In recent months, the PVA Palauan and International Night Markets have grown to be one of the regular social events frequented by many locals. Interestingly, the Night Markets have taken a life of their own as represented in the different age groups and ethnicity, including our foreign guests or tourists, found at Bethlehem Park on any given night market. Some come for the cultural activities such as local dance performances, arts & crafts, dine on local and international cuisines, or just to socialize with family and friends while enjoying fresh and healthy local cuisines.
At the last International Night Market on September 5th featuring “Asia in Palau”, we witnessed several new trends. A couple from Austria, Barbara and Daniel, got the opportunity to learn more about Palau’s rich culture and history direct from the locals. The young couple are avid divers and this led them to learn about Palau’s pristine waters and bountiful marine life. Based on their research, they booked a 10 day trip to Palau that included 2 days in Koror and 7 days in Peleliu for diving.
Barbara and Daniel stopped by the International Night market on September 5th and shared a table with none other than Did ra Ngmatel Men’s Group headed by Adelbairekeseuaol Harry R. Fritz. Introductions were made all around the table and the group took it upon themselves to share with the couple, a verbal tour of Palau’s fresh local foods, rich culture and colorful history. Did ra Ngmatel Men’s Group is a regular presence at the night markets where they invite tourist from Japan, Taiwan, China, Korea, and others to sit with them ensuring that our tourists gain a deeper understanding of Palau. Add this “personal connection” to the pristine marine environment that the tourists come to see, surely they all return home with fond memories and a deeper appreciation of their visit to Palau.
Yet another interesting new trend is the presence of the whole family including young children at the night markets. Mr. Leonard “Gork” Basilius got home from work and knowing there will be a night market that evening, requested his daughter to get Jordan ready as they were going to enjoy live music at the night market. Knowing how crowded the events usually get, Gork brought his 1 year old grandson along with a spiffy tricycle in tow. The tricycle has a built-in handle for an adult to push and steer while a toddler sits back and enjoys the ride.
According to Gork, he wanted his grandson to experience the many activities available at the night markets including the traditional dance performances, live music, and other activities on the main stage. He says it is also an opportunity for his grandson to learn social skills by observing the many participants at the event. In an amused way, Gork also went on to mention that the night markets are now a regular family event where many local parents free their calendars on Friday nights ensuring the whole family attends the night markets for the chance to enjoy healthy local foods prepared fresh, local dance performances, and of course live music.
Trends like these go a long way in promoting Palau’s tourism products such as the Night Markets. It was truly a pleasure to observe Barbara and Daniel enjoying and learning from the Did ra Ngmatel Men’s Group. It was also a nice surprise to see Gork and Jordan bringing new innovation to our events. See you all at the next Night Market brought to you by PVA.
Did ra Ngmatel Men’s Group sharing Palauan culture with Barbara and Daniel from Austria.