Taiwan will hold a 9-part series, including film screenings and tea-tasting ceremonies, at an upcoming international cultural week celebrating foreign food traditions in Paris.
The opening event of the Semaine des Cultures Etrangeres a Paris will be a tea party titled Fete de Bubble Tea on Sept. 19. Visitors to the event will be able to learn about the tea-based drink's illustrious history and its subsequent conquering of the Western sphere, enjoy a fashion catwalk by Taiwanese designer Sophie Hong (洪麗芬), and munch on a bowl of fried rice noodles.
The tea party will be followed by a film night on Sept. 22. Led by French film scholars Neri Corrado and Gwannael Gaffric, the screenings will offer three films that represent a different facet of Taiwan's food culture — "Eat Drink Man Woman” (飲食男女), a 1994 family drama by Ang Lee that portrays shifting traditions and values; "Let It Be” (無米樂), a 2004 documentary that captures the relentless optimism of Taiwan's aging farmers despite their dwindling numbers; and "Zone Pro Site” (總舖師),a blockbuster from last year that serves up Taiwanese-style comedy and food.
On Sept. 25, Taiwanese tea will be pitted against French red wine in a friendly discussion of cuisine preferences and the cultural relevance of food. The discussion on "terroir” — the special characteristics of a particular region — will be led by Jean-Robert Pitte, head of France's national wine academy, and Taiwanese food writer Hsieh Chung-tao (謝忠道).
The combination of food and performing arts will once again be served on Sept. 26 and 27, when visitors are invited to sip hot oolong tea and sample complimentary snacks while performers reinterpret Taiwan's tea culture through theater and dance.
The last two Taiwan-centric events that will wound up the cultural week in Paris are a seminar on food-inspired literature on Sept. 30, and a seminar on Taiwan's taike culture titled "Kitsch, Tofu & Rock'n'Roll” that falls on Oct. 1.
9/19 - Fete de Bubble Tea
9/22 - "Eat Food Man Woman”
9/23 - "Zone Pro Site”
9/24 - "Let It Be”
9/25 - Terroirs et Gastronomie a Taiwan et en France
9/26 & 27 - Tea Party x Theater
9/27 - Tea Party x Dance
9/30 - Nourriture, Alcool et Politique dans la Litterature Taiwanaise
10/1 - Kitsch, Tofu & Rock'N'Roll