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September 22, 2023

Hundreds attend annual Night Market fundraiser

By ALEX DRAGONE | April 16, 2015

Students gathered in the Mattin Courtyard on Saturday from 3 to 6 p.m. to get a taste of Taiwanese food and culture at the annual Night Market event, which was jointly hosted by the Taiwanese American Students Association (TASA) and the Taiwanese Student Association (TSA), an organization made up primarily of graduate students.

“We showcase the unique night market culture of Taiwan,” junior Eric Ong, co-president of TASA, said.

In order to gain access to TASA’s booths, students could buy one wristband for three dollars or two wristbands for five dollars. TSA’s booths only accepted cash.

The market featured a wide array of foods, games and performances, and it was organized by a mixture of on- and off-campus groups.

“TASA itself cooked a variety of different [dishes], including braised pork rice, scallion pancakes [and] fried chicken,” Ong said.

The Hong Kong Students Association (HKSA) and the Inter-Asian Council (IAC) also prepared food to sell at the event.

Junior April Lo siad that she tried a wide variety of food at the event. “Braised pork with rice, tofu noodles, bubble tea, more I don’t remember. My favorites were Hong Kong style custard tarts from IAC and HKSA’s fish balls. [I was] impressed IAC made the tarts themselves,” Lo wrote in an email to The News-Letter.

To replicate the energetic atmosphere of a Taiwanese night market, a variety of performance groups were invited to attend the event. Some of the groups, like Chinese Lion Dance, SLAM Hip Hop Dance Group and the Eclectics, were student associations.

Students could also participate in a number of games and activities, including sumo wrestling while wearing sumo costumes, fortune telling, ring toss, Nerf gun battling and Taiwanese costume cosplay.

“I very much enjoyed the SLAM performance and watching the fun with the sumo suits,” Lo wrote.

Ong credited two off-campus performers with bringing in large crowds.

“This year, with the help of IAC, we’re able to get two very prominent Asian-American music performers, Awkwafina and Dumbfoundead,” Ong said. “They dropped by Hopkins as part of their ‘Fresh off the Books’ tour. So they performed about an hour. It brought a lot of audience, not [just] Hopkins people, but people around Baltimore who were just fans of these two Asian performers. So we had a huge turnout.”

Other performers included student artist DJ ManBearPimp, and a group called 7th Grade Band.

“[7th Grade Band] is basically people in their thirties... They’re just a very small, local band,” Ong said.

The proceeds from purchases of TASA’s wristbands went to LOSHASA Charity, a Chinese and Taiwanese health charity.

“Their mission is to build a hospital in China to help people in rural areas,” Ong said. “And now in Taiwan they have dental clinics... Annually they go to one of the mountains in Taiwan and help aboriginal kids with their annual dental checkups. And they also visit the different orphanages in Taiwan.”

Ong estimated that over 900 people attended the three-hour-long event.

“It is a very huge success,” Ong said. “It is one of the most successful night market experiences in the three years I’ve been here. At least for TASA’s side, we had more than 560 people that came by, because of the wristband count. In total, we raised over $1,000 for LOSHASA Charity, which is a big increase from last year. Last year, we had about 440 people that came by, and we donated about $800. So this year we were very glad that, with all the events going on, we still had a huge turnout... TSA’s side had a pretty good turnout too, so I would say about 900 even.”

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