If there’s one thing that the doting parents of Taipei American School (TAS) care fervently about (besides their children’s SAT scores), it’s nourishing young minds. The international food fair organized by the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) is an event that draws thousands of foodies from the expat community of suburban Tianmu and beyond every year. The fair returns tomorrow for its 33rd year.
From Vietnam to Venezuela, more than 20 countries are represented and around 8,000 visitors are expected to show up. In addition to sushi, samosas and shaved ice — all prepared by the gracious parents — there will also be arts and crafts stations, a bouncy castle, as well as a haunted house full of goblins and ghosts orchestrated entirely by the high school students.
Speaking on behalf of the PTA, Priya Purswaney says: “The parents put in a lot of hard work months before the event to ensure that it goes smoothly.”
Photo courtesy of TAS
Purswaney adds that in recent years, the fair has drawn more volunteers from outside of the TAS community, and that local schools in Taipei even arrange field trips to visit the fair. More student associations and clubs at TAS have also been involved in planning the activities for this year’s fair, so expect to see new booths in addition to the usual face painting, water balloon toss and stands selling fake tattoos.
“The fair has become more international and features double the number of clubs, so that means double the fun,” Purswaney says.
Though it’s expected that when you bring a bunch of parents together, there’s bound to be some squabbles.
Photo courtesy of TAS
Nevertheless, the PTA says the preparation is mostly a concerted effort, and that what’s more important is that the parents have the students’ well-being at heart.
“The only thing the TAS parents get out of it is the satisfaction of doing something for the school,” Purswaney says.
If there’s one thing they can agree upon though, it’s promoting healthy eating (never mind the cotton candy stand that seems to have the longest line every year). The school’s cafeteria does indeed have an amazing assortment of gourmet dishes that would put many seasoned restaurateurs to shame. As for the fair, the food is mostly home-cooked or sponsored by top restaurants around Taipei.
“It’s definitely important to teach children at an early age the importance of a healthy diet.” Purswaney says. “The TAS cafeteria is a no fry zone, and vendors at the fair are also encouraged to reduce the amount of fried goods.”
The food fair starts tomorrow at 10am and is open to the public. A portion of the proceeds will go to developing the school, while the rest of the funds is allocated to different charities each year.
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