The recent events in Taiwan have captured the attention of the international community and we feel it is important to recognize Taiwan’s situation. We are lucky to be able to share the perspective of our President, Ada Chen, on the Sunflower Movement.
I have to admit that when I first learned about the protests and occupation of the Legislative Yuan in Taiwan, I was worried. I was on my last Spring Break and instead of relaxing and forgetting about current events, I was constantly refreshing my newsfeed to get more information on what was going on. I was worried about the students, the police and the government officials involved. I was worried that there wasn’t enough English news coverage of the events. Most of all, I was worried for the future of Taiwan.
Though we are an organization based on cultural identity, we feel it is incredibly important to acknowledge the current events in Taiwan. Our Assistant Philanthropy Director, Annie Chiang, shares her reflections on the Sunflower Movement.
In the wake of the Sunflower Movement, many Taiwanese citizens, Taiwanese-Americans, and other ‘Taiwanese hyphens have struggled to understand what is happening in Taiwan and how these events fit into our already constructed self-identities. “I am a Taiwanese-American re: CSSTA, #CongressOccupied”, a recent video produced by Jason Chin, another fellow Taiwanese-American, described the idea of a TaiwaneseAmerican identity in an extremely beautiful and coherent way. He states that the hyphen between his Taiwanese and American identity serve as a bridge between the two, one that serves to enrich either side of him, both communities he belongs to. I came away from the video with a better understanding of how these current events come into play in my self-identity. The history, current events, and future possibilities in the conflicts and relations between Taiwan, China, the KMT, the DPP, those supporting or rejecting the trade pact and any other multiple possible subgroups, although important, do not play a dominant role in my synthesis of the meaning within these events. Rather, I look to what the hyphen between my two identities means.
As we stated before, we feel it is important to recognize recent events in Taiwan as they do not only affect those in Taiwan, but Taiwanese Americans in the United States. Andrea Chu, former Midwest Conference Director, shares an in-depth look at the Sunflower Movement.
Let me paint a picture. The golden age of the American economy, where the US was the uncontested global hegemon after the Second World War, tripped over itself in the 1970s. Inflation, unemployment, and income inequality all rose significantly in the coming decades, contributing to what sociologists call the Great U-Turn, in reference to the receding of hard-earned social progress. Manufacturing jobs disappeared, entire towns across the country falling into despair in their absence. This crisis marked the end of a Fordist industrial capitalism, but as we all know, our economy did not die. It was a phoenix reborn, with new systems and new patterns. Here marked the beginning of advanced capitalism, characterized by a move to service industries and flexible corporate structures.
by Angel Jehng, ITASA Representative Boston College
Boston College Taiwanese Cultural Organization has always put an emphasis on education and teaching the BC community about Taiwanese culture. On Tuesday, March 18th, the club hosted “TCO presents: Education Panel” featuring five international students from Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Seoul and of course, Taipei. Two students are exchange students, two are undergraduates and the last guest is a graduate student. The featured panelists generously spent time speaking about their educational systems in their respective home countries and answered any questions other BC students had about their education development. It is always interesting hearing about Asian educational systems and how they vary from country to country. Most BC students undergo the traditional American educational system so hearing about the different priorities, struggles and overall experiences is eye-opening. At the end of the day, despite the differences of our educational upbringing, every person in the room ended up at Boston College and is sharing our lives through the same educational institution.
By Jerry Chien, ITASA Representative Cornell University
We’re not just an Org, we are a family!
CTAS stands for Cornell Taiwanese American Society. Because Cornell is relatively isolated, our sense of community is especially strong, and CTAS is no exception. Our members are extremely tight-knit, with the majority showing up to every event we hold. We hold weekly general body meetings with activities ranging from painting paper umbrellas to a simple dinner to promote bonding. CTAS is no small commitment, but at almost any time of the day, you can find at least two of us talking about or planning the next event. Though we are not a particularly large culture club, our sense of community within makes us arguably the most engaging one!
We always kick-off the year with our annual bubble tea social on Cornell’s largest academic quad where members of the executive board serve free authentic bubble tea that comes straight from Taiwan! As our main recruiting event, we go all out in order to both promote our club and make sure all the new freshmen who pass by get to try some delicious bubble tea.
You have always heard about how people (and ITASA) described Taiwan about the people, the food, and the place. Now, there is finally a chance for YOU to go! Apply now!
Mosaic Taiwan is a fellowship exchange program for emerging US leaders wishing to gain firsthand experience of the Republic of China (Taiwan), a vibrant Asian democracy where traditional Chinese culture has prospered.
Also, just to lure you to apply: check out the food below!
Apply to host 2015 regional conferences — west, midwest, east!
Take a look at some of the conferences that are going on 2014!
Welcome our ITASA representative Judy Chen from Case Western Reserve University! Let’s see what she has to say about herself!