The International Night Market on Friday, September 5th at Bethlehem Park was themed “Asia in Palau”. The Asian region is the largest and most populous region in the world composed of a wide variety of ethnic groups and cultures. The highest ranking visitors to Palau are from the Asian Region: Japan, Republic of China – Taiwan, Mainland China, and Korea, respectively. Right here in Palau, many Asian ethnic groups including Filipinos, Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, and Bangladeshi have become part of our community. This prompted PVA to take a closer look at Asia: those coming to visit and those who are now settled and are part of Palau’s community.
As a means of “exploring” Asian Region through cuisines, PVA reached out to the various local restaurateurs to share the unique taste of Asia at the Bethlehem Park. Representing India was The Taj Palau: a very popular Indian restaurant that joined the Night Market for the very first time to share some of their specialties including Butter Chicken, Beef Curry and Vegetarian Curry. Representing a fusion of Japanese and European cuisines were: The Fisherman, Tomoko’s Kitchen, and the Red Rooster Café. The Filipino Community of Palau (TFCP) was also present to serve Filipino cuisine including local favorites of pork and beef kebabs.
These vendors were joined by our regular vendors selling local foods and Arts & Crafts. MJ Burger Hut is another regular vendor present to share their now famous roast pork and other Filipino delicacies. Most notable of the regular vendors was Kayangel State serving “Aho”, a flour and coconut porridge. A specialty of the State that is popular with the locals, it has gained a following with the tourists. As usual, the night market was a successful sharing of foods cultures made possible by all vendors present.
To complete the cultural exchange and exploration of “Asia in Palau”, the Bangladeshi Association, Inc. of Palau was on hand to share their culture through performing arts and fashion. The crowd was delighted with presentations of Bangali traditional and contemporary dance and flute performances. The group also shared Bangali fashion with a demonstration of the Panjabi – men’s traditional prayer dress, and the Tupi – traditional prayer cap. The crowed was also enchanted by the presentation of Bangali women’s fashion by Mrs. Mosammat J. Azad demonstrating the Buka or traditional dress worn by married women and Ms. Morseda who demonstrated the use of the Sari. The Sari is actually an 18 feet long material that is fashionably wrapped around a woman’s body to form a dress. Ms. Helen Gulibert was the lucky member of the audience who was chosen to be part of this demonstration.
Approximately 700 locals and tourist enjoyed a night of cultural exploration and discovery that is the underlying theme of all Night Markets. PVA extends its appreciation to all of the vendors who joined on this night making the event a true cultural exchange. Appreciation is also extended to the Bangladeshi Association, Inc. of Palau for their part in sharing a bit about Bangladeshi culture. The next Night Market, through special arrangements with US Embassy Koror, is on Tuesday, September 16, 2014. Please call PVA at (680) 488-2793/1930 for information on vendor registration and program.
Ms. Morseda in a Sari, Ms. Helen Gulibert – Palauan Sari model, and Mrs. Mosammat J. Azad in a Buka.