Africa to meet indigenous Taiwan at multicultural celebration

Family friendly event in Taipei will feature multicultural music, dance performances, food, body art, live painting

(Tribez Asia photo)

(Tribez Asia photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — African and indigenous Taiwanese cultures will collide in a cornucopia of art, music, dance, food, and fun for the whole family when Ethnik Grounds brings the month to a close jungle-style at Taipei Cinema Park on Saturday, Nov. 30 from 3:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

The event is being organized by Tribez Asia, a Taiwan-based musical collective that counts among its ranks creatives from Taiwan, Canada, Haiti, Eswatini, Jamaica, and Morocco, in collaboration with the Taipei Multi-Art Community Space-Youth Development Foundation. Taipei Cinema Park was chosen not only for its convenient location, an eight-minute walk from Ximen MRT Station, but also for its regular promotion of art and young talent in the capital.

According to the Moroccan member of the group, Mariame, the goal is to conjure up a "tribal feel" akin to that of many cultures found throughout Africa as well as Taiwan. She said that native peoples of both share cultural values such as hospitality and respect for elders and place importance on taking care of one another and celebrating as a community through food, music, and dance.

As a long-term expat in Taiwan, Mariame said she sees the event as an opportunity to "give back." She added that everyone involved is excited about the collaboration and that "There is something coming from every section of the event."

Ethnik Grounds has thus far secured the talents of African and Taiwanese dancers, a Guinean percussionist, and Tribez Asia's own DJs, who will contribute to the ambience with their signature brand of African and Caribbean-infused beats.

Also on the scene will be an African hairstylist and Taiwanese artist Iverson Rangi Haisul XIV, a member of the Truku tribe, who will create a live 3D wall painting. A.body painter will also be there to adorn the skin of a model, demonstrating that body paint can also be a means of artistic and cultural expression.

Foodies should come hungry, as Moroccan and Gambian dishes will be waiting to tempt their taste buds. Those in the market for handcrafted souvenirs will likewise not be let down.

Mariame emphasized that while Ethnik Grounds will feature elements of both African and indigenous Taiwanese traditions, the showcase is not meant to be exhaustive, as both the African continent and island of Taiwan are home to many rich, diverse traditions. She said the group is doing its best to present aspects of the cultures at hand while encouraging artists to explore cultural fusion "as long as it comes along with a respect for their own culture."

In keeping with the tribal spirit, as visitors wander through the sights, sounds, and tastes of the "jungle," they will also get the chance to become a part of the festivities themselves. The organizers invite everyone to join in the dancing and experience the multicultural grooves firsthand.

Visit the event's Facebook page for more information.

Taiwanese 3D painter Iverson Rangi Haisul XIV (Tribez Asia photo)

(Tribez Asia photo)

Dancer Linci (Tribez Asia photo)