Members of the Taiwanese Student Association (TSA) hosted the annual Night Market on Feb. 28 in the Dahnke Family Ballroom to present a cohesive yet multifaceted view of nightlife in Taiwan to the Notre Dame student body. 2019 marked the fourth year that the Market was exhibited, and it featured 11 clubs, including the American Asian Association, Hong Kong Student Association, South Asian Student Association, and Hawaii Club.
The primary goal of this event was to provide an opportunity to showcase a wide variety of the cultural clubs on campus for the entirety of Notre Dame. Seniors Isabel Chan and Jonny Xu, co-presidents of the Taiwanese Student Association, explained that they would like for many different cultural clubs — not just Asian clubs — to collaborate with them to showcase a variety of different cultures.
Preparation for the Night Market began in the beginning of the second semester. Each club organized traditional food to serve, including bubble tea, egg waffles, dumplings, samosas, and sushi. Chan and Xu mentioned that some of the foods were catered by restaurants from the South Bend community, such as Ichiban, or from local Asian supermarkets. However, many of the traditional dishes were prepared by the members of clubs, which added to the authenticity of the event.
In addition to the dozens of food options, there were various traditional games such as Bầu cua, a Vietnamese matching game, and Luksong tsinelas, the Filipino version of leapfrog. Additionally, three dance performances were presented by Ballet Folklorico Azul y Oro, Chinese Culture Society, and Project Fresh for the attendees to enjoy while enjoying the food.
In 2016, the first year the Night Market was held, there were only two cultural clubs involved — the Japanese club and TSA — so the 11 clubs showcased this year marked tremendous growth. Chan and Xu, as well as TSA vice president Chris Moy, hope to see this event continue to expand and include a greater variety of clubs that represent cultures beyond just the Asian culture. This event aims to be different and focuses on the inclusivity of all cultures so that everyone on campus has an opportunity to learn and feel empowered by the large-scale platform the market offers for cultural awareness.