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Night market to celebrate culture and cuisine

| Thursday, February 28, 2019

While spreads of authentic bubble tea, butter mochi, dumplings, turon, samosas and taiyak are normally anomalous to find at Notre Dame, a number of cultural clubs on campus will be cooking these delicacies up for a night of delicious food, vibrant performances and traditional games.

The Notre Dame Taiwanese Student Association along with Multicultural Student Programs and Services and the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies will cosponsor the event, transforming the Dahnke Ballroom in Duncan Student Center to imitate the bright and bustling street markets of Taiwan for the Notre Dame Night Market.

While the event initially began four years ago as a collaboration between the Taiwanese Student Association (TSA) and the Japan Club, the Night Market has grown to include more than 10 clubs and organizations beyond the Asian-American community.

“We actually have four new clubs joining us this year: Hawaii Club, Hong Kong Student Association, South Asian Student Association (SASA) and Chinese Culture Society (CCS),” senior Isabel Chan, co-president of TSA, said. “It’s just gotten bigger and better every year.”

Each club will have its own booth to serve authentic food, and some of the clubs will set up traditional games for the regions they represent. The Night Market will also feature performances by Ballet Folklorico, Azul y Oro, Chinese Culture Society and Project Fresh.

Senior Jonny Xu, co-president of TSA, said the Night Market brings the University’s cultural clubs together to celebrate their differences.

“This is one of the only events where you can go and see all of the diversity and the different cultures represented at Notre Dame,” he said.

Students will receive two free tickets at the door that can be used to redeem food and play games at the 11 booths. Additional tickets will cost $5 for five tickets and $8 for 10 tickets. The games also give students chances to earn raffle tickets to win various prizes including an Amazon Echo, Asian food baskets and more.

The Night Market drew around 300 people last year, said Chris Moy, junior and vice president of TSA, and they are hoping for an even bigger turnout this year because of the addition of a few organizations not present in past years.

Chan said TSA allocates funds to the different clubs that participate in the event to spend on the food and games they will present at the Night Market.

“Inviting clubs to the Night Market and giving them funding allows them to showcase their culture, and it gives them a platform to share their club with the rest of the community, which may otherwise be difficult for smaller clubs that don’t usually have the opportunity or money to do so,” she said.

Moy also discussed how the Night Market benefits the clubs involved.

“The Night Market empowers other cultural clubs to go out and do events and connect with the people that they meet through our event,” Moy said.

Open to all members of the Notre Dame community, Chan and Moy said they encourage anyone who is interested to attend.

“At the end of the day, our culture is not something we should hide or make exclusive,” Chan said. “It’s something that we should share with the entire Notre Dame student body and try to be as inclusive [with] it as possible.”

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About Serena Zacharias

Serena is a junior majoring in Neuroscience and Behavior and minoring in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. She hails proudly from the great cheese state of Wisconsin; however, she would never consume her state's precious cheese or any other cheeses for that matter because she's very allergic. Serena currently serves as a New Writer Editor for the Observer.

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