Illustrated by Lin Jia-Dong
Many indigenous people in Taiwan are living in non-indigenous cities and towns due to changes in environment and for work or study. “Coming home” is the ultimate wish they have in their hearts, and many of them bring what they have learned in the cities back to their home villages to give back to their community. These different types of trade become the livelihood of many returning community members.
After going through the trials and training in the city, some return to their home village to develop new projects. Travel group Profound Life replaced the zoo-like traditional village tourism model and now leads travelers deep into the forests. They follow the footsteps of indigenous hunters through the woods and sleep under the night sky. Travelers are here not only to briefly experience local culture, but to actually enter the daily lives of the residents and let themselves become one with nature.
Combining his hobbies and professional training with his life experiences, Vuluk Pavavaljung, author of “The Indigenous Biology Log”, observes and records everyday plants and looks into the connections between natural environment and indigenous culture. His observations on village ecology and indigenous culture and history are shared online. Although there is only a limited audience, Vuluk still insists on documenting and passing on the knowledge so that more city-dwelling indigenous people that are interested in these traditions can understand the foundation and history of their people’s culture.
The current lifestyle and culture in communities are formed by centuries of evolution. It is not easy to just change them or add in new values and mindsets. Nevertheless, the young generation is leveraging their creativity and innovative ways to reboot community development and create a new image for their home villages.