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Cultural Communication of Foreign Labor

With the impact of global economic structure and culture in the 1960s, Taipei City had gradually gestated the “multicultural” and “international” character, the multicultural taste had filled every corner of Taipei, where there are a group of foreign workers, though unknown to public, devoting themselves to handwork and creating the economical miracle together with us, hand in hand.

By the end of 2007, there were 37,211 foreign blue-collar workers in Taipei City, about 10% of the total foreign workers in Taiwan. Sorted by nationality, there are 20,448 (54.95%) workers from Indonesia, 8,125 (21.83%) from Philippines, 3,095 (8.32%) from Thailand, 5,541 (14.89%) from Vietnam and 2 (0.01%) from Mongolia.

These foreign workers, who have left their home town, can release their homesick feelings as well as occupational pressure properly by attending activities with the unique traditional cultural and religious festivals and celebrations of their homeland held by public and private organizations of Taipei City, and there festivals and celebrations, in turn, add the exotic taste and features to the sky of Taipei City, the merge of cultures is going on stealthily.

The Power of Religion‧ The Share of Sacrifice - Santa Cruzan Festival of Philippines

Santa Cruzan Festival, or the Holy Crossing Festival, is a meaningful festival full of religious breath for Filipinos, especially those pious Catholics. Religion also gives them the courage and power to work in Taiwan, just like the ancient tale of Santa Cruzan Festival: a symbol of sacrifice, a perseverance in traditional belief.

Department of Labor, Taipei City Government held the “Santa Cruzan Festival” parade in May each year, when St. Christoph Church organized 11 groups of Philippine workers and emigrants, who paraded down the downtown area in different appearances of the Virgin Mary, altogether 1,000 people participated in the parade. Foreign workers participating in the parade also presented flowers to citizens of passers-by along the street to share their pleasure and happiness and shorten their distance with the citizens.

Islamic 30-hour famine - the Islamic Hari Raya Aidil Fitri

“Month of Fast” is the annual pageant of the Islam. One month before the Hari Raya Aidil Fitri, all believers shall experience the “Month of Fast”, and after the end of the Fast, the Islamite will celebrate the success of the Fast, which is called the “Hari Raya Aidil Fitri”.

The Department held an activity with Taipei Mosque in Nov each year to celebrate the Hari Raya Aidil Fitri, when the believers faced the west and worshipped Allah, after that they mutually shook hands and hugged to congratulate the consummation of merits and virtues, forgave the faults of each other and celebrated the completion of the Fast. Through this activity, we can realize cultures of different religions, shorten the distance between the foreign workers and the citizens, the number of people participating in the activity had exceeded 6,000 on that day.

Cultural Communication, Promotion of Mutual Understanding

The Department, in order to make the citizens learn about different folk cultures and promote interaction, has held diversified activities. For instance, “Foreign Labor Dragon Boat Races”, which improves the foreign labor’s appreciation and understanding of Taiwan Culture; “Foreign Labor Cooking Contest”, which provides a chance for the foreign workers to show their acquirements and to learn more about cooking and gives the citizens a deeper understanding for foreign food.

In addition, “Foreign Labor Poem and Essay Contest” has also been held to allow the foreign labors to contribute poems or essays about what they learned in work, their impression of Taipei, stories of their heart etc.. Finally, 18 excellent works were chosen, and the award was held in Taipei City Hall on August 24, 2008 to award the prize and diploma.

Multinational Services, All Important Information in Hand

To make the Foreign Labor keep up with the pulse of the society in Taiwan, the Information Center of the Department has lodged foreign broadcasting program “Hello Taipei”, the only program domestically produced and broadcast for the Foreign Labor, on Taipei Broadcasting Station (FM93.1/AM1134) since 2000. The program propagandizes relevant laws and regulations about employment services, relative activities of the Department and releases real-time news, casual life, and plays country music and songs which is popular among the Foreign Labor and gets good responses.

In term of propagandizing policies and decrees about Foreign Labor, the Department has issued the “Taipei City E Newsletter for Foreign Labor” to provide the employers and agents with correct information and channels about employment, transference and management of Foreign Labor. The Department also printed Foreign Labor Caring Manual in Chinese-Indonesian, Chinese-English and Chinese-Vietnamese languages to assist the employers to instruct the Foreign Labor on basic caring, altogether over 100,000 employers and foreign workers have benefited from this.

Besides, in order to help the foreign workers who are afraid of seeing a doctor due to poor Chinese, the Department has lodged the Foreign Labor Health Inspection and Medical Consultation Services with TIMA since Feb, 2004, which provides Multilanguage medical inspection and consolation services in Indonesian, Philippine , Vietnamese, etc., altogether 8 services have been provided.

Multicultural, International Connection, Promoting Taipei

Taipei City is the No.1 domestic city. It is a city with cultural comprehensive ability and multiple cultures, while Foreign Labor is contributing for Taipei, how to expand cultural foreign communication of urban labor, establish multicultural channels in various methods to connect the world, promote Taipei and face global interaction is an important mission and experience.