Monday, December 21, 2015

Polish Christmas in Taiwan

For many years there was a tradition of a Christmas dinner for Polish people in Taiwan. It was always nice to see some new faces and share the Christmas atmosphere with others. 
We were always meeting at Fujen Catholic University where after the Mass everybody would enjoy some traditional Polish food made by Polish nuns and Polish families. It was a wonderful occasion to catch up with some people that we haven't seen for the whole year.
Our family has participated in many Christmas dinners like that. As you can see, the picture below is from 13 years ago. On the table on the right you can see one month old Jaś in a car seat, and the girl in front next to the Polish nun, is five year old Zosia.


Unfortunately this tradition has come to an end three years ago. The Polonia in Taiwan has grown a lot and has outgrown the small space at Fujen, There were also other reasons, but let's not mention them here. 
Three years ago I and another Polish friend organised the Wigilia by ourselves. We invited only those who we knew personally, ordered food, rented big space and prepared everything for over 80 people. Of course not everyone was happy with that as not everybody was invited. 
Afterwards there was a two years long break - there was no Wigilia for Polonia in Taiwan for two years! Until this year!

Thanks to the new Director of the Polish Representative Office, Mr. Maciej Gaca, the tradition is back! 
Yesterday we had our Christmas get-together in Taipei. Many Poles with Taiwanese families came from all over Taiwan to take part in this Polish Wigilia. 

But first ... there was a Polish Mass.



In the church kids had a short rehearsal of the Polish Christmas carols that they were to sing at the reception:

  
At the hotel we were welcomed by this poster leading us to the reception:


First was the "official part" of the reception, short welcome note by the Director Gaca and a few words of wisdom from Father Leszek:

(photo by WBH)

(photo by WBH)
Kids sang some Christmas carols on a small stage:


(photo by WBH)
And Jaś, as always, played on saxophone:


(photo by WBH)
 The Director and one of my friends also played a few "kolędy":

(photo by WBH)
And it was time to share "opłatek".

(photo by WBH)

(photo by WBH)

The food was prepared by the hotel and some people also brought their dishes to share. 
The overall atmosphere was great. Everybody got a chance to chat with each other and met quite a few new Polish friends, many new young mixed couples. 

(photo by WBH)
I think that everybody had a great time and I do hope that next year the tradition will continue. 

3 comments:

  1. This is so amazing! It is easy to cultivate tradition in places like Chicago, where there's such a large Polish community, but in Taiwan...! I am very impressed! You are doing a wonderful job! Wesołych Świąt!

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  2. Dorotko! u nas przedświąteczne zamieszanie chorobowo - szpitalne - stąd brak mojej obecności tutaj. A tak przyjemnie jest popatrzeć na te zdjęcia, na to, że gdzieś tam daleko są Polacy- razem.
    Dla całej Waszej rodziny - najlepsze życzenia! Oby w Waszych sercach trwała radość i spokój - takich Was pamiętam

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