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    Locally Originated World Heritages – The Dialog between a Heritage Expert from Malaysia and the Zhuchi Community print
    2015-05-06
    Chiayi County has aggressively promoted the registration of Alishan Forest Railway among World Heritage sites. The architect Huang, Mu-Jing from Malaysia was invited to Zhuchi Senior High School to share his community experiences with regards to applying for world heritage classification. Local people participated enthusiastically, with Zhuchi Township Director Wang, Kun-Hong, Tseng, Liang-Jer, Lo, Shih-Yang, Chang, Guei-Zhong, chairman of the Zhuchi Cultural Art Foundation Ho, Zi-Fan, Principal of Zhuchi Senior High School Kuo, Chun-Song, members of the Luman Community Development Association and home stay operators all coming to listen to the speech. Obviously, the communities highly value the issue of application for world heritage status.
    Architect Huang, Mu-Jing was the man behind the registration of Penang and Malacca as world heritage sites through “historic cities of the strait of Malacca” in 2008. In addition to recovering the ancient relics through his architectural expertise, he also organized private cultural associations to help promote the world heritage of these places. Through the Emerald Initiative of the Ministry of Culture of the ROC, the Cultural Foundation of Chiayi County invited Huang, Mu-Jing to visit Alishan Forest Railway and share his insights with the related communities. He will further participate in “The Promotion Committee for the Application of Alishan Forest Railway and Cultural View as World Heritage” on May 7th to brainstorm and exchange ideas with domestic scholars. It is hoped that he will bring out a new sparkle in the application process.
    The Bureau of Cultural Heritage, Ministry of Culture has included the Alishan Forest Railway as one of three potential sites for the world heritage application. The conditions of Alishan Forest Railway for the world heritage application has seemed to further increase, and the Ministry of Culture fully supports the related projects managed by the county. To carry out the spirit of top down world heritage promotion, the emphasis is placed on individual communities and local initiation. A series of educational, promotional and international exchange plans have been developed from Zhuchi Senior High School. The goal is to spread out the pioneers of cultural heritage conservation by planting seeds and have the promotion of world heritage become more comprehensive. By connecting the starting point of hiking Alishan Forest Railway and Zhuchi Station, the Youth Ambassador Club of World Heritage organized Zhuchi Senior High School students to arrange the serial subjects and manage international exchange. Following the example of Macau’s Youth World HeritageAmbassador system, Zhuchi Youths would tell their own stories about Alishan Forest Railway. “The deeper the localization, the further the internalization”; introducing their most familiar lands to the whole world in the future is important work for these local communities.
    The works regarding the world heritage of Chiayi County Government consist of sustainable community reinforcement, starting with Zhuchi this year and the belief of local people and has reached to Alishan Forest Railway inspiring related units and cultural and historical groups. Furthermore, the deep memory of the elderly living along the railway aroused by oral interviews will further mobilize the promotion of world heritage. In addition, the visit of architect Huang, Mu-Jing is only the start of international exchange this year. People are still looking forward to the exchange with Macau’s World Heritage Cultural Ambassador and the participation of Malaysia’s ARTS-ED (youth art educational organization) CEO Tseng, Yu-Ping for community art creation. We hope to arouse people’s consciousness from the local culture and further stimulate communities to promote world heritage altogether and take further steps for the application of Alishan Forest Railway as a designated world heritage site.
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