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Taiwan ingredients make int'l dishes at NIA cooking contest

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The National Immigration Agency (NIA) yesterday held a cooking and native language singing contest in New Taipei City to celebrate the varied and unique cultures brought in by new immigrants.

A total of 15 teams joined the competition with participants from China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines and Myanmar, according to the NIA. They used their creativeness to combine local ingredients into dishes from their native countries.

Hsieh Li-kung (謝立功), director-general of the NIA, said that new immigrant families have become a key component of society and the agency has been promoting the idea of respecting different cultures through numerous measures.

Hsieh said that the NIA also helped cultivate teachers to help children of the new immigrants with their native languages, hoping they might one day become representatives of Taiwan in negotiating trade pacts with other countries.

Deputy Minister of the Interior Jonathan Chen (陳純敬) said that the number of international marriages has increased gradually in recent years, which leads to a growing number of new immigrants in Taiwan.

Chen said that the new immigrants joining Taiwan's society have increased our diversity.

“The increasing number of new immigrants also allows the government to adjust its policies and establish more native language lessons for children of new immigrants as they are critical resource for Taiwan,” said Chen.

New Taipei City's Deputy Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) said that there are currently 93,000 new immigrants living in New Taipei City, which tops the number of new immigrants in any other area of Taiwan.

Hou said that the new immigrants contribute greater diversity to Taiwan's society, which allows more Taiwanese people to respect and understand different cultures.

The NIA said that a team with four Vietnamese new immigrants from Taitung took the third spot in the cooking contest with a garden cheese pizza called “As Eastern dishes meet Western food.”

Three new Indonesian immigrants teamed up with a new immigrant from Thailand and claimed second place in the contest with the dish “You have me in you,” the NIA said.

According to the NIA, the team that was awarded first place in the contest was a team with three Vietnamese new immigrants from Kaohsiung with their winning dish “Soft heart.”

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Director-General of the National Immigration Agency Hsieh Li-kung (謝立功), fifth right, Deputy Minister of the Interior Jonathan Chen (陳純敬), third right, and New Taipei City's Deputy Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), first right, pose together in the cooking contest for new immigrants in New Taipei City, yesterday.

(CNA)

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