, 11 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Here's my @latimes story on generation gap in #Taiwan: I profiled 3 generations of 1 family, asking how their lives led them to totally different identities and senses of connection (or lack thereof) to #China
The grandfather, age 87, was a KMT soldier who fled his Anhui village at age 17 to join the army and ended up in Taiwan. 42 years passed before he returned to his village, only to find that his parents and siblings had starved to death in the 1960s famine.
The father, age 55, is a Kaohsiung businessman who studied abroad in the U.S. He grew up calling himself Chinese, but now resents Chinese bullying towards Taiwan. "It comes down to power," he said re: China-Taiwan relations.
The son, age 23, is a millennial graduate of National Taiwan University who speaks perfect English and supports same-sex marriage. He's what people here call a generation of 天然獨, "born independent." His dream is to move to Seattle and work for Amazon.
Asked the same question: 你認為自己是中國人嗎?They gave radically different answers. Grandpa: 我是大陸人啊。Dad: 小時候我們都說自己是中國人,現在“中國人”被政治化了。我是華人,是台灣人。Son: ...NO.
There's a distinction between 華人, ethnic Chinese, and 中國人,China-person, that gets lost in English. It's important to Chinese diaspora in Taiwan but also in Malaysia, Singapore, the US, and more, bc it distinguishes between ethnicity and citizenship, heritage and belonging.
For many Taiwanese, being Chinese doesn't mean belonging to China. That's a shocking concept for many mainland Chinese, but not abroad. In families like this, it only takes 1-2 generations for a sense of belonging to disappear, even while family ties remain.
This was just one family out of many, but they reflect a broader trend, according to polls since 1992, in Taiwanese identity shifting toward Taiwanese only or Taiwanese + Chinese, and away from just being Chinese. (Thanks to @LATimesGraphics for this chart!)
I had so many fascinating convos while reporting this, w sociologists, culture critics, politicians and activists. Almost all said they had generation identity gaps in their families, too. Many said "We just don't talk politics at home anymore. Don't want to fight."
I'd love to hear parallels from other diaspora families, Chinese or not. How many gens does it take to disconnect from the "homeland?" Is it bc of education? Politics? Simply living in a different world? How wide can identity gap stretch between grandparents, parents & kids?
Lastly, many thanks to @Anrizzy for his beautiful photos! Please follow and enjoy his work :)
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Alice Su 苏奕安
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!