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LY approves amendments to allow exclusive use of Indigenous names

Amendments to the Name Act were passed by the Legislative Yuan May 14, allowing Indigenous people to use ethnic names in their own language without Chinese names, according to the Ministry of the Interior.
The amendments lifted current legal requirements that stipulate an Indigenous person’s name should be registered in Chinese characters only, or together with a Romanized form of their Indigenous name, the MOI said. Legally, any person can change name three times, but now changing names due to Indigenous heritage will not be counted as one of the permitted number of changes.
Under the amendments, Indigenous people who have their ethnic name on their birth certificate or household registration documents can change it to Chinese and switch it again from Chinese to their ethnic name afterwards, but such changes would only be allowed once, respectively, the MOI said.
According to the MOI Minister Lin Yu-chang, passing these amendments demonstrates recognition of diversity in Taiwan. They will facilitate integration and equality among ethnic groups and contribute to better mutual understanding, he said.
The amendments also provide legal protection for Indigenous cultures and customs, in which language plays a key part, Lin said. He added that the ministry will continue to encourage these groups to maintain their identities and the MOI is committed to working with other ministries and agencies to improve such measures. (YCH-E)
Write to Taiwan Today at ttonline@mofa.gov.tw

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