Open Letter from Linda Chien Lee
Over July 4th weekend, my family went to a Taiwanese American retreat/camp. Tony and I actually went to it MANY years when we were teens, with our parents. Back then, it wasn’t necessarily so much about learning about the Taiwanese heritage, but it was a time to bond with other Taiwanese Americans. And it was called Taiwanese-American Conference/East Coast.
There’s still the TACEC part, for the the 1st generations, but there has been the concerted effort to create a solid program for the 2g’s and 3g’s, called Taiwanese American Next Generation (TANG), which spans kids as young as 4 years to my age group. This is the 2nd year that we took our kids and the theme this year was “family”, and centered around the Taiwanese aboriginal group, Hakka (which I have roots to).
And family it was…..My kids are now asking to return next year, they are creating bonds with other Taiwanese Americans and finding out more about their heritage (they have once thought we were Jewish!)…..and as more and more adults my age, who also are returning after a 20+ year hiatus, and new 2g Taiwanese Americans going for the 1st time, Tony and I are reconnecting with our heritage and bonding with the big family. There were even inter-generational activities. (I even reconnected with someone from my old church…..last time I saw her was when she was around 5 and now she has little kids of her own!SuAnn Chen!)
Thanks to ALL those who make TANG possible and for being part of my big Taiwanese American family!
~ Linda Chien Lee