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President Chen Attends a Meeting of the National Cultural Association

Taipei, March 29 (CNA) President Chen Shui-bian announced Thursday the selection criteria for five "Presidential Culture Awards" aimed at recognizing local and foreign individuals who have made major contributions to Taiwan's communities. 

Chen said at a meeting of the National Cultural Association that the awards will not be the exclusive privilege of the so-called "cultural elite." Instead, he continued, the awards are meant to acknowledge the everyday individuals and groups who are willing to sacrifice themselves in the service of the island's society. 

Chen is the chairman of the association, which will begin the process of nominating and selecting award recipients in May. The first Presidential Culture Awards will be conferred sometime in November, possibly to coincide with Cultural Renaissance Day, which falls on Nov. 12. 

The highest honor will be the "Yushan Award," to be conferred on individuals who have made outstanding contributions to Taiwan's overall "community renaissance" efforts. The award takes its name from the island's highest peak Yushan, or Jade Mountain. 

The "Sun Award" will be conferred on individuals who "shed warmth on every corner of the world" through their community volunteer efforts and social service. 

The "Bodhi Award," named after the Buddhist term for enlightenment, will honor individuals who have made major contributions to ethnic harmony or global peace, including peace across the Taiwan Strait. 

Individuals who have been instrumental to environmental protection efforts will be honored with the "Butterfly Award." Taiwan has been called "the butterfly kingdom" for its successful conservation efforts, particularly on the indigenous Heng-chun birdwing butterflies. 

The "Lily Award," named after the native Rukai tribe's "flower of heroes," also a classic symbol of elegance in the Western world, will honor individuals known for their literary and artistic creativity as well as their contributions to international cultural exchanges. 



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