Large crowds thronged Huashan 1914 Creative Park in Taipei yesterday to enjoy the exotic cultures and entertainment presented by professional artistic troupes from Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Vietnam and other Asia-Pacific nations.
The two-day “2013 Asia-Pacific Culture Day” aims to give the public an opportunity to experience and interact with regional neighbors, and also learn about Taiwan’s diplomatic allies among Pacific island nations, including Kiribati, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands, Palau and Nauru.
Visitors were treated to cultural dance and music shows, and the free food and drink at 19 booths, representing the various countries.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs organized the event in collaboration with national embassies and consular representative offices in Taiwan, and the activities will continue from noon to 6pm today.
Performances by Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu started the activities yesterday morning. These were followed in the afternoon by the Korean Sachoom Traditional Dance troupe, and the “Tee! Tee! Tee!” group from Okinawa — whose performances are based on their traditional marine culture, “Sanshin” music and the martial arts of the Ryukyu Islands.
“We are very close island neighbors and we welcome Taiwanese people to visit Okinawa, to experience our native hospitality, fresh seafood, cane sugar candy, tumeric ginger tea and other delicious specialty foods,” said Kudaka Masakimi, the Taipei office director of Okinawa Industry Promotion Public Corp.
In the Okinawa and Japan booth, visitors can experience an authentic rendering of the Japanese tea ceremony, presented each hour over the two-day festival.
A newcomer this year, Taiwan’s Chinese Muslim Association’s (中國回教協會) “Muslim Friendship” booth was popular among visitors who were interested in Islam, halal food and the traditions and heritage of Arabic and Middle Eastern countries.
Cultural groups from Palau, Kiribati and Vietnam, along with New Zealand’s Maori warrior dance, also took to the stage yesterday afternoon.
For today’s stage presentations, the public can take in Japanese taiko (太鼓) drumming, put on by the Taiwan Ondekoza Society, along with dance and music shows by troupes from South Korea, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, New Zealand and the Philippines.