka Railway Bento" for the Sindingban Festival. This exclusive bento box features dishes made from locally sourced ingredients from the five districts of the mountainous city, including rice grown in Huludun, Fengyuan District as the main staple, braised pork as the main dish, dried bamboo shoots from Shigang, mushrooms from XinShe, cabbage from Lishan, Heping District, and dried oranges from Dongshi. Additionally, it includes classic Hakka dishes like Hakka Stir-Fry and Bitter Melon with Pickled Vegetables, with pickled plums for the final touch. This culinary creation evokes cherished childhood memories for Hakka residents.

Chairperson Chiang stressed that encouraging childbirth and promoting gender equality are at the heart of the Sindingban Festival. It's not just about encouraging childbirth but also prioritizing childcare. Since Mayor Lu took office, there has been a significant push to enhance four key initiatives: expanding public childcare, kindergartens, and parent-child centers, and boosting maternity subsidies. Under Mayor Lu's leadership, the number of public childcare facilities has surged from 5 to 40, with an additional 242 classes in public kindergartens. Parent-child centers have also increased from 4 to 26, and maternity subsidies have doubled from 10,000 to 20,000 NTD. Additionally, pioneering the country, Taichung has established the Civil and Child Sports Center to foster the most supportive environment for childcare.

The city government's Council for Hakka Affairs provided further details, stating that the Sindingban Festival serves as the start for Hakka events nationwide each year. Starting on February 24, the festival will kick off with a lively opening featuring performances by the CTBC Brothers cheerleading team and more than 20 unique parade groups. Inside the park's exhibition halls, there will be impressive displays of massive 120-pound “Sindingban Ang Ku Kueh” (red tortoise cake) and “Peach Kueh” (peach rice cake), which will be distributed to attendees on the evenings of the two-day event to spread happiness. On the evening of the 24th, there will also be a delightful feast of Hakka traditional music performed by the city government's Council for Hakka Affairs Chinese Orchestra and the Dongshi Elementary School Chinese Orchestra. On the 25th, popular boy band Ozone, Golden Indie Music Awards best band Won Fu, singers PoLin Tung, Fang Ning, and others will take the stage. Additionally, the co-branded special edition Taiwan Railways bento will be available for purchase at various railway stations from February 1 to 29. Priced at NT$120 per serving, these limited-edition bentos will be available at railway bento shops at Taichung Station, Hsinchu Station, Changhua Station, and the Taiwan High-Speed Rail's Xinwuri Station starting at 11 a.m. Don't miss the chance to taste the delicious flavors of Taichung Hakka cuisine!

Today's press conference began with vibrant performances by the Fengyuan Elementary School Chinese Orchestra and the Dongshi Kindergarten. It also featured the unveiling of the special edition Taiwan Railways bento for the Sindingban Festival. Attendees included Legislator Chiang Chi-chen, city council members Chang Ching-fen, Wu Chen-chia, Chiu Ai-shan, Deputy Chairperson Fan Tso-ming of the Hakka Affairs Council, Director Ku Shih-yen of the state-owned Taiwan Railways' Subsidiary Business Division, Deputy Director Tseng Neng-ting of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Deputy Director Yu Chih-hsiang of the Sports Bureau, Chief Secretary Chen Po-hung of the Agriculture Bureau, Deputy Director-General Wang Wen-hsing of the Taichung City Industrial and Development and Investment Promotion Committee, Dongshi District Chief Weng Pei-chen, Fengyuan District Chief Hung Feng-ming, Shigang District Chief Liu Su-hsing, Chief Secretary Wang Wei-cheng of Xinshe District Office, as well as various members of the city government's Council for Hakka Affairs, municipal advisors, and community leaders, and a representative on behalf of city council member Lin Pei-han. For more event details, please visit the Taichung Dongshi Sindingban Festival Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/SinDingBan). (1/31*10) * Council for Hakka Affairs, Taichung City Government

  • Data update: 2024-02-07
  • Publish Date: 2024-02-01
  • Source: Press Liaison Division, Information Bureau of Taichung City Government
  • Hit Count: 377
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