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…

Reflections on 228

To strangers who don’t know the history, 228 is just a bunch of numbers.  However, 228 actually refers to February, 28, 1947. It marks the date of the massacre of around 30,000 people and the imprisonment of over 140,000 Taiwanese citizens who were suspected of opposing the Kuomintang (KMT) government.  To certain Taiwanese people, it’s a date where blame is put on the government for what happened. To others, it’s just an incident in history where thousands died.  But to me, 228 is what…

Kathy Cheng and Thankful Registry: Giving with Heart

TaiwaneseAmerican.org's Managing Editor, Anna Wu, speaks with Thankful founder Kathy Cheng to find out more about her innovative start-up that is helping to personalize the gift-giving traditions around weddings, birthdays, and other events. Anna has also found success as a professional wedding photographer, so both she and Kathy have much in common when it comes to celebrating life's special moments. Read on to find out more behind the motivation and success of Thankful. Anna: Thank you for talking…

Making History Happen

By Felicia Lin When I first heard about Su Beng, a lifelong Taiwan independence activist, former undercover Chinese Communist agent, would be assassin of Chiang Kai-shek, historian and author of Taiwan’s 400 Years of History, in 2003, I was intrigued. I wondered what would motivate a man like this and quickly decided that I wanted to meet him because I knew that his was a story to be told. What began as a simple idea to write a story based on his life has grown into a project to document it.…

Michelle Wu – On Campaigning, Boston, and Pig Ears

Michelle Wu is one of the newly elected at-large councilors for Boston City Council, and the first Asian American female to hold the position. About a year ago, I received a random Facebook invite to one of her first campaign events, where I was inspired by her story. On an especially windy day in a cozy South End Starbucks, I had the privilege of hearing more about her journey and plans for a better Boston. Congrats on your victory! Thanks! I am very humbled to have been elected. Tell…

Going Where No Taiwanese American Has Gone Before: Stephanie Chang Representing Detroit

I met with my friend, Stephanie Chang, at our alma mater in Ann Arbor, Michigan for an interview over ramen and pork buns. We talked about her decision to run for Michigan State Representative next year, what it is like being Taiwanese American in the city of Detroit, and her journey as an Asian American woman in public service. A: Hi, Steph! Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself? S: I'm Stephanie Chang. I grew up in Canton, Michigan. I came here to Ann Arbor to attend the University…

The Making of the Taiwanese American Identity

Growing up in the Taiwanese American community, I learned as a child the importance of understanding how history and politics shape and define our community. We become well versed in geopolitics across the span of several centuries, including comparative cases of identity formation and nationhood. We learn the story of how groups of diverse peoples living on an island, called Ilha Formosa by Portuguese sailors on a Spanish ship, became caught between the warring visions of ambitious and powerful…

Ai-jen Poo: Inspiring Across Generations

I had the opportunity to connect with Ai-jen Poo, activist and keynote speaker at the Intercollegiate Taiwanese American Students Association (ITASA) East Coast Conference in New York City. Ai-jen serves as the Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and Co-Director of the Caring Across Generations campaign. She was named one of Time's 100 Most Influential People in 2012 and was featured on Newsweek’s 150 Fearless Women list. Learn more about her story of how her Taiwanese roots influence…

Dinner Dumplings with Lisa Lee – Co-founder of ThickDumplingSkin.com

TaiwaneseAmerican.org's Ho Chie Tsai takes a dinner break with Lisa Lee, co-founder along with actress Lynn Chen of the website ThickDumplingSkin.com, to talk about Asian American community activism and her personal story of Taiwanese American identity. Lisa previously served as the publisher of Hyphen Magazine and was also recognized by AngryAsianMan.com as one of 30 influential Asian Americans under the age of 30. In May 2011, she received San Francisco's Asian Pacific American Heritage…

Meet Karin Wang, Civil Rights Advocate and Proud Taiwanese American

TaiwaneseAmerican.org's Margaret Chen speaks with Karin Wang, a life-long civil rights advocate who currently serves as Vice-President of Programs & Communications at the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC), the nation's largest legal and civil rights organization serving Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. We've followed her work for the past decade and remain impressed with all that she has been able to accomplish. With an excellent track record of leadership, Karin…