Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Taiwanese-Americans..Who's Who in the USA..*A Special Issue Post*有名的美国台裔.....有名のアメリカ台湾系

I did a previous post on famous Taiwanese people in Asia and around the world..well, this post is prompted by Jason Wu. Who?? Jason Who?

He's the new up and coming fashion designer to look out for in the years to come..and so i've decided to just update my previous list of famous Taiwanese people worldwide, made up mainly of Taiwanese-Americans. the following is the original list PLUS additions:

In Politics:

John Chiang:

He's currently California's State Controller (don't ask me what that means, i'm not American so i wouldn't know!) but its some senior position in the Californian governmental administration and he's a likely contender for the 2010 California Governor position.

Elisabeth Chao:

From Wikipedia:

Elaine Lan Chao born March 26, 1953) served as the 24th United States Secretary of Labor in the Cabinet of President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2009. She was the first Chinese American and the first Asian American woman to be appointed to a President's cabinet in American history.[2] Chao was the only cabinet member to serve under George W. Bush for his entire administration.[3]

The eldest of six daughters, Chao was born in Taipei, Taiwan, to James S.C. Chao (趙錫成 Zhào Xīchéng), a Shanghainese entrepreneur, and Ruth Mu-lan Chu (朱木蘭 Zhū Mùlán), a historian. Her parents had fled to Taiwan from mainland China after the Chinese Communists took over as a result of the Chinese Civil War in 1949. At the age of eight, Elaine Chao and her family emigrated to the United States, where her father had already settled a few years earlier

In the Arts:
Ang Lee:

Obviously, an important person. The director of 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' , 'Brokeback Mountain' and the first director of Asian origin to receive an Oscar Best Director as well as two-time Venice top prize winner. He was born and raised in Taiwan and has always been adamant in representing his films as 'Taiwan films'. Thus, 'Crouching Tiger' won the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category at the Oscars representing 'Taiwan' and Not China as many mistakenly believe.Ang Lee also insisted that his latest film 'Lust, Caution' be labeled as representing 'Taiwan' when organisers, prob out of political reasons, labeled it as a 'China' film before.

Lucy Liu:

Who would have thought that the most successful Asian-American actress in Hollywood, Lucy Liu, was born to Taiwanese and not Chinese immigrant parents??? Well, here's her intro at wikipedia:'She was born and raised with her brother, Alex Liu, in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York by Taiwanese immigrant parents.[1] Liu has said that she grew up in a "diverse" neighborhood.[1] Her family spoke Mandarin at home and she did not learn English until she was five years old.[2][3] Her father was a civil engineer and her mother a biochemist in Taiwan, but they sacrificed those careers to come to the United States.'Way to go Lucy~~~

Coco Lee:

Once again, the only Asian-American singer to have ever graced the Oscars Award, Coco Lee, when she sang the title theme for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, is also from Taiwan.

Iris Chang:

The famous author of 'The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of WW2' is ALSO born to Taiwanese parents, not mainland Chinese parents. Without her book, the Nanking Massacre would well still be destined to obscurity now and the the Sundance award-winning docu 'Nanking' by AOL vice-pre. Ted would never have been made as that docu was made in memory of Iris Chang.

In Business:

Jerry Yang:

One of two co-founders of Yahoo! (yes an Asian actually founded the world famous Yahoo! search engine) is an immigrant from Taiwan.

In the Sciences:

Sam Ting:

Winner of the 1976 Nobel Prize for Physics. He immigrated as a child to America from Taiwan.

Dr. David Ho:

1996's TIME Magazine Man of the Year. He also immigrated as a child from Taiwan to America.

And of course, in the fashion world, jason, why's he suddenly so famous?? well, its because he was the designer that Mrs.Obama chose to wear at the Presidential Inauguration Ball in January 2009 out of the array of choices that she had. She still regularly wears his designs and creations and has become his regular fan and client, catapulting him to stardom at the young age of just 26!!

I'm proud of him not only being Taiwanese-American but actually having parents whom still reside in Taiwan (they just sent him to school in the States) and him having being born and raised and educated in Taipei, Taiwan during his childhood years meaning that his connections to Taiwan are still very strong with his parents and relatives always living there even now and having spent at least his childhood years in Taiwan....oh, and of course, he's gay and running a successful design business at such a tender kudos to Jason, he's done us proud, both Taiwanese living in Taiwan and those whom have immigrated or currently live abroad (like me!)

Monday, April 06, 2009

Rwanda Remembers...The 15th Anniversary of the Rwandan Massacre

Today marks the 15 Anniversary of the Rwandan Massacre which started on 6th April 1994 lasting for 100 days whereby 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutu people were massacred by Hutus in Rwanda. The Hutus are the majority in Rwanda and sought to eliminate the Tutsi minority through ethnic cleansing. I personally was horrified when i learnt about this massacre in 2004 on the 10th Anniversary. To me, it was like the Nanking Massacre or Holocaust and i cried (as usual ) when i watched the movie Oscar-nominated movie 'Hotel Rwanda' which showed the massacre based on the true story of a moderate Hutu whom used his connections and status as the manager of a foreign-owned hotel to ultimately save over 1000 Tutsi and moderate Hutus whom sought refuge at the hotel.

I was so angry when i found out that the world did nothing and allowed the massacre to continue, fiddling out and the UN even cut back its peacekeeping force in Rwanda as the massacre worsened. Furthermore, extra troops were brought in overnight to shuttle the Western expats and diplomats stuck in Rwanda whilst leaving behind the Rwandans...truly horrifying and racists!!! And i thought the world said never again after the Holocaust happened..
obviously the world only cared if it were a white race which appeared to be killed and not Africans...

Watching 'Hotel Rwanda' also showed me how similar massacres are everywhere, with mass killings on the streets and women being raped or taken back to 'barracks' to be kept as sex slaves...reminded me of the Rape of Nanking...eery..

The Rwandan Massacre would rate as one of the worst massacres in modern 20th Century History in my opinion considering the brutal method of ethnic cleansing used (machetes hacking people to pieces!), mass rapes incidence, and the speed in which people were killed (800,000 in merely 100 days) let's take a moment to reflect and mourn for the Rwandans killed on this 15th Anniversary of the Massacre and think what more can be done in the Darfur Crisis and Congo Crisis happening right now.

'Hotel Rwanda': -Please watch!!! Highly Recommended:-)

'Ghosts of Rwanda': -A highly worthwhile 'Frontline' documentary on the Rwandan Massacre.