Nan Ying International Folklore Festival is a biennial festival since 1996. We hold the festival mainly for helping to preserve intangible cultural heritages of nations all over the world and providing an opportunity for international cultural exchanges. It has been one of the major art festivals in Tainan City for nearly two decades. Every time, the festival can always draw more than hundreds of thousand audiences to attend the event. Tainan City is located in the southern part of Taiwan. She used to be the political and military center from 1624 to 1885. Since then, she has been the most important cultural ancient city in Taiwan. There are a large numbers of cultural heritages for various types in Tainan. The festival is closely bound with the cultural background of Tainan City.
Nan Ying International Folklore Festival, made its first debut in 1996. It associated with the policies of the Council for Cultural Affairs (CCA), named the Ministry of Culture nowadays in Taiwan. The festival is one of the pioneers, opening the door to hold international gala event of culture and art in Taiwan. We invite international groups from different countries as participants, along with their own unique folklore performances in Taiwan. It brings the convenient for people in Taiwan because they did not need to go abroad but enjoy and appreciate the brilliance and beauty of folklore performances of other countries. In the early phase, the scale of the festival was large and the plays were abundant. It contained many kinds of large exhibitions, performances, and other activities. Hundreds of thousands of visitors were attracted to attend it. Although the scale was struggled with the financial limitation for years, the performances have become the main course. The festival keep drawing more than hundreds of thousands people to attend each time. Hence the festival broadened the audience's horizon and experiences invisibly and extensively. It proves that "culture is borderless and art needs no languages."
According to the explanation of "folklore" on "Wikipedia", "folklore consists of legends, music, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, fairy tales, stories, tall tales, and customs included in the traditions of a culture, subculture, or group. It also includes the set of practices through which those expressive genres are shared." Evidently, "folklore" comes from the everyday lives of general people. It is also intangible cultural heritage nowadays we may call it. We hold the festival with a wider vision of preserving and promoting all kinds of folklore art all over the world. Our target is the preservation of cultural heritages can deepen into the people's hearts and real lives.
Moreover, we provide opportunities for international groups to experience lives and cultures in Tainan/ Taiwan and let them learn more about us. We recruit "host families" to receive the international groups cordially. The host families may include families, communities, schools, enterprises, and performing art groups. During the time, members of international groups have chance to get close to local people's lives, environments and cultures. Always, our "civil diplomacy" impressed international friends much and deepen the friendship between both sides.
The table below shows the list of the festival, relative international groups and host families that participated in each time: