“Passport to Taiwan” Festival Celebrates Taiwanese American Heritage

Since the initiation of the “Passport to Taiwan” festival in 2002, it has become the most important event for the Taiwanese American and the Mandarin Speaking community in the New York Tri-State area.  Tremendous resources have been gathered in order to make the event successful. The festival has since become the largest outdoor Taiwanese event in the entire United States.  We were there to help out at the Performers Table on Sunday May 13th at Union Square and had an amazing time at the festival celebrating the event with more than 20,000 people through music, dance, arts and of course, the Taiwanese food!

Passport to Taiwan 2012

In 1999, Congress designated the second week in May as Taiwanese American Heritage Week to recognize the contributions of Taiwanese Americans. President Clinton later issued a proclamation to congratulate the Taiwanese American community. To answer the Congress for this generosity for the designation, Taiwanese American organizations throughout the US started a campaign to organize events to introduce Taiwan and Taiwanese Americans. New York answered this call with “Passport to Taiwan”, a festival that comprised of stage performances, delicacies, presentation of organizations/government agencies, arts & crafts, games & interactive area, children’s workshops and art installations from Taiwanese artists in NY. Since the initiation of “Passport to Taiwan” festival in 2002, the festival has since become the largest outdoor Taiwanese event in the entire United States.

Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried

At the “Passport to Taiwan” event each year, participants can sample local delicacies from in Taiwan, observe dough figurine makers and calligraphy masters at work in the arts & crafts area, learn about various organizations and agencies, play children’s games, learn about traditional Taiwanese toys in the interactive area, fold cranes in the kids workshop area, and learn more about Taiwan and Taiwanese Americans in the exhibition area.

Hu Nung Hsin's sushi performance. Photo by Corky Lee

Chin Chih Yang's Kill Me or Change Art Installation

This year, the organizer invited a few musicians including the Chairman band, Red Flower band and Dulan Mountain Theater from Taiwan to come and celebrate the event with all Taiwanese Americans in New York.

Chairman band and Red flower band

Besides the packed stage programs, attendees also got to enjoy some contemporary art installation and demonstration as well as traditional fork art presentation such as Oil Paint Hakka Paper Umbrellas & Hakka Ornamental , Dragon’s Beard Candy & Origami, Dough Figurines and Bamboo Cicadas/Bamboo weaving.

Bamboo weaving. Photo by Terry Lin

Of course, not to miss is the best of what Taiwan is known for: it’s delicious snacks and street market food!   The waiting line at every single food vendor was insane and people can’t stop eating these amazing food including Bamboo Tamale, Formosa Capellini, Crystal Meatball, Rice Tart, Oyster Pancake, Dracula Popsicle, Formosa Ragu over Rice, Hakka Delicacies,  and Taiwanese Shaved Ice.

Pork bun. Photo by Terry Lin

The Hsu-Nami

Three Sheet band

Eric Hsu of Johnny Hi-Fi

Alyson Schill and Andy Shaw (MC of the Passport to Taiwan 2012)

We had a lot of fun and can’t wait to see what the festival will showcase next year!  For more info, please visit: www.p2tw.org

with Isaiah Richardson Jr

AsianInNY Volunteers

With Third Prince

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