Twenty-one people from nine Austronesian nations will compete in traditional sports events with local indigenous athletes at this year’s biennial National Indigenous Games, which kick off tomorrow, March 19, in Yilan County.
It is the first time international athletes have participated in traditional Austronesian sports events that will run alongside the official national athletic competitions.
Austronesian Youth United will hold three traditional sports competitions, including traditional archery, wood-sawing, and weight carrying.
Countries represented in the games include the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Tuvalu, Indonesia, Kiribati, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Papua New Guinea.
A flag presentation ceremony for the international athletes was held today, March 18, with Minister of the Council of Indigenous People’s Icyang Parod presiding.
As chairman of the 12-nation Austronesian Forum, Minister Parod presented the flag as symbolizing the traditional spirit and vitality of the Austronesian peoples to team leader Tommy Kunji, Representative of the Papua New Guinea Trade Office in Taiwan.
The ceremony concluded with a blessing ceremony from an Atayal elder from Wulai District, New Taipei City.
Pictures and information from Taiwan Council of Indigenous Peoples.
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