Dear Taiwan

Patricia Lee

Dear Taiwan,
I write this letter with a heavy heart but I am convicted to share with you what is on my heart and mind. I am an American born Taiwanese and have always called myself as such. I knew little about the history of Taiwan and little about it's struggles. Quite recently I joined an international cultural tour of Taiwan put together by the Tsunah Foundation and learned more about the beautiful, tragic, and persevering history of Taiwan. It was on this trip that I fell more in love with the island and the people of Taiwan. This island has a heart beat that you can hear from the middle of Taroko Gorge to the villages of Sakinu's village. These people eat and enjoy food more than other people but love the company of people more. These people have a voice. A voice to sing, talk, cry, scream and love hardships and joys together. This island has transformed and has more new beginnings then any other place. This island was sought after by people that came from Europe to our neighbors in the North. It is no wonder that so many people want to call this home. It has everything that you could ever want and a diverse culture and people that is not easily found or formed.

I write this letter to remind you of your identity. I write this letter to remind you of your freedoms. I write this letter to remind you of the people that died for you, that stood up and fought for the democracy you have today. You have freedoms that many countries dream of having. Don't take for granted your freedom of speech, religion, or press. I encourage you to say with love to those that may be confused or have forgotten, "We are a democratic free country that will always fight for our rights." Do not fear what the future holds for you control the future. Your actions today dictate the future of the island that you and I love so much.

As a good friend once said, "The rice you eat is Taiwan rice, the water you drink is Taiwan water, the beer you drink is Taiwan beer, you are what you eat. Let the world see who we are. We are Taiwanese. Don't let Deng Nylon die in vain. Don't let Lin IHsuing's daughters and mothers die in vain, don't let all those massacred on 228 die in vain. They gave their lives so that you are able to eat, drink, wear, say, pray, and love in any capacity you wish. This is not something to take for granted, this is something that must be cared for and protected. So eat your rice and drink your food proudly. Be Taiwan; beautiful, strong, and persevering.

A fellow Taiwanese,

Patricia Lee