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Public urged to add stories to 'national memory' project

TAIPEI -- Culture Minister Lung Ying-tai and several public figures urged the public Thursday to contribute their personal stories to a “national memory” project to help preserve Taiwan's history.

The project, launched in November last year, has so far gathered the personal stories of over 3,000 Taiwanese people, according to the Ministry of Culture.

Among them are stories from immigrants in Taiwan, former leprosy patients who were segregated from society and Taiwanese men who served in the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II.

Personal histories are the most sincere form of national histories, Lung said, urging citizens to bring their parents and grandparents to the recording stations to tell their tales.

She said she believes the project will help the 23 million people of Taiwan to understand and cherish each other better.

TV pundit Sisy Chen, who is among the public figures endorsing the project, said she believes “true history” is composed of the lives of ordinary people.

History is not about who overturned whom in what dynasty, she said. “It has emotions.” She urged the public to take part in the project and keep alive the memories of Taiwan.

Individuals can record their stories at 61 recording stations around Taiwan, or do it on their own and upload the files to the project's official website at https://storytaiwan.tw

Vehicles equipped with recording devices can also provide services in rural townships upon reservation, the ministry said.

The video and audio files can be accessed in Chinese at the website.

The project was inspired by similar projects carried out elsewhere, such as StoryCorps, an American national project to record, preserve and share the stories of ordinary Americans.

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A screen grab of the “national memory” project website is seen in this photo released by the Ministry of Culture, yesterday. (CNA)

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