The “Kaohsiung Multicultural Immigrants’ Sunday Market” (KMISM) organized by Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages’ planning team had its grand opening at the Qiaotou BIAS New World. President Chen Mei-Hua of the University personally attended and spoke at the ceremony. She stated that she is very happy that the University can organize such a large market and provide an excellent site for immigrants to showcase their native culture and foods. The market also provides an excellent platform for local integration and exchanges, while offering opportunities for immigrants to earn additional income and serving as a focus for the localization of immigrants. Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages is the only foreign language university in Taiwan; it has talented and interdisciplinary faculty and students from different language fields, who can provide professional services and cooperation to both the public and private sectors. This market activity combined the University’s faculty and students with National Immigration Agency’s services in a best example of industry-government-academia collaboration between local community immigrants and residents. VIPs to the event included Vice President Shih Chung-Hsien of Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages, Director Chu Ta-Jui and Deputy Director Kang Chia-No of Thailand Trade and Economic Office’s Kaohsiung Labor Department, Director Chen Ying-Chih (and colleagues) of the National Immigration Agency’s Kaohsiung City Second Service Center, and District Head Wu Shu-Hui of Kaohsiung Zuoying District.
To fulfill its social responsibility and promote the development of local community culture and economy, the University has obtained a subsidy from the immigrant development fund and is working with National Immigration Agency’s Kaohsiung City First and Second Service Centers, the Kaohsiung City New Immigrant International Association, and the Kaohsiung City ASEAN Economic, Trade, and Cultural Exchange Association to hold the KMISM every third Sunday of each month at the Qiaotou BIAS New World. The goal is to provide a high quality venue where immigrants in Kaohsiung can sell their hometown foods and cultural items to increase their family income. At the same time, the KMISM can provide a leisure site and rest area for foreign migrant workers and promote understanding and exchanges between Kaohsiung residents and immigrant culture. This way, immigrants, their children, and Kaohsiung residents can develop together and enjoy living on this island called Taiwan.
The responsible person for the KMISM, Assistant Professor Richard Cheng from Wenzao’s Center for English Language Teaching, states that immigrants from more than 10 countries participated in the KSISM to display cultural characteristics from different countries. Honduran cakes, Thai satay and Thai milk tea popsicles, Vietnamese pho and sticky rice balls, and Indonesian turmeric rice can be found in different stalls, where immigrants work hard to show off the flavors of their countries. If you get tired of shopping at the market, you can enjoy a relaxing massage or buy handcrafts as a souvenir. Everyone in Kaohsiung and Southern Taiwan is welcome to experience the multiple cultures at the KMISM.