Hello friends of TaiwaneseAmerican.org!
It’s a huge weekend ahead in our community for many reasons. I’m not sure this message alone can do it justice, but I’m sure going to try!
First and foremost, it is a weekend of remembrance for the estimated 20,000 lives lost during Taiwan’s February 28th Incident and subsequent months, sparking the beginning of the longest period of martial law in the history of the world, from 1947 to 1987. We acknowledge this history because the struggles this island nation has gone through helped to shape the vibrant democracy that exists on Taiwan today.
More than that, the oftentimes turbulent past has played an important role in broadening our sense of Taiwanese identity today. There is no denying that whatever your roots are – ethnic Taiwanese, Hakka, aboriginal descent, ethnic Chinese, half Taiwanese, or any other ethnic or racial group living in Taiwan – we are all in this together under a collective and shared “Taiwanese American” identity. That, indeed, is something to celebrate. History has brought us a long way, and we must never forget.
Here in America, this weekend also marks the start of our “write in Taiwanese” campaign for the 2010 Census. During the last census in 2000, there were only about 144,800 Taiwanese identified. For those of you who have visited the west or east coasts, you know this is completely inaccurate and that we are undercounted by over 80%. In fact, we estimate there are well over 1 million people of Taiwanese heritage living throughout the US.
Help our community be counted. Help us be recognized. When you receive the Census form in mid-March, on question #9, be sure to check “Other Asian” and write in “Taiwanese” if you are of Taiwanese heritage. Spread the word.
On that note, be sure to look out for our upcoming Census video and commercial campaign – brought to you by the Taiwanese American Citizens League (including Taiwanese American Professionals and Leading Youth Forward camp), the Taiwanese American Foundation (midwest), and TaiwaneseAmerican.org! I think you’ll be excited to see what we’ve created! Stay tuned early next week!
And finally, the BIGGEST news of all is no surprise for those who have been following our website and announcements. This weekend marks the culmination of four years of work by Will Tiao and his team to bring the major Hollywood movie, Formosa Betrayed, to theaters! Opening in major cities this weekend and subsequent weekends, some of the prime-time showings are already sold out! Other screenings need your help to make sure those seats are filled! Needless to say, for independent films like these, it takes word-of-mouth and a large turnout for it to stay in theaters or to garner more mainstream attention.
The opening weekend box office numbers will likely determine if this movie stays in theaters for more than a week or two, and how widely it will open in smaller cities across the country! So, it’s our turn as a community to make sure this happens. So, this weekend, come out and show your support! Tell your friends and family. Bring non-Asian friends, too!
With your support, we can make history for the Taiwanese American community and for the Asian American film industry!
Ho Chie Tsai
Creator of TaiwaneseAmerican.org