The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

TASC Night Market uplifts Asian creators, artists

Performance+by+the+AAA+Fashion+Show+at+Main+Quad+on+Oct.+7.
Angel Saldivar
Performance by the AAA Fashion Show at Main Quad on Oct. 7.

The Taiwanese American Students Club hosted its annual Night Market in collaboration with the Asian American Cultural Center on Saturday. The night market was held in the Main Quad from 6-9 p.m. 

The event was promoted through TASC’s social media; however, most students reported knowing about the event from previous years, hearing about it from a friend or stumbling across it when walking through the Main Quad. 

“My friends came here last year with me,” said AJ Bernardo, sophomore in Engineering. “Last year we saw it all happening on the quad and we just joined in.”

There were booths dotted along the walkways of the Main Quad selling a variety of ready-to-eat Asian street foods, from popcorn chicken to Filipino cookies. Eventgoers lined up to buy tickets they could use at booths to trade for plates of food and drinks. 

“Something that I thought was really good was the braised pork over rice,” said Jennifer Gaw, senior in FAA. “I really like it.” 

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Sellers were invited to set up booths of merchandise all around the Main Quad as well. Some students reported attending the TASC Night Market to get a chance to buy merchandise from their favorite vendors. 

Tickets were not able to buy material items, but different products such as handmade jewelry, keychains or even crocheted stuffed animals were available for purchase. 

Lauren Moy, senior in LAS, was invited by TASC to have her own booth as a vendor. 

“I feel like most of my products are targeted towards Asian demographic because I import a lot of my items from Japan,” Moy said. “I feel like TASC is a pretty good place to sell it, since it’s where a lot of the Asian community comes together.”

A section of booths specifically for artists was set up at the TASC Night Market for vendors to showcase and sell their artwork in prints or any other art mediums. 

“The artist alley is really cool,” said Anya Polonsky, senior in LAS. “They’re doing stickers and prints and stuff, it’s really fun.” 

The Night Market was free for anyone to attend with various performances located by the Illini Union. The performances highlighted various Asian cultures and ranged from dance groups to martial arts, with viewers crowding all around to watch and cheer.

“We really enjoyed the dance shows and the taekwondo,” said Armani Chien, freshman in Engineering. “There were flying little wooden planks everywhere.”

The TASC Night Market aimed to foster a lively environment, with decorative lights along the Main Quad, crowds of people cheering while watching performances and hustling from booth to booth and music playing for the Main Quad to hear. Students said they enjoyed the energy and the atmosphere of the Night Market. 

“It’s really reminiscent of the night markets in China,” Moy said. “I really like how they incorporate the street food elements since it’s harder to find authentic Asian food on campus. I feel like it gives a little insight into what nightlife is in Asia.”

The TASC Night Market tried to provide a space in which the Asian community on campus could come together and enjoy aspects of their culture that aren’t as widely represented or accessible on campus. 

“There are lots of Asian people here, which is a nice vibe, and I feel like I see every Asian person I know here,” Bernardo said. “There are a lot of different cultures. It makes me feel accepted.” 

 

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Angel Saldivar, Assistant Photo Editor
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