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The “tribal tour on dining table" starts from the tribe of Zhiluo, the “rice field, footprint, and dining table”



The “tribal tour on dining table" starts from the tribe of Zhiluo, the “rice field, footprint, and dining table”

    The “tribal tour on dining table”, an event of the East Rift Valley Tour organized by East Rift Valley National Scenic Area Administration, starts from the tribe of Zhiluo. The theme of the activity is “one meal one day”; nearly fifty visitors who came from various places of Taiwan attended the activity. They all rolled up their sleeves under the scorching autumn sun with their feet in the mud of the field to cut rice together. Afterwards, they cooked and enjoyed local food in the middle of the field, while listening to the traditional folk songs sung by the elder women of the tribe, which was indeed a wonderful and unique experience of the tribal travel.

    In order to create a new tribal travel style in the East Rift Valley, the “tribal tour on diving table,” a cooperative activity of five tribes in Hualien and Taitung, was announced in 2018, which was nearly booked up soon after it opened for registration. It also gained a lot of shared voice on the internet, showing that people not only agree with and support the idea of “tell a story by a table of food”, but love to experience in person the unique cultural treasures of various tribes. The design of the activity was mainly to invite travelers to experience in person the amazing stories written by the interplay of the rich natural environment, cultures and history in the East Rift Valley. The food on the dining table was all collected and cooked by people in the tribe, which provided the people of the tribe an opportunity to pass on their traditions to younger generations as you can see their participation in planning the activity, giving performances and hosting the show.

    This special rice field dining table activity began with a calling-for-food folk song show by the elder women of the tribe. Their voices were so beautiful that many travelers took out their smartphones to record the experience. The menu was designed especially by the tribe and the master chef we invited, Canglah, the famous Amis chef and the winner of Golden Bell Awards. It includes the unique crops of Zhiluo tribe, such as rice, “kingtol” (a particular kind of bamboo shoot) and “alida” (Bermuda arrowroot), which by themselves are full of the wisdom of farmers who adapt themselves to the climate and environment, trying to grow the rice in the field, and the gratitude the fishermen had in heart when fishing in Xiuguluan River. A lot of the elements taken from nature were added to the visual presentation of the dishes, such as bamboo baskets and plates, leaves of arrowroot, and fruits of the season, which reflect the living aesthetics of tribal daily life. The travelers enjoyed tasting the meal of the Amis culture of the Zhiluo tribe, the cooperation idea of the peasants, and the richness and diversity in flavor of local crops, as well as the sweat of farmers dripping under the scorching sun. In addition, the painting rice and the couple bag they made by themselves are the most memorable parts of the event, which fully show the spirit of this travel.