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Rukai children win traditional music award
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Maolin Elementary School director Omalizi Kumula, left, and Chang Yen, a teacher at the school, celebrate their students receiving the Best Traditional Album at the Golden Melody Awards for Traditional Arts and Music in Taipei on Saturday./ Photo cou

A group of Rukai elementary-school students on Saturday won Best Traditional Album at the Golden Melody Awards for Traditional Arts and Music.

The awards were handed out at a ceremony at the Taiwan Traditional Theatre Center in Taipei’s Shilin District  .

Although the event carries the same title, it has been held separately from the main Golden Melody Awards since 2014 and is organized by the National Center for Traditional Arts.

The students from Maolin Elementary School in Kaohsiung won the award for their 12-track album Nanga Tathne  .

The jury praised the children’s singing for its purity, and commended the album for showcasing Aboriginal culture.

“This album encourages the children to grow, and through their beautiful songs, they create a path for future ideas and works,” the jury said in a statement.

Maolin Elementary School director Omalizi Kumula  , who played a major role in helping the children learn and practice the songs on the album, said he hopes the album can give people more exposure to Aboriginal culture before it fades away.

“I hope the album gives people the chance to see the importance of preserving this culture and learn to appreciate its uniqueness,” he said.

“Some linguists have counted about 50 languages ... currently spoken in Taiwan, but in 15 to 20 years, some think Mandarin and English will be the only languages left,” he added.

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