Music and My Journey of Identities

Suana Emuy Cilangasay


Taiwanese Indigenous musician Suana Emuy Cilangasay discovered he wasn’t Minnanese when he was 14 years old., but his parents were in fact Amis and Sakizaya people. What kind of experience did Suana’s family go through? They chose to hide their identity and started a long journey of non-stop migration around Taiwan. These kinds of life encounters and changes led Sauna’s path back to Taitung County to study the Amis language with his grandmother, mother and godmother, pulling him to start on a musical creation journey with the language. 

Suana learned how to play instruments as a way to document his feelings and thoughts. He then found a group of like-minded music lovers and formed the Creating Music Orchestra. Even though the members are from different ethnic groups, it is their common goal to perform in the Amis language! The music route Suana took led him into his family memories and tribal history, and he began his long-lasting dialogue with his identity, family, people, and society. He originally grew up in the city, but through his music, he found his lost language, roots and culture, clarifying  his identity and realizing his uniqueness. Music not only builds the connection between him and the Amis people, but also opens up a dialogue in Taiwanese society. 

This year, TAIWANfest invites Suana to interact with Canadian musicians from various ethnic backgrounds and specializing in different types of music. Music has accompanied them in facing every moment of life, through the journey of self, and cultural identity. What will we face next? Will it bring surprise or sadness, deep thinking, or realization?

Free Admission

Venue / Time


Aug 25th, 2019 / 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Studio Theatre, 
Harbourfront Centre


Sept 1st, 2019 / 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Orpheum Annex

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