Hundreds of visitors braved the rain yesterday to gather in a Taipei plaza to get up close and personal with different cultures and arts from around the world.
Despite the approach of Typhoon Fitow, the Shilin International Cultural Festival, organized by Taipei’s Shilin District Office, attracted large crowds this year.
In its 13th year, the festival is aimed at giving Taiwanese a chance to experience a variety of musical and dance performances along with trying different exotic cuisines.
A total of 16 countries were represented in the event, including Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Spain, Turkey, Jordan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Swaziland, Kingdom of Lesotho and The Gambia, the organizers said.
“We would like to use this opportunity to encourage our citizens to embrace different cultures,” the district office director Huang Wen-ting (黃雯婷) said.
Those attending the event were treated to performances including a drumming show by the Taipei Japanese School, folk culture and traditional dances from Honduras and jazz music performed by students at the Taipei American School.
Among the performers was Marcus Bo of Haiti, who has been in Taiwan for five years and was participating at the event for the second consecutive year.
“We have prepared very authentic Haitian food and drinks and we would love to take this opportunity to let Taiwanese give them a try,” Bo said in fluent Mandarin.
There was a long line in front of the booth set up by the Haitian embassy, which prepared diri ak djon djon — black mushroom rice — as well as cremas, a sweet and creamy alcoholic beverage.
Huang said events such as this will not only offer people a fun way to spend the weekend, but help broaden their perspectives and promote cultural exchanges.