A Taiwanese American Story: Celebrating Malachy’s 70 Year-old Gong Gong

I love this story. And the narrator’s voice is cuteness beyond belief.

This is the life story of 5 year-old Malachy’s grandfather whom he calls Gong Gong and his grandmother Po Po. It’s a wonderfully illustrated tale of one man, whose story is so familiar to many Taiwanese Americans today, and it was a surprise gift to Gong Gong for his 70th Birthday.

Gong Gong is Dr. Yihnan Norman Chiou, and he serves as the 2010-2012 president of the North American Taiwanese Medical Association (NATMA). I’ve had the privilege of meeting with Dr. Chiou a few times and can attest to his perseverance, accomplishments, and positive outlook on life. This gentleman knows how to bring out the best in others.

Watch the illustrated tale above and you’ll also discover a living history lesson about the Taiwanese American story, from when the first Taiwanese immigrated to the United States to seek new opportunities. In fact, the Immigration Act of 1965 opened the doors for Asians to migrate to the United States, and many did, indeed, to pursue the American Dream. During the 1970’s, many Taiwanese American physicians came to the US to fill a shortage of medical and health professionals. As the numbers increased in cities nationwide, organizations such as NATMA were made possible.

This is also a story of our immigrant history and the legacy that they have created. As their children, the 2nd generation have gone on to settle with their families in all parts of the United States, we are beginning to see even the 3rd generation emerge. Malachy, now in kindergarten, represents the start of this new wave.

What’s so endearing is how Malachy’s interaction with Gong Gong captures many of the cultural nuances and cross-generational themes that many young Taiwanese Americans experience today: Passing of traditional values. Teaching discipline. Sharing of aspirations. Playing the piano. Supporting extended family. Eating good food. Sharing of the Dream…

Someday, we’ll look forward to the Story of Malachy, a bright young 3rd generation Taiwanese American.

Written by Shien and Family. Illustration by Graham Ogilvie.

Oh, you want to know more about Malachy? Check out this YouTube video of him after his first day of kindergarten: