Hope Talk 2022 TAIWANfest Vancouve Kai-Chun Huang banner
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The Things that Language and Dialogue Taught Me

3:30 – 4:30 pm | Sep 4th
Granville 700 | Downtown Vancouver

Kai-Chun has loved learning languages since she was young. Languages have also brought her to many unexpected places.

Born in Tainan, she grew up in a Taiwanese speaking family. In high school, she visited many Indigenous Taiwanese tribes because of an Amis language course, which surprised and gave her different thoughts as someone who grew up in the city, but opened her eyes to learning about other cultures. In university, Kai-Chun learned to speak Arabic and went to Egypt to further study the language, leading her to fall in love with Islamic culture. The topic of the hijab also inspired her thinking on feminism, rethinking for her what it meant to be a woman.

After graduating, Kai-Chun entered the publishing industry, her current job—book translation—is still related to languages. Language allows Kai-Chun to break the boundaries between herself and other ethnic groups. Travelling and communicating between two cultures brought infinite inspiration and possibilities to Kai-Chun, and from it she learned more about others and herself.

Item introduction

Item 1:Taiwan Culture Team uniform

Clubs in high school were the key to changing Kai-Chun’s life. From that point on, she was not just a top-tier student who only studied for exams, but she learned to “return to the start”: to witness the beauty of different cultures and change her perception of Taiwan.

Item 2:Sikau crochet backpack and “graduation certificate”

During university, Kai-Chun went on a hiking trip to learn about mountains and forestry with the Indigenous Paiwan people. After their first training, every participant was given a branch and were told it was their “graduation certificate.”

Item 3:Ticket from Egypt

One of the little traces of Kai-Chun’s first time living in a different cultural environment for a long period of time

Item 4:Hijab

Among the different styles of hijabs she has collected, the most important one to Kai-Chun is a khimar that was made when an Egyptian friend took her to a fabric shop. 

Item 5:Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time

Kai-Chun’s first independent translation work. Being able to be in a line of work where she can connect two different languages and cutlures always makes her feel lucky and blessed.

Item 6:Taiwanese textbook

Hoping to gain a deeper understanding of her original culture, she started to re-learn Taiwanese in 2022. 

About the Artist

Hope Talk 2022 TAIWANfest Vancouver Kai-Chun Huang

Kai-Chun Huang

Translator / Author

Kai-Chun has translated works including Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time, Affluence Without Abundance: The Disappearing World of the Bushmen, and co-authored Songs Blowing Over the Island.

When Kai-Chun studied in the Arab world, she developed a deep connection with Islamic culture. She once conducted street interviews with Muslim women and asked them about their life stories and the stories of their hijabs. Since returning to Taiwan, she still focuses on issues related to Muslim women and is also deeply interested in the multifaceted meanings and possibilities symbolized by hijabs. In Taiwan, she set up a fanpage called “Islam has No Veil” where she shares talks and articles about Islamic culture with the people of Taiwan, discussing religious and social issues.

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