Saint Joe’s

A Catholic church in Jinlun (Jīnlún/金崙), Taidong, Taiwan. Note the absence of Chinese characters.

photo of a church, with 'KIOKAI NI' and 'SANTO YOSEF' written on it in large letters

The town of Jinlun being in an area with many members of the Paiwan tribe, I checked with a Chen Chun-Mei (Chén Chūnměi / 陳春美), a Paiwan specialist at Guólì Zhōngxīng Dàxué (National Chung Hsing University / 國立中興大學), who wrote that kiokai is one of many words Paiwan borrowed from Japanese (kyōkai/教会: meaning church), and that ni in Paiwan means of or by.

So this is the Church of Saint Joseph.

I was also interested to hear on the train to Jinlun that some of the announcements in advance of some stations in Taidong County were in not only Mandarin, Taiwanese, and English, but also an aboriginal language. I’m guessing Paiwan. Even in the announcements in that language, however, the place names themselves sounded like they were given in Mandarin forms, though the descriptions were not.

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