“Before the trip [to Taiwan], I had a lot of idea on how I viewed my identity as a Taiwanese American, but the trip definitely solidified those views and made me realize how different our cultures are. Not even just between Taiwanese and Chinese culture…but even between Taiwanese and Taiwanese American culture”
The great thing about the Taiwanese American community in New York is the interwoven connectivity between everyone. Introduced to us by Alex Shih of Taiwanese American Professionals of New York (TAP-NY), Jess Lee is the producer of the “Alishan” music video. Apart from the wonderous food in Taiwan streets and the cacophonous fights in the Taiwan government, Jess brings together the neon light filled streets, the dancing subculture and a remixed traditional Taiwanese aboriginal song. We speak a little of the video-making process and where the inspirations were drawn, but the biggest takeaway was Jess’ experience realizing the difference between the Taiwanese and Taiwanese American culture. Upon speaking of her sadness for leaving the island, her Taiwanese family was appalled by her actually being sad of leaving. Even more shocked was Jess because of her disbelief in how little pride Taiwanese took in their own country. Taiwan having been reported to have the lowest national pride percentage, has been through struggles due to its complicated history.