The Taipei City Government sponsored a Vietnamese cultural festival yesterday to honor the thousands of migrant workers and new immigrants from the Southeast Asian country.
The festival, offering a variety of entertainment, attracted more than 1,000 migrant workers to Da-an Forest Park in Taipei.
Addressing the opening ceremony, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) greeted the participants with “How are you?” in Vietnamese.
He then expressed his condolences and sympathies for the victims of recent typhoons in southern Taiwan and northern Vietnam.
Morakot brought heavy rainfall in southern Taiwan from Aug. 7 through Aug. 9, triggering serious flooding and landslides in remote mountainous areas, leaving more than 600 people dead or missing and displacing thousands more.
Around the same time, northern Vietnam was hit by a typhoon that led to heavy human casualties and property loss.
“Let’s come together on this occasion to express our condolences and concern for all the surviving victims and pray for their wellbeing,” Hau said.
The festival was part of a series of cultural activities being held by the city government this year to promote cultural exchanges with Southeast Asian countries, many of which are major sources of migrant workers and new immigrants.
“The festival is also designed to celebrate Vietnam’s Sept. 2 National Day,” Hau said.
Hau said the capital city now has more than 1,300 Vietnamese married to locals, as well as more than 5,000 workers and caregivers from the Southeast Asian country.
“We appreciate the contributions … the Vietnamese workers and new immigrants have made to our city and country,” Hau said, adding that all those who have encountered problems in work and daily life are welcome to contact the city’s Bureau of Labor Affairs, where city officials will offer counseling services or other forms of assistance.
Three well-known Vietnamese pop singers were invited to perform at the festival, while various Vietnamese delicacies were also available, along with a lucky draw with cash and other prizes.
Nguyen Ba Cu, director of the Vietnamese Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei, and many city officials attended the festival and offered their best wishes for the migrant workers.