by Hanna Huang
This past week was not just simple the week following Mother’s Day, or part of the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, it was also Taiwanese American Heritage Week. Since 1999, Congressman David Wu (OR), the first Taiwan-Born member of Congress, and many others, have supported the celebration of Taiwanese American Heritage Week starting each Mother’s Day Weekend during the month of May. Its first celebration by the Formosan Association of Public Affairs (FAPA) in 1999, Taiwanese American Heritage Week prompted President Bill Clinton to comment that “Americans of Taiwan descent can be proud of their roots and of their vital role in the continued growth of our nation. This observance offers us an opportunity to learn more about the outstanding contributions that men and women from Taiwan have made to our nation and the world.”
Since then, we have made great strides in the continued growth of the Taiwanese American community and in the celebration of Taiwanese American identity. Faces from our community have become prominent in every arena imaginable, from media, to politics, and even fashion! If you are unfamiliar with them, I urge everyone to view the presentation on Prominent Taiwanese Americans linked below. One of the best attributes of the Taiwanese American community is the pride and passion we have for our culture and our support of one another.
In the past two weeks, I have been amazed to see publicity and news for all types of Taiwanese American Heritage Week celebrations being planned and attended in cities nationwide. This year’s festivities coinciding with the 100th year anniversary of the Republic of China has only served to highlight the exposure and increase the breadth of all the event planning even more so. Although I unfortunately was unable to attend any, merely seeing the amount of friends I have attending these events, such as the huge Taiwanese American Heritage Week festival in San Francisco, warms my heart.
So even though the week has passed, we should all continue to spread the love and passion we have for our heritage and culture and continue celebrating as part of the greater Asian American community for the rest of May! Not to mention, make sure to pencil in Taiwanese American Heritage Week for the week following next year’s Mothers Day. If you are lucky enough to be somewhere where there’s a festival planned annually, join in the planning! If not, maybe it’s time to think about starting your own.