This short article was posted on one of the Forumosa forums for discussion. Not sure what to say about it but offer it as an interesting juxaposition between the Asian American experience in the US and the Asian American experience in Taiwan.
You take the people from a AA forum like Model Minority who see the world with tunnel vision who are no better than the “ugly” Americans they like to blast away for their “plight”. Then, you have the author of
I AM NOT KOREAN OR JAPANESE, REALLY!
, who gets insulted by his treatment because the natives here can’t believe some one like him can exist. “Marginalization” is indeed color-blind :|.
Unfortunately for the author, his article devolves into a poorly sarcastic rant which takes away from the opportunity to do something with it. On the other hand, if I were in his shoes, what exactly would I say about it? I mean, our uniqueness, is something that can’t easily be explained or described. Being an ABC in Taiwan makes the world even stranger. At least the Angry Asian American[tm] has status in the US, whereas the status in Taiwan is lower. The one way to avoid that is to position yourself as a “meiguo huaqiao” and you gain immediate status. However, that’s not always easy if you don’t have someone “in front” of you to make the necessary introductions.
In the meantime, I have learned my lessons and come up with my own survival rules. Survival Rule No. 1 is: let people know you are a meiguo huaqiao! Survival Rule No. 2: don’t ever be mistaken for a Korean! Survival Rule No. 3: use English only! In order to come across as a meiguo huaqiao, it is necessary to speak English as much as possible even if it causes cognitive dissonance.
When I first came to Taiwan, my cousin here insisted that I follow these exact rules to enhance and perserve my “status” to the locals. Only in this way would I be able to successfully position myself for business opportunities. The minute I deviate from this formula, I would be “lowered” in the business person’s eyes.
Side note: Cool website for spelling