Thu, Mar 02, 2017 - Page 14 News List

SaffaFest aims to bring South African culture to Taiwan

Organizers say a scenic spot in Tainan is the perfect place to showcase South African food and activities, as it resembles their bushveld landscape

By Grant Dexter  /  Staff reporter

SaffaFest organizers and volunteers pose for a photograph during a test run for their event celebrating all things South African at Tainan’s Hutoupi Scenic Area on Sunday.

Photo courtesy of Mary Mullan-Christie

South African Duane Christie says the nation of his birth has something for everyone, and he has created an event to demonstrate how true that is with SaffaFest.

The man from Pretoria told ICRT radio that he created the event “to celebrate our people and our culture,” adding that “it’s not just for South Africans. It’s a day to celebrate South Africa and introduce it to everyone else in Taiwan.”

With South African staples such as rugby union and cricket, to the less well known gumboot dance and jukskei — a forerunner of horseshoe pitching — SaffaFest organizers are promising something for everyone at Tainan’s Hutoupi Scenic Area (虎頭埤風景區), where the event will be held.

Christie said he has plans to stage the event in Taipei in the future. However, he said he fell in love with the Hutoupi area, as it looks just like a bushveld setting from home, making it the perfect spot for the day.

The event’s Web site — saffafest.pangea-int.com — says it intends to showcase South African culture and riches and put the nation in the spotlight in Taiwan, with the aspiration to instill a desire in visitors to learn more about it and perhaps even travel there.

MUSIC, DRINK AND ‘BRAAI’

On the entertainment front, there is music throughout the afternoon leading up to the headline act, Bok van Blerk, an Afrikaans-language singer whose biggest hit is De La Rey, about Boer War general Koos de la Rey.

And no South African-inspired event would get away with not having braai, Afrikaans for barbecue, which the organizers say is almost akin to citizenship when it comes to identifying who is a compatriot.

They do not hold back.

“Come hungry, as we will have a couple of vendors selling some delicious boerewors [sausage] and other meats for you to braai,” organizers say. “We’ll also be providing a couple of braais for you to braai your own meat. There will be a couple of braai masters to assist with the braaiing and showing those new to a South African braai how to braai your meat to perfection.”

Performance Notes

What: SaffaFest, a celebration of South African culture

Where: Hutoupi Scenic Area (虎頭埤風景區), 36, Zhongxing Rd, Ln 42, Tainan City (台南市中興路42巷36號)

When: March 11

Admission: Day Pass, NT$750; Camping Ground, NT$1,000; Camping platform (two people), NT$2,400; Camping (covered, two people), NT$2,800

On the Net:saffafest.pangea-int.com


If that is not enough, vendors like KP Kitchen Taiwan, Food Lovers from Kaoshiung, Pizza King, The Wooden Spoon and Anita’s Cantina will be selling their wares.

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