Sunday, June 19, 2011

AFP on the youth of Taiwan, struggling to carve out an identity

AFP video report on the rudderless youth of Taiwan, whose identity exists only in context with China's, and who came of age in the 3 years of the Ma Administration: "As Taiwan's ties with China grow closer, the island's younger generation face tough choices -- and struggle to carve out their own identity."

Hard to talk about the issue of Taiwanese identity in just a couple of minutes, so give them some points for at least trying.
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8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else find this AFP "newsbyte" to be rather full of excrement? Rudderless youth? Existing ONLY in context with China?? Really???

This has not been my observation, and I'm surrounded by them all the time.

Hans said...

That's my observation as well. Kids these days are much more certain of their Taiwanese identity over that "I'm a proud and standing Chinese" crap of the middle-ages of now.

Identity crisis? Ask the middle ages; leave the kids alone.

Okami said...

They put out these articles for every country and their youth finding their way. It relativism and complete bollocks.

While I may not agree with John Stewart's portrayal of FOX, I do agree with him that the MSM are lazy and sensationalistic.

Chris W said...

Just because folks at AFP always set their eyes on China and nowhere else, they assume Taiwan's youth do the same. Sad.

My observation is that, as more cross-strait exchanges take place, more Taiwan youth tend to reaffirm their Taiwanese identity, although they don't necessarily support Taiwan independence and the DPP.

Nick said...

Most young New Zealanders head to Australia or the UK to make money when they graduate, the same way Taiwanese depend on China, US or anywhere else. It's part of being from a relatively small economy.

New Zealanders don't live only in the context of Australia, though we share some historical similarities.

Readin said...

"Hard to talk about the issue of Taiwanese identity in just a couple of minutes, so give them some points for at least trying." Ok, I guess we have to give them that, especially since so few western media outlets are willing to even acknowledge the existence of a Taiwanese identity that does not consider itself Chinese. And this article did at least show some people who hold that identity.

But really, a piece on Taiwanese identity and the only people whose views get on camera are in Canada and Taipei? Great job on the representative sample.

Did they get the translation right when they interviewed that guy in front of Murderous Thug Memorial Hall? It sounded like he said "Jung guo ren" but it was translated as "ethnic Chinese". I've been given the impression that "Jung hwa ren" refers to ethnicity but "jung guo ren" refers to the state you belong to. I have another doubt about the translation. The tranlator said "When they ask me if I think Taiwan is part of the mainland...". I couldn't hear clearly what was said in Chinese, but even the most imperialistic Chinese don't say Taiwan is part of "the mainland", they say it is part of "China". Perhaps this was one of those silly editorial rules the newspaper has, like the ones that have famously lead to black people from Africa being called "African Americans".

Waltzin' Jaloma said...

For a clue of where those youth’s hearts take them, rewind and watch between 0:26 and 0:32, when the Kou Chou Ching group member closes the door of their den.

In what language is that poster printed? What does that poster tells you of those youths’ sense of belonging?

And am I overly subjective when noticing in the Kou Chou Chin(g) romanization of 拷秋勤 a shameful and ugly (chou, 醜) lampooning of 高美金?

Sounds like a fitful moniker for the arrogant, racist bust’tard who brought shame on Taiwan First Nations when she did not know to remove her shoes in the abode of the spirits and then proceeded to browbeat the clergy.

Durk said...

@Readin, the translation is pretty good. Yes, he does say 中國人, but in the context I think it's appropriate to translate it as ethnic Chinese. Not all Taiwanese feel the need to say 華人. Some are comfortable saying we are Chinese, 中國人, but are not Chinese citizens. I think a better translation would've been, "We're all Chinese, but right now Taiwan is different." He did not say that Taiwan was independent, however.

Later he says, "When they ask me is Taiwan a part of the mainland..." he did, in fact, say mainland (大陸). Keep in mind, he's a Taiwanese citizen talking about a question that mainlanders ask him.

If you want to listen to just the Chinese, plug in a set of headphones and then don't listen to the left side. Left = English, Right = Chinese.

A question for the reporters and the kids they interviewed though, what does it mean to be Taiwanese? How is it different from Chinese? It's not enough to say Taiwan is unique because Hakka, Taiwanese, and Chinese languages are all prevalent. What about China? How many local dialects and minority cultures are prevalent on their?

On a higher level, their is the question of personal identity and how it's affected by national identity.