March 16, 2022
Markham, ON – Today marks the 100-Days Countdown of two important events coming to the City of Markham in June. To commemorate the great moment, organizers of the two events team up to present the Hakka theme shows at the Taste of Asia. The Hakka theme is to celebrate Canada’s first-ever World Hakka Conference being held in Markham.
Due to the pandemic, the Taste of Asia in 2020 and 2021 were held virtually. While the audience was able to watch the Asian cultural performances at home, they missed the opportunities of tasting the delicious Asian food. With all the Covid restrictions being lifted, the 20th Taste of Asia is coming back to the streets of Markham.
“With the high vaccination rate and the slowdown of the virus, we are happy to welcome people back to the streets of Markham and enjoy the tasty Asian food,” said Dr. Ken Ng, Chairman of the Federation of Chinese Canadians in Markham and the organizer of Taste of Asia. “What makes this year more special is the participation by the overseas Hakka delegates who are here to attend the World Hakka Conference. It is the first-ever international Hakka event in Canada and the City of Markham is the first Canadian hosting city.”
Dr. Ken Ng (2nd right) announced that Taste of Asia is teaming up with World Hakka Conference to present Hakka theme cultural shows.
The 20th Taste of Asia and the 31st World Hakka Conference will be held simultaneously from June 24 to 26, 2022 in Markham, Ontario. On the June 24 opening night, Taste of Asia will present the Hakka theme show. Delegates of the World Hakka Conference will join the show after the Welcoming Dinner at the WHC venue, the Hilton Suites Markham Convention Centre.
The World Hakka Conference is an event attended by thousands of Hakkas from around the world. In the 50 years history of the World Hakka Conference, it is only the third time that the event comes to North America, the previous two was held at San Francisco in 1978 and 1988.
“Canada is the model of multiculturalism and Markham is the capital of Hakka,” said Regional Counillor Joe Li, who led a delegation to the 2017 World Hakka Conference and won the bid to bring the event to Markham. “Our event theme is Hakka Reunion World Harmony, the support from FCCM and Dr. Ng is a strong statement of our theme.”
A major difference of this World Hakka Conference with the previous ones is the focus on the Hakka youth. The scholarship initiative announced in November 2021 has generated a lot of interests among the young Hakkas about their heritage and the Hakka culture. Therefore, organizer of the WHC, the Hakka Canadian Association, offers the young Hakka the opportunity to join the event at a discounted price.
“For those who are 25 years of age or younger, they will be categorized as a Youth Delegate and their registration fee is $100,” said RC Li. “Financial stress is a common reason for young people hesitating about joining an event that is of their interest. They would opt to be a volunteer. By lowering their fee, they can join the event as a delegate. This will give them a great opportunity to learn the Hakka culture in depth.”
Regional Councillor Joe Li announced the Youth Delegate category for the Hakka youth to join the WHC at a lower fee.
Application to the scholarship is closed at the end of February. The judging panel is reviewing the submissions from 30 outstanding students of Hakka heritage to pick the 5 winners of the scholarship. Winners will receive $5000 each. The total of the scholarship offer is $25,000.
“The applicants are all top students with great achievements in academic and extracurricular activities. They have great insights in their experience of learning and promoting Hakka culture,” said Sandra Tam, the Chair of the Scholarship Judging Panel. “In an English and French speaking environment like Canada, the Hakka youth will lose touch to their heritage. This Hakka event and the local Hakka communities are important to the continuance of the Hakka culture among the young generations.”
The scholarship applications review, and selection process will be finished by the end of March and the winners will be notified in April.
From left: Andy Taylor, CAO of City of Markham, Dr. Ken Ng, RC Joe Li and Sandra Tam.