Friday, June 05, 2009

Cambodian wife opens restaurant in Taiwan with other foreign wives

What a great story from the China Post. I had written previously on meeting Cambodian women who had married Taiwanese men and it's nice to see some are doing well.

Foreign wives open takeout restaurant in Chiayi County

CHIAYI, Taiwan -- Eight foreign wives of Taiwanese in southern Chiayi County jointly opened a takeout restaurant yesterday, and had their wares touted by Chiayi Magistrate Chen Ming-wen.

The eight women — from Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia and China — opened the restaurant to sell mainly boxed lunches and meals of typical Southeast Asian fare and received assistance to set up their business from the county government's Department of Social Affairs.

To celebrate the restaurant's grand opening, the women staged a catwalk show in which they displayed the traditional national costumes of their respective countries.

They also introduced various ingredients used in preparing some traditional Southeast Asian foods, including lemongrass, coconut milk and prahoc — fermented fish paste that is unique to Cambodian cuisine.

After the show, they offered 50 boxed lunches to their neighbors at a complimentary price of NT$1 per box, touted by Chen. The lunch boxes sold out within minutes.

Chen said the takeout restaurant represents a new partnership between the local government and the county's “new residents.”

He noted that there are about 13,000 foreign spouses in Chiayi County, making the county the third largest administrative area in Taiwan in terms of the number of foreign spouses living there.

To improve services for these foreign spouses, he went on, the county government has since 2006 operated a foreign spouse service center, providing various kinds of help and advice.

He added that over the past four years, the county government has helped 1,351 foreign spouses to obtain motorcycle licenses, helped 29 to find jobs, helped three to acquire licenses to work as professional nurses, and helped eight to obtain licenses to work as chefs in Chinese restaurants.

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