Jade Night Market continues to flourish

Why a night market? Read this story and discover the cultural tradition that brings thousands to an outer East Portland event. The last one this year is on August 26 …

The sidewalks of Portland Community College Southeast Campus teem with visitors at the 2017 Jade International Night Market.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

The idea of holding a “night market” arose from community surveys taken by the nascent Jade District Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative district several years ago.

Their first such markets, held at the Fubon Center, were so successful that organizers looked for a more spacious area in which to hold more night markets, and last year, they chose Portland Community College Southeast Campus (PCC), at SE 82nd Avenue of Roses and Division Street.

Market stalls are set up, lining the major walkways on the PCC campus.

The first of two 2017 Jade International Night Market sessions, held August 19, attracted record crowds said co-organizers Nanette Tran and Rosalind Hui, of the Portland Chinese Times, and members of the Jade District Steering Committee.

“It does take a lot of effort to put this on, but it is worthwhile because the Jade District is such a diverse community that it’s difficult to get people together,” said Hui.

This festival celebrates the diversity of the Jade District, co-organizer Rosalind Hui says.

“But here, you see everybody, as we celebrate the different cultures – on the entertainment stage, with our food, and with all of our vendors,” Hui told East Portland News.

More than 80 companies and organizations support the event, from sellers of prepared foods and goods, to nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies.

Celebrating the modern culture of India, the Bollywood Dream dancers, with DJ Prashant spinning the music, gets the crowd up and dancing.

About the night market tradition
“The [concept of a] ‘night market’ actually originates from Southeast Asian countries,” Hui explained. “There, it’s so hot during the day, much like it has been here this summer,” Hui continued. “So when nighttime comes and the sun goes down, it cools off and people want to go out, enjoy the outdoors, go shopping, and see entertainment.

Nep barbecues pork skewers, Cambodian style.

Enticing aromas fill the air, drawing visitors to the Jade Night Market’s food court.

“And, food is very important part of Southeast Asian culture,” Hui went on. “Just like in those markets where ‘street food’ is plentiful on the streets, so it is here, as well.”

Among the local restaurants present to cook and serve food this year were Ocean City Seafood Restaurant, Abuela Chona, Bobablastic, and Obon.

In all, Hui said, about 80 volunteers have been working to put the two Saturday evening night markets in August.

Karen people vendors with Outgrowing Hunger sell their fresh vegetables at the market.

The Dance Orientale demonstration by Megan Kelly brings up dozens of youngsters on stage to dance with her.

The Jade District Night Market returns one more time this year on August 26, from 5:00 until 10:00 p.m. where it will again celebrate and recognize the diversity and culture of the communities who live and work in the Jade District.

It takes place at Portland Community College Southeast Campus, located at 2305 SE 82nd Avenue of Roses, 97216 (actually, it’s mostly along the SE Division Street side of the campus). For more information, CLICK HERE.

The rhythmic beat of the music gets the audience up on its feet and dancing.

>> On our Front Page: Guixong Liao demonstrates calligraphy in the Jasmine Gift Shop booth.

© 2017 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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