The Cornell Taiwanese American Society presented a slice of Taiwan in their annual night market with traditional food dishes and a host of performances by other student groups Friday evening at Duffield Hall.
“The purpose of night market is to be able to show Cornell what Taiwanese culture is like in a comfortable setting,” said Ryan Chen ’21, cultural chair of CTAS. “For us, a comfortable setting involves a lot of food, drinks, performances and games. We wanted to share something that was familiar and fun to us which were night markets in Taiwan.”
Among the many dishes at night market were three-cup chicken, tea eggs and Taiwanese sausage. As visitors moved around from stand to stand to sample the foods, various student performance groups such as Yamatai, E.Motion and the Cornell Eastern Music Ensemble kept the atmosphere fresh and energetic with music and dances.
“We were trying to improve the liveliness of the venue and we thought that performances would attract more attention and that people would have something fun to watch while eating,” Chen told The Sun.
To ensure authenticity, CTAS prepared the dishes through the efforts of their own members and volunteers.
“Some logistical challenges we faced were the fact that we cook all the food we service ourselves,” said Jared Chang ’19, CTAS treasurer. “We have to come up with the recipes, ingredients list, buy all of it, plan how we are going to time the cooking so we have everything finished and move to the location before the event.”
When asked about what he wanted attendees to get out of the night market, Chang said he “want[ed] people to enjoy themselves and enjoy eating good homemade Taiwanese food.”
Kyle Wang ’20, an event attendee, said he felt as if he was in an actual night market in Taiwan.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the event, it really captured what it was like to be at a night market,” he said. “There’s this Chinese character for the mood and if I had to translate it would be something like lively, bustling, chaotic, or fun.”
“The authenticity of the food was great. It was actual Chinese cuisine instead of Chinese-American,” Wang added.