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Taiwan celebrates friendship with India at Diwali celebration

Foreign minister embraces Indian migrants, welcomes them to consider Taiwan as their second home

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Foreign Minister Joseph Wu attends Diwali celebration on Nov. 24, 2023. (Indians in Taiwan - IiT photo)

Foreign Minister Joseph Wu attends Diwali celebration on Nov. 24, 2023. (Indians in Taiwan - IiT photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Foreign Minister Joseph Wu welcomed Indians to Taiwan at the Diwali celebration hosted by the Taipei Indian Music Center at the Taipei Guest House on Friday (Nov. 24).

As part of the Taiwan government’s efforts to promote diversity and support migrants, Wu said that he hoped more Indians would visit Taiwan, and welcomed them to consider Taiwan as their second home, according to a press release. He thanked India for its continued support and friendship, and declared "I love India.”

Minister Wu thanked Jeffery Wu, founder of the Taipei India Music Center, and Dr. Priya Lalwani Purswaney, founder of Indians in Taiwan - IiT, for organizing the Diwali celebration for the fourth consecutive year. Over the past decade, both individuals have worked hard to promote Indian culture and understanding in Taiwan.

Taiwan celebrates friendship with India at Diwali celebrationDiwali celebration at Taipei Indian Music Center on Nov. 24, 2023. (Indians in Taiwan - IiT photo)

Minister Wu recognized Taiwan and India’s growing relationship in recent years, with bilateral trade rising to a record US$8.4 billion in 2022. There are also over 3,000 Indian students studying in Taiwan, including 300 postgraduate research scholars.

The Diwali, or “Festival of Lights,” celebration showcased traditional dance and music performances, cuisine, and other displays of Indian culture. Though the main date of celebration was Nov. 12, events were spread out over the month to enable everyone to join in the festivities, Priya said.

The Nov. 24 event was attended by around 250 people, bringing together Taiwanese and the Indian community, including business professionals, think tank scholars, students, and members of cultural and civil society organizations. Speakers included Mr. Manharsinh Laxmanbhai Yadav, Director General of the India Taipei Association (ITA), Legislator Wu Yu-cing (吳玉琴), Chair of the Taiwan-India Parliamentary Friendship Association, and Jeffery Wu.

Taiwan celebrates friendship with India at Diwali celebrationDiwali celebration at Taipei Indian Music Center on Nov. 24, 2023. (Indians in Taiwan - IiT photo)

Director General Yadav said the event symbolized “Taiwan's respect for and embrace of diverse cultures.” He emphasized the important role that the Indian community played in Taiwan's economic development and the potential for future collaboration in high-tech fields.

Legislator Wu acknowledged that some recent reactions to the MoU on Indian migrant workers have been negative, but she emphasized the value of Taiwan-India exchanges. She added that after coming to Taiwan, Indian friends would soon realize Taiwan's kind and hospitable environment.

Jeffery Wu thanked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) for its efforts to advance Taiwan-India relations over the past two decades, and for sponsoring the Diwali celebration.

Taiwan celebrates friendship with India at Diwali celebrationDiwali celebration at Taipei Indian Music Center on Nov. 24, 2023. (Indians in Taiwan - IiT photo)

Responding to a congratulatory message from President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on X (Twitter), Indians in Taiwan - IiT wrote, “Thank you President @iingwen. Here in Taiwan we celebrate Diwali the whole month. Every weekend from Nov. 5, we have had a Diwali event on the island. The last one will be on Nov. 26 at MCUT.” “The first one by @ita_taipei on Nov. 5 kicked off the festive season with amazing fireworks, & the MOFA event on Nov. 24 brings us to a fitting climax at this historic venue,” it added.

For those who missed past events or want to attend more, there is one last Diwali celebration at Ming Chi University of Technology (MCUT) on Sunday (Nov. 26) between 5 - 8 p.m., featuring cultural performances, food, and an open garba. Event details at this link.