The answer to question “where are you from” can always be complicated.
For me, I can answer I am from Boston when I travelled to New York, so I wouldn’t have someone tell me he knows how to skip the line for visiting the top floor of Empire State Building if I pay him extra money; I will answer I am from China for every first class of the semester. I will answer “Henan province” if a chinese student ask about my hometown or for the following quesion “which part of China?”
Actually people are expecting answers like “Beijing” or “Shanghai”, which they may have a better idea of where it is. I totally understand people’s curiosity and I am deeply appreciated that my new schoolmates want to know where I really come from. Trying not to let them down, I always say that “Oh, it’s not very far from Beijing.” So we are both satisfied.
But there is a really awkward moment happened weeks ago. That day I was having dinner with a group of people and I sat with a Japanese girl and an American girl whose family was originally from Taiwan. We didn’t know each other really well and “where are you from” became an ice-breaking question. When that girl said her family immigrated here from Taiwan, the Japanese girl said, “so you’re from China, right?” “No! Taiwan, not China.” “But Taiwan is a province of China, isn’t it?” Then, they both turned to me looking for a vote.
When I was in China, whether Taiwan is part of China has been a really tricky political problem because we are so connected but not united yet. And all the education I’ve received is that Taiwan is part of China. And it’s also a topic that people don’t really want to touch. I never expected to encounter this question here in the U.S. with people who are from foreign countries. That’s really awkward they were hoping me to choose a side about a question I don’t really want to answer. I finally said that I know people are having different standpoints but I deeply believe that we are so connected.
Last month on a weekend, my friend and I went to New York to attend a concert held by a band called “Mayday”, a Taiwan band we both like for years. We were so inspired and excited after their concert, so we decided to record a song of them. The song is sang in Min Nan dialect, a dialect that some people use in Taiwan. Hope you like it.
If you are a new ukulele learner like me and you want to learn how to play this song, leave a comment and I will send you score.