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Happy Family Night Market is back with more food, art and education

Emma Orlow

Happy Family Night Market, a festival devoted to nuanced education on the Asian diaspora through food, film, art and culture is back in New York for a second year—moving from Bushwick's 99 Scott DIY events space to the Lower East Side's Abrons Arts Center. New York's "first and only pan-Asian cultural and culinary festival" will take place all-day Saturday, July 13thLast year’s inaugural event garnered nearly 2,000 attendees and the market team is gearing up for an even bigger return, with more emerging scholars, artists and culinarians. 

Photograph: Joy Kim

For 2019, co-founders Phoebe Tran and Angeline Gragasin have brought on Xinyi Lim (an alumni of Marlow Collective's Marlow & Sons and Diner) to curate the food programming. Lim has developed an excellent line-up of food vendors, including some of our favorite restaurants, alongside newcomers: Kopitiam, EatOffBeat (a Queens food delivery service with recipes by refugees), Jhal, Burrow, Republic of Booza, Nom Wah Nolita, Thai Farm Kitchen and OPOPO x San & Wolves Bakeshop. The food is intended to shed light on stories of migration and assimilation with Malaysian, Iranian, Iraqi, Afghan, Sri Lankan, Nepalese, Thai, Filipino, Chinese, Japanese, Bengali and Uzbek flavors. The open-air stalls will be available from noon to 9 p.m.

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@kopitiamnyc is named after traditional coffee shops found in Malaysia — “kopi,” Malay for coffee ☕️ and “tiam,” Hokkien for shop. It was founded in 2015 by Kyo Pang (@silentkiss), who aims to keep her family’s tradition of Nyonya cooking alive through her cafe. In 2018, she partnered with restaurateur Moonlynn Tsai (@moonlynntsai) to open its current, and largest, location at 151 E Broadway in Chinatown. • • Nyonya cooking comes from the Peranakans, descendants of early Chinese migrants who settled in Penang, Malacca, Singapore and Indonesia, inter-marrying with local Malays. It is the result of blending Chinese ingredients with various distinct spices and cooking techniques used by the Malay/Indonesian community. (via Wikipedia)

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Photograph: Minü Han

In addition to delicious bites, there will be public art (curated by Divya Gadangi), soft sculptures, talks (such as an artist-led discussion about canned Spam), workshops (including one about butterfly taxidermy), a film series (curated by Arianne Alizio), a comedy show by Asian AF, live music (curated by Vishal Nayak) and more. There's truly something for everyone to explore and learn from. 

Tickets start at $15 and can be purchased here (the starting price includes access to the outdoor music and food festivals, art exhibitions, marketplace and one complimentary drink). 

Happy Family Night Market will take place at the Abrons Art Center, 466 Grand St, New York, NY 10002. 

Photograph: An Rong Xu

Photograph: An Rong Xu

Photograph: Joy Kim

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