Texas TASA’s Night Market Brings Taiwan to UT

Texas Taiwanese American Students Association (TASA)’s Night Market is an annual event, aimed at replicating Taiwan’s iconic night markets. Through food, performances and games, Texas TASA gives students a chance to experience Taiwanese culture.

Story by Stephanie Adeline

Photos by Sarah Holdeman

On Oct. 21, Texas TASA hosted its 14th Annual Night Market at the University of Texas at Austin’s Main Mall. Visitors walked around the Main Mall to play games and talk to student organizations in order to obtain stamps, which they could exchange for food or raffle tickets. “We tried to base it off of the actual Taiwanese night markets, where they sell food on the streets and have games and activities. We try to do like a screenshot of it here, bringing the culture here,” says Texas TASA’s VP Internal, Max Tang.

For food, the organization offered green onion pancakes, Taiwanese sausage, barbecue pork, broccoli beef, fried rice and noodles. They also sold beverages from Kung Fu Tea, along with TASA’s own homemade tapioca boba. Sweets were offered in the form of shaved ice, a popular Taiwanese dessert.

Students could entertain themselves by playing mahjong match, which incorporates mahjong tiles, a traditional Chinese board game. Other activities included Chinese yo-yo and one game that required players to pick up marbles using chopsticks.  Organizations such as the Asian Business Students Association, Alpha Sigma Rho and Texas China Care tabled and also provided other hands-on activities.

Though the event was hosted by Texas TASA, performances showcased other aspects of Asian culture.  The Austin Chinese Dance Company performed a classic Chinese dance. The Texas Dragon Dance Team energized the audience by interacting with students and approaching their tables throughout the dance. K-pop dance groups such as Korean Dance Crew and KSMK were also in attendance to show off their culture.                         

In addition to fall semester’s Night Market, Texas TASA hosts Taste of Taiwan every spring. The event is similar to Night Market, but focuses more on the unique qualities of each region in Taiwan.

Texas TASA also hosts social activities and provides a community-oriented environment for its members. “In TASA, I’ve met many of my closest friends. It’s sort of like a family for me,” Tang says.