I always believe that reading is powerful because it helps stimulate your thinking into a different aspect.
After reading "Life in Colonies, and the Lies of Facts and the Truths of Fiction" by Minagahet. I couldn't help but think about the situation in Taiwan, and the Identity Problem here that would, somehow, never have an outlet to any solution.
There is an protest going on in Taipei since Sep.9th,2006. A group of people can't stand the scandal that our President and his family are involved and eagerly to urge him to step down from his position. Ostensibly, it is a justice that needs to be fought for. I mean, who could put up with a corrupted President? I do believe, some of the protestants are there simply because they dislike the corrupted President. However, the most likely inclination for those protestants to be there is because of one reason. Which is, to prove their representative status in Politics.
(I have to explain the political situation first, of course. The are two major forces in Taiwan. Green Party and Blue Party. Now, Taiwan is govern by the Green Party. The Blue one is like Republic Party in States and the Green one is like Demoractic. For the similairity, I refer to the consistent of people. The politicians from Blue Party are from somewhat rich or prestigious families, on the other hand, many Politicians from Green Party are either from labor families or gangsters groups)
Taiwan is an island that was once colonized by Holland and Japan for a long time. The colonial time of Holland in Taiwan was long long time ago. One hundred or 2 hundreds years ago. Too long ago to remember!
But 50 years ago, Taiwan was still governed by Japan. People over 65 years olds had experienced that time. (Like both of my grandparents spoke Japanese and received Japanese Education) Many of elders who are still alive, missed the time then. They said, although, Japanese deprived our language by forcing us to speak Japanese and had Japanese names, at least, people at that time were well-behaved and crime rate was much lower compare with now. ( 2 of my aunts and my dad have Japanese names)
Taiwan was soon, taken over by the mainlanders (people) from China after Japanese's govern. There was a civil war in China and the leader of the Blue Party was defeated by communist and so, he led soilders and their families, moved to Taiwan and would like to use Taiwan as a base, in hope of one day to regain his power in China. So, baiscally Taiwan was govern by Blue Party (the only party in Politcs ) at that time for many many years. This group of people try to invade their mythological-kind of idea to people in Taiwan and created a beautiful image that ,one day, we would overthrow China's power and take China back into our hand.
This big group of people came to Taiwan and taken over the political authority and forbidden the local people that were living here for a long time to speak Taiwanese (there were immigrants from the coast of China hundreds of years ago and aboriginal people that were living in the mountains.) Moreover, there was a historical event called 228, it was a terrorism from the Blue Party, in which, they had killed many intellectuals, artists, doctors. The government accused them for something that didn't exist and killed them.
Green Party was arised later to stand in a position of making Taiwan an independent country and aroused people's counsciousness to thier identities.
Green Party took a long time to make people in Taiwan realized that, we never belong to China and we are always indepedent somehow, and thus we need our name to be heard as a country but a province of China.
So, what has this part of history to do with the protest that is ongoing in Taipei right now?
For many famous faces on TV who speak for the protestants, either the politicians, lawmakers etc. They are all from the Blue Party. Many of them are either the offspring of the old Blue politicians or the offspring of the mainlanders. (Of course, it is obvious that Blue Party hates Green Party gut for their authority right now!) Those politicians or famous faces on TV in protest are all about middle-aged and they were deeply rooted with the idea of thinking to unite with China and build a good relationship with China.
So.the contest between mainlanders and locals are still ongoing somehow there in the protest.
Well..... I am off my topic again~
The youngsters in Taiwan don't see themsevles either the offspring of the mainlanders or locals. They don't care about that so much, we (young people) see ourselves as Taiwanese. But our identities are in crisis without being realized.
First, the politics is nver off the issue of the conflict bewteen the two national groups. (Locals v.s Mainlanders). It creates a very blur image to help young people to build thier identities as Taiwanese. Young people want to live peacefully without the tags of mainlanders or locals in Taiwan. But, remember, the parents of the young people are already middle-aged, their parents were raised with the deep-rooted identities of who they were. The domestic education of young people, unconsciously influence them without them knowing it.
This is why I don't like to talk about politics with my friends, all of my best friends are from the mainlander family and I am not. Not only my best friends, but also some of my coworkers and clients. They sometimes, uncousciously talked about Politics openly and the opinions of them, sometimes, accidentally
shaken my idea of who I am.
Who am I then? What political position do I take?
I am neither Green nor Blue. (Maybe, more Green color than Blue)
I am proud of being a Taiwanese and able to speak three language that are mainly spoken here in Taiwan.
I believe Taiwan is well-developed enough to be an indepedent country.
I would never want to unite or get close to China.
I don't like many Blue party politicians who think they have better lineage (like that they are pure blood and others are muggles) and smarter of knowing what's the best for Taiwan. As now, many of them are eargerly to get close to China and try to make peace with them.
Okay, then what's the second point of the crisis that we're facing.
The political chaotic status has made Taiwan a place that no other countries dare to make friends with.
We are smart and know how to do business around the world. We are powerful in produce many things that no other country can compete with. But besides the money and the fame we have in doing business. We are not taken seriously outside Taiwan.
I didn't realize this much until the trip to Hawaii. I had a good memory there, only 2 events that I would never forget.
I was at DFS with my friend, Arial. We were stopped by the doorman at the entrance. The conversation was as below----
"Are you with the tour group?" "No!"
"Are you Japanese? " "No!"
Then, he gave us the pass that were only allowed to shop at the first and the second floor. I was with a shitty face and ended up without buying anything at that mall.
Another event happened at one day, we were having breakfast in the hotel with all other participants in the ball room. We sat at a table with 2 men, one from New York, the other from China. The guy from New York tried to make a conversation with us. When the China guy knew us were from Taiwan. He kept interrupted the conversation bewtween New Yorker and we by saying who he knew from our school and things that he knew about Taiwan. It was like he had the right to represent of who we were! (I was murmuring some foul words in my heart)
What's more than the treatment Taiwanese receive abroad is that------
There are many times, I feel so sorry for some youngsters in Taiwan because they are too lucky to be protected under the wings of their parents. People who are rich getting richier and people who are poor getting poorer.
The kids from the rich families only know about money and the good quality of life they have. Many of them received education abroad and come home telling people they are Canadian, British or American.
I've met some of my coworkers who studies abroad a long time, come back to Taiwan teaching English and proclaim to be Aussie or Canadian.
They feel ashamed of being Taiwanese!!! Can anybody believe this?
The rest of the young people who remain in Taiwan for thier lives are suffering in the environment which political state is always swinging between the two sides.
What is the identity of poeple in Taiwan?
Without being colonized, the recognition is still no where to be seen. Or perhaps we are lost in this massive blur of cultural, historical background that we had?
I still remembered what the teacher said in the colonial study I took 2 years ago. He said, " Every Taiwanese should share a consent to recognize her/is root here, but search and build their identities individually!"