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We Listen to the Voice of Our Culture in Shaping a Friendly City for Migrant Workers

       As of the end of March 2019, Taiwan has over 0.7 million and 4 thousand migrant workers, and over 40 thousand families in Taipei hire foreign helpers to take care of their families. Although the migrant workers only take care of the families, they have also brought us many multicultural values that arouse interest in our main society. The Southeast Asian fashion, food, festivals, and even their poems have further enriched the Taiwanese culture.

       In order for citizens to improve their understanding of these varied cultures, the Taipei City Foreign and Disabled Labor Office (FD) is holding a series of “Southeast Asia Events” from June to August. By offering literature seminars and multicultural experiences, the public may communicate with people from various cultures and learn from different ethnic groups.

       The series of events began with three literature seminars held on June 8, 15, and 22 (Sat). Starting with the winning poems of the Taiwan Literature Award for Migrants, the public was invited to hear from the observation given by writers and social movement activists in order to further understand and participate in issues regarding migrant workers. Famous writers, such as Vivian Lee and Liao Yun-chang, were invited to host the seminar. Anny Ting, an instructor from Indonesia who has worked in Taiwan for many years; Kevin Chen, an activist always concerned for migrant workers issues and the founder of One-Forty – a migrant education and culture association; and Chen Tung-chih, 2019 Migrant Worker Film Festival organizer were invited to share their personal observations and experience. They explored the topic on how the migrant workers interact with Taiwan and how they think about us from a wide-angle perspective.

       Other than trying to know about migrant workers from reading, it is also possible to explore from their holiday life. Taipei City has become a multicultural center on holiday. We can find Southeast Asians in almost every corner on the street. The FD has arranged various events according to the highest number of migrant workers in Taipei City, which are Indonesian, Vietnamese, and Filipinos. An Indonesian Flash Party for the Eid al-Fitr on June 9, a Field Trip for Filipinos on July 28, and a Vietnamese Light Cuisine Cooking Event on August 25 will be held in order for the Taiwanese public to explore and share the daily lives and food of the migrant workers during the holiday while experiencing the multicultural development. The public living in a multicultural environment can see from the perspective of the migrant workers in order to understand Southeast-Asian culture, and also improve our international vision.

       The Southeast Asian Events registration began one week ago for the Taiwan public to join for free on the official website. Details of the event and register URL are also posted on the fan page “Join hands at Taipei” of The FD. The public may also scan the QR code on the poster to visit the registration page. The FD wishes the public may further understand the Southeast-Asian culture in order to understand the migrant workers while further understanding ourselves and Taiwan in the events. We hope to build a multicultural city with respect and understanding. For activities-related info, please call the Foreign Worker Counseling Section of the FD on (02)2338-1600 ext. 4212.