Phoebe Ga-Yi Chan: Formosa is Portuguese for “Beautiful”

I can still taste the candied strawberries on my tongue.  Sometimes, I wake up expecting to see a boxy, white air conditioning unit above me, rather than my bedroom ceiling. I expect to open my window and be looking down sixteen stories from the apartment complex my grandparents live in, the view of the street below obscured by the muggy, humid, summertime air.  I can still hear the sound of mopeds going by, leaving the smell of asphalt and exhaust in their wake as they head to the morning…

Jaja Hashimoto: I Cut My Own Tongue Off

I had a tongue that held three languages by a single thread.  When I was in second grade, I had a tutor who was the brightest among all. He had a Masters in Animal Science and a PhD in stem cell research. He attended National Taiwan University and graduated top of his class.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays, my tutor would come and help me with English, Math, Science, and everything else I needed help with. Every time we had class, he would assign vocabulary homework to help with my weak word…

“The Other End” & other Poems by Averylin Cummins

Averylin is a high school student, athlete, and activist; a third generation Taiwanese-American seeking to reconnect with her culture; and an aspiring writer and poet who explores race, gender, and sexuality through her work, using it to observe and reflect not only the world but also her own experiences. From Averylin: "Three Strong Emotions" started as a rant, typed sloppily into the notes app of my phone. I wrote "Anger" first, but it felt incomplete because that wasn't the…

Dignity, Belonging, and Meaning-Making in a Pandemic: What Learning Taiwanese Taught Me in a Season of Loss and Hate

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] FEATURE PHOTO PROVIDED BY AUTHOR[/caption] When the Covid-19 pandemic hit the East Coast last spring, I unexpectedly found myself at home for an extended stretch of time. For me, quarantining with family meant that daily walks with my dad and weekly drives to a local Taiwanese bakery became a natural time for me to learn more Taiwanese — something I had been trying to do on-and-off for quite some time. As weeks turned into months, my vocabulary…

cóng mei guo lai de, by Vanessa Wan

FEATURE PHOTO PROVIDED BY VANESSA WAN When I was little, I thought I was Chinese. That’s what my parents said when we were asked the inevitable question: “What are you?”  I later learned we were not Chinese.  Assigned to research the flag of my parents’ home country for class, I went home to find out that I needed to check out books not on China but on Taiwan. As it turned out, my parents simply went along with people’s assumptions that we were Chinese because it was “easier.”…

Taiwan’s Got It! A Talent Competition for All

Taiwanese identity is contested, challenged, and complicated for a variety of reasons. Its ongoing interrogation, though, presents a ripe opportunity to further challenge our own assumptions about belonging and personal choice. The people of Taiwan are not simply the indigenous, benshengren, or waishengren.  They include expats, more recent migrants, foreign exchange students, and more. And, interestingly, the concept of Taiwanese identity has become less tethered to race and ethnicity, and more…

Jude Chao: ‘Skin Care for your soul’ and sexy radishes

“Internet big sister” Jude Chao on how a passion for skincare led her to share more about mental health, wellness, and the art of real living with her debut book and sheet mask line ‘Skin Care for your soul’ and sexy radishes “Internet big sister” Jude Chao on how a passion for skincare led her to share more about mental health, wellness, and the art of real living with her debut book and sheet mask line Chao is a longtime friend of TaiwaneseAmerican.org. In 2019, she shared…

National Book Award Winner Charles Yu establishes prize for young Taiwanese American creative writers

TAIWANESEAMERICAN.ORG THE BETTY L. YU AND JIN C. YU CREATIVE WRITING PRIZES TaiwaneseAmerican.org is pleased to announce the inaugural Betty L. Yu and Jin C. Yu Creative Writing Prizes. Created in collaboration with Taiwanese American author Charles Yu, the Prizes are intended to encourage and recognize creative literary work by Taiwanese American high school and college students, and to foster discussion and community around such work. Submissions may be in any literary genre including…

What to Watch: Taiwanese Shows & Movies on Netflix Now

From the ICONIC 2005 Taiwanese series 王子變青蛙 (The Prince Who Turns into a Frog) with its ambitious fulfillment of all classical elements (two exceptionally hot guys, collision-based amnesia) to the highest-grossing LGBTQ+ film in Taiwanese history, Your Name Engraved Herein, we can't wait to watch our way through Netflix's lineup of Taiwanese shows and movies. TV SHOWS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MppKF564QEk Triad Princess 極道千金 (Netflix Original Series)  Language:…

The Best of the “Best of 2020” Lists

Feature photo from the Office of the President aka "Taiwan #1" All year long, we enjoy showcasing the best and most promising of Taiwanese America (and Taiwan). It has been our proud mission to highlight the amazing stories and people of our community. During this most challenging year in the midst of a global pandemic, inspirational stories have kept our spirits up. Now, with the year's end in sight, the annual superlatives lists have started popping up, and we've taken note. During the past…