San Francisco Bay Area
Although we’ve never been to Taiwan, we feel a strong connection to our heritage through our parents and grandparents.
Who are you?
We are third-generation Taiwanese Americans, ages six and four. Lindsey is finishing up kindergarten and Evelyn is in preschool. We are bilingual Mandarin-English speaking. We know a few Taiwanese phrases, mostly food related. Although we’re not really old enough to fill out this questionnaire ourselves, the recent Census campaign made us want to affirm our heritage, so we’re here to represent. Go, TA3G!
Our mom, Jean Cheng, is a second-generation Taiwanese American who grew up in Portland, OR. She is a documentary filmmaker and more recently, an educational content producer for the Web. Our dad, Eric Chou, is also second-generation – he calls himself Chinese, but since his parents grew up in Taiwan and he’s spent more time in Taiwan than our mom, we’re putting him in the TA column. Besides, he’s a strong supporter of Taiwanese self-determination. He’s an architect, so we’ve got the “arty” thing going on both sides.
What do you do?
We play, go to school, cooperate, rebel, dance, sing, shout, turn cartwheels, draw, pretend we’re teenagers or fairies, and live every moment of life to its fullest. Occasionally we sleep. We like to ask Big Questions and force our parents to scramble, prioritize and evolve. We also remind them every day why it’s important to care about the future and make sure the world is a safe, fair place for people of all shapes and stripes to grow up in.
Why are you proud to be of Taiwanese heritage?
Although we’ve never been to Taiwan, we feel a strong connection to our heritage through our parents and grandparents. The eating part goes without saying, but we also love the stories and songs we’ve heard (YoYo TV, anyone?), and learning about our family history.
Mostly, being Taiwanese (American) matters to us because it matters to people we care about. Although we haven’t learned much about Taiwan’s history yet, we know a little about its struggle for independence and the courage of people on both sides of the Pacific who made great sacrifices. In a way, Taiwan’s story also helps us understand what it means to be American: people there are fighting for the same ideals that this country was founded upon, and people here are struggling for recognition, equal rights and opportunity just the same.
What does the future of Taiwanese America look like to you?
Since we’re young, everything appears bright and limitless to us, so that’s what our vision of Taiwanese America looks like. We hope the community will continue to expand, embrace and evolve, while staying true to its origins: as a place to find support and acceptance and to work towards freedom, democracy and justice.
We look forward to attending our share of camps and college conferences and surfing the front edge of the third generation wave!
Any additional information you would like to share?
This Web site rocks!