In 1992, President Bush signed Act HR5572, which named May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. In 1999, Congress designated the second week in May as Taiwanese American Heritage Week to recognize the contributions of Taiwanese Americans.
Since the initiation of our Passport to Taiwan festival in 2002, it has become the largest outdoor Taiwanese American event in the entire United States. In New York, the event is viewed as the largest Asian American festival.
We are grateful for the ongoing support we have received over the years as we approach two decades of celebration. Thank you for your participation in the festival. Enjoy!
Passport to Taiwan Committee 2018
May 27th, 2018
Union Square North
17 St between Park Ave and Broadway
“Formosa,” meaning beautiful, is often used as another name for Taiwan as it evokes the natural beauty and heritage of Taiwan. Named after the beautiful island, Formosa Circus Arts tells the story of Taiwan by bringing together Eastern traditional acrobatics, juggling, dance, drama, street culture and theater arts in a unique contemporary circus experience.
Lion Dance by Edison Chinese School
Santaizi by Mid Jersey Chinese School
Diabolo by Fidelity Chinese School
A renowned stage performer and dance instructor from Taiwan. She has worked with Asian pop star an is the only one dance instructor appointed by Louis Vuitton in Asia. She is now working in “Dance with Me USA” with Maks & Val Chmerkovskiy and Tony Dovolani from dancing with the star!
A rising star in the Taiwanese community. His stage performances have been unique and greatly welcomed. His specialty is in translating the old popular songs with a new and different slant. He has also been involved in various nonprofit fundraisers and local services and has earned a praiseworthy reputation in the Taiwanese community.
Led by Taiwanese-American trombonist Peter Lin, is a jazz collective comprised of professional musicians in the NJ/NY area. For over 8 years, The Lintet has performed jazz standards and exciting originals at over 30 venues. Their most special and distinct characteristic is a recent CD "With Respect", which features jazz renditions of Taiwanese classics.
An acrobatic themed group founded in 2014 by young performers trained in stunts. The performance incorporates folk arts, juggling and dance with innovative techniques that transform into the modern day performance. Special body tricks that integrates music with visual senses will bring audiences get to view Taiwan from a new angle. The group was recently awarded as “The Outstanding Performance Group” for the city of Taichung.
This tasty beverage is a popular specialty in Taiwan that originated from its Hakka population. Comprised of roasted nuts, puffed rice and tea that are typically crushed in a mortar and pestle right before brewing, it's practically as satisfying as a protein shake.
Often seen in temples fairs, figurines made from steamed sticky rice and flour dough are not only artistically pleasant to watch but also can be eaten as treats. Traditionally figurines are made into characters from legendary stories but cartoon characters are more popular now.
Show your pride for Taiwan and raise awareness for Formosan Black Bear! The Bear has been voted as the most representative wildlife of Taiwan but severe exploitation and habitat degradation has resulted in large decline of their population.
Before medicine was highly developed, herbs were inserted into cloth bags and worn in the summertime to protect against of insects. As the custom developed, these bags gradually became more ornate and colorful including expressive needlework.
This is an art form with symbols. It is through the flying, dancing strokes of the characters that the calligrapher expresses a rhythm, a direction of energy, and an image of ink in motion.
Family name is important in Taiwan’s society. Find out how you would be called in Taiwan and write your family name and have the character made into a button!
Kuei is an integral part to the traditions in Taiwan that has the role of cake in the western world. They are mostly made with rice flour and combined either with sweet or savory fillings then pressed into shape in moulds with beautiful carvings.
Toys in earlier times were made from natural materials. Most utilize bamboo as they were readily available around Taiwan. Craftmaster will be demonstrating “Land Crackers”, “Bamboo Cicadas” and “Bamboo Tops” toys.
Funding for activities is sponsored by Department of Youth & Community Development, City of New York.
Potstickers, Fried Noodles, and BBQ Squid
Freshly pan-fried dumplings or potstickers are an everyday street food in Taiwan, as are pan-fried noodles with assorted additions. Large squid that's been marinated and grilled are cut to bite-size pieces for delicious snacking as well.
The Hakka people are a unique cultural group from China that have been in Taiwan since the 1600s, and comprise some 15-20% of Taiwan's current population. Its rustic food traditions play heavily into Taiwanese cuisine, including the prominent use of rich and offal cuts of pork and dried seafood.
Taiwanese pork sausages are similar to Cantonese lap cheong sausages, but they're a bit sweeter. You can often find them grilled up by street vendors and served on a stick. Or, served in a bag along with whole, raw garlic cloves—a great complement.
Gua Bao (Taiwanese Pork Buns)
The classic Taiwanese bao is an open-style bun with a red-braised slab of pork belly, showered with crushed peanuts, cilantro, and pickled mustard greens. It's an intense few bites of joy, and it's nickname is "Tiger Bites Pig" because its shape resembles a tiger biting into a meaty piece of swine.
O A Jian (Oyster Omelet)
A classic street food that has roots in China, this pancake includes oysters as well as starchy water that's poured into the pan, creating a clear jelly swirled in between the egg and oysters. It's topped off with sweet-and-savory tomato-based sauce.
O A Mi Suan (Thin Noodles with Oysters)
This delicious noodle soup has very fine wheat noodles that, when combined with broth, create a viscous texture in the soup. It's commonly served with oysters or tripe, and classic garnish include white pepper, black vinegar and cilantro.
Oden / Tian Bu La
Bite-sized fish cakes come in all shapes and colors in Taiwan, and they're sometimes served on a stick, shishkabob-style. A simple snack or topping for a noodle soup.
Dan Bing (Scallion Pancake with Egg)
A popular snack or breakfast food served up at street food stands in Taiwan, a scallion pancake is cooked with a fried egg attached to it on a griddle. The whole thing is rolled up and sliced, usually served with sauce on the side.
Zong ZI (Bamboo Tamale)[Bah-Tsang]
These packets of sticky rice are wrapped in large leaves such as that of the lotus, and they can be stuffed with an assortment of sweet or savory fillings, such as minced pork. It is a traditional dish of the Chinese holiday Duanwu Festival, or the Dragon Boat Festival.[Bah-Tsang]
These jade-green treats are made from glutinous starches and a leafy herb known as the Japanese Mugwort. It's considered a popular spring treat, and has sweet fillings such as red bean paste.
Red Tortoise Cake
These festive little cakes can be found throughout China, Southeast Asia and Taiwan. Made of a sticky rice starch skin and a sweet filling (such as peanut or bean paste), they're similar to mochi. But they're elaborately molded to resemble a tortoise's shell to signify longevity.
Lu Rou Fan (Minced Pork Sauce Over Rice)
This classic comfort food might be thought of as the Taiwanese equivalent to ragu sauce—a long-simmered stew of minced pork with soy sauce and five-spice that's served over rice.
Wai Gui (Savory Rice Pudding)
These bowls of solidified sticky rice flour are seasoned and topped with savory goodies like minced pork, egg and/or mushrooms. It's also known as a Rice Bowl Cake.
Ba Wan (Pork and Bamboo Dumplings)
This classic snack has a translucent dough made of sweet potato starch, and is stuffed with a savory minced pork and bamboo shoot filling. It can be fried or steamed, and is served with plenty of sauce. It's an example of old-fashioned Taiwanese street food, before wheat-based dumplings were introduced by mainlanders in the last century.
Blood Pudding Cake
This popular street food is made of a block of pig's blood pudding, which might sound intense, but is actually very mild in flavor. It's covered all over with crushed peanut powder and cilantro, and served on a stick, like a popsicle.
This street food tradition involves a bubbling broth to which any number of meats, veggies, noodles, tofu, fish balls and more are braised in nets. The broth is deeply flavorful from having braised so many things, ensuring that every morsel is delicious in short time.
This refreshing cold jelly is made from the seeds of a plant known as the awkeotsang creeping fig. It's lightly sweetened and popularly served with lime.
Ice Cream Crepe with Peanuts & Cilantro
Ice cream is rolled up into a freshly griddled pancake, or crepe, and topped with lots of crushed peanut powder and cilantro. It's a delicious dessert popularized at night market stands around Taiwan.
Bao Bing (Shaved Ice Dessert)
Patrons can choose their own topping combinations, including fresh fruit, sweetened red beans, tapioca pears, and sweet dumplings made of taro or sweet potato, to go with a bowl of shaved ice and a drizzle of sweetened condensed milk. It's Taiwan's version of a sundae.
This popular dessert is a relic of the Japanese occupation. Best enjoyed warm off the iron, cake batter is poured in a hot iron mold, similar to a Belgian waffle-maker, and filled with a sweet filling—often red bean paste or vanilla custard. In Japan, these cakes are known as imagawayaki, but in Taiwanese, they translate to "wheel cake."
Possibly Taiwan's most popular culinary export, Boba (or Bubble) Tea was invented in Taiwan in the 1980s and has quickly spread around the globe. It starts with bouncy tapioca balls that are dropped into the tea to slurp up with a big straw. Iced sweetened black tea with milk is classic, but the teas or juices that can be enjoyed with boba are limitless.
Food description provided by Cathy Erway. She is the author of The Food of Taiwan and has written for publications such as Saveur, PAPER magazine, and Serious Eats. She is the host of Heritage Radio Network’s “Eat Your Words” and co-founded the Hapa Kitchen Supper Club.
NY Office of Taiwan Tourism Bureau
Ministry of Transportation, Taiwan.
Thank you to the generosity of our amazing sponsors and donors for helping to make this festival possible.
Overseas Community Affairs Council, Taiwan
Taiwan Tourism Bureau, Taiwan
Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce of New York
Department of Youth and Community Development, City of New York
Lower Manhattan Cultural Council
Department of Cultural Affairs, City of New York
East West Bank
Gramercy Surgical Center
Starkes Gems, Inc.
Pasty Fang Chen
Patrick Chang Chen
Hong Tien Lai, DDS
Dr. Wang Kang-Lu’s Memorial Foundation, Inc
The Liou Foundation Inc
Wei, Wei & Co. LLP
Special Thanks to Taiwan Union Church for their help since 2002!