Taiwanese and American, Democratic or Republican during the 2008 Presidential Election

TaiwaneseAmerican.org recently approached two of the leaders of the Formosan Association for Public Affairs - Young Professional Group to share their perspectives as our nation approaches the 2008 Presidential Elections. As Taiwanese Americans, our views and experiences are multi-faceted, and we must often acknowledge both Taiwanese and American issues. The following is not necessarily comprehensive nor approaches these topics in the depth they deserve, but serves as a starting point for conversation... PART…

An Interview with Jimmy Tsai of Ping Pong Playa

I recently caught up with Taiwanese American actor Jimmy Tsai, who plays Christopher "C-dub" Wang, a suburban urban-wannabe who dreams of a career as a pro basketball player in the unbelievably funny comedy film, PingPong Playa, just now hitting theaters. Christopher "C-Dub" Wang is the anti-"model-minority" Asian American lead character who lives in the shadow of his older brother, a doctor and ping pong champion. When C-Dub reluctantly takes his mother's place as the the ping pong teacher…

Literary author Francie Lin talks about a different kind of Foreigner

Francie Lin may have never visited the Taiwanese criminal underworld or sang in a seedy karaoke bar, but she has written an acclaimed debut novel, The Foreigner, set in the hidden alleys of Taipei. Emerson Chang is a 40-year-old Taiwanese American virgin who has met his mother for dinner every Friday night for fifteen years. But after her unexpected death, long-buried secrets and family loyalty will take him on an unpredictable journey back to Taiwan—and to the rebellious younger brother lost…

An Interview with Abe Young, Author of Humanity at Stake

A few months ago, I accidentally came across a brief work-in-progress by Abe Young, a 2nd generation Taiwanese American who was inspired to write about the generally touchy subject of Taiwan-China-US relations. What captured my attention most was his wonderful ability to explore the depth and breadth of the issues, yet frame it through a captivating conversation that he had one day with his two fellow volunteers at the Housing Works Used Books & Cafe. I was so impressed by his writing that…

Where Jazz, Taiwan, and the Vocal Stylings of Jen Shyu Fuse.

"It doesn't matter if you don't know the music well, I just want you to sing it loud and proud," Jen Shyu declares, as she teaches a traditional Taiwanese folk song to a group of her peers at the North American Taiwanese Womens Association's 2nd Generation program in Los Angeles. This is, after all, a conference where the focus is on connecting the community, bridging this generation with the ones before, and taking pride in their collective sisterhood. During this session, Jen easily captures the…

A Conversation with the Taiwan Sons-in-Law

by Audrey Jean What does it mean to be a Taiwanese American? How strong of a tie should we feel towards our parent culture? How much of our life should we devote to exploring and promoting our heritage? These are questions that we all think about and come up with our own answers for. But, however much, or little, we choose to identify with our Taiwanese background, it is after all our heritage, our DNA even, and therefore will always be a part of us. Well, how do you answer these same questions…

The Hsu-nami: Erhu Rock

The Hsu-nami. It’s an audacious rock band with a twist. Based in Mahwah, New Jersey, the group comprises standard rock band elements (Brent Bergholm- Lead Guitar, Vinny Belcastro- Guitar, Derril Sellers- Bass, John Manna- Drums, and Adam Toth- Piano/Synth). But in place of a lead singer, you’ll find 24-year-old Jack Hsu playing erhu, a two-stringed “Chinese violin”-- revamped with electronic pickups, of course. So I sat down for a little online chat with Jack and got him talking about his…

“What Are You?”: Thoughts on Taiwanese American Identity

by Shawna Yang Ryan Author of Locke 1928 “What are you?” It seems that every essay I’ve read on hapa identity begins with this question, perhaps because a hapa’s own identity formation begins with others asking this question. Being a mixed race Asian (let’s see how many different labels I can fit into one essay!), I am rather used to being identified in different ways by different people. Though who I am is very clear to me, labeling it is more difficult, and I imagine that…

Andrea Lin AKA Superdoll

You've probably seen this beautiful woman on TV at some point, but didn't know it was her. She is Andrea Lin, a model, dancer, artist, and now producer who recently moved from Taiwan in 2001. After establishing her stateside career in New York City, she now currently resides in LA. I recently sat down with Andrea in a small little cafe in the heart of LA's Chinatown to delve into her world, to uncover the reality of her alter ego "Superdoll," and to find out what has propelled her blossoming…

Metalheads, politicians and old Taiwanese folk come together

By YuLing Koh Hsu Dani Azathonian Hands (drums), Su-Nung the Bloody String (hena), Doris Thunder Tears (bass), fan Ken Pierce of Piercing Metal, Freddy the Left Face of Maradou (vocals), CJ Dispersed Fingers (keyboards) and Jesse the Infernal (guitar) after a show in New York City. They have spurred 16-foot mosh pits in California. Fans have asked them to bite their necks (a girl fan got a kiss on her cheek instead). They keep smiling despite flat tires, lost instruments and having their…