The special screening of the Local Outlanders was organised by the New Taipei City Government. Photo:

The special screening of a documentary that tells the tale of four Southeast Asians in Taiwan – which was arranged by the Labor Affairs Department of the New Taipei City Government on Sunday – was well received by not only a foreign audience, but the Taiwanese as well.

Hsu Hsiu-neng, director of the New Taipei Department of Labor Affairs, acknowledged that there were nearly 700,000 migrants in the island country playing various vital roles in society, the Taiwan Shin Sheng Daily News reported.

They not only adapted to the Taiwanese culture by overcoming language barriers, cultural differences, dietary changes and lifestyle habits, but they also managed to pursue their dreams there, Hsu added.

The Local Outlanders feature stories of four migrant workers in Taiwan. The first was Tina Sutinah of Indonesia, who worked for 12 years as a domestic caregiver looking after her employer’s elderly mother.

The second was Mario Subeldia of the Philippines, who was the first foreigner granted a street artist license. The third was Sathaporn Klaharn of Thailand, who aimed to promote muay Thai in Taiwan.

The fourth was Vu Duc Thanh of Vietnam, who was once a rebellious teenager, but sees groundbreaking changes after working in a factory for Sanyo Electric, during which he also picks up filming and painting as hobbies.

It was hoped that the 48-minute film, which is available for free on YouTube, will raise public awareness and Taiwan will become a more multiculturally friendly country where locals and migrants appreciate and support each other.