YTT-Searching for Madame Butterfly in An’Ping 1/6


[找尋安平金小姐.台南]
An’Ping is one of the first places in Taiwan to be colonized by foreigners (including Chinese). In 1624, An’Ping, a southwestern town in Taiwan was colonized by Dutch. In 1626, the northeastern area was colonized by Spainish. These could be said to be a few of the earliest foreign influences on Taiwan soil.

A traditional Taiwanese folk song speaks of a young lady who has fallen in love with a Dutch physician during this colonial period. For some twenty years, she and their illegitimate child had waited for his return with no vail. So she speaks and sings her lament for her lost love without ever giving up on the hope of seeing her beloved agan..

I think this is a very common “Madme Butterfly” story that seems to happen in a lot of places in Asia during these various colonial periods. In Japan, you have the “Madame Butterfly” which Puccini made into a popular opera. In Vietnam, there’s the Miss Saigon, whose story is converted into a Broadway musical. In Taiwan, you have the less known “Ms. Kin” who is ….


very much similar to the two described earlier but popularized on a more local level. The place in the photo is the former trade office branch of the German J.M. Company (德商-東興洋行). This place has now been converted into a museum documenting the history of foreign trade at this place and a place for some afternoon tea with some nostalgic “folk/country”-way of singing some traditional tunes.

So memory of a traditional folk song got me traveling all the way from Taipei to Tainan for a 2-day trip just to see what the place so often sung about is like. & I’m not surprised that it’s so full of history, although it may have been destoryed or merely still in disguise. It was funny when the locals recognized us as the group that comes to Anping to look for “Ms. Kin” and speaking as if Ms. Kin were their neighbor. :p


Walking along the dyke, viewing the place that was once a busy sea port.


The golden cross mentioned in the folk song about Ms. Kin as a reminder of her lover.


An’Ping Minor Artiliery Fort  (安平小砲台).
There’s little left of these historical sites due to people’s carelessnss. These red bricks are not ordinary either. They’re one of the best materials that you could use to build houses and are so much more difficult and expensive to come by now. We played some crazy running game under the blazing sun here. I’d say it was a bit too hot for the weather. But it did get us all worked up about not losing. haha.

——————–

[安平追想曲 – Original Lyric]

身穿花紅長洋裝 風吹金髮思情郎
想郎船何往 音信全無通 伊是行船遇風浪
放阮情難忘 心情無地講 想思寄著海邊風
海風無情笑阮憨 不知初戀心茫茫

想思情郎想自己 不知爹親二十年
思念想欲見 只有金十字 給阮母親做遺記
放阮私生兒 聽母初講起 愈想不幸愈哀悲
到底現在生也死  伊是荷蘭的船醫

想起母子的運命 心肝想爹也怨爹
別人有爹痛 阮是母親晟 今日青春孤單影
全望多情兄 望兄的船隻 早日回歸安平城
安平純情金小姐  等你入港銅鑼聲


We stayed right beside a large temple called Tian’Hou Temple (天后宮).


Exhibitions showing the miracle of the local saints and gods. How the fire burnt and made the wooden chair into charcoals without damaging much of the costumes for the gods/goddesses/saints that were on the chair.


Outside of the temple. August is such a month for religious +summer festivals.

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