Chicago community

Taiwanese Night Market Brings Food and Culture to Northwestern Students

A line of students left Louis Hall at Norris University Center on Sunday evening as community members gathered to enjoy food, games and decorations at the Taiwan American Student Association’s annual Taiwanese Night Market .

The event celebrates Taiwanese culture by simulating the country’s popular night markets that offer street food to bustling crowds. TASA aims to provide a space for NU students to congregate and experience the culture of the country.

Most night market food, which included tang yuan red bean soup, green onion patties, tea eggs and braised pork rice, was made by students. TASA also offered drinks like winter melon boba.

Medill sophomore Douglas Lee was excited to attend the event to eat traditional Taiwanese dishes that he usually enjoys with his family. A friend of his was involved in preparing the food, he added.

“I know she’s a really great cook, so I thought, ‘I have to come, I can’t miss this opportunity,'” Lee said. “It’s comparable to back home – it’s the best you’ll get in Evanston.”

In addition to food, TASA has hosted student performance organizations like Refresh Dance Crew and the Treblemakers, NU’s East Asian interest a capella group.

The club also provided a bingo board for attendees, which included actions such as eating different foods, meeting volunteers, decorating lanterns and taking pictures with the Taiwanese flag. Students who completed bingo were entered into a raffle to win prizes like a month of free drinks from Happy Lemon in Evanston.

Weinberg’s freshman, Amber Lueth, baked scallion pancakes in Shepard Hall’s communal kitchen. The recipe is simple and easy to prepare, Lueth said.

“It’s a fairly traditional Taiwanese dish, offered at many night markets all over Taiwan,” Lueth said. “(It has) a layered texture of the pancake instead of just being a flat, one-dimensional texture.”

Former TASA social chair and Weinberg senior Derek Wen said the club has been helpful to him in finding a community at NU. The club hosts bonding events throughout the year, like game nights and trips to Argyle, the Chicago neighborhood that has its own night market.

Wen said the club divided responsibilities for the event between cooking, transporting food and decorations, and event logistics. He added that he was satisfied with the attendance at the night market.

“(The event) was sort of meant to be a way to introduce the general Northwest community to different parts of Taiwanese culture,” Wen said.

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Twitter: @nicolejmarkus

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