Taiwanese Soy Milk & My Transnational Story of Migration

BY ZIXUAN LIU / Feature Photo Credit: https://elizbeartravel.com/ From Yonghe District, New Taipei, to Shenyang, Manchuria, Bottled in 99 Ranch Markets During my first twelve years of growing up in the former capital of the Qing Dynasty, Mukden, now called Shenyang in PRC, I never skipped breakfast. For most of my childhood, my mother always took me to this one breakfast shop called “Yong-he Dou-jiang”, a chain in China that solely served Chinese breakfast foods for all meals. We always…

How Taiwanese Democracy Changed the Way I See My Life

I remember being in Taiwan with my Ama, standing in a convenience store on the verge of tears because she refused to leave with me if I bought a headband I wanted. A deeply Christian woman, I knew she wouldn’t understand but it was important for me to try to explain why I wanted it. I remember telling her about the diversity of sexuality and gender which got lost somewhere in a mind clouded by a language barrier and dementia/Alzheimer’s (my eccentric, triathlete, U.S. Navy veteran, e-bike…

“Not in Our Name” – Understanding the Jewish Struggle for Palestine from a Taiwanese American Perspective

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="990"] Ten thousand gather in DC with Jewish Voice for Peace and If Not Now to Demand Gaza Ceasefire Wednesday October 18, 2023 (Photo from Jewish Voice for Peace Twitter)[/caption] “If they hadn’t taken us, where would we have gone?” I've heard this question, once posed by my uncle in Taiwan, echoed countless times by Jewish and Israeli friends over the years. “Where would we have gone?” “Who would have taken us?” In the wake of World…

How Dragon Boat Festival zongzi are my mom’s love language

For as long as I can remember, the scent of steaming Taiwanese zongzi (or bahtzang, in Taigi) filled my childhood home the weekend ahead of the Dragon Boat Festival day. Before the convenience of Asian grocery chains having a prepared foods section, the memory of my mom sitting on a low plastic stool in the kitchen making zongzi comes to mind. The warmth from the gas stove mixed with boiling pots of zongzi cooking on all four burners signaled to me the start of summer. Zongzi production is…

Fantuan Discourse

I would not consider myself an aggressive person, but I tend to find myself getting into petty arguments with my friends. One recent argument occurred right after a dinner in which I was introducing my new boyfriend to my friends Phillip and Lily.[1] It began innocently enough: we had dinner at a nice Turkish restaurant, then retreated to Phillip’s apartment for dessert and tea. During the conversation, it came to light that we are all of Taiwanese descent, which naturally led to a discussion…

Between My Grandfather, Taiwan, and Me

I had just turned eleven years old when my gonggong passed away. I never got to know him very well; my memories of him are pieced together from summer trips to the East Coast, when we visited my mother’s side of the family. But between his deteriorating health and my distraction of getting to play Wii with my cousins, my gonggong and I did not spend much time together. After his death, his transformation into an unknown, distant figure in my life felt inevitable. [caption id="" align="aligncenter"…

Why I Love “Everything Everywhere All At Once”

  From the point of view of a Taiwanese American eighteen year old aspiring filmmaker I’ve been following “Everything Everywhere All At Once” since the first trailer released over a year ago. The trailer told me nothing about the plot of the movie, but as soon as I saw it, I knew it would be the most epic movie I had ever seen. There was a combination of factors that intrigued me: the sci-fi/Asian American immigrant mother-daughter hybrid story, the mysteriousness of the trailer,…

Cōng yóu Bǐng: A Catalyst for Taiwanese Self-Identity

Oil in the worn iron skillet bubbles a caramel hue with burnt flaky dough dotting the bottom like poppy seeds. Laying the newly formed Cōng yóu Bǐng in the pan, the oil splatters and the scent of fried dough and sharp tang of scallions perfume the kitchen. As my hands shape each pancake, I reflect on how food has shaped me, allowing me to connect with my ethnic roots and construct my identity.  [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="900"] The author’s Cōng yóu Bǐng prepared in…

Coming of Age with Grace Lin’s “Year of the Dog”

“So, what are you?”  Since childhood, I've had a go-to response: “I’m fifty-percent Taiwanese, twenty-five percent Mexican, and twenty-five percent German.” I was proud to present myself as a unique combination of races and ethnicities, to be “othered” from any and all groups; but this statistical proclamation showed that I only understood myself as a pie chart in which I was part of a whole. I wasn’t allowed full access into any of these identities. I grew tired trying to…

What I learned from a year of asking, “Am I Taiwanese?”

By Angela Yu, co-host of "Hearts in Taiwan" podcast I am Taiwanese American, but it’s taken me a long time and a lot of careful thought to say that. I am also Chinese American, an identity I’ve lived with for much longer. This week marks the one-year anniversary of launching a podcast that my cousin Annie Wang and I created to understand the complexities of identity among people whose families come from Taiwan, and we’ve come a long way since then. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="1000"]…