The mass shooting at the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, CA has sparked conversation about the significance of the Presbyterian Church for many Taiwanese individuals. Annie and Angela interview Christine Lin, a lawyer and expert on the history and influence of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan who also conducts research on Taiwanese American identity. The hosts also share their own experiences with Christianity.
Featuring Christine Lin:
- Respond to Christine’s current research: “Survey of Taiwanese Americans on Identity Issues”, 2022
- “The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan and the Advocacy of Local Autonomy” (PDF) by Christine Louise Lin for Sino-Platonic Papers, 1999
- “What Impacts a Taiwanese Americans' Political Identity?” by Christine Lin for Chinese America: History & Perspectives–The Journal of the Chinese Historical Society of America, Special Issue: Taiwanese Americans, 2017
- Christine Lin quoted in “Gunman Targets Taiwanese Faith With Long Pro-Democracy Link” (Associated Press)
- Contact Christine Lin on LinkedIn
About Christine: Christine Lin is a Taiwanese American lawyer. Her research on the topic of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan inspired her to pursue a career in human rights, refugee, and immigration law. Currently, she is the Director of Training and Technical Assistance at the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies based at UC Hastings College of the Law where she has taught the Refugee & Human Rights Clinic. Previously, she was the Legal Director of Hong Kong Refugee Advice Centre and taught refugee legal assistance clinics at the University of Hong Kong and the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
- Major branches of Christianity (Wikipedia)
- Presbyterian Church USA allows same-sex marriages (NPR, 2015)
- Related episode: “Taiwanese by the Numbers” (Hearts in Taiwan, August 5, 2021)
- New York Times interview that consulted Christine Lin and interviewed Annie and Angela: "Coming From Separate Worlds in Taiwan, They Collided at California Church" (https://nyti.ms/3mDXG2q)
[0:11] Welcome to the Hearts in Taiwan podcast where we explore and celebrate our connections to Taiwan.
I'm Annie and I'm Angela and today we're examining the influence of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan. Let's Dive In.
[0:29] So this is the second episode that we're recording since the shooting at the Taiwanese Presbyterian Church,
we just want to acknowledge that and we wanted to learn more about the connection between the Presbyterian church and the Taiwanese community so I think we have a really great guest
Adam really good forward to this conversation when I heard about the shooting it brought back a lot of memories for me because I went to a Taiwanese Church in high school.
It's like when I was reading so much about the Presbyterian Church being really big and important for
a lot of Taiwanese Americans I was curious I was like what's the church I went to Presbyterian because I don't remember so I looked it up and it was nondenominational
but the description of like what the church Community was doing was all very familiar and it was a really tight-knit community,
one of the things that we read about the incident was that they knew he was an outsider.
[1:38] But they're very welcoming to him because they're welcoming to newcomers and this is a question that I actually asked my friend who brought me to church in high school
when I was in high school I didn't
I understand the politics at all and I asked her like did you ever get pushed back for bringing me because they could tell that I was from
a family that had different political views from them and she said no so they were really just happy to
have new faces because what they care about is bringing more people into the Christian faith I did not grow up with any religion so all of this is very confusing to me and unfamiliar,
hi and even know what the difference is between all the denominations of Christianity I mean even though I practiced Christianity I was always in non-denominational face Christianity is
mainly divided into Catholic and Protestant so.
[2:45] Protestants is basically everyone who's not Catholic because Catholicism really it's very different in viewing their perception of,
people's relationship to God. Among Protestants there are very many denominations basically Presbyterian is a subset of Protestants,
one of the distinguishing factors of Presbyterians is that they vote,
their governance Elders that lead the church make decisions for the church they're all elected by a vote among the congregation.
[3:23] So it sounds a lot like a democracy right they don't just vote who were the elders but they also vote on positions that the church takes more recently for example the Presbyterian Church
to allow gay and lesbian weddings first voting in 2014 to allow the pastors to perform same-sex weddings.
And then in 2015
allowing those same-sex weddings to be held in the church those are examples of how it's really the congregation voting in a democratic way
to make decisions and evolve the church you can see how it's Progressive and it evolves with the times of what the people believe in the values of the people hold,
it's really cool how our past few episodes have been based on listener Outreach
listeners raise questions to us and then we follow that Curiosity we go and like either find guests or some sometimes it's our listeners who become guests so this is an example of like basically
in season 1 episode 13 'Taiwanese by the Numbers".
We had a chapter that was highlighting something that surprising that we learned about religion in Taiwan,
only three point nine percent of the population in Taiwan identify as Christian.
[4:49] But in your and my experience with Taiwanese Americans most Taiwanese Americans we meet are Christian.
[4:56] So there's some big difference between the,
in Taiwan population where the primary religions are Buddhist and Taoist to the population that immigrated to America being largely Christian.
And Christine emailed us a few months ago she's like actually I wrote a thesis about this exact thing well let's get into it.
[5:29] Alright today we have Christine Lynn and Christine Lynn is a Taiwanese American lawyer and the author of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan and the advocacy of local autonomy.
Her research on the topic inspired her to pursue a career in human rights Refugee and immigration law,
currently she's the director of training and technical assistance at the center for gender and Refugee studies based at UC Hastings College of the law,
and previously issue was the legal director of Hong Kong Refugee advice Centre and taught Refugee legal assistance clinics.
Christine began her legal career at the US Department of Justice executive office for immigration review at the Los Angeles Immigration Court,
and in 2017 Christine conducted a survey of self-identified Taiwanese Americans and published an article what impacts a Taiwanese Americans political views.
[6:25] Welcome Christine we're so excited to have you on the podcast today.
Thank you Annie and Angela for having me I really enjoyed listening to your podcast,
summer I think I've been just listen to it so I listened to it over the last couple of months we are so grateful to have
the platform especially now that we're bringing in guests to be able to hear a lot more perspectives like yours can you tell us about your family background and your own personal identity Journey sure so both sides of my family have been in Taiwan for,
over 400 years before the Nationals came to Taiwan and they're both Presbyterians and I grew up attending a Taiwanese Presbyterian Church in st. Louis Missouri,
where I was born and we spoke Taiwanese at home not Mandarin I did learn Mandarin in.
High school and college and actually studied abroad in Beijing when I was in college.
[7:23] And I've always identified as Taiwanese American as distinct from Chinese have never embraced.
Any sort of Chinese identity and because of my family background and,
history of understanding persecution by the Nationalist Chinese and Taiwan.
I've always been really infuriated when people say Taiwanese and Chinese is the same thing or we're all Chinese and I experienced a lot of that when I was.
Actually in China studying.
So I do feel like it's a distinct identity although the term Taiwanese has broadened over the years.
And then I think the other thing that has been frustrating to me is when someone assumes I'm trainees should speak Mandarin.
But that's neither my parents or grandparents Heritage or native language.
So I think that's where I feel a very strong Taiwanese identity as being distinct from Chinese when you.
I told people about I guess clearing up the distinction between Taiwanese and Chinese did you get a lot of resistance or did you find that anybody,
kind of opened their minds and listens to you.
[8:41] To be honest no we're all Chinese we're all the same thing I think it was only once I was a grad student and New York
I did write a paper on Taiwanese self-determination and a student from mainland China did come up to me and say you know I really enjoyed listening to your presentation of your paper and I think that was the one time
I felt like somebody from the People's Republic of China actually respected The View and understood the distinction well kids.
[9:14] Kind of rare and my personal experience not that I've surveyed all of this all of the people in China,
so it's not surprising then given all of your background and your journey that you've
taken that your thesis would be the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan and the advocacy of local autonomy that being the topic
so what is it that got you
so interested in the role of this church and preserving specifically the Taiwanese language culture and identity obviously there's that personal connection certainly would love for you to dive into more about that.
[9:54] Sure so I was doing an internship my junior summer of college which is now many many years ago at the American Institute in Taiwan AIT in Kaoshiung Taiwan.
[10:08] And there was a political cable that came through that talked about that Presbyterian Church in Taiwan which I'll refer to as PCT,
it talked about PCT support of the Democratic Progressive Party or the DPP and that piqued my interest because my family is Presbyterian I parents also,
support the DPP we have the green flag in our house growing up and it's not like they linked presbyterianism to DPP at all
Yeah growing up but I saw this in this political cable and was,
interested to learn more and then later that summer to I was covering for my internship the say no te China rally in Taipei so this was in,
June of 1997 before Hong Kong's reversion to China.
And I did notice that there were a lot of people who are members of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan at the rally.
And then later on learned that they actually had busloads of people from the different.
Presbyterian churches all over Taiwan come come to the rally just really interested in looking more at that connection and learning more about it.
[11:24] And then I think the other piece of this too is that since there was a lot of rhetoric.
That Taiwan is a part of China versus Taiwan as its own independent country I wanted to research for myself to see.
What I what I thought was historically correct based on the history of Taiwan,
when I was an undergrad I didn't write a thesis what was what was your study and I guess was it like required for graduation to have a thesis.
It was not required for graduation I majored in Asian studies.
So I studied Mandarin Chinese Japanese and then various history courses related to.
China and Japan a thesis topic came to me and I was like oh like coursework credit for researching something that interests me so you're like an ultimate overachiever
got it well I think I listen to where we are other podcast where you're both Enneagram 3.
Yeah is that correct that's true that's true call us back out I'm also Enneagram 3 I just okay Enneagram Workshop
and discover that about so there we go in your research what did you learn about
like first of all when did the Presbyterian Church come to Taiwan.
[12:51] Sure so the Presbyterians first arrived in Taiwan in 1865 there have been other Christian missionaries in Taiwan,
from like the 17th century but it was really the Presbyterian Church in Taipei Taiwan think their founding date is seen as 1865 it predates both Japanese colonial rule,
and Chinese nationalists in Taiwan so there's a long history of the Presbyterians.
Staying in Taiwan since the late you know.
Since the mid-1800s just want to put it out there that I am not a reader especially one of History.
I read your thesis and I am the last person that anybody around me would ever think that I would read any thesis on anything especially things that are historically based so.
[13:49] Thank you for writing something that I actually went and read the through it was really interesting and I'm not saying that just because we're interviewing you like it was actually really interesting and I like.
Blew through the whole thing so yes that's my sidebar I'm glad too and I'm really glad to hear that because like like I said I only thought two people would.
[14:12] Me this my thesis advisor because it was required by my dad
well hey maybe I'm person number three I feel really proud that for us and everyone that's following along and listening to this podcast it and they've been listening that,
we recognize these states now and it's not like something we memorized in history class but like you know 1895 really kicking off the,
Japanese Colonial period so hearing a date in
earlier in the 1800's it's starting to all kind of line up together in this timeline in our heads of like what the significant periods were in the history of Taiwan,
I can't remember shit from high school history in terms of any sort of date but somehow as a 42 year-old I'm managing to remember historical dates of things so
I don't give myself a pat on the back it's a low bar okay Christine so,
going back to the origins of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan would love to understand what is it that,
I made them take an interest in.
Coming to do Mission work in Taiwan yeah so there were already English Presbyterian missionaries in Xiamen.
[15:27] It's also called Amoy on Fujian Province in China and the 1860s and since the language there is very similar,
to the local language in Taiwan they felt it was the natural next place to conduct their evangelism.
And first it was Dr. James Maxwell from the English Presbyterian Church who went to this south of Taiwan and then George Mackay from the Canadian Presbyterian Church.
[15:58] Establish the Presbyterian missionary in the north and what they realized was that.
The medical care and Taiwan was not really that great and since dr. Maxwell was a missionary as well as a doctor.
He established it Christian Hospital in Tainan.
And like the late 1860s and then later on there was a.
[16:27] Hospital established which is actually currently in the Mackay Memorial Hospital.
It's changed locations in Northern Taiwan but that began in 1880 so they held services for.
Patients who are waiting to be treated and talked about Christianity held little sermons talked about Bible passages prayed and my understanding is when people went and.
Got treated under the Western medicine they started to believe they were being healed and so a lot of them became attracted to Christianity.
And especially presbyterianism during that time.
[17:09] When I wasn't there during that time it's what I've read attracted the local population to start believing.
[17:21] And it seemed to be quite successful and then secondly Presbyterians are about education for all any gender.
And so they found it higher education institutions because they wanted the local populations to take over the church so they.
Founded that Tainan theological college and the South and then Oxford College in the North.
First time in areas then they also sent women missionaries to spread the word of God to women in Taiwan and opened a girls boarding school in 1884 and sentence way.
And which is actually where my mom went to school.
And then another girls boarding school in the south in the late 1800 1880s and then there were also,
boys schools for primary and secondary education because they thought it was important to educate everybody is this in contrast with what education or who had access to education at that time.
[18:27] The more educated people learned like Chinese characters and scripts but they were seeking out the population that was less educated during that time.
[18:37] From my understanding it seemed like there were not a lot of Educational Systems there but they especially in the local language.
We learned that in the first half of the 1900s the Taiwanese identity really started to coalesce first under Japanese colonial rule and then under the Chinese government as the ROC
so how did religion interplay with that Taiwanese identity as it was forming.
[19:06] Yeah I mean I think that the Presbyterian Church itself really respected just basic human rights of all people right and that includes the Taiwanese people and when they saw that the.
Japanese and Chinese Nationals were suppressing the language of the local people.
And their culture identity and and also access to education,
there were saying no that's not right these people should be able to continue to speak their own language and they made sure that that was a possibility.
And the churches where they Works worshipped and then the other part of it is because they'd already started Roman I using Bibles and hymnals,
in fujian prom province,
they adapted that to the Taiwan context to they romanized the local Taiwanese language so that people could read bibles hymnals and then also started.
Taiwan Church newsletter which is the first romanized Taiwanese newspaper in Taiwan and that began in 1885.
[20:17] So I mean long even before Japanese roll or Chinese nationalist rule.
We talked about in episode in season 1 about how a lot of people.
[20:32] With it within the Taiwanese identity have adopted Japanese culture and especially in contrast with the Chinese the KMT government almost,
I have a fondness for Japanese culture but you mentioned the even the Japanese were suppressing the Taiwanese,
language or do you know anything about your family's experience of Japanese Occupation and what they took away from that period.
They did suppress language so if you went to school you had to speak Japanese and both of my.
Maternal grandparents were totally fluent in Japanese when I studied abroad in Japan my host family spoke to my.
[21:20] Grandparents who are still alive at that time they're like oh they speak they speak like Japanese people and I don't think that was meant as like as a compliment it was meant like the new sound like Japanese people because they were educated.
And the Japanese system and the colonial structure in Taiwan and then both were also educated in Japan later on they had higher education in Japan I do feel like there is,
more nostalgic view of Japanese Colonial rule then Chinese nationalist rule.
By many families and then to your point about Japanese identity I thought it was interesting though when I was.
Working on my thesis some some people did say that their identity evolved.
They didn't know if they were Taiwanese Japanese Chinese and then it emerged that they're nowhere Taiwanese so I think being.
[22:21] Colonized by two different regimes that and just kind of understand like none of that really is my culture or identity and this language is being forced on me.
Also helped sort of aided in the coalescing of a Taiwanese identity
people talk a lot these days about decolonizing one's mind which I think really means recognizing how Colonial influences have impacted your reality today and kind of shedding,
those Colonial influences by becoming conscious of them and then picking and choosing like okay what is really true to me.
And the it sounds like the Presbyterian church had a very different.
[23:10] Approach because when I think about missionaries I think about them being Colonial actually but.
I am surprised at to hear about the Presbyterian missionaries investing in the Taiwanese language,
you said they romanized it but it was really so that people could have a bridge between,
their language and the Bible it was so to have greater access to being able to understand the Bible.
Chinese like characters was going to be very difficult and I know it is.
Probably still read like a five-year-old so a romanized script was just going to make it easier for linguistic access and understanding for the local population that was mostly illiterate.
In the late 1800s but especially in the early days there was resistance to the missionaries and of course not everyone like.
Taiwanese Presbyterians are still a very small percentage of the total Taiwanese population I think currently it's about five and a half percent Protestant and maybe like.
[24:30] You know a percentage of those are Presbyterians so it's still a small number.
And the grand scheme of the population of Taiwan I share your view point that in many ways you also think about missionaries as,
Colonial last or pretend realistic.
And I even spoken to others who are more familiar with Presbyterian missions and other places.
Which have not done a good job of.
Integrating and respecting the local population I think maybe Taiwan was just unique.
[25:13] And that respect and it could be down to the individual people who.
[25:18] Were missionaries in Taiwan and how they went about doing things what would you say the PCT means to the Taiwanese Presbyterians in current day.
So I feel like it is still the church that recognizes.
The identity of Taiwanese people and I should preface I should have said this much earlier because when I'm talking about Taiwanese I'm talking about the hook in.
Language there is also Hakka there's also indigenous time anyways languages the focus is my thesis was more on the.
Hokkien dialect being romanized they did romanize other.
Languages in Taiwan as well like the app or the Indigent indigenous languages as well as.
[26:04] Hakka language Bibles but I'm talking about the hook in Taiwanese language,
it is a church that supports Taiwanese self-determination language and support and respect the human rights of the Taiwanese people and I think one thing that is important to keep in mind too is that.
The reason why that there is the Democratic.
Processed and the idea of democracy is the way that the Presbyterian Church is set up.
[26:39] They have a system of Elders and like an electoral process for electing Elders so even predating the Japanese and the nationalists and Taiwan,
the missionaries in Taiwan wanted the local population to take over the church and the.
Self-supporting self-propagating and self-governing so they introduced,
this Democratic process to the local population so I feel like that's also important to understand and understanding why some of the people who are members of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan,
may have emerged as leaders of the Taiwan Independence Movement later on in the.
70s or you know beginning in the 1960s and and forward.
[27:36] And then I think that the other piece of this wear.
And a news today we're seeing like oh is everybody Taiwanese Presbyterian Church supportive of Taiwanese Independence are they preaching Taiwanese independence from the pulpit I mean that question has been asked of
me and others like did you hear that growing up no I mean.
It was about preaching the word of God in church but the reason why it's been said that the church has been seen as more.
Outspoken about Taiwanese self autonomy was in the 1970s it issued,
three public statements and first was in 1971 after the People's Republic of China replaced to the Republic of China as a un seat.
For China and so they were concerned about the fate of the people in Taiwan and then.
[28:36] In 1975.
The nationalists were confiscating romanized Bibles trying to suppress the Taiwanese language so the PCT also issued a statement in response to that,
and then in 1977 when Jimmy Carter became president and was adopting human rights as a diplomacy principle,
PCT appealed to him as well as the International Community and churches worldwide,
to guarantee security freedom and Independence of people in Taiwan.
So I think those three public statements and the 1970s really propelled.
The vision that the PCT was Pro Taiwanese Independence and that's where that dialogue comes from but I would say that not everyone who attends.
[29:27] Or is a member of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan necessarily is the vocal or you know they might have all the different viewpoints of what Taiwan should be but.
[29:39] I think the importance is that it preserves and allows for a place for people to Worship in Taiwanese and.
[29:49] Have a Taiwanese Presbyterian Community so I feel like that's what the significance really is not necessarily about.
The independence but people may be more attracted to the church because they respect Taiwanese self-determination.
[30:06] And preserving the language culture and identity of the Taiwanese people about if it's like a Venn diagram because I like to work in picture form,
it's like the Venn diagram of people who D VP and then the people in the PCT there is like an overlap the,
PCT doesn't sit inside the circle of the DPP right exactly that's a great way to put it,
well I think what's interesting too is.
You can't have official relations the US can't have quote official relations with Taiwan but that internship I had at the American Institute.
Taiwan was actually through the US Department of State I thought I was going to I didn't even know Taiwan was an option to be honest I thought I was going to.
Hopefully be able to get something in Japan or China so I could practice the language language is that I learned but then AIT is seen as a non-governmental organization.
But it focuses on the Consular Affairs for us which is.
Also to me really quite fascinating just going back to I don't think that that.
Presbyterian Church that really was meaning to be political you know it's just that they care about human rights of Taiwanese people.
[31:31] And that they should not be killed you know they have the right to life they have the right to dignity they should
be able to speak their language and I think it's kind of interesting too because like parallel here in the United States I do attend a lot of immigration rallies and things like that we do see church members go to those
those as well and they issue statements about the protection of.
[31:59] Immigrants the right to you know welcoming refugees and Asylum Seekers because they recognize the basic human right of.
Protecting other people and welcoming them to the United States so I feel like it's just it's become politicized because of the legal
quote the legal status of Taiwan and China wanting to take,
take over Taiwan and govern both the island and the mainland but.
It wasn't necessarily meant to it in us to be a political statement initially but it's become very politicized if that makes sense,
I mean it somehow it seems like just existing has become a political issue you said in the 70s that the kmt was confiscating Bibles.
[32:56] Was it ever unsafe to gather.
[33:00] I mean I feel like there was a point in time when I was just like unsafe to be Taiwanese in general yeah I think it was just unsafe.
For Taiwanese people to be out and about.
So it's been a little over two decades since you wrote your original thesis so I mean since then what additional discoveries or thoughts have you had,
about this topic
yeah this makes me sound very old hey you know what listen same here I'm like I was doing the math in my head I'll say oh no one decade
two decades no war it's yes it's been a long time and I got a lot more life experience I have noticed that there are a lot more studies now about the Presbyterian church and the support of Taiwanese advocacy,
since the time that I wrote my thesis also that using the term Taiwanese is very complicated and.
[34:03] The Who Embraces Taiwanese identity really has evolved,
since 1999 and is actually a more expansive definition of who identifies as Taiwanese I think both of you have also mentioned how you evolved in your thinking of Taiwanese identity,
Maybe you wouldn't have taken the survey in 2017 I don't know I wouldn't have asked about like please answer it if you self-identify
as Taiwanese American and so I feel like that's a really interesting as well and then,
in the recent media sources I really do feel like they get it wrong when they're describing an introduction he's conflict
especially with the recent shooting and Laguna Woods and describing the gunman as Taiwanese.
Because that's more focused on the country of birth not reflective of his self identity as a Chinese like we don't describe.
[35:10] Unfortunately the so many mass shootings that we have here in the United States as an intro American conflict.
You know when we're talking about a u.s. born white supremacist targeting a u.s. born.
Victims in a black church or in a synagogue we don't call it that you know we recognize the historical background there and I feel like the same needs to be contextualized,
no more talking about who is from Taiwan.
So similar to how Americans with different heritage's experience being American differently there really are nuances about what it means to be Taiwanese amongst those who identify.
As such and that can make it difficult for those who aren't as familiar with a background to really understand and often times they just see it as a so.
[36:04] It's just maybe it's because we're all Asian.
[36:08] They don't recognize the nuances there and I feel like that's something that I want to explore more and also.
[36:17] Just kind of get out there and the dialogue the other thing that comes up for me too is that there's an inner generational trauma,
both the Taiwanese folks whose families have been in Taiwan for 400-plus years as well as the families who fled from Mainland to.
Taiwan with a nationalist and just recognizing that as part of people's histories.
To is really important like for me personally when I first read about the shooting and Laguna Woods,
I really just felt like everything was going in slow motion and especially when I read about.
Taiwanese Community being targeted and I've gone through like all the emotions of shock anger fear.
When you have that in your history it's something that kind of keeps,
coming up in other Generations as well another thing I think I would.
Want to look into more is the Presbyterian church and the indigenous churches in Taiwan.
[37:29] I would also reconsider the use of the term native Taiwanese as the indigenous population on Taiwan are really the true native inhabitants.
Of the island so those are some things that I feel like have come up and the
two-plus decades since I wrote this so about that survey that you conducted in 2017 you were asking about what impacts a Taiwanese Americans political views
what did you go in at like what what motivates you to conduct the survey and then what did you learn from it and did that reveal any new insights
about Taiwanese Americans I went into it because I think I was just curious about.
[38:15] My own political leanings and thoughts and a us as well as towards Taiwan's political status and I wanted to know if others felt like there.
Taiwanese Heritage impact it up as well to take the survey I did say like.
[38:35] Please only take this survey if you identify as Taiwanese American so that's a self-selecting group.
Already and I was curious about how they identified in the United States where they more.
[38:51] Identify more with Democratic values per you know Progressive and like Green party, Republican, Libertarian the majority of our more democratic leaning,
and then there's some like nuances to the majority were also Taiwan is a
independent country and then I also did ask questions about what does it mean for you to be Taiwanese American.
And what challenges if any do you feel there are four Taiwanese Americans.
I did not include those questions.
[39:27] And an analysis of the analysis of those questions in the survey but that's something like I have the data now and I really feel like this might be the time.
To do something with that information because it was really it was actually quite interesting to me what people said so.
Our signature question that we ask all of our guests is what does it mean to be Taiwanese.
[39:52] Yeah so Timmy Taiwanese is a separate identity from Chinese and I do respect that some people may Embrace both Chinese and Taiwanese identity.
For solely Taiwanese identity based on their own family background or Heritage for fit for me.
Being Taiwanese is distinct from being Chinese I also think that it means somebody loves Taiwan supports self-determination of people in Taiwan whatever that.
Ends up being.
And then of course Taiwanese food is the best of course well Christine how can people learn about what's next from you.
Yeah I'm actually not really a social media user but these recent events about Taiwan and the News have really re-energized me to do more for the Taiwanese and Taiwanese American community.
So I think one thing is a follow-up on that survey I have been working on some like written pieces that I hope to get published somewhere I feel like recent media reports around the Taiwanese community and Taiwan,
China relations have really reflect a lack of awareness.
[41:07] And misinformation or misunderstanding about Taiwan its history and people and I feel like it's very important to get more out there on that so,
I'm totally open to collaboration with others who might be interested in raising public awareness of.
Taiwan issues and Taiwanese Americans thank you so much Christine and as you said as we're all doing these outside of our day job hours we really appreciate the time that you put into this and time you taking with us today,
I think it's really great that we're still learning from work that she did over 20 years ago there was something that we talked about after we stopped recording a lot of the thesis was talking about.
[41:58] Missionary work in Taiwan and other thing that I've always been a little bit conflicted about is weather
missionaries and missionary work is a good thing being growing up in the Christian faith I was always aware of and still am very connected to
missionaries and support of missionary work when you hear about missionaries you often think like very good things because there,
devoting their lives uprooting themselves going to a community
that has say far less than what we have in the first world the idea is that they're motivated by this desire to.
Spread the word about Christianity to everyone on Earth because.
[42:52] Christians believe that you need to believe in order to be saved and therefore go to heaven so they watch to save everybody bye
at least informing everybody of the teachings of the Bible,
so they go into the search World communities who maybe have never heard of the Bible
and they do it's a like humanitarian work and then along with that they also teach about
religion of a teach about Christianity,
it can very quickly lead into Colonial thinking because you're assuming that like everything that you have is better,
and assuming that everything you are giving them is
an improvement it really I think demeans the communities that exist already so not all missions are the same or do the same,
good but what we were talking about with the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan is that retrospectively it does seem like
they did good for the population that.
[44:08] Wanted to preserve democracy I have a very negative and always had a very negative view of missionaries in general so that's the mindset that I've come into this with,
is that is purely Colonial thinking like this has been really interesting to hear a slightly different take on what a mission can be like
I still have a very negative view of missions and missionaries people have different views on religion and especially on how to share that religion with other people
but I am grateful for here in America being able to practice religious freedom where.
We are free to choose whatever religion we want as long as it doesn't harm other people some people don't understand that little last portion of it.
[45:01] So this was definitely a very very full episode and there's a lot that I would love to dig into more we talked about the survey it would be really interesting to.
Do that survey from 2017 that she did and try to do it again today,
even in five years I think a lot has changed in terms of who identifies as Taiwanese and we've had a much more open dialogue,
as with all passion projects you can encourage Christine to pick that survey back up by volunteering to be her research assistant,
and while asking for things we always remind people that this podcast is a passion project for us we put a lot of time and effort into it and also
I have put a lot of our own personal funds into making it happen but I think there are definitely a wish list that we have
where are starting to hit into limitations of our skill set and our equipment,
video editing skills would be amazing we have this
whole vault of video footage that.
[46:19] We have not been able to do very much with we set up a Buy me a Coffee.
It's kind of like a tip jar but since we're virtual it's online and we call it Buy me a Boba well I'll be
yeah are if there's any other way that you prefer to show us your support definitely open to that we don't know what we don't know so hey,
we're always open to ideas
thanks so much for joining us for hearts and Taiwan make sure to check out our show notes in the episode description for links to all the things we shared today.
And keep telling us the thoughts and questions that come up for you when you listen to our podcast our DMs are always open or you can email us at hello at heartsintaiwan.com.
Until then follow your curiosity and follow your heart.