Thousands of Indonesian workers gathered at the Taipei Railway Station yesterday to celebrate the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting.
The Eid al-Fitr, or the “festival of the breaking of the fast,” is an important religious holiday observed by Muslims around the world.
The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) estimated that between 10,000 and 20,000 Indonesian workers flocked to the nation’s largest train station yesterday morning for the first Sunday after the Edi al-Fitr began on Friday last week.
Photo: Lo Pei-der, Taipei Times
Many workers sat in circles in the station’s lobby and shared their food. The Taipei City Government had also prepared a celebratory event for the workers to enjoy the festival.
The city government arranged for an Indonesian-speaking staff member to broadcast important announcements as part of the celebrations.
Taipei Railway Station Master Chien Hsin-li (簡信立) said that the station set up red ropes separating train passengers queuing at the ticket windows at the lobby and the Indonesian workers arriving for the event, adding that signs were pasted on the floor to facilitate crowd movement.
Chien said that the station had staff and volunteers to assist those celebrating the holiday so they could enjoy the space reserved for them, and train passengers could access ticketing queues.
“Though people have different opinions about the gathering of foreign laborers in Taipei Railway Station, we respect and coexist with each other peacefully. We live in a multicultural society. We also have to ensure that the train passengers would not be affected,” he said.
Statistics from the Taipei City Government said that there are approximately 40,000 foreign workers in Taipei City, with 75 percent from Indonesia.
Taipei City Deputy Mayor Chou Li-fang (周麗芳) said that the city thanks these workers for their services in hospitals, with families and in factories. She said that the mayor is working to make the city more friendly for foreign workers.
The city’s Department of Labor said that Ramadan and its relevant festivals are of crucial significance to Muslims, adding that people should show compassion for foreign workers who leave their homes and work in Taiwan.
It took director Chong Keat Aun (張吉安) nearly a decade to complete Snow in Midsummer (五月雪), a deft chronicle of Malaysia’s May 13 incident told through one woman’s search for her brother and father. Although only his second feature, it led the field at yesterday’s Golden Horse Awards with nine nominations. Chong said it had been a struggle to get people to share their memories of the intercommunal violence following the 1969 national election, known among the country’s ethnic Chinese community as “513.” “My father, for example, would shut the conversation down if my mother or grandma even mentioned the topic,” Chong said
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday said that a surge in respiratory illnesses in China has been caused by at least seven types of pathogens, and small children, elderly people and immunocompromised people should temporarily avoid unnecessary visits to China. The recent outbreak of respiratory illnesses in China is mainly in the north and among children, CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said on Monday. Data released by the Chinese National Health Commission on Sunday showed that among children aged one to four, the main pathogens were influenza viruses and rhinoviruses, while among children aged five to 14, the main pathogens
A new poll of Taiwanese voters found the top opposition candidate for president jumping past the ruling party’s hopeful into the lead position ahead of January’s election — the latest twist in a drama-filled race. Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) had an approval rating of 31.9 percent versus 29.2 percent for the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential candidate Vice President William Lai (賴清德), the poll released yesterday by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation showed. The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), ranked third with 23.6 percent, according to the survey conducted
A New Taipei City hotpot restaurant could be fined after a rat dropped from the ceiling and landed on a customer’s plate last week, the New Taipei City Department of Health said yesterday after conducting an inspection. A woman recently posted on the “I am a Banciao resident” (我是板橋人) social media group saying that she had been eating with a friend at Chien Tu Shabu Shabu Hotpot Restaurant’s Shuangshi B branch in Banciao District (板橋). “While still eating, a big rat suddenly dropped down from the ceiling, landing on a plate next to a hotpot,” she said. “Later on, a member of