World’s First! Kolas Yotaka Proposes Amendments to Legalize Romanized Spelling of Indigenous Names and Statements of Political Position

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Photo: February 1, 2016. When Kolas Yotaka reported for duty, the attendance book was designed for vertical traditional Chinese character signatures. However, when Kolas Yotaka insisted on her horizontal signature of her Pangcah (also known as Amis) traditional name, the employees at the Legislative Yuan had to scramble to change the orientation of the attendance book to allow Kolas to sign. This is not the first time this situation has happened. This is just one of many inconveniences Indigenous People face every day that hopefully changes in laws will help to alleviate.

Taipei, Taiwan: On the eve of 2016 International Mother Language Day, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) indigenous Legislator Kolas Yotaka has proposed draft amendments to the Name Act and Civil Servants Election and Recall Act. Before the February 19th start of the legislative session, the two draft amendment bills have already been proposed with DPP Legislators Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) and Cheng Li-chun (鄭麗君) as the two other cosponsors. The Name Act draft amendment has garnered 21 signatures and the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act draft amendment has 22 signatures from other legislators. The draft amendment bills have been sent to the Procedure Committee to be slated into the bill agenda to be deliberated. Kolas stated, “If the bills pass the three readings, Taiwan will become the first to recognize and legalize indigenous language orthography and write a new page into Taiwan’s indigenous history.”

If the two amendment proposals pass, when Indigenous Peoples choose to use their traditional names, their Taiwanese ID will no longer require traditional Chinese characters offset by roman letters to represent their names. They will have a choice to use the orthography that best represents their indigenous writing system, which is commonly known as the Roman or Latin alphabet and symbols along with specialized characters. Indigenous citizens would also be able to see political positions of indigenous candidates in their election bulletins in indigenous languages along with traditional Chinese characters. Kolas asserted, “I insist on using my authentic traditional name that uses the Roman alphabet to spell out Kolas Yotaka, though it is oftentimes not recognized in official capacity which causes a lot of inconvenience. These amendments are absolutely necessary and will play an important role in the preservation of Taiwan’s indigenous languages.”

Knowledgeable about international indigenous rights, Kolas stated that in Europe and the Americas there have been many Indigenous Peoples who want to use their traditional names but have been rejected by their government due to usage of non-standard characters. Taiwan is no exception. Over the past 400 years, Taiwan has been colonized by the Dutch, the Spanish, the Qing Dynasty, the Japanese, and the Republic of China’s government. The Indigenous Peoples were forbidden to speak or write their indigenous languages. During the Japanese rule, the Japanese forced the Indigenous Peoples to use Japanese names. In modern times, the Republic of China government allowed the Department of Civic Affairs employees to arbitrarily give names and surnames to Indigenous Peoples while they were applying for their Household Registrations. This preposterous practice led to Indigenous Peoples in the same family having different surnames. In the 1990s, the Taiwanese government finally opened up regulations to allow Indigenous Peoples to legally use their traditional names but stipulated that Indigenous Peoples must use traditional Chinese characters to write their traditional names. This unfair practice must be stopped.

In 2006, the Council of Indigenous Peoples of Taiwan had established a unified, official orthography for Taiwan’s indigenous languages. Through indigenous language education, indigenous primary school children are now familiar with the orthography and official testing for indigenous languages is held using this writing method. Kolas claimed that this orthography is not only the most common to Austronesian languages but also the most practical. Without developing their own written language, there are many vocabulary instances within the indigenous languages that cannot be expressed or pronounced using traditional Chinese characters or Japanese characters. The use of Roman alphabet and other specialized characters is the best way to write Taiwan’s indigenous languages. Currently, because the current Name Act stipulates the usage of traditional Chinese characters to register names, Indigenous Peoples have had to use a strange combination of traditional Chinese characters to represent their names. The awkward combination of words often led to ridicule. This is yet another example of how Indigenous Peoples are marginalized.

世界首創!Kolas Yotaka修法以「羅馬字」命名、發表政見

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圖說:2016年2月1日Kolas Yotaka到立法院就職時,簽到簿是以漢文慣用的直式書寫設計,但Kolas Yotaka堅持以橫式拼音書寫阿美族傳統姓名,立法院工作人員手忙腳亂地將簽到本轉向,Kolas才能完成簽名。這樣的情況不是第一次,生活中的不方便經常出現在許多台灣原住民族的生活中,如今可望透過修法改善。

就在2/21世界母語日(International Mother Language Day)前夕,民進黨原住民籍立法委員Kolas Yotaka已在立法院正式提案「姓名條例修正草案」與「公職人員選罷法修正草案」。在19日立院開議日之前,兩案皆已連署成案,民進黨蕭美琴委員與鄭麗君委員為共同提案人,已獲得跨黨派立委超過21人連署,即將送進立法院並排入議程進行實質審查。Kolas表示,若順利修法三讀通過,台灣將成為世界上第一個願意立法肯認原住民族書寫系統的國家,也將為台灣的原住民族寫下歷史新頁。

未來兩案若通過,原住民族回復傳統名字時,國民身份證不一定要使用中文並列書寫系統,可選擇僅以原住民族書寫系統(俗稱「羅馬字」的羅馬拚音)登記原住民族傳統名字,且選舉公報上可以各族書寫系統寫出族語政見與漢字政見併列。Kolas本人長期堅持僅使用書寫系統「Kolas Yotaka」書寫自己的姓名,生活中經常不被認同,造成許多困擾,但她認為改革是必要的,此次修法也將會是台灣保存原住民族語言的重大進展。

熟悉國際原住民族相關法案的Kolas表示,不論在歐洲或美洲都還陸續發生原住民族想要回復傳統姓名並以符號書寫,卻遭政府拒絕的案例,台灣也不例外。過去四百年來台灣歷經荷蘭、西班牙、清國、日本、以至於中華民國政府統治,原住民族遭禁止聽說讀寫原住民族的語言,日治時期強迫原住民族取日文姓名,國民政府來台後也發生戶政事務所承辦人任意為原住民族取漢名的荒謬事件,以至於同一家人的孩子可能有不同的姓氏….等。即使1990年代台灣政府己開放原住民族回復傳統名字,但依照現行法規,但原住民族仍被迫以「漢字」書寫「傳統」姓名。Kolas表示,這種不正義的現象必須要被改善。

2006年原住民族委員會已發布原住民族語言「書寫系統」,透過族語教學,台灣的原住民族國小學童多已熟悉書寫系統,官方舉辦的族語認證考試也皆以書寫系統命題與作答。Kolas表示書寫系統不但是官方發布的準文字,在實務上也已相當普及。台灣原住民族的語言屬於南島語系的語言,但沒有發展出文字,許多詞彙的發音無法以漢字或日語呈現,只能以羅馬字母與新創的符號來表達,目前因為不能使用書寫系統登錄姓名,導致許多原住民族人被迫使用奇怪的漢字組合傳統姓名,經常被非原住民族取笑,反而是對原住民族的再次傷害。

由Kolas Yotaka主提案的「姓名條例修正草案」與「公職人員選罷法修正草案」已正式成案,即將於立法院排入議程進行實質審查。Kolas表示這是世界級的立法,不但原住民族很期待,相信也可以獲得非原住民族的支持。

你覺得好笑的,别人不覺得好笑

整整一年前法國的查理周刊(Charlie Hebdo)惹禍上身。揶揄醜化西方世界認為可笑又可怕的穆斯林文化,導致穆斯林大反撲,釀成雜誌社悲劇血案。你覺得好笑的,別人不覺得好笑。這就是最可怕的案例。

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這幾年一直都有藝文圈的朋友跟我抱怨有台灣的電影開原住民族玩笑。「低級,一點都不好笑」。台灣藝文界朋友對社會議題很敏感,這真的是大家的福氣,很感謝你們。

我可理解大家憤憤不平的原因。有些笑點難笑,因為只是淺薄地表達不恰當的優越感,當它出現時的確讓多人不舒服。但種族間的歧異,導致人們的盲目,的確是笑話的最佳題材。Comedy Central是美國很受歡迎的頻道,其中的笑梗幾乎有一半都是種族笑話,去年已進入最後一季的Key & Peele模仿Obama的系列就讓人會心一笑:

Comedy Central能創造出這麼高段的種族笑話,一方面是節目團隊在紐約這個世界民族大融爐裡,另一方面也因為美國悲慘的種族史,已經歷近百年的辯證。Comedy Central用他們機敏的語言詮釋種族偏見,以及對偏見的歧視,以及對偏見的歧視的歧視。乍聽一句大逆不道的歧視語言或直白的模仿,不會是最終的笑點,在機智的辯證中,往往得到出奇不意的結論,因此他們的笑話讓觀眾在被逗笑的同時,也能促使觀眾多一些對種族歧視的思考。 但即使如此,仍然常常有人被Comedy Central的笑梗冒犯。

台灣連續兩年都有賀歲片大開原住民族玩笑,很顯然的,這不是原住民族太敏感,而是我們太不敏感,以至於在觀眾們大笑的同時,甚至不明白:「你覺得好笑的,我們覺得不好笑。」

 

瑞典的Sami族馴鹿放牧者贏得歷史性勝利!

北極圈傳週邊Sami族的Girjas部落爭取合理的漁獵權,經過多年官司纏訟,法官Niklas Lind在法庭上說,「Girjas部落擁有獨享的小規模的狩獵跟漁權,政府根本無權『賦予』部落漁獵權,而是部落『原本』就享有這些權利可以進小規模的狩獵與捕魚行為。」

我一直相信,政府甚至沒有權利「賦予」原住民族狩獵的權利,因為政府的存在晚於原住民族,後到者支配先來者,甚至刨根究底地改變、削弱原住民族的生活,不是國家暴力又會是什麼呢?世界各國的政府要求原住民族按照法律觀點的解釋比政府更為古老的信仰、文化、生活方式時,得到的往往都是令我們失望的荒謬的結果,原住民族因為身為少數,總是無法在政治、法律的角力中得到勝利。但這個判決,將法律的精神與價值提高,真正脫離國家機器的利益,令多少原住民族在失望中感到振奮!

摘譯這篇Telegraph的文章,與大家分享這難能可貴,人類史上的大進步。朋友們,我們有生之年也有機會親眼目睹這樣的台灣嗎?

春天來臨之前,我們等待冰雪融化,一起努力吧!

原文網址:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/sweden/12139166/Swedish-reindeer-herders-win-historic-land-use-case.html

摘譯內文:
瑞典的Sami族馴鹿放牧者贏得歷史性官司

瑞典的原住民族Sami族部落Girjas在一場歷史性的土地官司中先馳得點,就在瑞典時間2/3星期三,Sami族人在法庭上打敗瑞典政府,贏回漁權與狩獵權。2/3這天,這個以放牧馴鹿維生的Sami族部落Girjas在奮鬥30年之後,聆聽判決出爐,Sami族人可以在瑞典境內的北極圈周享有獨有的漁權與狩獵權。

這個稱為Gallivare的小鎮,以瑞典人居多,當地有個地區法庭,法庭位於北極圈北方7英里,在2/3當天還給一個稱為Girjas的Sami族部落公道,把1993年被政府拿走的漁獵權還給當地的Sami族,法官認為該還給Sami族的就該還回來。

村長Matti Berg表示「這是一個對瑞典國內所有的Sami族人來說的大勝利,真的開心的不知道要說什麼了,我真的非常高興我可以親眼目睹這一刻。」Sami族分布在北歐斯堪地納半島跟俄羅斯柯拉半島的北方,是以放養馴鹿維生的民族,已經生存在當地好幾千年。

分布在北極圈周邊的Sami族人口大約10萬人,其中大約有2萬名Sami人分布在瑞典,根據聯合國資料,Sami族是在斯堪地那地區唯一被官方認定的原住民族。

八年的訴訟過程中,看見為政府辯護的律師多次以「Lapps」稱呼Sami族人,「Lapps」是具歧視性並具殖民主義色彩的字眼,也讓學術界發出公開信譴責,認為政府還使用種族歧視時代使用的落後詞彙。瑞典也發生過迫害Smi族的黑暗史,禁止Sami族人在學校說族語,瑞典國家爭物研究中心甚至從1922年開始就以女性做為實驗品,導致許多女性不孕。

根據村長Berg表示,所謂的部落,也就是傳統上放牧的範圍,大約南北綿延30公里,北達挪威的國界,往南達到巴爾迪克海。法官Niklas Lind在法庭上說「Girjas部落擁有獨享的小規模的狩獵跟漁權,政府根本無權『賦予』部落漁獵權,而是部落『原本』就享有這些權利可以進小規模的狩獵與捕魚行為。」

繼續閱讀 瑞典的Sami族馴鹿放牧者贏得歷史性勝利!