Exclusive | New immigrants, Taiwanese enjoy cultural bazaar

Photo courtesy of 4-way Voice

TAIPEI (The China Post) — The Department of Civil Affairs of Taipei City held the Taipei New Immigrant Bazaar on July 5 organized at the “Four Four South Village Simple Market” (四四南村簡單市集)

The new immigrants and their Taiwanese friends and families sold snacks from cuisines ranging from Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Japan, Myanmar, and more.

The location was filled with people who were eager to try out exotic tastes. The reputation of the event even attracted citizens from other cities.

In the marketplace, some shopowners generously accepted interviews, which are highlighted here: 

Japan

A Japan booth at the bazaar. (Photo courtesy of 4-way Voice)

A Japanese shop decorated with a torii attracted the crowds. The shopkeepers, two Japanese women from the Aichi prefecture dressed in kimonos (和服), told The China Post that they moved to Taiwan because of their marriages two and five years ago, respectively. 

Their least favorite part about Taiwan is the weather, which is much hotter than Japan. Their favorite part? The fruits! Mangos and sapodillas are among their favorites. 

They said that the kimonos were for the Tanabata (七夕), which was just two days away. Different from the tradition in Taiwan where we celebrate the day with a romantic date, Tanabata in Japan is for preyers and honoring the gods. 

The shop was aimed to resemble the night market in Japan, which in turn was aimed to attract Japanese people in Taiwan. 

“This year, a lot of Japanese cannot go back to Japan to celebrate the special date, so we want to present our tradition to them here,” she said.

They also modified their dorayaki to Taiwanese taste by adding taro, which sold really well. 

Vietnam

A Vietnam booth at the bazaar. (Photo courtesy of 4-way Voice)

There was a Vietnamese shop in the bazaar, with a woman called Plum Blossom (紅梅) from Ho Chi Minh City. She moved to Taiwan 16 years ago, lives in Taipei City, and enjoys the convenient MRT system. 

The shop sold Bánh Phu Thê, which is a traditional dish mostly served in engagement ceremonies. The treat contains green beans and is wrapped around with leaves. 

Plum was wearing a national custom, Ao Dai, which looks similar to the cheongsam.

She explained that the custom is for important conventions such as marriage and engagement. Notably, Vietnamese also wear it during the three years of high school and can wear it whenever they like. As a set, she was also wearing a conical hat.

Thailand

Mei-mei was in charge of the store. She came from a Northeast city of Thailand 16 years ago and had been living in Taipei ever since. She sold green bean cakes in the shop and wore a traditional Thai custom. 

The event ended on a sound note with children dressed in traditional customs performing on-stage. 

The Taipei New Immigrant Bazaar was held on July 5. (Photo courtesy 4-way Voice)