If you only had one day off a month or even less, what would you do during that precious time?
To give migrant workers a platform to share their expertise in other fields, One-Forty, an NGO dedicated to helping migrant workers, held a “Dessert Reading Party” (閱讀甜點派對) on April 25.
On that occasion, Umy, an Indonesian novelist and Taiwanese French dessert chef Huang-jie (黃偈) shared with the public the fun of making these exotic desserts.
Migrant-worker-turned-novelist Umy taught participants how to make the Southeast Asian-style classic dessert Klepon (爆漿斑蘭椰絲球) — a sweet that symbolizes “unity” in Indonesia.
“It’s a dessert for everyone to enjoy together and have fun,” Umy said.
Umy also taught the participants to recreate a delicious Southeast Asian style shaved ice with a variety of fruits and some condensed milk as a topping, which provides a sweet and sour taste perfect to cool off the summer heat.
After the effort put into making these pastries, the participants enjoyed a soothing experience as they taste the authentic Southeast Asian dessert while reading a poem written by Umy.
動手做甜點的環節結束後，Umy分享在台灣工作的點滴，她從1999 年開始出國工作，曾經在新加坡、香港以及台灣闖蕩。這些年來，她將不同地方的生活經驗，書寫成小說，並在 2003 年出版了他的第一本著作《Genderang Cinta Nia（妮雅的愛鼓）》。
After the DIY session, Umy shared her experience as a migrant worker traveling in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan since 1999.
Over the years, she has transcribed her experience into pages of wonders and published her first book “Genderang Cinta Nia” (妮雅的愛鼓) in 2003.
She shared the struggles of working far away from home, being subjected to long working hours, and having to deal with discrimination.
However, She said the hardest part of all was to be separated from her family for a long time and unable to go home to take care of her children.
Migrant workers have been an indispensable part of the labor force vital to keeping Taiwan’s industries alive, even though that doesn’t stop them from being exploited and deprived of their vacations, many of them still managed to make the most out of their free time.
In the 1/40 a month of free time, these Southeast Asian friends were able to strip away their identity as a worker and let their talents shine through. Among them, some are novelists, some are band musicians, and some are preparing to start up their own businesses.
「閱讀甜點派對」是系列倡議行動「四十分之一的時刻」活動之一，活動橫跨 4-6 月，期待轉變民眾對移工族群的刻板印象，並給他們一個舞台展現自己的才華和多元身份。
The “Dessert Reading Party” is a part of the initiative “Your Shining Moment,” which is held between April to June with a series of events designed to flip stereotypes imposed on migrant workers and show their diverse talent and identities.