Hawzah News Agency (Taipei, Taiwan) – Over 30,000 Muslims, mainly Indonesian migrant workers, packed the first floor of the Taipei Main Station, the main transport hub of Taiwan's capital, to share food, sing and embrace their culture with their compatriots.
Taipei Station Master Huang Jung-hua said an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 people gathered throughout the day at the station on the first Sunday after Ramadan to celebrate Eid al-Fitr.
The first day of Eid al-Fitr was actually last Wednesday, but because it was a weekday, the vast majority of Indonesian workers came to the station to celebrate on Sunday, as they have that day off work, Huang pointed out.
"To my understanding, migrant workers use Facebook to organize meet-ups with their friends at Taipei Main Station when they are in city because the station is spacious and air-conditioned, providing a suitable environment for them to socialize," Huang said.
Huang also stressed the importance of respecting all cultures and reminded Taiwanese passengers at the station to be understanding of their special occasion.
Meanwhile, a festival to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the Gemilang Idul Fitri 2019, which was organized by Taipei City's Department of Information and Tourism was also held in the city's Da'an Park that same day.
The festival hosted a market featuring products from Muslim communities around the world, in addition to Indonesian-themed performances and Muslim-themed outdoor lectures.
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je said in a speech at the festival that Taiwan has approximately 270,000 Indonesian migrant workers, including more than 30,000 who work in Taipei, mostly as caretakers looking after elderly citizens.
Speaking on ways to make the city more Muslim-friendly, Ko said he has already instructed Taipei's Department of Health to increase the number of Muslim-friendly hospitals, which includes prayer rooms and Halal-certified food.
According to Ministry of Labor statistics, there were 270,890 migrant workers from Indonesia in Taiwan as of the end of April. Indonesia has the highest Muslim population in the world.