Media criticized for disrespecting indigenous outfit at Taiwan's Golden Bell Awards

Presidential Spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka praises Tao TV host's decision to wear tribal attire on red carpet

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Si Pangoyod and Buya Watan won best youth program host at Golden Bell Awards. 

Si Pangoyod and Buya Watan won best youth program host at Golden Bell Awards.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Several Taiwanese news outlets have sparked controversy over their reports on the indigenous outfit worn by youth program host Si Pangoyod (鍾家駿) at Saturday's (Sept. 26) Golden Bell Awards, which they described as overly revealing.

As actors and entertainers made their way down the red carpet at the annual TV awards Saturday evening, Si and cohost Buya Watan (陳宇) from the show Kakudan Time Machine (Kakudan 時光機) quickly landed in the spotlight wearing indigenous clothing from their respective tribes. Si was dressed in traditional Tao fishing attire comprised of a plain loincloth, while Buya wore a red-and-blue Atayal garment.

Despite Si's being recognized as one of the best hosts on a youth TV program, some members of the Taiwanese media have chosen to focus on his outfit instead, depicting it as "the sexiest look of the night" and a "buttocks-showing thong." These reports immediately drew backlash from Taiwanese netizens, who slammed them as disrespectful to indigenous across the country.

In response, the Indigenous Peoples Cultural Foundation on Sunday (Sept. 27) expressed regret over the media's misrepresentation of traditional Tao clothing. It said Taiwanese indigenous only wear traditional outfits to show respect for important events and that it hopes society can abandon its stereotypical images of indigenous people to avoid future discrimination, reported CNA.

Meanwhile, Presidential Office Spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka, who is Amis, called Si brave for showcasing his tribal attire and said his decision set a good example for other indigenous Taiwanese who worry about mainstream opinion. She said Taiwanese should be proud of the country's different cultures and try to understand that diversity is what propels it forward, reported ETtoday.