Tue, Feb 05, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Social workers, single parents share a feast of joy

By Liao Shu-ling  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan Fund for Children and Families social workers Lee Hsin-wei, left, and Wang Yao-ching, right, smile at a get-together meal they prepared for three foreign single parents in Yunlin County on Lunar New Year’s Eve yesterday.

Photo: Liao Shu-ling, Taipei Times

Two social workers in Yunlin County yesterday invited three immigrant single parents to a traditional Lunar New Year’s eve banquet to help ease their homesickness.

Lin Li-na (林麗娜), who has a son in junior-high school, said that visiting her home country, Indonesia, was a luxury that she could not afford, as the airfare alone would cost about NT$50,000 (US$1,626).

Lin added that she dared not fly because she has asthma.

Wu Mu-ni (吳木妮), another Indonesian, who was married to a Taiwanese who passed away two decades ago, said she has had a hard time raising her children alone and that returning home is almost impossible for her.

Kang Ching-jung (康菁容), who has two children, said she yearns to visit her home in Guiyang, China, to see her mother and sister, but she could not afford it.

After learning of their predicament, two social workers at the Taiwan Fund for Children and Families’ Yunlin branch — Wang Yao-ching (王耀慶) and Lee Hsin-wei (李欣薇) — invited the three to a weilu (圍爐) — a banquet for family members on Lunar New Year’s Eve.

It is a Taiwanese custom for families to have a get-together dinner on Lunar New Year’s Eve, when mothers usually prepare a lot of “auspicious” dishes, such as fish (yu, 魚), a homophone for surplus (yu, 餘).

Wang and Lee prepared traditional Taiwanese treats, such as niangao (年糕), fagao (發糕), radish cake (蘿蔔糕), “Buddha Jumps Over the Wall” (佛跳牆) and Murcott honey tangerines to wish their guests good fortune.

The single moms also prepared hometown dishes, such as Indonesian fried noodles, sweet and sour fish (糖醋魚) and mapo tofu (麻婆豆腐).

The women said they had fun sharing anecdotes with Wang and Lee, adding that they have not had such a heart-warming meal for a long time.

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