TAIPEI (The China Post) – Kaohsiung cuisine, local cultures, and temples, these are some of the highlights Han Bing (韓冰) would recommend to foreign visitors in southern Taiwan.
The daughter of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) told The China Post that she hopes to see an increase in the number of foreign visitors to Kaohsiung in the near future on the sidelines of the Neimen Song Jiang Battle Ritual (內門宋江陣).
The festival is a traditional Chinese martial arts performance that dates back to the Qing dynasty, when settlers had to band together to defend their villages from bandits because the government was unable to offer protection.
The popularity of battle arrays then spread among local people. Some theories ascribe the origins of the battle array to the character Song Jiang and his battle array of outlaws in the classical novel Water Margin by Shi Nai’an (1296-1372).
Others to the Ming dynasty General Qi Ji-Guang (1528-1587), who defended China’s east coast against Japanese pirates with his rattan shield division and the Mandarin duck formation.
“This is an event for students,” she added with a smile after paying her respects at the Neimen Shunxian Temple (高雄內門順賢宮) in Kaohsiung. “I will refrain from speaking too much,” she concluded.