Taiwanese Night Market offers night of food, dancing

Audrey Cheng

About 400 Northwestern students headed to Norris University Center on Sunday night to partake in the annual Taiwan Night Market, sponsored by the Taiwanese American Students Club.

The event featured bubble tea and other ethnic foods and games, as well as performances by student dance troupes ReFresH and Typhoon.

Preparation for Taiwan Night Market began last spring.

The executive board, which consists of 10 officers, planned the event’s details and decided who would travel to Taiwan during the summer to buy raffle prizes, a step aimed at making the event as genuine as possible.

TASC aimed to create a more realistic vibe by serving traditional Taiwanese dishes and bringing in tents, characteristics of actual Taiwanese night markets.

This year, TASC took efforts to authenticate the event a step further by lighting the market with lanterns.

TASC president and Medill junior Katie Chen said it was the first time the club had turned out the lights for the event.

Chen said she wanted the attendees to understand more about Taiwan’s culture from the night market, which she believes is an essential part in learning about the country.

“If you go back to Taiwan, everyone is always drinking or eating at night markets,” Chen said. “It is a great way for friends to get together.”

But not all attendees found the event’s efforts to replicate a real Taiwanese night market impressive.

“For me, I was really just there for the dancing,” said Medill sophomore Danielle Oberdier. “To be honest, I think it would have gotten more publicity if it was more authentic. I think it was trying to be more of a party than a cultural event.”

Weinberg sophomore Eric Kennedy, who said he has experienced an actual Taiwanese night market before, said the event was too Americanized.

“I’m not going to criticize (the dancing) because it wasn’t built as Asian dancing, more like American hip hop dancing,” he said.

Still, Kennedy said he would attend the Night Market next year.

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