By Abigail Roedersheimer
For The Diamondback

The University of Maryland’s Taiwanese American Student Association hosted its annual Night Market Saturday on McKeldin Mall to help immerse students in Taiwanese culture.

The market, which ran from 6 to 10 p.m., included traditional Taiwanese dance performances and food. Event attendees also played games, entered raffles and shopped for TASA merchandise.

Night markets — traditionally Southeast Asian or East Asian markets that include shopping and eating— are a “big part” of Taiwanese culture, according to Mandy Hsu, one of TASA’s presidents.

“We just hope that everyone enjoys it,” Hsu, a senior communication and marketing major, said. “It doesn’t look very accurate to the real thing, but it has a lot of the same essentials.”

The event had food and drinks from local businesses, such as Jumbo Jumbo Cafe and Gong Cha, alongside homemade food. The food included scallion pancakes, shaved ice and Taiwanese sausages.

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The Night Market also had eight performances, including dancing and singing.

Mari Ortega, a senior immersive media design major, is the president of this university’s GGWB — a dance group that performs dance covers from Asian pop music. The organization performs at the event nearly every year, Ortega said.

“It’s nice to see the artistry of other people in the community,” Ortega said. “[The Night Market] is one of our favorites.”

Like Ortega, Patricia Visoso, a GGWB member, said she enjoyed the Night Market — especially the visibility it receives from the campus community.

“A lot of the events we perform at, you have to get tickets for,” the junior cinema and media studies major said. “I have friends who don’t always have time, but they’re [able to] pass by and just watch the performance.”

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Planning for the event began in December, according to Hsu. Various TASA committees were created to plan different aspects of the event.

Despite the long hours put into the event, Annyee Foo, a freshman finance and marketing major and a TASA junior officer, said it is “really cool” that other students on campus can learn about Taiwanese culture from TASA events.

“Although it’s a lot of work to put together events, it’s really rewarding at the end to see how many people show up and just seeing people learn about Taiwanese culture,” Foo said.