Sat, Aug 26, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Taipei to invite relatives of foreign spouses to visit

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

In an effort to make immigrants feel more welcome in their new home, the Taipei City Department of Civil Affairs is inviting 30 parents or other relatives of foreign spouses to a family reunion to experience the upcoming mid-Autumn festival.

In addition to receiving a NT$10,000 (US$304) monetary award, the family members will be invited to participate in this year's New Immigrant Culture Festival which will be held on Oct. 1 at Taipei City Hall.

According to department chief Chong Ze-liang (鍾則良), the department will select two family members from a total of 15 foreign spouses who will be chosen through a ballot

The department hopes to provide the relatives with a chance to get an insight into the new lives their loved ones are leading in Taiwan.

"The mid-Autumn festival is a time for family reunions in Taiwan, and so we hope that these immigrants' family members could come here to celebrate the festival with them and have a better understanding of their lives here," Chong said yesterday at Taipei City Hall.

Foreign spouses who are registered in Taipei either as permanent residents or citizens are eligible for the ballot, which is accepting applications through Sept. 4.

Statistics from the department show that foreign spouses from China comprised over 80 percent of the total of 28,519 foreign spouses in Taipei, followed by immigrants from Vietnam and Indonesia.

Tsai Wen-ju (蔡文如), division chief of the department, said that besides foreign spouses and their family members, all immigrants and local residents alike are welcome to visit the festival.

It will include more than 50 stalls featuring a variety of snacks prepared by immigrant groups plus live music and dancing performances.

"Taipei residents will have an opportunity to understand the culture of immigrants better. We hope that the event will help children of these international married couples to be proud of their mixed heritages," she added.

For more information call 02-2726-6252.

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