Mayor's word

Twenty Years of Friendship that Transcends Borders 

The soul of a city does not lie in its modern architecture, but in its time-honoured traditions and cultures. As the boundaries between countries start to blur and the Earth becomes flatter than before, civilisations and cultures begin to merge, which not only inspires the good in people, but also drives advanced development. Tainan, the first city established in Taiwan, encodes culture in its blood, which can be vividly illustrated by the Nanying International Folklore Festival. First hosted in 1996, the festival has bridged the gap between Tainan and the world, pumping vitality and verve in. It bears the city’s mission of preserving and promoting folklore dance and intangible cultural heritage. It is also the only large-scale and the longest-standing international art festival featuring folklore art performance in Taiwan. It has been the 20th year, which is the heyday of the youth, since its first launch, and Tainan welcomes you with open arms to join us in this celebration of culture and art.

The 2016 Nanying International Folklore Festival brings together 28 teams from 19 countries to put on 30 world-class folklore art shows in the 21 venues in Greater Tainan. Those performances include the most classical performing art unique to Japan “Ondeko (Japanese demon drumming),” which was last performed in Tainan 13 years ago, and those inscribed on UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage, such as Saman dance (dance of thousand hands) from Indonesia, Pyeongtaek nongak (farmer’s performance) of South Korea, Verbunk (recruit dances) of Slovakia, etc. During 9 days of back-to-back celebrations, the performers cross the boundaries of borders and languages to achieve one-worldness through their graceful body language.

The number “20” does not simply denote “time,” but connotes passion and the strong bond created by all the participants in each Nanying International Folklore Festival. During the encounter shorter than 10 days, friends from afar, the hosts, and the citizens form precious friendships and get to know one another by sharing their enthusiasm for cultures and rhythms. For the people of this ancient city of Tainan, they even have a chance to dance to the beats of the world.

“Tainan to the World; the World into Tainan” is not a slogan. The years leading to the Nanying International Folklore Festival are like one play after another, each beautiful and touching in its own way. This “bridge of hearts” created together by all citizens of Tainan and the world awaits your visits.