Need help, program for young Taiwanese Americans

Hello, for about 3 years now I’ve been talking about a program in NYC for young Taiwanese Americans, specifically the 1.5 and 2nd generations. Its time to act on it.

I’ve been looking at various ideas for workshops and other things, and am looking for interesting facts, resources, and things that helped bring your interest in Taiwanese culture or helped shape your identity.

I already have some monetary resources and the backing of various key individuals of the Taiwanese community in New York.

This program would happen on a yearly basis in the New York City area.

Taiwanese martial arts! One important aspect of Taiwanese culture that would appeal to the young folks and give them a sense of pride in Taiwan and a way to “link up”/“connect up” with Taiwan are martial arts systems that were developed here in Taiwan.

If you get the right teacher/speaker, they could use Taiwanese martial arts as a way to discuss different aspects of Taiwanese history; i.e. how martial arts were in the Qing (for example tie in Koxinga and the martial arts his groups brought here) what the deal was in the Japanese period (when judo and kendo were brought here), how the influx of mainlanders brought new martial arts to Taiwan, Taiwan’s role in the current martial arts world.

Also too, martial arts provides a good way to talk about traditional culture; the tie ins between Taiwanese martial arts and the teachings of Confucius and Daoism.

The key is getting the right instructor…which I realize is the key to any of these type of programs. But nonetheless that would be my suggestion. Martial arts is one area where Taiwan can really shine and has a lot to be proud of.

take care,

Hrm that sounds pretty good, is there a new hybrid (Martial) art in Taiwan? If so what is it called then?

Edit: I’m an exercise sloth so I don’t know much about martial arts. I just cycle whenever.

Also anyone have any other suggestions?

[quote=“ShrimpCrackers”]Hrm that sounds pretty good, is there a new hybrid art in Taiwan? If so what is it called then?

Also anyone have any other suggestions?[/quote]

Why does any future culture experience have to come from a past history such as the Han Chinese experience? It does not, and it should not for our purpose, which is the Taiwanese experience! :unamused:

The only culture experience that matter is those that work in our present time, and those that are in touch with the future challenges. Mainlanders (Taiwanese or Chinese) are expert manipulators that’ll always force us to fall back on their Han Chinese culture experience! :fume:

If you are serious about real effective combat arts, then check out my partial book lists: Combat Skills for all Taiwanese Patriot. They are for people who comes to term with the reality of combat in their dynamic nature, which is fast and furious and most of all, unforgiving! :s

BTW, what is the purpose of your workshop? I highly suggest realistic goals such as promotion of Greater Taiwan; and if not, just have a fun time together for all the Taiwanese people!! :wink:

How old are those young Taiwanese Americans? If they are older than 18, you can buy some really cheap Ruger .22LR rifles for them to shoot with. This will help them more than wasting their time on legacy martial arts. If they are under 18, just take them on camping trips and so on! Remember, the key is to teach them self reliance, proud to be Taiwanese, and have fun in the process!!

PS. Mainlanders (Taiwanese or Chinese) are trying to erase our cultures and our languages for a long time. The truth is Taiwan don’t need a Han Chinese culture because there is already a place for that, which is called, ‘PRC’. ‘ROC’ is just another redundant and unnecessary name for the Han Chinese culture. If Taiwanese Mainlanders really loved China and their Chinese culture, what they should do is move back to their real home, which is PRC. Taiwan was not their home (before or even now), and these people certainly show it as far as my concern!! :fume:

Resources!? Are you sure that’s the problem, lacking resources? The world is made up only two kind of people, the skilled and the unskilled! Anyhow, have fun dreaming!! :smiley:

PS. One of DDP’s biggest problem is the inability to see the do nothing dip sh*t for what they really are before taking our resources into the money pits!! :unamused:

Actor/playwright Welly Yang should be right up your alley, literally. Yang is the Taiwanese-American spokesman in the NYC theater world and an active promoter of Taiwanese culture. He just put on a musical in Taipei recently about growing up Taiwanese-American in the states.

Incubus, that is excellent feedback. Welly Yang, and theres another guy who also does theater (sorry forgot his name, ironic) are both pretty famous in our community. Of course Welly, is being called out by just about every Taiwanese American organization out there so he’s been difficult to get.

Seriously however, I can’t find the list of Famous Taiwanese people on Google anymore, where did it go?

One of problems I’m trying to address is the lack of a unified structure here. There are so many splinter entities all over the United States, none sharing resources. In some ways many of the first generation (I’m 1st) feel that the 2nd generation is out of touch or hopeless. Many of the 2nd gens feel that the 1st generations don’t want to offer support. Neither is the case I found.

One of the things I’m working on is building a Highschool and College Taiwanese organization charter and resource kit (under the name TaiwanSociety) to help unify most Taiwan organizations in the United states, not under politics, but under identity. HQ Land space, phones, etc etc are moderately handled as we speak.

Iron Jackal, the problem about the PanBlue and the PanGreen youth parties in the United States is that they don’t care about non-voters and non-Taiwanese. I want to promote Taiwanese culture, but not in the way of violence with guns. Performing martial arts, is okay.


The problem is that most ABC/ABT who have retained enough language and cultural skills to even see themselves as “Chinese” or “Taiwanese” usually live in the same community and form the same “cultural” habits in in the USA. Not to mention mainstream American culture forces them to identify with the generic Asian label.

Just look at the current slew of asian associations on campus across the USA.

So then you would have a club for “Twinkie” “Bananna” that could just as well join AAA for a good time.

The problem really is the lack of recent influx of Taiwanese immigrant children in the USA these days. The vast majority of ethnic Chinese are from the PRC now.

I’m serious how to you plan to build Taiwanese Identity in the USA when the driving force for most 1.5 and 2 generation kids want to be “American” or “Asian-American.” You want to reverse Americanization in the USA?

If it was going to happen the Taiwanese Association on Northern Blvd in Flushing would have cornered the market already.

Ahhh so cynical AC.

So what’s the big deal about assimilation anyway? Happened to many different cultures. The only difference between “ethnic Chinese” and let say the Italians is that you wear your “race” on your face.

And, it’s not just the US that is pushing the “generic Asian label”. Look at Rain - he want to, as a Korean, represent all Asians and make “Asians” proud. Said so on CNN.

That is true, so unlike European Jews, Irish, Latino and Italian immigrants the color of Asian skin is an obstacle to full assimilation. Unlike Blacks, who are seen as a part of the American mainstream cultural fabric, Asians are still viewed as foriegn.

This of course raises the question is what Shrimp trying to do a service for Taiwanese Americans?

On one hand he is suggestion a form of reverse Americanization where the hyphenated discription (i.e. Taiwanese) is more important than American part.

On the other hand it will cause fracturing in the Asian community, since the it is all motivated by the belief that Taiwanese are not Chinese.

I don’t know that all African-Americans or Latinos would feel that they are a part of the “American mainstream cultural fabric”.

Taiwanese are Chinese only the way the Australians are English. There are very strong cultural, racial and linguistic links. That does not always mean that they are exactly the same thing.

I would say Blacks and Latinos are for the most part considered more “American” than Asians.

Black hip-hop culture is ubiquitous with trendy and mainstream.

More Latinos are checking off the “White” box within 2 generations.

Taiwanese to Chinese is similar to Hong Kong’er to Chinese. The only unique difference it the political aspect that trying to create an independent State for Taiwan, thus a possible source of the fragmentation of Chinese base in USA.

The Asian political movement is already pretty weak to begin with in the USA. I’m just pointing out in the larger scheme of things would Shrimp’s proposal be helpful to the Asian community in NYC. Or will it be “airing out” inter-Chinese strife for the public to see.

Well, one could debate the degrees of assimilation of various racial and ethnic groups into U.S. culture to no end (there was a 15 or so page thread on this a few months back). The bottom line though, is that in a lot of places, there’s a strong trend towards an “asian american” kind of identity that takes most of the things from U.S. culture, but adds maybe a splash of Asian pop culture. It doesn’t really seem to matter so much that someone is Korean, Chinese, Taiwanese, or whatever, because they’ve got the common link of being Asian

I don’t think that should discourage you at all, just be aware that’s the trend.

[quote]Taiwanese to Chinese is similar to Hong Kong’er to Chinese. The only unique difference it the political aspect that trying to create an independent State for Taiwan, thus a possible source of the fragmentation of Chinese base in USA.

You could also argue the other way; that the political aspects are confusing racial similarity and historical political borders to force integration. In other words, just 'cause you’re racially Chinese does not mean that you all belong in the same political entity.

Just 'cause many Austrians are racially German doesn’t mean they should have be, or want to be, a part of Germany.

In my mind, much “inter-Chinese strife” is specifically caused this confusion.

However, there is nothing barring these countries from forming a close policial and economic union a la NZ/AU or the commonwealth in past days.

But by introducing more fragmentation in an already weak minority political base of “Asian” will not be doing any Asians in the USA a service.

Where as in a large political base, such as Whites in USA and Australia, special interest can be served in the republic political system with some fragmentation.

Because in the USA, Asians only make up 4% of the population. Those that are political active in the USA are acutely aware of “inter-Asian” conflicts that may weaken the base.

In Australia, I believe Asians are fast becoming the largest minority group, thus they could benefit in the future from some fragmentation to forward special interest in the political system there.

Okay, this is all off topic AC, thanks for deviating the topic pointlessly and specifically posting in this forum section after my posts, I don’t see your posts anywhere else here so I think you’re just searching me. Plus I don’t think any of your posts in this specific thread added any value to the topic at hand.

Back to the point:

Any other aspects? Some people have suggested topics on Taiwan’s history. History is nice but I’m not certain how interesting it’ll be for many of the second generations. However I like the feedback so far. Any other recommendations would be greatly accepted. Come on, let it out!.

There is definitely a distinct Taiwanese-American community in Hacienda Heights, California (and surrounding). As a Taiwanese American that grew up in a mostly white suburb, I have come to identify more with my American upbringing than with my Asian upbringing. Although my values are definitely Asian, I am an American.

I was talking with my friend the other day (he is Taiwanese-American from Hacienda Heights) and he was telling me that he identifies more as a Taiwanese than a Taiwanese-American or Asian American.

This has definitely been a topic of great discussion between my friends and in the past few years as we are all graduated and slowly coming to terms with our own identities as Asian-Americans in the workforce. Coming from Berkeley, where differences were respected and revered, and then going into the workforce where stereotyping is abundant, I am having trouble adjusting. I don’t fit in with either Americans or with Taiwanese. I am definitely the hypen in Taiwanese-American.

I’m in Taipei studying Chinese at Shi-Da, staying with a Taiwanese family. I am increasingly aware of my American-ness as I slowly try to come to understand my Taiwanese heritage.

Hmm…sorry for rambling…To answer your question, One thing I would hope to do is set up a website or at least a open forum/community space in which individuals can meet and discuss. Arts are always good. I think isolation is a problem so bringing together in a community is a great idea!! Good luck!


I understand your situation, and even went through the same program as you did. Careful with the windows at Shi-da, some poor ABC got their finger chopped off when it slammed down on them.

The question is then posed is what you percieve as identifying with “Taiwan” enough to make a political statement that Shrimp wants to make, “Taiwan not China.”

From a more social point of view, in America wouldn’t it be more effective to use the generic Asian identity as a stepping stone to full assimilation as Americans.

Isn’t one of the biggest obstacles in the USA for Asians is the removal of the “hyphen” which causes the perception of “foriegn” in the mainstream community.

Just like in Asia, there does exist the assimilation process known as Sinicization. Which is why you are attending Shi-da learning Chinese.

Isn’t the path of strengthening Hoklo/Taiwanese identity the path of de-Sinicization in Asia and de-Americanization in the USA.

There is a point when multi-culturalism can be destablizing to society.