EasyCard unveils Chiang Wei-shui cards to mark Taiwan Culture Day

Taiwanese democracy pioneer Chiang Wei-shui founded Taiwan Cultural Association on Oct. 17, 1921, with the date designated as Taiwan Cultural Day 80 years later

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TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - To celebrate Taiwan Culture Day as well as the 97th anniversary of Taiwan Cultural Association (TCA) which paved way to Taiwan's democracy movement and national awareness campaigns, the EasyCard Corp. on Wednesday unveiled the smart cards featuring portraits of TCA founder Chiang Wei-shui (蔣渭水).

TCA was established by Chiang Wei-shui on October 17, 1921, during the period of Japanese occupation, and took a leading role in early political movements in 20th century Taiwan. The organization was known for pushing forward a movement that demanded the establishment of a Taiwanese parliament in the late-1920s. Chiang himself founded the country's first modern political party and published the first Taiwanese newspaper.

In 2001, then-President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) designated Oct. 17 as Taiwan Culture Day to commemorate the movement led by Chiang and TCA.

The EasyCard Corp. said each Chiang Wei-shui EasyCard set contains two cards, not for sale, and is available through donation of NT$1,000 or higher to the Chiang Wei-shui Cultural Foundation or a one-time purchase of I-Mei Foods products that exceeds NT$2,000.

The touchless smart card can be used to take city buses, MRT, freeway buses, and trains, as well as to make small purchases in certain stores.

Foundation said TCA was founded to raise cultural awareness and ushered in the age of enlightenment through lectures, movies, dramas, and a newspaper reading club during Japanese occupation, helping to develop people's desire for democracy, freedom, and human rights, as well as paving the way to the development of 1930's literature, music, art, and drama.

To celebrate TCA's 97th birthday, I-Mei Foods is kicking off a two-week promotion for certain products. The food giant has been a strong supporter of the cultural foundation and is dedicated to restoring cultural relics relating to TCA and the country's first democracy movement.

I-Mei Foods CEO Luis Ko (高志明) attended Wednesday's launch event, and described how Chiang had traveled islandwide by trains in the 1920s to deliver inspiring speeches as enlightenment. He said the launch of the new cards with Chiang's portraits will enable later generations to remember his legacy.