Mon, Nov 26, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Taipei City holds karaoke event for migrant workers

By Meggie Lu  /  STAFF REPORTER

A group of Indonesian women sing and dance yesterday at a cultural event organized by the Taipei City Government's Department of Labor.

PHOTO: CNA

Indonesian migrant workers enjoyed a day of karaoke at Da-an Forest Park yesterday.

The karaoke competition was the last in a series of cultural events hosted throughout the year by the Taipei City Government's Migrant Workers' Cultural Center, who commissioned the Rerum Novarum Center (RNC) to organize the activities.

"The events are held as a token of our appreciation for the contributions migrant workers make to Taiwanese society," RNC employee Lara Lin (林倩如) said. "[The events] are also intended to alleviate the workers' homesickness and allow Taipei residents to learn more about the cultures of our neighbors in Southeast Asia."

Sixty-one Indonesian men and women signed up for the singing contest and 10 finalists progressed to the second round, in which they competed for prizes such as heaters and electric stovetops.

Indonesian bands Jampez and Jakarta played popular Indonesian music at the event, helping to attract a crowd of hundreds of migrant workers, exchange students and Taiwanese.

"We host cultural events for migrant workers from Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia -- the countries where most of Taiwan's migrant workers come from -- in the months that they have major religious celebrations in their native countries," Lin said.

More than 10,000 Indonesians work in Taipei, making them the third-biggest foreign work force in the city, Lin said, adding that most of them work as caregivers.

Competition winner Yuni won a return ticket to Jakarta.

"Taiwan is a lovely place to work, especially because the people make me feel at home," she said.

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