On Saturday, Oct. 29, Case Western Reserve University’s Taiwanese American Student Association (TASA) hosted their second annual Night Market. The night market was modeled after the Shilin Night Market, the largest night market in Taipei, Taiwan. According to the group: “Night markets are open-air markets that shut down streets to present a huge variety of food, games and shopping in a vibrant and lively experience.” This event certainly embodied that idea.
Entering the Tinkham Veale University Center Ballroom, I was enchanted by the festive decorations and all the food on display. For $5, students could buy a “Passport to Taiwan: Shilin,” which gave them access to two samples of each option of street food available and the activities. It was money well spent. The Night Market offered samples of beef noodle soup, minced pork rice, popcorn chicken, hakka stir fry consisting of pork and squid, vegetarian dishes, taro and sesame peanut buns and Taiwan’s famous bubble tea. The food was excellent and very filling, and it was nice to try a wide array of foods that I had never even heard of before.
In the ballroom, there were various activities set up, including a photo booth, Diabolo YoYos, ring toss, sky lanterns and a merchandise table. I didn’t participate in these activities as I was too busy watching the performance groups, but people looked like they were having fun.
The first group to perform was the Case Juggling Club. Members of the group performed different juggling techniques, from juggling balls and bowling pins to the Diabolo YoYos. The group was entertaining to watch and I was impressed with their skills. Despite a couple of hiccups, it was clear the group had practiced, as they performed well.
Next was Urban Elementz, CWRU’s hip hop dance team. Although only four of their members could make the event, they still managed to hold their own, performing to popular and current music like Fifth Harmony’s “Work from Home” and Usher’s “No Limit.” While the group clearly had different skill levels, the performance was entertaining and showed the group’s capabilities.
The next performance was by Solstice, CWRU’s female a capella group. Out of all the performances, this one was the least impressionable of the three due to technical glitches with their microphones. The first song was “Ex’s and Oh’s” by Elle King. The lead singer had very impressive vocals and her voice drew me in right away. The group closed with “Shark in the Water” by V.V. Brown.
The final and main group of the night was Tim Be Told, a Christian contemporary group formed in Charlottesville, Virginia that combines pop, rock and soul. Their performance was unlike anything I expected. When the lead singer, Tim Ouyang, came on stage and announced he had food poisoning and might run off stage to vomit at any second, I was wary of what to expect. Turns out I had no reason to be worried. Tim Be Told performed a beautiful and soulful set that blew me away. Despite being sick, Ouyang had a powerful, soulful voice with an incredible range that rang out with emotion. The music drew me in, and I was a little irritated that many of the event’s attendees were talking and laughing instead of being quiet and listening to the amazing music being performed.
Overall, I enjoyed the Night Market. It introduced me to a wide array of Taiwanese food and activities, and I think it would be great for other groups to come to TASA’s Night Market to enjoy and learn more about the Taiwanese culture.
Event: TASA’s 2nd Annual Night Market: Shilin
Where: TVUC Ballrooms A and B
When: Saturday, Oct. 29, 6 p.m.
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars