Hearts in Taiwan

Raising the next generation

September 09, 2021 Annie Wang and Angela Yu Season 1 Episode 17
Raising the next generation
Hearts in Taiwan
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Hearts in Taiwan
Raising the next generation
Sep 09, 2021 Season 1 Episode 17
Annie Wang and Angela Yu

As English-speaking parents living outside our heritage country, we discuss how we go about passing our culture on to our kids. From seeking out Mandarin Immersion schools and caregivers, cultivating our kids' palates to appreciate Taiwanese food, and planning to visit Taiwan regularly for family vacations (when we can again!), we share what’s worked and what hasn’t across our kids ranging from age 4 to 12. Angela also shares the many new resources that have cropped up from entrepreneurs in the past 5 years to help parents like us.


NTNU Mandarin summer camp

Mina Learns Chinese Instagram Reels featuring shows and movies on Netflix and Disney+ with Mandarin audio tracks

Go! Go! Cory Carson on Netflix by Alex Woo and Stanley Moore of Kuku Studios

Alok Menon on Instagram normalizing body hair and trans beauty

La La Learn app for iPhone and iPad by Alice Han featuring children’s songs in Mandarin

Hearts in Taiwan raising bilingual kids resources page lists all the books we mentioned and more (https://heartsintaiwan.com/raising-bilingual-kids)

Connect (check for our giveaway here!):




buymeacoffee.com/heartsintaiwan ← Buy us a boba!


Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

As English-speaking parents living outside our heritage country, we discuss how we go about passing our culture on to our kids. From seeking out Mandarin Immersion schools and caregivers, cultivating our kids' palates to appreciate Taiwanese food, and planning to visit Taiwan regularly for family vacations (when we can again!), we share what’s worked and what hasn’t across our kids ranging from age 4 to 12. Angela also shares the many new resources that have cropped up from entrepreneurs in the past 5 years to help parents like us.


NTNU Mandarin summer camp

Mina Learns Chinese Instagram Reels featuring shows and movies on Netflix and Disney+ with Mandarin audio tracks

Go! Go! Cory Carson on Netflix by Alex Woo and Stanley Moore of Kuku Studios

Alok Menon on Instagram normalizing body hair and trans beauty

La La Learn app for iPhone and iPad by Alice Han featuring children’s songs in Mandarin

Hearts in Taiwan raising bilingual kids resources page lists all the books we mentioned and more (https://heartsintaiwan.com/raising-bilingual-kids)

Connect (check for our giveaway here!):




buymeacoffee.com/heartsintaiwan ← Buy us a boba!


[0:00] Music.

[0:24] Welcome to the Hearts in Taiwan podcast where we explore and celebrate our connections to Taiwan.
I'm Annie and I'm Angela and every episode we unpack and aspect of our heritage and experiences that have shaped our identity.
You've heard about our experiences growing up as Americans with Chinese and Taiwanese Heritage this week we're going to talk about how we Infuse culture Heritage and identity into our parenting.

[0:59] So you have two younger ones a four and an eight-year-old and I have
a kid who is going full speed in the on-ramp into teenhood.
Yes she is like a days away from turning 13 right yeah.
Exactly but she has definitely embodied teenhood to.

[1:28] I don't want to say the fullest because I don't want to jinx myself and Dan like there's more to it than this because I know there was more I haven't hit the fullest teen mode yet but.
This past year has been real interesting I've gotten a really good taste of.
What teenhood is like nowadays so.
I feel like I have forgotten what it's like to have kids less than 12 years old or 11 years old so I would love to hear about.
What it's like to have a four year old and an 8 year old because I will say I think about it and I really loved those ages yeah well I
I always think of it as the ages from infant to
age 5 as being like the most physically demanding years they're physically demanding physically exhausting because they're still physically dependent on you so like
I think somebody told me that they went there once they hit Age 5 then like
it's golden like you know they can do things for themselves and you can like they can actually be helpful around the house and things and so I have been.

[2:49] Count it like my son my older one he hit that like you know.
While ago but we already had our daughter like they have a three and a half year age difference.

[3:01] So by the time he hit that kind of Independence we already had
like a toddler on our hands and so there was no break and so I was I've been like just counting down the days until I have to over five but the second one she's you know
I think I think younger siblings are developed faster or like get independent faster so I think we've already kind of hit that stage where,
it's less exhausting with.
My four-year-old so I feel like we're just getting out of those physically demanding years,
and so now it's like they're they're more emotionally stable and physically able and so it's all the sweetness because,
they you are still the center of their world and and so then like all their love is focused on you it's just it is really fun yours because they're still picking up on everything that
giving them like you everything you want to teach them they'll try it.
I understand from other parents that these are kind of golden years that I'm about to go into.

[4:11] But I see you and your daughter and I'm like dreading what's coming up ahead of head for me because I know that the teen years are really emotionally difficult difficult and I think.

[4:27] They're like as difficult as the infant years but like emotionally which is I think.
Really really really trying yeah if anything I would say that's probably even harder than the physical stuff
but enjoy this time because I just gonna disappear before you even know it it'll be one day you're gonna wake up and they'll be like
what the f*** you doing in my room please leave I just want to play video games all the time I hate you I want to do anything this sucks everything stopped emotionally challenging is definitely the way to describe
what I'm getting into now.

[5:06] And now it's really it is a bit of walking on eggshells say and and being very.
Try to be subtle about things but again it's really hard because.
My personality too is not super laid back where it's easy and natural for me to be subtle or till about something it takes a lot of practice.
And I definitely do not hit the mark most of the time.

[5:37] You know go so going back to sort of back to the beginning okay what did we think about.
We first had our kids or early on there's intentions.
And then there's like reality yeah I mean actually I want to I want to ask you how these things turned out because like in the beginning I think we all
have the same vision of how things are going to work right we're like right okay the grandparents are going to help babysit and the grandparents are going to speak exclusively Chinese to the kid
you know it like for people who can afford a nanny or babysitter like maybe they'll look for someone who.
Can who speaks fluent Mandarin or Spanish or like a different language also so that they'll cultivate an ear for a language other than English.
And we're like okay great like so the a lot of the beginning intentions are around language.
And then like if your area supports it you consider
a daycare or preschool with mandarin option or Mandarin immersion like I think there's a big spectrum of like what's available out there depending on where you live like my daughter actually the preschool that she was in taught both Spanish and Mandarin for
first 30 minutes a week.
And then now she's in a mandarin immersion preschool where one of the teachers speaks exclusively Mandarin and one of the teachers speaks exclusively English.

[7:03] And so she's starting to understand Mandarin a lot better now because of one of the teachers.

[7:11] Brain I call it brainwashing is like cuz like.

[7:17] She was like oh well so did my hair in braids today and I was like oh and she said she asked if I want Elsa braids and I was like did she ask you an English or in Chinese as she was like.
In Chinese and I was like oh what did she say and like she couldn't replicate it and I was like you understood what she was asking you what she asked you if you wanted Elsa phrase she was like.
Yeah I guess I did so I was like oh this is excellent after like one week in this preschool she understands someone asking her if she wants like a her hair done I was like else's.
I've kind of done the best I can do in terms of setting them up with mandarin the hopes of learning in the Mandarin language without having a native speaking parent.
With all those best laid plans how has that worked out for you now with a twelve-year-old looking back on all these things that you've tried it's completely blown up in my face.

[8:14] Well kind of kidding also not saying I basically dropped all of the explicit Mandarin learning options.
For her because she's just so resistant to it I don't want this to become a situation where like you and I experience like oh I hate Chinese school this is bull and then you actively revolt against it
all of this foundational stuff is important just because by virtue of it being foundational having the tongue for the language is really important she still understands.

[8:50] So the way that I went about doing this was when she first went.

[8:55] When I first went back to work after having her I had put her in a small in-home daycare that was run by a woman that spoke.
Exclusively Mandarin so she had been in that,
for all the way up until she had to go to preschool where I was living in a place where our neighbor one of our neighbors she opened up
a small preschool so she spoke exclusively Mandarin this is a really small preschool I should also give kindergarten here so that was really great
she totally embraced all of the Mandarin language it's just like that's just how things work and then in first grade she went to
you know regular Public Schools obviously that's all in English we don't have any Mandarin immersion programs in my area
in the public schools and so it was just all English all the time
a year or two after I started her and the public schools I found a Chinese after-school program so I put her in that
but that lasted all live I think two years because this Chinese after school care was way too hard core,
for it was what I expected but additionally so they had one hour of the after-school program dedicated to actual class time where they were proactively learning to read and write.

[10:16] In Chinese and an hour of math class Yes you heard that right,
one hour of math class in Chinese after school care oh and wait for it.

[10:33] The math was in Chinese and by that I mean the worksheets were literally written in Chinese.
Just for added drama they would have homework for Math and Chinese,
God I was like this is an after-school program it am I am I the only one here who sees a problem with this am I like that much of a Twinkie or I'm like this is like a problem.
Because she was basically in class.
In Chinese school after her core School classes she she couldn't even finish her regular homework and then she had additional homework on top of that.

[11:19] And so it was just a total nightmare that's terrible branding for the Mandarin language for like her to associate the language with all that extra work.
And intensity it was ridiculous so that I I went the opposite direction and I put her in this it was all around about
physical activity the whole program is just different games and activities that are all physically related that's fun that sounds like summer camp all year long,
my parents from the beginning I told them they want them to speak Mandarin to my daughter.
But I think my mom is hoping that because she failed with me that maybe there's still a chance with my daughter to know the Mandarin language and for it to not disappear within a generation,
ultimately kind of Bring It Back it makes sense to still go down that foundation around like push everything and anything that one can because it builds up Foundation even if you pull back on it.

[12:29] At least they have that foundation and it can be built in different ways depending on the kid as they age right so with mine I also realize the type of person she is she's very free-spirited very
artsy and creative so things that are very like Kumon-esque are never going to work for her so things like I put her in summer camps
where it was purely a far fun they were Mandarin language spoken during the camps they were all revolving around like Chinese culture so they would do like art projects and they would do like make food but all of the art centered around
things that were culturally significant and same with the food.
So she had a lot of fun with those and that really worked and I would say the ultimate and here is where I'm going for the future
that I would say is going to be the most effective I'm going to Target as long as I possibly can is I had put her in a summer camp.

[13:26] In Taipei a few years ago the last time we went it was a four-week camp Monday through Friday 9 to 3 it was targeted towards kids that grew up in the United States.
Just the idea of there's that structured environment where they're talking about language reading writing songs culture there go on field trips but really the key being in country.
Where that language and that culture is all around you and you can't run away from because you are physically literally there so that is my target moving forward is that is how I'm going to try to infuse culture and language into.
Her more the camp you sent her to it's like,
the most well-known summer camp for ABC's right yeah so it's the national Taiwan Normal University it's a pretty popular Camp they have a version for pretty much every age.
Every grade it delivered on what.

[14:25] I had expected and not only that I got to make friends too so you hung out with the summer camp parents I did yeah cool exactly so everybody got to have their own independent experience like and her language
like improved after the four weeks.
My language even improved after four weeks getting me and I wasn't even in school again just idea of being in that country,
people speak English but really not everybody does and all the signage and I'm going to try to get a taxi it took me.
Because we would have to we would take a taxi every day to the school and I could not remember for like the longest time how to say the name of the University.

[15:11] If you ask me now I definitely don't know but it took me awhile and so you have to say it look at the taxi it doesn't understand oh yeah.
My daughter would have to be like hi it's this say it like this it's this for sure.
You're being royally embarrassed it dies it bears that you can't speak the language that's good that's like the ultimate like indirect reinforcement that she needs to have,
skill pretty much not embarrassing like her mom exactly so I would forget I would I can't my issues I can't get words out of my mouth if I know the words I can't.

[15:48] Formulate them and have them yeah I could understand better that can speak and so she was already more fluent going to Taiwan then I was and so of course it.
Difference in our skills,
for even bigger while we were there even though I am prove she improved way more because kids retain this up so much faster oh yeah she's very competitive and so basically using that and my inability to speak Mandarin
compared to her
yeah I should better ability to see Mandarin like using that as further incentive in a way like oh yeah like I don't know how to say this
giving her that Pride that she can outdo you it's
encouraging because what I hear about from people coming back from spending time in Taiwan is like they add another layer on that and they're like oh the
the camp the summer camp for English speakers is like not enough immersion because they probably end up just being English with their fellow Camp mates and so they're like I want to look for a camp that's for local kids,
because then like they're really forced to speak Mandarin it's your peers really that advanced you in the language the most because it's what you're forced to speak with your peers right.

[17:09] The one thing that I am challenged with with the idea of an american-born kid going into a local school is.
The sense of inclusion and belonging.
Because that's going to be really tough for them everybody's going to be so different have a very different understanding of the world.
The kid is going to be clearly not a local so how is that going to play into just everyday experience
well your whole experience of picking up improving your language while in Taiwan
while she was in summer camp and kind of like you learning by osmosis that's kind of like what I went into
the Mandarin immersion
schooling with the expectation of is that like oh my kids will learn Mandarin and I'll learn Mandarin with them because like that was my Hope was that all like I hope too
you know like learn through the homework that they bring home and everything so I remember
like me trying to be really diligent about that like when my son entered kindergarten I was like pestering the teacher and I was like.
Even in preschool I would like tell the preschool teachers oh can you post like what songs you sing Oh my gosh so I can like maybe learned that love this song.

[18:36] The elementary school I was like asking the.
Kindergarten teacher to like send home like word lists or whatever she's like exposing the kids to.
I think she like ignoring me so I did like learn a little bit through his
worksheets but definitely not not enough like I think that's an expectation that you have to let go of like you're not going to learn Mandarin through your elementary kids immersion program.
Okay Angela though I say I think you're probably the only person that would even.

[19:12] I think her hope for that because you were like the ultimate overachiever I'm gonna just go out on a limb.

[19:20] And say that you are the minority of people that would approach there goes my version.
Like that try to sneak in some adult education.

[19:34] Well I guess I have finally admitted to fee and I have just signed up for adult Mandarin classes which I you know I tried in.
College I took like a semester and in post College I took a semester I mean a quarter and neither of them really stuck so now I'm trying like for real with the with a language school and I'm motivated by
of you know a future trip to Taiwan.
That is exciting I'm confident that this time it'll stick I hope so too I mean like for me to choose some choose to do something like
yo while being a working parent I think is I don't take it lightly the Mandarin immersion Elementary School experience I think has been
good I think it's been successful even though I don't feel like my
now third grader is particularly proficient at the language his teacher has been really encouraging to us in the last parent-teacher conference that like it's just really matter is that they get exposure.
Two-thirds of the school is English only and he's in a special Mandarin immersion track or program within the school
the whole school even though like only one third of the school has in the semi program they do a lot of the cultural emphasis on the.

[20:57] I guess like Mandarin focused culture so we the whole school celebrates the mid-autumn
Festival the whole school celebrates Lunar New Year I think even one of the
plays like the school plays that they do is Monkey King which I didn't even realize but I think that's a Chinese folklore story or Legend.

[21:23] To him his experience is that.
His culture is normalized like he will never feel other because it's kind of like he's almost like too far like he's almost the.
Majority expectation is like is like that everyone is like him or celebrates his family's traditions.
Even though I feel like that's kind of the fluff just like you.
Put put your daughter in a summer camp that wasn't really about studying the language but more just like enjoying the culture.
That is going to be more successful at motivating them to want to continue the language at you know as they get older because they're going to like seek out things that are familiar to them
and or that they recognize at or people that have that kind of same.

[22:13] Same affinity for these things and these traditions.
Because we definitely did not find a fun language after the ground you did not found the opposite
of that so yeah that didn't last but it's interesting that you're talking about just even between your two kids the difference that you saw in resources for you to use at home in like looks and things like that.

[22:41] I'm really curious even though it's not applicable to me what kind of stuff you've seen out there like tell me more about this because I know you've looked into this a lot more than me and he's awesome so cute.
Oh gosh it is so exciting how many more authors of color are getting published these days
if you can start from infancy with board books and we've found like so many cool entrepreneurial authors that just started
writing these books for their babies and a lot of the books are focused on food which is really cute but it also like cultivates that recognition so when it's time to eat those foods like kids will be like ooh I've seen pictures of this before I'm like really excited to try it almost in like every every baby book there's a feature of boba
then like they Branch out into other kinds of food. Bitty Bao is I think one of the most prolific so far their books cover
all kinds of topics not just food but also like cultural celebrations as well and then there's like Big Cities Little Foodies which is a new one for they're focused on cities like so here are the foods you'll see in Taipei here are the foods you'll see in Tokyo,
and then Baby Snack Time is another one that's like all about food specifically foods that you'll recognize in Asian households.

[24:00] I was talking about wanting to learn like the nursery rhymes.
My friend she made an app called La La Learn that has a whole bunch of songs in it in Chinese and they have the English name of the song they have the Chinese characters and the pinion.
There's a book that.
Has a similar concept where it's a board book but it has like this audio player on the side and so like each page that you open to you can play the song that goes with that page now my older one is into early readers
I think one of the biggest biggest things to happen last year was the release of Eyes That Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho. She's very interested in Social equity
she knows that to change the world to influence society you need to start with
the early years and you do that through their entertainment basically through the stories and the books one of the thing weighs that she's countering
racism as specially anti-asian racism is to
help Asians recognize the beauty in their own features.

[25:16] This is a story that really focuses on someone recognizing that other people have different features but her finding pride in her own eyes her own eye shape
and seeing that her own eye shape is reflected in the members of her family and finding like all of the beauty that comes from the relationship that she has with her family members and recognizing that she has the same eyes as them
it's giving a lot of people a way to counter that self-hate
that a lot of especially once you go into adolescence and start looking at how everybody else look around me how do I get accepted what are some liabilities for why I might get
rejected or left out of my peer group and kind of like building in some insurance of like pride in your own.
Features rather than viewing them as a liability.

[26:16] So like that's that's kind of like something that I'm already seeing being reflected in my daughter like my daughter's just like randomly at dinner last week was like hey Mom look.
And she like turn her her face to me just like I'm showing you how beautiful I am.
Like tap the side of her face because my eyes kiss in the corners I was like oh yes okay
so that's awesome and another one of my favorite books is the Amy Wu series by Kat Zhang
Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao is like it's like all centered on her trying to learn how to make bao from her family it's kind of like if you remember ever making
dumplings with your family of like trying to get the right amount of filling in and get the wrapper to stay close things like that like I thought it was like a really great book
of like capturing that tradition and that moment even if we only have energy to do that like.

[27:20] Once or twice during their childhood with them at least this is like something that will crystallize like the takeaways from that experience.

[27:29] I volunteered last year to read to the kids at through my work and I ended up choosing the book Nian Monster by Andrea Wang
and that was a different take that was more of like a mainland China take on the The Legend of the Nian Monster but like why all these.
Foods are lucky around Lunar New Year okay another one that I really like.

[27:54] Is the Mina Learns Chinese series by Katrina Lou she is I mean she has a book that is very just
obvious about it is the book is called I Love Boba there's a giant cup of boba on the cover so there's that but but she actually has a lot of
other books to about this little girl Mina who goes through all of the life experiences that a Chinese American kid would go through,
actually one of the things that I love about following the author on Instagram is that she makes these really handy lists of okay if your children are like
it's not so into the books they had she makes the list of all the media that your kids are watching on Netflix or Disney + that you can
just choose Mandarin as the audio track so.
One of the things that I kind of forced my kids to do was like because they've seen these episodes so many times already there's a new series called Cory Carson.

[29:01] That actually has an Asian guy as the primary Creator his is one of the shows that offers a
Mandarin audio track and so I was like okay kids like which episode do you want to watch they all they know all the episodes by heart and I'm like okay you're going to watch one in Mandarin
and then you can watch one in English so making sure that while they're wasting away there
hours watching the same episodes over and over again at least they'll get an ear for Mandarin one of the things that
the ways that I buy gifts for your daughter is whenever I see middle-grade fiction I like give it to her because I'm like I want like
middle-grade influence of all these interesting perspectives from these not traditional like authors or authors that don't fit the typical.
Demographic that you see so that she'll be exposed to more kinds of characters and more characters that are associated with the cultures that she's that she's familiar with.

[30:08] So yeah
like I don't know if it's landing but I'll just like throw anything at her from my angle as the Auntie well I think that's the the only way that anything is getting through to her because it doesn't work when it comes from me,
so we talked a little bit about your daughter as pallet like you know at home but like how did she did she discover any food any new foods when you guys went to Taipei and she did summer camp and all that
the kind of cool thing was that none of it was new to her really she's had it
it home either through grandma or at a restaurant or our friends houses,
it was good that she's seen and tasted pretty much all of it but she had just more exposure to those things that she was already somewhat familiar with from home.
But in a different context really so cam they did make some foods I forgot what they mean but they did make some snack foods and desserts that she's had before but
never made and never knew anything about it before other than just oh grandma gave this to me so I'm just going to eat it.

[31:23] I definitely believe that food is like the best way to infuse an addiction to a culture.
Even for those of us who don't cook and don't enjoy cooking any way shape or form,
this idea of exposure to culture through food I completely agree with from standpoint of when we go out to eat.
Right going to a restaurant bringing them into those environments gives them cultural exposure through food right yeah do you think would your daughter be able to read a menu and order food if she were to go to a restaurant by yourself,
not anymore yeah I would say when we were.

[32:02] Potentially in when she was going to that crazy Chinese school after school and probably shortly after that trip to Taiwan with the summer camp well.
Our next immersion trip that we take I think she will definitely she'll definitely be able to do that and I mean I remember when.
When we visited when I was staying at Grandma's place we.
Like I would go down to the bakery across the street
and get Bakery Foods all by myself so that's like a big deal because I was like young and and I was always like terrified because I was like can I speak
the language to be able to order the thing that I want like know how to pay but I think that was like a really great.
Attempting to be independent in this foreign country and also just kind of like feeling like I had this unique experience that was just mine.

[33:06] So I hope to give that to my kids somehow not like I don't know I don't think my mom was at all intentional and how she sent me down to do that but like now I have this great memory of like that experience of going to the bakery.
Yeah I were your mom I think exactly what I know exactly what it would be because I would do the same thing I'd be like I don't want to go down there you're hungry go get it yourself.

[33:30] Okay bye I'm gonna pick you are watching TV and the air-conditioning yeah but others in food like.
And other than say what your school can can sustain in terms of cultural celebrations like what are other ways that we can.

[33:48] Keep the culture alive so that our kids stay connected to the heritage.

[33:53] Using grandparents as the conduit for teaching the grandkids our kids about anything.

[34:03] Related to culture the language the Customs anything like that because they've retained the most of it and a lot of it kind of like a you call a sieve.
It's gone do us it's just sort of like brutally bottom out so maybe I'm like little bits and pieces but how do you teach
that when you have only bits and pieces so Reliance on our parents.
With every child there's two sides to this.
Family right so for me my husband is Cantonese his family's from Hong Kong like his mom is super superstitious like she brings a lot of.
Fear of,
everything like there's things that I am always told not to do because she believes that it'll bring bad luck because she lives far away from us the kids haven't really experienced
that yet like her correct answer and my and my husband tries to like filter it the kids are going to just kind of.

[35:09] Grow up with us like General awareness of Chinese superstitions like even.
Lunar New Year and Mooncake Festival like the stories about the moon and Lunar New Year with like the Zodiac and lucky foods they're all very focused around like,
money and long life think those things being very important
and like so you change a lot of your behavior in order to optimize for greatest fortune or longest life all of that folklore and legends even if you like oh scientifically that's not true like there's no
bunny in the Moon it infuses like the the values of the cobra weave View,
family really highly we've you extending your life really highly and we think it's really important to
get rich I think it's a little bit strange how focused the Chinese culture is on gold and Fortune,
I think it might be like more hard times and survival and so like money was a lot more important money seemingly buys you happiness.
Right now our allies you.
Like literally buys you theoretically whatever you want versus if you're looking at the.

[36:33] At a basic level of oh no money all you're doing is worrying about food Water Shelter and that is what this feels like the more money you get.
You think that that's going to get you to every single level all the way to the top Yeah I think that's interesting to be mindful of like what messages we pass on to our kids because I think
all of these Tales were written in a scarcity culture in my life experience what I've seen is that you.
Gain a lot more and you attract more when you have an abundance mindset.
And your generous with what you give out to the world and then.
It comes back to you I don't know like how you invest in building Community I think that's a that's a problem in a lot of Asian cultures like my neighborhood is
like ninety percent Asian but we have no sense of community because we all just kind of hole up in our places and it's kind of like Saving Face like don't.
Let anybody else get into your business too much,
but your neighborhood has a lot of community giving and trading and participation so your community is.
A lot more Rich to live in and I really love that about your community.

[37:55] Yeah and guess what the majority demographic is not Asian mmm so there's definitely a Cultural Association with that I have lived right before living here I lived in a community
that was more demographically look like yours and it was exact same thing and I hated that
the main thing that I was looking for when I was looking for my current place was what does the community look like.
I wanted a community that was exactly what I got oh that's so cool I love where I live yeah for that reason
yeah like that's really awesome that you were intentional about that in choosing where you bought your house and.
I subscribed to that in choosing the elementary school that we go to because.

[38:48] One of the things I'm really happy about is safe they paired the MI program the the mentor immersion program with a school that had a very intentional focus on community in their values.
I think one of the things that I hear about in,
the and I observe in the Taiwanese culture is more of a sense of welcoming and a warmth and I'd like to see that come out in some new kid literature.

[39:17] The whole reason that sparked me thinking about doing this episode was because I have been thinking about.
Your daughter I talked about my blended family being like half,
Taiwan Mandarin based in half Cantonese and your daughter is actually biracial.
I know you haven't had like bandwidth to think about like the cultural influence in these years but like I feel like she's gonna face soon if not already like some Reckoning of like,
how she looks maybe.
Aligns differently than like all of the role models and all of the influences that you've been presenting to her.

[40:02] Like what do you think are her sources for.
Getting in touch with like people that look like her or share her kind of the other half of her racial background.
That's that's one of the things that I've been starting to think about and haven't quite figured out how to make this happen because so.
The half that shares of me that like we're saying is.

[40:32] She's with me I had a person the time so at this point given this age band The the methods of influence are really dirty in direct,
right it has to be through osmosis can't throw anything in their face because it will immediately throw it back and.
Revolt against so it's exposure through hearing about the things that I'm doing at work with the D and i stuff and yeah hearing the stuff I'm doing with the podcast.
So I haven't even.

[41:01] Touched what does it mean for her to figure out how to identify with the other half of her which is Pakistani.
She has no involvement from that parent so that teaching does not come from their frankly at the end of the day I have to figure out what baton on me how to,
bring some sort of like identity for her around that piece of her because honestly up until I think like a year ago
she thought she was half Indian I know she even know the difference between o and Italian Indian I've never brought it up because I was like I have better to worry about
really and so
I haven't brought it up I just said Pakistani that's it and I have not explained anything I have not even touched it I have to figure out what does that look like in terms of how is she going to figure out what that side of her identity,
it is and I don't know
how to tell what I'm going to do in that regard because physically she does look very different like she here I think she knows
about the Taiwanese Chinese part of her but physically she looks very different she
gets Filipino all the time so like in Chinese go for example the after-school Chinese School the Camp's the Taiwan Camp She doesn't look like any of those people but culturally everything she knows culturally

[42:30] Closest to that so it's kind of like a what is happening and she's been called out for physical differences students other students
it's primarily it's actually really primarily been in the that hardcore Chinese school kids are so narrow-minded it's really and so again you think about the exposure that they had where they're coming from they're coming from,
holy man mainland China communities where the exposure of the type of people that they look and see look very much homogeneous in the certain way.
Yeah and her style to is very different I think that's also why she's gravitated more towards the white American.
Parts of what she is easily has easily accessible because they all look a lot more.
Different and unique and select just the idea of okay like I don't have to deal with this.

[43:24] You know homogeneous Asian or Chinese-Taiwanese looking group and be subject to.

[43:31] Like all of that I can be with all of these white people.
And mixes not just white people but blends of all different races and then because we're all just really different and be done with it and just that's it.
And it's like almost like an avoidance technique I think the more yeah about it at some point I got to figure out this shit.

[43:53] Well I will look for like some ways to infuse like South Asian like I like it's in the corners but for South Asians.
Yeah because like I think that she's she's
like her style is amazing like I love her personal style and it's very individual it's not like she's not like trying to model after
like white beauty standards or anything she's like very confident and being a Pioneer in her in her look.

[44:27] But like it look like I know body hair is going to be a big thing and.
When people on Instagram I follow has had to do like a whole campaign on like normalizing body hair.

[44:43] The more that she can be exposed to South Asian creators who are really proud I mean like.
I think South Asians have some like the most beautiful features in the world but they are are they are say.

[45:01] Criticized persecuted for body hair and skin color and I think there's a lot of colorism in their culture which.
Matches up with the colorism in our culture and.

[45:16] And so I think like there's a lot for her to learn to be proud of and also to insulate against criticism.

[45:26] Exactly you're totally right and just thinking about the way that you've talked about like the eyes that kiss in the corners that for example how that has impacted your daughter.
That look itself has zero relevance for my kid because she has dinner plate eyes for example
but same idea is yeah because to your point is really important
so yeah so embarking on this journey and thank you for offering to help with
using your researching skills it'll probably end up being YouTube because I mean honestly like Michelle Phan pioneering Asian beauty on YouTube like makeup tutorials and all that
I mean YouTube is kind of like how we learn how to put on makeup for like how to like look our best selves and I think it's going to be no different for well.
It might be TikTok for her generation but well yes I'm like but your but what your I think what you're saying right it's like it's meeting them where they are.

[46:26] As parents we want to be intentional about what we pass on to our kids and what we want to change for the next generation such as investing in community developing an abundance mindset or adjusting the ways we communicate with our family.
I once heard parenting described as similar to gardening so there's a lot of best practices on how to grow any plant.
You can follow the best practices to a tee but even the seeds from the same plant are all going to be slightly different.
And there are external factors out of your control like weather or bugs so ultimately you can never really predict exactly how your plant is going to turn out.

[47:02] So at the end of the day we're all really doing our best and we should really take the time to sit back every so often and enjoy the fruits of our labor.
We're wrapping up our season soon so if you have any questions message them to us now so that we can answer them in our season finale.
Send us a direct message on Instagram or Facebook at Hearts in Taiwan or contact us through our website heartsinTaiwan.com.

[47:36] Now it's time for hashtag not sponsored we mentioned so many cool things for kids and how to infuse our culture Heritage into
the stories that we tell our kids and also how we normalize our traditions and Foods so we want to do a giveaway of a lot of these new creators that we
found in our Explorations this year and we want to give away some things for kids like books and clothes.
To enter go to our Instagram Hearts in Taiwan or our Facebook page and look for the giveaway post and you can enter their follow the instructions and we will
pick a winner before our season finale.
Thanks so much for joining us for Hearts in Taiwan this week make sure to check out our show notes in the episode description for links to all the things we shared today.
At the beginning of the episode you hear Angela's kids singing a traditional Mandarin song called Two Tigers with the La La Learn app by Alice Han available at the Apple App Store.
Stay tuned for their rendition of Happy New Year at the end we would love to hear from you so get those end-of-season questions to us now.

[48:53] Until then follow your curiosity and follow your heart.

4, 8, and 12 year olds
The early days: vision for the future
Language and culture beyond the teen years
Adult education via kids
Mandarin language and cultural immersion at school
Kids learning resources
Food as cultural experience
Grandparents as cultural teachers
Value-driven mindset shift
Bi-racial influences
Closing and Credits