Paths and Patterns: experiences in translingualism

We’ve fallen into a pattern, my new friends. And some of my old friends, in this new context. It’s a new thing, for them, but feels familiar, comfortable, for me. You see, it’s natural for me, because it’s how I grew up. I grew up in the US, in the heart of the Midwest, a daughter of Taiwanese immigrants. Mandarin was my first language, but ceded her position as mother tongue to English early on, in a country where assimilation was survival. My parents, though, my beautifully centered…

In Honor of Taiwanese Ancestry and Identity

Throughout my own life, the Taiwanese American community has been synonymous with family. The people around me inherently understood Taiwan’s culture and history; these were so deeply embedded that we could even claim polarizing political differences within our Taiwanese ethnicities. This upbringing was such a privilege; I am grateful to my elders and surrounding friends for fostering this sense of awareness. But I have come to realize that simply identifying as “Taiwanese American” or “Taiwanese”…

Tongues like Swords: American Privilege in Taiwan

Being an American is a funny thing. Because, being an American carries some serious cultural currency in most parts of the world, mostly due to the fact that since the end of WWII the US has held hegemonic power, both militarily and economically. (Not to say we are or are not necessarily well-liked, but that’s a different question altogether). In many parts of the world, the sort of idea that “West is best” has been very pervasive, and this manifests itself in all facets of life. This is…

Taiwanese Americans in Solidarity

Although systemic racism is the oldest motif in American history, recent events – including the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson and the protests in Baltimore – have prompted us to thoroughly confront what it means to be a person of color in the United States. As Taiwanese Americans, our phenotype generally assigns us to a vague “Asian” aesthetic. This “Asian” aesthetic then ascribes us to certain privileges and disadvantages. Historically, the Asian American community has…

Survey on Culture and Identity for Asian American High School Students

Are you a high school aged student or a parent of one? Are you interested in the Asian American experience and how it affects perceptions of identity? Read on to see how you can help and be rewarded with a $10 gift card! HELLO! My Name is Wells Ling, and I am currently a graduate student at Saint Louis University working towards my doctorate in developmental psychology. As a second generation Taiwanese American growing up in the Midwest, I rarely wondered or truly appreciated my family’s…

Why I Fight to “Keep Taiwan Free”

      Keep Taiwan Free. Three simple words but keep Taiwan free from what? China? Why do we need to Keep Taiwan Free? Wait, but I thought Taiwan is free? These are just some of the common questions asked when people see the slogan Keep Taiwan Free. As most people know, Taiwan’s history is quite complex. It took several decades and the sacrifice of tens of thousands of citizens to get to the democracy that Taiwan is today. Yet, this young democracy is still a fragile one. Even just in…

How I Became More Involved With the Taiwanese American Community

by Nikki DePaola When I first moved to Los Angeles three years ago, I didn’t know very many people outside of my job and a few cousins. Growing up in Kansas, I was excited to be in a place known for the best Taiwanese food outside of Taiwan, and with so many options to connect with the Taiwanese American community. There are plenty of opportunities in LA for a young Taiwanese American woman. Organizations like TAP (Taiwanese American Professionals), TACL (Taiwanese American Citizens’…

Happy Mental Health Awareness Month! It’s Time to Normalize the Elephant!

By Emily Wu Truong The subject of mental health is like the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about, and that is how it seems in my local community. Many individuals choose not to seek help in fear of becoming marginalized and shunned by friends and family. Many choose to suffer in silence because they were taught to “save face” over “airing their dirty laundry” to anyone, or else they would bring shame to themselves and the family. On the contrary, many people know me as…

Beyond Boundaries: What makes us Taiwanese?

What makes you Taiwanese? Is there an answer that’s more right than others? What terms make up that definition? I’m tempted to begin this article by listing what I feel qualifies me to claim Taiwanese identity, as if somewhere out there, there’s a scale and the more Taiwanese I can be, the more my writing here matters. Nonsense. When we create definitions of identity based on looks, language, or legalese, we use a whole host of criteria to tell people if they are enough or not. We…

[UPDATED] Taiwan’s Sunflower Student Movement

As the events of the Sunflower Student Movement unfold in Taiwan, we've compiled what we hope to be a comprehensive resource of up-to-date articles, analysis, live feeds, social media, and photos and footage of the protests. We know there are numerous other sources out there, so feel free to send us whatever you may find. Please continue checking back as the events of the movement unfold and as this list is continuously updated! LAST UPDATED: 4/9/2014 11:18AM PST THE SITUATION: GENERAL OVERVIEW Democracy…