Canadian-born Taiwanese discovers her roots
By Jessica Lin
July 20, 2012, 12:17 am TWN
My mother has always told me that Taiwan was my true home. Whether we were talking about the concept of family or having a heated rant about global warming, she would bring it up right in the middle of a conversation, as if it was the natural conclusion to all discussions. Having grown up in Canada, where mac and cheese frequented my dinner table more than rice, I would roll my eyes. How could I belong to a country when I couldn't even muster through a single sentence in its language?
It wasn't until I finally visited the country for myself that I realized there was some truth to what my mother had been saying all along. Maybe it was the realization that I had a sea of extended family, anxiously awaiting my almost-prodigal return from the far, far away land of North America. Maybe it was the storeowners who automatically assumed that I was one of them. Or maybe it was just the fact that I desperately wanted to belong to a country where the food is cheap, the travel is easy, and the smiles are plentiful. But then I started to realize that maybe it wasn't just me. Taiwan seems to carry a feeling of home for everyone.
As I further explored this country that is supposed to be mine, I have seen a seamless mix of the new and the traditional. Peacefully existing beside a large conglomerate business like 7-11, is a small mom-and-pop store and when dinner time comes, I can easily choose between a big mac or a local dumpling stand. Though not lacking uniqueness, it seems that on this especially green country, everyone has carved out his or her own piece of the land without compromising his or her individuality. I look forward to finding my own place on this island to call home.