Category Archives: Conferences

2015 NATWAII Scholarship Application for NATWA Convention

The 2015 NATWA Convention will be held at the San Diego Marriott Mission Valley. The NATWA II Scholarship Application to attend the 2015 NATWA Conference is now open. Please apply here or fill out the form below to submit by Wednesday, March 25. Scholarship recipients will be notified by Friday, March 27.

You can now also register online for the 2015 NATWA Convention here.

2015 NATWA Convention Online Registration
Deadline: Monday, March 30, 2015
***NATWA II Attendees, please only purchase Meal Plan C (Saturday Night Dinner) if you plan on joining us for that meal.

2015 NATWA Convention Schedule & Mail-In Registration Form

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Anita Chang’s “Tongues of Heaven” Film

By Amy Lee, 2014 NATWA II Convention scholarship recipient

We had the pleasure to view the screening of Anita Chang’s new film, “Tongues of Heaven” at NATWA. The film is set in Taiwan and Hawai’i and focuses on the questions, desires and challenges of young indigenous peoples to learn the languages of their forebears—languages that are endangered or facing extinction. Using digital video as the primary medium of expression, four young indigenous women from divergent backgrounds collaborate and exchange ideas to consider the impact of language on identity and culture.

Following up with the screening, Anita hosted a Q&A session with the audience. Tongues of Heaven is a documentary relied heavily on self filming from those who took part in the film. With the majority of the world’s population speaking only 4% of the world’s languages, the film discuss the struggles and

perspectives of preserving mother tongues in the age of homogenizing languages.

Anita talked about not only the main theme of the film, languages, but also the other various topics that were briefly brought up in the film. Indigenous people’s health issues, politics they face and many more are all touched upon in the film. As a film maker, Anita had decided to make sure the film is focused on languages. Anita also mentioned that she many scenes were self made by the young indigenous people- she had them carry simple camera equipments with them and record the moments that they were compelled to share.

Anita’s film is screening in various cities. For more information, visit Anita’s website:

Panel: “Exploring Cultural Roots through the Arts”

By Sarah Hedges-Chou, 2014 NATWA II Convention scholarship recipient

The final panel of the 26th Annual NATWA Convention in New Orleans was NATWA II’s “Exploring Cultural Roots through the Arts”. With organizers looking to host a diverse panel that would engage both older and younger generations, the discussion invited three Taiwanese-American women working in the arts to discuss their professional and personal journeys. The talented group of speakers included independent filmmaker, educator, and writer Anita Chang, author Julie Wu, and independent filmmaker, background artist, illustrator, and animator Hedy Yudaw. NATWA II intern Kristina Lin moderated the panel, spurring important discussions around careers in the arts, as well as the role of Taiwanese identity in shaping the work of these three artists.

Many of us were lucky enough to see Anita Chang’s most recent documentary “Tongues of Heaven” at an earlier screening at the NATWA convention. Examining the loss of indigenous languages in Taiwan and language revitalization efforts in Hawai’i, Chang’s documentary shines a light on the experiences of young indigenous women and investigates the links between language, identity and culture. Through this hard-hitting film, the question of “what do you lose when you lose your native language?” is explored.

Julie Wu’s 2013 novel “The Third Son” is a gripping work of historical fiction following disadvantaged third son, Saburo, as he navigates his way through life and love within Taiwan’s changing socio-political landscape. Starting in 1943, the story starts with the Chinese Nationalist Army take-over of the island following the Japanese occupation. Protagonist Saburo, trying to escape his oppressive family and the turbulent political environment in Taiwan during this period, seeks a new life in the United States. Mirroring the experiences of many Taiwanese immigrants to North America, Wu’s novel is at once exciting, heartbreaking, educational, and relatable for many NATWA members. Importantly, Wu’s novel also colorfully relates this unique experience of migration to descendants of Taiwanese immigrants.

A member of the Truku Tribe in Taiwan, Hedy Yudaw studied character animation at the California Institute of the Arts and received her Masters of Fine Arts in animation from the UCLA School of Film and Theatre. Working in a variety of mediums, Yudaw uses her art to give voice to marginalized peoples and to represent indigenous art forms. Her many credits include her award winning thesis, Voice, and animation work on the hit television series Community. Yudaw’s versatility and artistry were exemplified in the short but powerful clip of her work screened at the NATWA panel.

Coming from very different fields, all three artists drew upon commonalities between their experiences as Taiwanese women working in the arts in North America. They spoke to issues of sexism and racism within the arts, especially in terms of funding challenges and working in fields that are often dominated by men. As Taiwanese women, the three speakers agreed that there is some added pressure, as well as an important opportunity, to represent the Taiwanese community. Instead of shirking away from this responsibility, Chang, Wu, and Yudaw rise to the challenge, successfully using their art forms to convey the history, the diverse geography, culture and politics of Taiwanese people in their respective works. Through their use of documentary film, historical fiction and animation, Taiwanese stories, voices and art forms become more widely accessible.

Citing their different journeys into careers in the arts, the panelists agreed that family and community support played a pivotal role in their careers. Chang and Wu both began their education in more “practical” areas of study, with Julie Wu even becoming a medical doctor before recognizing her calling as a writer. The artists encouraged the audience to follow their passions and not be afraid to move beyond traditional roles and career paths. However, paraphrasing Anita Chang, a decision to follow ones passion is not always a choice, it is necessity.

The panel closed with the work of another talented Taiwanese-American artist, writer/director Karen Lin. We had the privilege to screen her highly entertaining new web series “Hungry Monster” (, which showcases Taiwanese street food. The three episodes focused on stinky tofu, batsang, and boba tea, and reveals how these foods are made in creative and fun ways that aim to share Taiwanese food culture with a wider audience.

As demonstrated by the impressive group of artists on this panel, there is no shortage of talent amongst Taiwanese-American and Taiwanese-Canadian women in the arts. With support from NATWA as well as the wider Taiwanese community, these artists have the potential to raise awareness and appreciation for Taiwanese cultural heritage in all of its nuance and diversity. Thank you to the talented Anita Chang, Julie Wu, Hedy Yudaw, and Karen Lin for sharing their art with us at the NATWA II panel; you have engaged a new generation of Taiwanese-American and Taiwanese-Canadian women.

Big Bah-Tzangs: The Hungry Monster

By Pamela Hung, 2014 NATWA II Convention scholarship recipient


Wouldn’t someone dressed up in a giant bah-tzang costume be funny??

This simple image was the inspiration for Karen Lin’s “Hungry Monster,” a web series that gives viewers a creative way to learn about ethnic foods (such as bah-tzangs), their origins, and how they are prepared.

Named after the Taiwanese saying yao gui, “Hungry Monster” was created for people of all ages to learn about unfamiliar foods, including Taiwanese foods. Each episode features a different food and a “Hungry Monster of the Day,” a kid with the lucky opportunity to explore the spotlight dish. So far, bah-tzang, stinky tofu, and boba tea have been featured, while oyster pancake (oah-zen) and Taiwanese burger (gua bao) are currently in the works.

With the 2nd and 3rd+ generations of Taiwanese Americans quickly growing and inspired by her own two young nephews, Lin saw the importance of Taiwanese foods as a way to bridge generations and embody culture.

“Being Taiwanese, food is always about family. We get together and eat together and it’s during that time that we share stories or catch up with each other. I wanted to share that feeling with everyone that watches it.” Lin made it a point to feature families in each episode, and to make learning about Taiwanese foods fun for people young and old, Taiwanese or not.

Lin also approached this project as a way to exercise her own creativity. Because the props didn’t exist – giant forks, giant plates, and of course, a giant bah-tzang – Lin’s production team built everything from scratch. Doing the background research and writing the scripts as well, she took on the challenge and made it her own: “it could be anything I wanted it to be.”

However, she knows that “Hungry Monster” wouldn’t have been possible without the support of ZuZu Films, Cherry Sky Productions, individual donors (including Ginru Lee from NATWA), and groups such as the Taiwanese United Fund,, and the Taiwanese Heritage Society of Houston. And “Hungry Monster” is just getting started: she’s always looking for support to spread the word and for sponsors of future episodes.

With support from the Taiwanese American community, Lin saw her dream of a giant bah-tzang costume come true. Now, she dreams of a day when people understand the Taiwanese American identity and its food (and stop confusing it with Thailand!).

Find out how you can watch episodes of “Hungry Monster” or support this work:

Taiwan Green Tea Cookies

NATWA II is selling Taiwan shaped cookie cutter molds this year! Stop by our table at the NATWA Convention in LA and buy one from us 🙂

The cookie recipe from Hanna Huang is posted below and can also be found at:

These are my absolute favorite cookies to make! They are simply sugar cookies that I color mostly with natural ingredients and some gel food coloring if it needs an extra color boost. The rolled sugar cookie recipe is adapted from one of the most popular ones I have found on Allrecipes.

Matcha Taiwan Love Cookies

*makes approximately 4 dozen

adapted from The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies 

1 Taiwan shaped cookie cutter from Cheap Cookie Cutters

1 Small heart cutter (I bought a set of 3 different size heart-shaped cutters and used the smallest one)

1 1/2 cups butter, softened

2 cups white sugar (can substitute half of this with sugar-free substitute like stevia)

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

5 cups all-purpose flour (I use King Arthur unbleached white whole wheat flour when I can)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 cup or 2 tablespoons matcha green tea powder (I found a very large bottle of this at my local Korean grocery for a very reasonable price of $8.99. The Japanese brands can be much smaller amounts for a higher cost.)

5-6 drops Green gel food coloring

3-4 drops Red gel food coloring

(you can try to substitute w/ regular food dye, but I recommend the gel coloring because I find it easier to work with as well as it produces much more consistent results.)

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl until mixture is even and smooth. Beat in eggsand extracts. Mix in flourbaking powder, and salt. Set aside about a cup’s worth of dough, this will be reserved for use as the hearts
  • Fold in the matcha powder as evenly as possible at this point. Feel free to add in extra for a stronger green tea punch! Depending on what kind of green you are going for, you will now mix in the gel coloring by using a spatula. Get it as streak-less and into a smooth color as possible. Use more gel as needed to desired color depth.
  • Roll out dough into 2 sheets between 2 sheets of parchment paper to about the length of a standard cookie sheet somewhere between a 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness. I like to stay on the thicker side since the shape of Taiwan tends to break easily if you want to ship or transport them longer distances.

  • Use the Taiwan cookie cutter to cut out the shapes (while on parchment paper) but DO NOT REMOVE THEM from the sheet of dough yet. Transfer that entire sheet onto a cookie sheet and do the same w/ other sheets of dough. Stack them on each other with parchment paper separating the sheets to be chilled in the fridge at least 1 hour.
  • Do the same for the dough reserved for the hearts. Don’t forget to add the red food coloring first!
  • After the matcha dough has chilled, remove from fridge and cut out hearts in the middle of the Taiwan shapes. Place a heart shaped red-color dough in the opening that is left to complete the cookie and place on a parchment lined baking sheet to prepare for baking.

  • Bake cookies for 5-7 minutes. Try not to let the edges get brown and too burnt. Cookies are done once you see a slight puffing to the dough. They are starting to become burnt once the edges start browning.
  • Dough can be frozen and defrosted for use within the span of a week.

I’d love to see people’s pictures of their Taiwan shaped baked goodies! Feel free to ask me for advice if you have any questions as well.

Register for the NATWA 2013 Convention!

Come join the North America Taiwanese Women’s Association II (NATWAII) at 2013 NATWA 北美洲臺灣婦女會 Convention in Los Angeles, CA. This year’s theme is “Explore, Appreciate, Celebrate.”
NATWA 2013 Convention Registration Form (please write NATWAII on chapter)
(late charge for forms postmarked after March 18, 2013)NATWAII Travel Scholarship form
(due March 10, 2013)
NATWAII Schedule
Friday, April 19th
6:30PM-8PM               Dinner (meal plan)
8:00PM-10:00PM      Arrivals, Introductions & Icebreakers (NATWAII)
10:00PM                        Free Time
Optional: Outing/Night on the Town
Saturday, April 20th
7:00PM-7:30AM         Morning Exercise (optional)
7:00PM-8:45AM         Buffet Breakfast (meal plan)
9:00PM-12PM                         Keynote Speech
       9:00-10:30AM      Formosan Genetic Heritage (in Mandarin with English summary)
                                    Speaker: Marie Lin, M.D., FCAP
       10:30-12PM         Going Beyond Your Comfort Zone!
Speaker: Charlene Chen
12:15PM-1:30PM        Lunch/Scholarship Presentation (meal plan)
1:45PM-3:00PM          Look Up and Forward: From a Young Overseas Taiwanese’s Perspective
Speaker:  Lily Wang, M.D.
3:00PM-5:00PM          NATWA roundtables
                                    “What ARE you? Navigating interracial identities and relationships.”
Speakers: Roselyn Hsueh, Grace Lynch Hwang, Monica Zarazua
5:00PM-6:00PM          Prep and get ready for NATWA/LA Night
6:30PM-8:00PM          Dinner (meal plan)
8:00PM-9:30PM          LA Night
9:30PM                        Free Time
Optional: Outing/Night on the Town
Sunday, April 21st
7:00PM-7:30AM         Morning Exercise (optional)
7:00PM-8:45AM         Buffet Breakfast (meal plan)
9:00PM-11:30AM       NATWAII Panel Speaker Session
“Taiwanese American Women Raising Awareness About Domestic Violence.”
Speakers:  Judge Deborah Chuang Servino, Grayce Liu, Jong-Ling Wu
11:30PM-12:00PM      Closing Ceremony
Optional: Sightseeing and lunch after NATWA Convention
When making hotel reservations, please have the staff look  under the code “ATW”, “Taiwanese”, or “North American Taiwanese Women’s Association”. The reservation link is also available, as follow: Hotel Room Rate: US$89 plus taxes & fee for 1-2 guests, additional person $10/person up to 4 persons.Feel free to contact for more information and questions.

NATWA II Scholarship Application Due 3-10

Link if you cannot see the form embedded below: 2013 Scholarship Application