For a Better Life, Move to Taiwan: My Taiwanese American Story

When my mom was twenty, she moved from Taiwan to the United States. Now I’m twenty, and I’m doing everything I can to get back.  There are practical reasons for this, of course. I applied for dual citizenship in high school, and since coronavirus has pushed everything, including my college classes, into the virtual world, Taiwan has become my fabled “land of opportunity.”  But there’s something deeper going on. I’ve spent my whole life trying to prove my “Americanness,”…

Our Dad Invented the N95 Mask: Our Taiwanese American Story

Editor’s Note: Taiwanese American Peter Tsai has been in the news a lot lately as “the man behind the mask.”  “The retired inventor of N95 masks is back at work to fight Covid-19,” reads a Washington Post headline; “scientist-inventor a humble national hero,” another news agency chirps. But the depth and vibrance of Tsai’s living legacy is best known by his two daughters, who have not only borne witness to the N95 mask’s far-reaching impact during a global pandemic, but…

[中英版] Another Perspective for Taiwanese America: Ensuring Taiwan’s Security 另外一個角度給台美人:保證臺灣的安全

Another Perspective for Taiwanese America: Ensuring Taiwan’s Security 另外一個角度給台美人:保證臺灣的安全 If you asked me to put money down on whether or not Donald Trump could point Taiwan out on a map, I would say you are out of your mind. However, if you asked me whether or not the Trump presidency has been good for Taiwan, I would be lying if I said it has not. To be clear, I am not talking about what might be better for the United States; I am strictly talking in…

[中英版] An Open Letter to the Taiwanese American Community: Securing Taiwan’s Democracy 給台美人的一封公開信:守護台灣民主

An Open Letter to the Taiwanese American Community: Securing Taiwan’s Democracy 給台美人的一封公開信:守護台灣民主 A strong United States is crucial for a more secure and democratic Taiwan. Contrary to popular perception among the first generation in the Taiwanese American community, the Trump administration has weakened the United States’ economic, diplomatic, and moral standing in the world. This is detrimental to Taiwan’s long-term security and democracy. The authoritarian…

[中英版] At Home in the Library: My Taiwanese American Story / 圖書館裡的家

Twenty years after we moved from Ohio to California, my parents received a letter from the children’s librarian in our old town. She had addressed it to “Resident,” not knowing if she had the right address for our family. “The other day while uncluttering a box in my basement,” she wrote, “I discovered a letter written by a girl named Cindy Lee. It was dated 12/30/00.” She asked for news of us, wished us well, and closed by noting, “The fear of the virus has kept us all close…

Field Notes from Pride in Taiwan: LGBTQ*, Taiwanese-American, & Everything In Between

Taiwan was one of the few places worldwide able to celebrate LGBTQ* visibility and acceptance during this year’s Pride Month. Hundreds of participants wearing rainbow masks marched in Liberty Square on behalf of those who could not due to the pandemic. In the face of the recent killings of Black transgender individuals such as Tony McDade, Dominique Fells, and Riah Milton in the United States, this march symbolized community, solidarity, and resilience in necessary times.  This was also…

The Taiwanese American Conversation about #BlackLivesMatter

BY CHRISTINA HU & LEONA CHEN | FEATURE PHOTO BY MIKE VON https://twitter.com/TaiwaneseAm_org/status/1269718346460614656 Taiwanese American yuppies, we’ve got some work to do. This is a long-overdue reckoning. A conversation is not a solution, but a critical place to start. And we believe that showing up imperfectly - with our unsure language, blind spots, and all - is better than not showing up at all.  I thought a lot about the role of Taiwanese Americans in civic society when…

An Open Letter to my Hafu Grandfather: My Taiwanese American Story

PHOTO OF DEREK SHAO & HIS GRANDFATHER Dear Ah Gong,  Mom didn’t tell me that you were a hāfu until I was about seven years old, and like most second graders at the time, I was too preoccupied with Wii Sports tennis and Cartoon Network to really think about what that meant. It wasn’t until I had learned more about the history of Taiwan and its relationship with Japan that I began to understand the circumstances surrounding your childhood, while also starting to make sense of experiences…

From Taiwanese Californian to Taiwanese Missourian: My Taiwanese American Story

There is only one Taiwanese restaurant in the city of St. Louis. When I introduce Taiwanese culture to my new college friends, I bring them to Tai Ke (台客), and my friends are always surprised when they find themselves eating a dish resembling Chinese food instead of Pad Thai. Yep, they thought Taiwanese people lived in Thailand. In a way, it is kind of funny because this is one of the quintessential experiences of every Taiwanese American: being mistaken as Thai. https://www.instagram.com/p/BbVSRXAjOOz/ Originally…