Merton Li

Student. Founder. Diver

I am an undergraduate student at the University of Rochester majoring in biochemistry. At the same time, I am also one of the founders of the Facebook group Subtle Taiwanese Traits as well as the district governor of the Tri-State area for ITASA. As a third culture kid who grew up partially in Taiwan and in the states, I hope to bridge Taiwanese culture with the Taiwanese American community. I have been hosting various events in STT, from raffle draw events for the Moon Festival to local meetups in Kaohsiung with the intention of bringing the community closer.


How does being Taiwanese/Taiwanese American and/or community ally play a role in your life?

Growing up as a Taiwanese/Taiwanese American, I was often frustrated by the lack of sense of identity in many of the Taiwanese Americans. Fortunately, my third culture kid identity gives me the best opportunity to act as a bridge between Taiwanese culture and Taiwanese Americans. STT is thus the byproduct of the hard work I have put in for the last two years. In the future, I will keep acting as this bridge bringing even more people from different sectors to our community.


If you could teach future generations 1 thing about being Taiwanese/Taiwanese American or Taiwan, what would it be?

In order for the world to know you, you need to know yourself first. Though the majority of the world has yet to recognize Taiwan as a sovereign state, us Taiwanese need to recognize ourselves. By building a strong Taiwanese American community, we will be able to make more people resonate with our situation.


What does the future of Taiwanese America look like to you?

The future of Taiwanese Americans looks promising to me. With the number of Taiwanese-related non-profit organizations emerging, I am seeing a trend of Taiwanese Americans more willing to express their Taiwanese identity. Moreover, I am seeing more and more Taiwanese Americans representing Taiwan on the international stage.


Favorite memory of Taiwan/Taiwanese America?

Diving deep down in the ocean in Xiao Liu Qiu while being surrounded by sea turtles. Unforgettable memory!


Favorite Taiwanese food?

Lu Rou Fan

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