Taiwan the Formosa

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Taiwan the Formosa (sometimes Taiwan the Green; pe̍h-ōe-jī: Tâi-oân Chhùi-chhiⁿ; Chinese: 台灣翠青) is a poem written (conceived in 1977; finalized in 1993) by Taiwanese poet and clergyman Tīⁿ Jî-gio̍k (鄭兒玉; John Jyi-giokk Ti'n, Er-Yu Cheng, died 11 December 2014[1]), set to music between 1988 and 1993 by neo-Romantic Taiwanese composer Tyzen Hsiao. An English metrical translation was provided by Boris and Clare Anderson. The text represents an early example of the popular verse that emerged from the Taiwanese literature movement in the 1970s and 80s. In 1994 Hsiao used this hymn to conclude his 1947 Overture for soprano, choir and orchestra.[2]

Taiwan the Formosa has been popular with pro-democracy activists and has been adopted by the Taiwan independence movement as a proposed national anthem for a future Republic of Taiwan.[3] The first stanza is secular. The second, written by popular demand and published in number 2364 of Taiwan Church News in 1997, has overt Christian references in keeping with the poet's vocation as a minister in the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan. The second verse is intended only for performance in church settings or on similarly appropriate occasions.

Original text[edit]

The poem was originally written in Taiwanese pe̍h-ōe-jī. It has subsequently been translated into other languages, such as Hakka (by another clergyman Hiû San-hiùng).

Thài-pêng-iûⁿ se-lâm hái-piⁿ, bí-lē-tó Tâi-oân chhùi-chhiⁿ.
Chá-chêng hō͘ gōa-pang thóng-tī, kiàn-kok taⁿ teh chhut-thâu-thiⁿ.
Kiōng-hô-kok hiàn-hoat ê ki-chhó͘, sù cho̍k-kûn pêng-téng saⁿ hia̍p-chō͘.
Jîn-lūi bûn-hòa, sè-kài hô-pêng, kok-bîn hiòng-chêng kòng-hiàn châi-lêng.
Choè goân-thaû Siōng-tè chhòng-chō, bí-lē-tó Tâi-oân choè-hó.
Siúⁿ-sù hō͘ chó͘-sian khiā-khí, kiàn-kok taⁿ Siōng-chú liap-lí.
Chú Ki-tok kok-ka ê kun-ông, lí-sióng-pang bo̍k-phiau ê kià-bōng.
Lán beh kiàn-siat jîn-ài kong-gī, chó͘-kok moá-toē chhin-chhiūⁿ tī thiⁿ. (A-men.)

Chinese text[edit]


English version[edit]

By Pacific’s western shore, beauteous isle, our green Taiwan.
Once suffered under alien rule, free at last to be its own.
Here’s the basis of our nation: four diverse groups in unity,
come to offer all their varied skills, for the good of all and a world at peace.[4]

Non-metrical paraphrase in English[edit]

On the southwestern edge of the Pacific Ocean stands the lush Taiwan, the beautiful island ("Formosa").
Earlier it was ruled by foreign powers, but now it has achieved its nationhood ("chhut-thâu-thiⁿ").
The republic being the basis of its constitution, the four ethnic groups are equal and co-operate with one another.
Towards humanity, civilization, and peace, the people will come forward to contribute their talents.

(Christian stanza added in church performance:)

In the beginning, God created the beautiful island of Taiwan, our favourite.
God gave it to our ancestors to inhabit and still looks over our nation.
Christ being the Lord of our nation, the ideal state is our hope and aim.
We will work towards love and justice, so that our motherland will become as heaven on earth. (Amen.)

See also[edit]


External links[edit]