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Tribal tourism luring Alishan girls home

12-02-2010 18:27 BJT Special Report:Taiwan Tour | Special Report:Approaches to Taiwan |

TAIPEI, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- "The high mountain is green, The gully water is blue, The girls of Alishan are as beautiful as the streams, The boys of Alishan are as strong as mountains..."

Many Chinese Mainlanders, enchanted by this Taiwanese indigenous folk song,
used to visit mountainous Alishan in southern Taiwan hoping to glimpse the
girls of Alishan.(File photo)

Many Chinese Mainlanders, enchanted by this Taiwanese indigenous folk song, used to visit mountainous Alishan in southern Taiwan hoping to glimpse the girls of Alishan, not realizing that most of the region's young had left for better jobs and the prospect of a more exciting life in the island's cities.

Kuatu 'Akuyaana, 25, from the Tsou ethnic group, returned to her hometown last year, however, after completing her college education in the Taiwan College of Physical Education in central Taichung City and working for years in a beverage store there.

Numbering barely 5,000, the Tsou, which inhabits Alishan, is one of the ethnic groups native to Taiwan.

"Like many other Tsou girls and boys, I used to be obsessed with urban life, but now I've come back," said Kuatu, while giving a tea art performance for visitors of Yuyupas, a Tsou cultural tribe park, in Leye Village in Alishan Township, Chiayi County.

"Finding jobs has become pretty difficult out there in the cities, but Yuyupas provides us a platform to showcase our culture, find our identity, and most important of all, a stable salary," she said.


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