Reflections and Echoes of 228

I recently listened to an inspiring speech by a young Taiwanese graduate student named Lin Fei-fan who had flown in to the San Francisco Bay area as an invited speaker for a commemorative event sponsored by the Formosan Association for Public Affairs’ Young Professional Group and the Taiwanese American Federation of Northern California. Lin is one of the principal student leaders of the Youth Alliance Against Media Monsters, a student-organized group that is raising awareness about the issue of…

Midwestern Roots

I am deeply, deeply Midwestern. I often forget how much of an Ohioan I am until, of course, I leave Ohio. Then, wherever I go, it becomes painfully obvious that I am, indeed, from the Midwest, the Rust Belt, the Corn Belt. Not everyone knows what this implies, but as with any stereotype, the word comes with a myriad of associated traits. UrbanDictionary says that Midwesterners are: considered a different breed. the good: they're nice outgoing people with morals. the bad: they're nice outgoing…

Roots and Leaves

My grandmother brews smells in the kitchen long before I learn that olfaction is the sense most loaded with memories. Thighbones filled with creamy marrow bubbling in beef stew; young bamboo stems boiled, cooled on ice cubes and dipped in sesame oil; braised three-layered-pork; preserved eggs and soybeans stir-fried with short hot peppers that go straight to the insides of your forehead and rouse a cacophony of sneezes. Hers are recipes thick with nostalgia, dripping sauces and spices preserved from…

The Tofu Not Eaten

An ode to Stinky Tofu in the voice of Robert Frost… The Tofu Not Eaten By Kristina Lin, Artwork by Kelly Lin Two tofu I was given in my childhood, And sorry I could not eat them both, And be a hungry child, long I stood, And sniffed at one as deep as I could, Until my nostril to the smell loath; Then smelled the other, just as tempting, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was fried and wanted tasting, Though as for that the time passed waiting, Had cooled them really…

Social Media Racism, Revisited

Once again, my university makes a splash in the Asian blogosphere and is highlighted in the metropolitan newspaper for having overtly racist students. Angry Asian Man, Colorlines, and the Columbus Dispatch all covered a new tumblr called OSU Haters, which highlights outrageous tweets by students of my beloved place of higher education, The Ohio State University, some of them by the afore mentioned OSU Asian twitter account. It seems that my first post about racial encounters in social media was only…

On Two Decades of Blacklava and Celebrating the “Other”: A Taiwanese American Perspective

I recently attended the 20th anniversary celebration of Blacklava, an online store for “all things Asian American,” which was founded by Japanese American Ryan Suda. I had heard about this event at least a month prior, and even though it was taking place in Los Angeles, I was compelled to fly down from the San Francisco Bay area, where I live, in order to celebrate this occasion. “But it’s just a T-shirt company,” you may say. “And it’s not even a Taiwanese American thing…” I’m…

In Memory of my Son, Keimay Yang – A Devoted Supporter of ITASA

I am Agnes Wu, and I would like to share a story about my son, Keimay Yang, which happened nearly five years ago… one month before he passed away. As Ho Chie Tsai, the founder of TaiwaneseAmerican.org and a friend of my son, shared with me, “Keimay spent more time thinking about others, not just friends and family, but even strangers. His true character really shined.” It is this story about Keimay’s values that I hope will resonate with the ITASA community: One late afternoon in September…

The Spoken Word: Say You Heard My Echo

[caption id="attachment_7562" align="aligncenter" width="630" caption="Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai, Adeeba Afshan Rana, YaliniDream"] [/caption] I was fortunate enough to be back in NYC to catch the opening night of Say You Heard My Echo, an evening-length spoken-word poetry theater project written by Chinese Taiwanese spoken word artist Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai. In lovely contrast to the vignettes and tantalizing glimpses found in traditional spoken word pieces, SYHME is a rich and immersive feature-length…

To Date or Not to Date

“Oh, definitely a white guy.” There’s this game that we play amongst my group of Asian American friends. We try and predict whether our friends are going to end up with Asian/Asian American partners or…not. When it came to be my turn, there a resounding consensus that no, I would not end up with an Asian guy. I believe “white, for sure,” was the phrase that was used. Accompanying this assertion is the explanation that Asian guys “can’t handle” me…whatever that means. I don’t…

The Fat and the Furious, Part I

TaiwaneseAmerican.org is proud to present the first in a series of blog posts exploring the topic of body image and self-esteem in the Asian American community, an often over-looked subject. We asked our guest contributor to share her most personal thoughts on the topic. We thank her for her openness. The Fat and the Furious, Part I By SH Chang I’ll be honest- I hate my body. And I have for awhile. From the tippy top of my head (too dry and itchy), down to my ears (asymmetrical), eyes…