Indigenous Struggles in Taiwan: Gender, Religion, and Ethnicity
October 18th, 10-11:45am ET
Registration link: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_VVhuqCxARV6MrZ2KgUT9ig
Vavauni Ljaljegean is an indigenous pastor from the Paiwan tribe in the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan. She has two master’s degrees in theology and anthropology. These learning experiences helped her more involved in the indigenous social movement in Taiwan. During her anthropological study, she could do local surveys, particularly in her tribe. Her participation in ecumenical movements when she studied in the theological seminary, also motivated her involvement in the local social movements.
Department of Indigenous Language and Communication,
Dong Hwa University
Born into an Anglican family, Panay Mulu used to be a Pangcah who did not speak her mother tongue and tried hard to get rid of her indigenous identity due to the one-language policy and education program of the Taiwanese government. However, 30 years of research on the Pangcah traditional music and ceremonies has taught her to know the world from a spiritual perspective learned from spiritualists of the local community. Now, on the one hand, Panay is teaching at a university, educating the next generation of the indigenous with her specialty; she is also working as a sikawasay (spiritualist) to pass on the Pangcah religious tradition practically. Lastly, Professor Panay Mulu also tries her best to share Pangcah’s culture, music and dance through courses in local communities.
Serving in Taiwan for more than 30 years, Fr. Ding arrived and began serving the Atayal tribe in 1990. Through long-term Indigenous family and youth caring programs, Fr. Ding cares for Indigenous families and empowers young people to continue their studies or acquire skills for future careers. Fr. Ding, who speaks Atayal, assisted the Theological Faculty of St. Robert Bellarmine in establishing the Indigenous theology and research center in 2002. This center aims to promote theological reflection on the inculturation of Taiwan’s Indigenous Christians, cultivate indigenous pastoral staff, and actively integrate traditional culture and arts of various ethnic groups into Catholic services. In addition to serving as the director of the research center, Fr. Ding is also the publisher of the “Bulletin of Aboriginal Theology and Pastoral Work.” Fr. Ding continued his studies and got his doctoral degree in anthropology from National Taiwan University, and received Taiwan citizenship in recognition of his service to Indigenous society.