No, Double Ten Is Not “Taiwan’s Independence Day”

No, Double Ten is not “Taiwan’s independence day”.  Just bear with me here; I know it looks very much like Independence Day on July Fourth here in the United States. When I was growing up in Taiwan in the 1980s, it certainly felt like it.  It was something I looked forward to. The oppressive summer heat in Taiwan cools down, every house on the block hangs a big flag by the door, the flags gently swaying in the autumn breeze. School would be closed, my parents would have stayed home,…

Taiwanese American Summer Camp: Does the 3rd Gen Need It?

At the beginning of the summer, I received a Facebook reminder that the early-bird registration discount for TAF (Taiwanese American Foundation—the largest and longest-running summer camp for children and teens of Taiwanese descent in the US and Canada), was ending in just a week. Always a sucker for a good deal, I brought up the idea with my husband about sending our daughter. We both had attended the camp as teenagers and young adults, and considered it an essential part of our formative…

(In Memoriam) Su Beng: The Revolutionist

On June 26, 2016, a political commentator (my uncle), a university professor (my other uncle), and a deeply insignificant 19-year-old (me) shuffled into an apartment building in Xinzhuang, Taiwan to interview Su Beng for a nascent book of poetry about Taiwanese American identity. Small details swell with grand, wistful nostalgia. The trees in front of his building, by then iconic from how often they'd been the backdrop of frenzied, polarizing reporting. The portrait of Che Guevara, to whom…

I’m Taiwanese American. Here’s Why I Stand by Hong Kong.

After Taiwanese American Eric Tsai offered to co-host a workplace discussion on the protests in Hong Kong, a disgruntled co-worker wrote in a separate WeChat of over 300 Chinese American employees: “Let’s just spend some money and hire thugs to go after him.”   Editor's Note: I want to be very clear that TaiwaneseAmerican.org has never been, and never will be, anti-Chinese, and certainly not anti-Chinese American. We support the Taiwanese people in their right to self-determination;…

TaiwaneseAmerican.org Statement on Solidarity with Mauna Kea Protectors

We urge Taiwanese Americans to stand in solidarity with those protecting Mauna Kea. Today, we reflect on our own island nation’s Austronesian ancestry; the many times she was confronted with imperial and colonial violence; the work of our own indigenous peoples resisting foreign and local rule. We admit that the Taiwan we know today — vibrant, progressive, technologically advanced as she is — exists in imperfect parallel with other colonized lands: historical and holy grounds turned…

Why This Taiwanese American Helped Tell the Story of Chinese Railroad Workers

Max Chang was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah and is considered one of the first, if not first, Taiwanese Americans born in Utah.  Max is a Board Member of the Spike 150 Foundation which oversaw the sesquicentennial celebration of the completion of the nation’s first transcontinental railroad. May 10, 2019 marked the 150th year anniversary of the driving of a Golden Spike into a polished laurel tie at Promontory Summit, Utah to celebrate the completion of the nation’s first transcontinental railroad. …

From Wild Lilies to Sunflowers: Discovering Taiwan’s Democracy

From fist fights in the parliament to protests that seem to rotate through Taipei every few months, Taiwan's democracy is oftentimes placed under intense scrutiny. “Look at how messed up Taiwan’s government is,” I’d hear often. But critics often forget this obvious precursor to democratic maturity: age. Taiwan is known as the beacon of democracy in Asia, as the only Han society to know freedom today. However, people also forget how young this fragile democracy is, or how recent…

Addressing Anti-Blackness Within the Taiwanese American Community

By Tiffany Diane Tso, edited by Leona Chen | original photography by Micheile Henderson Editor’s Note: I’ve been thinking a lot about (valid) accusations that Asian Americans, frankly, suck at standing up for others. And though there is no singular Taiwanese American immigration narrative, many families in our community arrived by way of H-1B visas, prestigious education, and the logical conclusion that obedience produces success. Diasporic Taiwanese of my parents’ and grandparents’…

The 228 Inheritance: Taiwan’s Revolution Is Here

Seventy-two years after Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek’s forces massacred more than twenty thousand Taiwanese in ‘the February 28th Incident’, Taiwan is in the midst of an unacknowledged revolution. You will not find the Taiwanese Revolution named in history books or identified in newspapers. Indeed, it is assumed that this revolution has yet to occur – or rather that it never will. Yet to occur, because there is no internationally-accepted Taiwanese Republic and never to occur,…

“When I came out to my mom, she was scared for me.”

When I came out to my mom, she was scared for me. “I want you to have an easy life,” she said, and coming out meant that my life wasn’t going to be easy. Like any other Taiwanese mother, she wanted to protect me from the dangers I would have to face as I got older. The world she’d grown up in, Taiwan in the 1980s, was dangerous for people like me, and she didn’t want me to have to face yet another form of prejudice. But she also knew that my world as a 21st century American…