PVA Explores Asia in Palau

The International Night Market on Friday, September 5th at Bethlehem Park was themed “Asia in Palau”. The Asian region is the largest and most populous region in the world composed of a wide variety of ethnic groups and cultures. The highest ranking visitors to Palau are from the Asian Region: Japan, Republic of China – Taiwan, Mainland China, and Korea, respectively. Right here in Palau, many Asian ethnic groups including Filipinos, Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, and Bangladeshi have become part of our community. This prompted PVA to take a closer look at Asia: those coming to visit and those who are now settled and are part of Palau’s community.
As a means of “exploring” Asian Region through cuisines, PVA reached out to the various local restaurateurs to share the unique taste of Asia at the Bethlehem Park.   Representing India wasThe Taj Palau: a very popular Indian restaurant that joined the Night Market for the very first time to share some of their specialties including Butter Chicken, Beef Curry and Vegetarian Curry. Representing a fusion of Japanese and European cuisines were: The FishermanTomoko’s Kitchen, and the Red Rooster CafĂ©. The Filipino Community of Palau (TFCP) was also present to serve Filipino cuisine including local favorites of pork and beef kebabs.
These vendors were joined by our regular vendors selling local foods and Arts & Crafts. MJ Burger Hut is another regular vendor present to share their now famous roast pork and other Filipino delicacies. Most notable of the regular vendors was Kayangel State serving “Aho”, a flour and coconut porridge. A specialty of the State that is popular with the locals, it has gained a following with the tourists. As usual, the night market was a successful sharing of foods cultures made possible by all vendors present.
To complete the cultural exchange and exploration of “Asia in Palau”, the Bangladeshi Association, Inc. of Palau was on hand to share their culture through performing arts and fashion. The crowd was delighted with presentations of Bangali traditional and contemporary dance and flute performances. The group also shared Bangali fashion with a demonstration of the Panjabi – men’s traditional prayer dress, and the Tupi – traditional prayer cap. The crowed was also enchanted by the presentation of Bangali women’s fashion by Mrs. Mosammat J. Azad demonstrating the Buka or traditional dress worn by married women and Ms. Morseda who demonstrated the use of the Sari. The Sari is actually an 18 feet long material that is fashionably wrapped around a woman’s body to form a dress. Ms. Helen Gulibert was the lucky member of the audience who was chosen to be part of this demonstration.
Approximately 700 locals and tourist enjoyed a night of cultural exploration and discovery that is the underlying theme of all Night Markets.   PVA extends its appreciation to all of the vendors who joined on this night making the event a true cultural exchange. Appreciation is also extended to the Bangladeshi Association, Inc. of Palau for their part in sharing a bit about Bangladeshi culture. The next Night Market, through special arrangements with US Embassy Koror, is on Tuesday, September 16, 2014. Please call PVA at (680) 488-2793/1930 for information on vendor registration and program.
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Ms. Morseda in a Sari, Ms. Helen Gulibert – Palauan Sari model, and Mrs. Mosammat J. Azad in aBuka.


New Trends at PVA Night Markets

In recent months, the PVA Palauan and International Night Markets have grown to be one of the regular social events frequented by many locals.  Interestingly, the Night Markets have taken a life of their own as represented in the different age groups and ethnicity, including our foreign guests or tourists, found at Bethlehem Park on any given night market.  Some come for the cultural activities such as local dance performances, arts & crafts, dine on local and international cuisines, or just to socialize with family and friends while enjoying fresh and healthy local cuisines.

At the last International Night Market on September 5th featuring “Asia in Palau”, we witnessed several new trends.  A couple from Austria, Barbara and Daniel, got the opportunity to learn more about Palau’s rich culture and history direct from the locals.  The young couple are avid divers and this led them to learn about Palau’s pristine waters and bountiful marine life.  Based on their research, they booked a 10 day trip to Palau that included 2 days in Koror and 7 days in Peleliu for diving.

Barbara and Daniel stopped by the International Night market on September 5th and shared a table with none other than Did ra Ngmatel Men’s Group headed by Adelbairekeseuaol Harry R. Fritz.  Introductions were made all around the table and the group took it upon themselves to share with the couple, a verbal tour of Palau’s fresh local foods, rich culture and colorful history.  Did ra Ngmatel Men’s Group is a regular presence at the night markets where they invite tourist from Japan, Taiwan, China, Korea, and others to sit with them ensuring that our tourists gain a deeper understanding of Palau.  Add this “personal connection” to the pristine marine environment that the tourists come to see, surely they all return home with fond memories and a deeper appreciation of their visit to Palau. 

Yet another interesting new trend is the presence of the whole family including young children at the night markets.  Mr. Leonard “Gork” Basilius got home from work and knowing there will be a night market that evening, requested his daughter to get Jordan ready as they were going to enjoy live music at the night market.  Knowing how crowded the events usually get, Gork brought his 1 year old grandson along with a spiffy tricycle in tow.  The tricycle has a built-in handle for an adult to push and steer while a toddler sits back and enjoys the ride.

According to Gork, he wanted his grandson to experience the many activities available at the night markets including the traditional dance performances, live music, and other activities on the main stage.  He says it is also an opportunity for his grandson to learn social skills by observing the many participants at the event.  In an amused way, Gork also went on to mention that the night markets are now a regular family event where many local parents free their calendars on Friday nights ensuring the whole family attends the night markets for the chance to enjoy healthy local foods prepared fresh, local dance performances, and of course live music. 

Trends like these go a long way in promoting Palau’s tourism products such as the Night Markets.  It was truly a pleasure to observe Barbara and Daniel enjoying and learning from the Did ra Ngmatel Men’s Group.  It was also a nice surprise to see Gork and Jordan bringing new innovation to our events.  See you all at the next Night Market brought to you by PVA.

Did ra Ngmatel Men’s Group sharing Palauan culture with Barbara and Daniel from Austria.

Gork and grandson Jordan enjoying International Night Market.

The Path to Palau

For those who happen to be Survivor fans, there is no need to introduce the incredible destination of Palau. Consistently ranked as one of the world's best dive destinations, Palau is the ultimate paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and adventurous travelers.