Spotlight on new immigrants in singing contest

10/29/2014 08:04 PM
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Taipei, Oct. 25 (CNA) Around 40 immigrants to Taiwan gathered Saturday in New Taipei City to vie for the title of best singer and raise public awareness of Taiwan's "new immigrants."

The term refers to the more than 400,000 foreign nationals, mostly from China and Southeast Asia, who have settled in the country after marrying Taiwanese spouses. Many give up their citizenship of birth in order to immigrate.

They often face cultural and linguistic barriers in blending in and raising children, obstacles the government has tried to help them and society at large overcome together.

The competition, organized by Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu, saw most contestants choose Mandarin or even Taiwanese-language songs to impress the judges.

Hung said she hopes the contest will help new immigrants find a way to be more involved in local people's daily lives, and she urged the general public to pay greater attention to helping them improve their social status.

Singaporean Chen Mei-ying, who was a runner-up in last year's event after participating for four years, said the contest has become more competitive over the years.

An woman who immigrated from Thailand 14 years ago and goes by the Chinese name Chang Yi-ya said she was very nervous since it was her first time on stage at such an event.

She modestly gave herself a score of just 50 points for her rendition of the Mandarin pop song "Heart's Rain."

(By Tseng Ying-yu and Lee Hsin-Yin)ENDITEM/WH

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