Taiwan Indigenous Students visit the PICRC as part of their Cultural Exchange Program in Palau

On Friday, October 04, the Palau International Coral Reef Center had the pleasure of welcoming students from Fu Jen Catholic University during their visit to Palau.

As part of a Cultural Exchange Program that seeks to preserve cultures by reviving Indigenous languages, the delegation from Taiwan participated in the Austronesian Languages Revitalization Forum, held in Palau for the first time. Sixteen different indigenous groups are officially recognized in Taiwan today; each with their own language, culture and traditions. The group is made up of students from the different indigenous groups.

During their visit, researchers at PICRC presented the delegation with talks about the studies being done at the Center. Likewise, the outreach department explained the efforts that Palau takes in the conservation of marine resources. Following the presentations, the students from Taiwan talked about, performed, and sang their traditional dances to the PICRC staff. Finally, the delegation toured the Aquarium with Ilebrang Olkeriil, Aquarium director, as their guide.

Proud of their heritage, the students are finding ways to revive their indigenous identity. “Our core values and those of the people of Palau are very similar”—stated Dongi Putal, member of the delegation— “Both cultures have a deep respect for the ocean, mountains and nature, and are sustained by similar resources, such as taro and fish”.

The PICRC would like to thank the Taiwan Indigenous Students from Fu Jen Catholic University for sharing their views, culture and traditions with the PICRC staff, and welcomes them to visit the Aquarium on future visits to our beautiful Palau.