On Friday, May 19th, the Bellevue College Taiwanese Student Association held a night market event in the Bellevue College cafeteria. The night market showcased different Taiwanese food, drinks and desserts. People in attendance were able to try foods that can typically be found at night markets, such as sweet potato fries, popcorn chicken, red bean fish cakes and boba and melon tea. Games played included ring toss and sand bag throwing, games that are both commonly found in Taiwan. “These are all traditional games played in Taiwanese night markets. Here, there are nine slots, and you get a chance to hit the slots with a ball. Every slot you hit, you get points. Here you just throw sandbags at the cans, and get points,” said Taiwanese Student Association member Eugene Chung, while demonstrating games at the night market.
The event featured five traditional Taiwanese games that are commonly played at traditional night markets in Taiwan. The event also featured Taiwanese students singing, and a dance performance flash mob. Student volunteers from the International Student Association helped run games and serve food at the event. The event was held in order to help Bellevue College students learn more about Taiwan and to spread Taiwanese culture.
Night markets are a feature of Taiwanese culture. “You can find night markets in a lot of cities in Taiwan. People can get delicious street food for a cheap price and find entertainment at night markets. Not only do the tourists love to visit night markets in Taiwan, but it is also a nice place for people to hang out with friends,” said TSA officer Amy Lin.
“In night markets in Taiwan, there is even more food, and a lot of games. They take place over a pretty big area. They are always crowded, they are usually held two days per week,” said TSA Officer Yu Hsing Lai. “Night markets are usually very crowded. People usually go to them about once a month,” added Chung.
A lot of preparation went into the event. “We spent a lot of time planning what kind of foods and games would be at the event. Since all the foods are from Taiwanese restaurants in the Bellevue area, we had to spend a lot of time to make the games. Because it was hard to find the supplies, we bought all the materials and made the games ourselves,” added Lin.
The TSA helps Bellevue College Taiwanese students connect with other students and have a successful student life at Bellevue College. The TSA also tries to spread Taiwanese culture. “We usually have a regular meet and greet for Taiwanese students every quarter so people can make more friends. We are also planning to have weekly activities for people to hangout. And the annual event will be the Taiwanese night market,” added Lin. “The TSA is mostly Taiwanese students, and we hold activities. Most of the activities you can come to are completely free,” added Lai. “We are just gathering Taiwanese students as well as non-Taiwanese students, and trying to introduce everybody to Taiwan,” added Chung.