We visited our friends in Fongchuo, Sinyi Township, Nantou County. It is a small Bunun aboriginal village with only 51 students in the elementary school. It was the school’s anniversary celebration, Christmas day, and also New Year for the aboriginal people. The elementary school and the village were holding an athletic event together. It is common in many aboriginal villages in Taiwan. Almost the entire villagers turn out and get together to celebrate this event. Gene was invited by the principle to the VIP stage and was introduced to all the villagers. He had to wave his hand to everyone. Since he was treated as an honored guest, he had to participate in the celebration. Gene became a team member for the tug of war. As a result his team won the event and he was exhausted.
We also saw two volleyballs games being played. Each game had two balls in play at the same time with twenty people who were a mix of teens, adults, grandparents of both sexes on each side.
In the afternoon, we were taken to the BBQ party at the former chairman of the school board with three of our niece and nephews. It was the first time we met all the people who were from many place in Taiwan. It was also the first time for our niece and nephews visited an aboriginal village. They were excited to have a chance playing with an aboriginal boy and experienced their lifestyles because they only read about the aboriginal cultures and customs from their textbooks. Everyone was happy to attend this party and enjoyed the traditional aboriginal full pig B.B.Q. The meat tasted good; however, it was not a comfortable experience for five of us at first because of seeing the head on the pig. Gradually, we accepted and respected their unique lifestyle which we had never experienced before.
When we left this passionate and friendly aboriginal village, we had a really unforgettable and remarkable Christmas with at least 30 bunches of famous and good quality grapes and 50 ears of sweet corns in our trunk. Tonight, we had our sweet corns and talked about our wonderful experiences in a cold evening. The villagers have touched our hearts.