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Cultural identity and ethnic representation in arts education : case studies of Taiwanese festivals in… Lin, Patricia Yuen-Wan 2000

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CULTURAL IDENTITY AND ETHNIC REPRESENTATION IN ARTS EDUCATION: CASE STUDIES OF TAIWANESE FESTIVALS IN CANADA by PATRICIA YUEN-WAN LIN B.A., National Cheng-Chi University, Taiwan, 1985 M.A., University of Kansas, U.S.A., 1991 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in T H E F A C U L T Y OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of Curriculum Studies We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard T H E UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA May 2000 © Patricia Yuen-Wan Lin, 2000 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. 1 further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of Caff?M^/f/./y>t. . fyj/fifrfiA The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) Abstract This study is about why and how Taiwanese immigrants construct their cultural identity through public festivals within Canadian multicultural society. The study stems from intrigue with prevailing practices in art education, both those characterizing Chinese as a homogeneous ethnic group and those viewing Chinese culture as a static tradition. Analyzing cultural representation organized by the Taiwanese community, I argue that ethnic cultural festivals are not only a site where immigrants inquire into cultural identity, but also a creative response to the receiving society's social context. This study does not ask what Taiwanese culture is, but how it is constructed in Canada. The Taiwanese studied are immigrants who came with a colonial history and a particular political experience. Two of their cultural festivals demonstrate how the selectivity of cultural production reveals the immigrants' view of themselves, and how they wish to be seen. The Taiwanese Cultural Festival and the Lunar New Year Festival reflect identity construction achieved through the dynamics of choosing and naming cultural elements which are important to them. Interview data provided by the festivals' organizers and participants suggest that cultural identity is a creative response to the multicultural context. In order to justify their place in the Canadian mosaic, the Taiwanese emphasize their differences from other Chinese descendants. Difference is a signifier for Taiwanese to select from a variety of ethnic markers and to interpret their colonial past. The Taiwanese Cultural Festival asserts Taiwanese particularity, congruent with a socio-political consciousness of the native land. The traditional Lunar New Year Festival is a cultural statement that reflects immigrant parents and children reaching out ii to other Canadians. Both festivals intend to promote cross-cultural understanding among the general public and the festivals' end products are a showcase of ethnic representations. For the immigrants themselves, I find that education happens during the process of constructing the festivals, thereby interpreting cultural heritage through inquiring into their past. In a multicultural society, festivals are intensive sites raising questions about cultural identity and social place. Canada, largely composed of immigrants, is a place where ethnic groups from different parts of the world coexist. It is a global village in miniature, where ethnic and cultural identities are becoming a heated topic. The case of Taiwanese festivals in Canada demonstrates the selective process establishing cultural traditions and the complexities of identity formation. Particularity is emphasized in order to become a member of a multicultural society. The assertion of differences allows post-colonial subjects to find their past and search for means to live in the present. For North American multicultural educators, this suggests a range of post-colonial issues and the need for an awareness amongst educators of the evolving nature of cultural tradition at the nexus of Western cultural impact and irnmigration experiences. iii Table of Contents ABSTRACT n TABLE OF CONTENTS iv ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS vi D E D I C A T I O N V I I CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION 1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY 4 The evolving definition of culture 4 Multicultural art education practice 8 Multicultural art education and ethnic communities 11 Ethnic communities and cultural festivals 12 LEADING QUESTIONS 14 T H E PURPOSE OF THE STUDY 19 RESEARCH METHODS 20 T H E SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY 21 T H E LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY 23 OVERVIEW OF THE STUDY • 25 CHAPTER TWO: ETHNIC RELATIONS AND DIASPORA IDENTITY: AN ANALYTICAL FRAMEWORK 27 THEORETICAL POSITIONS ON ETHNIC RELATIONS 28 Park, Blumer and Symbolic Interactionism 28 Edward Said, Orientalism, and Imperialism 31 Homi Bhaba and Border Theory 34 Diaspora identity and the politics of difference 37 IDENTITY IN THE CONTEMPORARY CHINESE DIASPORA 41 CHAPTER THREE: SOCIAL CONTEXT OF TAIWANESE IMMIGRANTS IN VANCOUVER.. 47 SOCIO-POLITICAL HISTORY OF TAIWAN 48 Phase 1: Taiwan as a land of Southeast Chinese immigrants 48 Phase 2: Taiwan as a Japanese colony (1895-1945) 50 Phase 3: Taiwan as a post-colonial society (1945-1949) 51 Phase 4: Taiwan as a one-party ruling state (1945-1987) 52 Phase 5: Taiwan as a post-modern society (1987-present) 56 TAIWANESE IMMIGRANTS IN VANCOUVER 60 The senior group 62 The intellectual exiles and new business immigrants 63 The young urban professional generation 66 T H E TAIWANESE-CANADIAN CULTURAL SOCIETY 68 TCCS relation to local Chinese communities 68 TCCS relation with the Taiwanese Nationalist government 71 Structure of the TCCS 71 The Purpose of TCCS. 72 SUMMARY 77 CHAPTER FOUR: RESEARCH METHODS THROUGH A TAIWANESE LENS 79 EXPERIENCE AS A STANDPOINT 80 An ethnic insider's viewpoint 80 Personal experiences and initial questions 83 PARTICIPANT OBSERVATION 92 Site selection 93 iv Access to Taiwanese-Canadian Cultural Society. 97 The dilemma of an insider researcher. : 100 Reformation of related research questions 104 INTER VIEWS 106 Interview questions 106 Interview process 109 DATA ANALYSIS AND CASE REPORT ^ 110 C H A P T E R F I V E : C O N S T R U C T I N G I D E N T I T I E S I N T H E T A I W A N E S E C U L T U R A L F E S T I V A L 114 TAIWANESE CULTURAL FESTIVAL 116 Vancouver Formosa Academy (1990-1991) 119 Vancouver Formosa Academy and T C C S (1992-1997) 125 The TCCS Cultural Festival Committee (1998) 130 Strategies 135 EMERGING THEMES 145 Roots 146 Difference 149 Multiculturalism 155 CONCLUSION 160 C H A P T E R S I X : C O M M U N I T Y N E T W O R K I N G A N D L U N A R N E W Y E A R F E S T I V A L 162 LUNAR NEW Y E A R IN THE VANCOUVER TAIWANESE COMMUNITY 163 An elementary school story 164 TCCS and Lunar New Year Festival 168 SEARCHING FOR CULTURAL CURRICULUM 176 Traditional Festival as a cultural representation form 178 Selective tradition in the Lunar New Year Festival 183 "Lunar New Year in Taiwan" and Education 190 Challenges of "Lunar New Year in Taiwan" at Public Schools 196 CONCLUSION 201 C H A P T E R S E V E N : I M P L I C A T I O N S F O R M U L T I C U L T U R A L A R T E D U C A T I O N 202 PERSONAL GROWTH 204 IMPLICATIONS FOR MULTICULTURAL ART EDUCATION 207 Cultural changes among non-Western cultures 207 CONCLUSION AND SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH 215 R E F E R E N C E S 219 v Acknowledgements The first month when I came to the Ph.D. program, I asked an African officemate, who was finishing up a thesis, how he had made it. He smiled and said that it took a whole village of people to finish a thesis. I liked the expression very much, since I grew up in a village in Taiwan, and I knew what it meant to take a whole village of people to finish a project. In my village, there were all kinds of people who hurt you or loved you. There were those who casually spit out words sharp as a knife that brought painful tears, stirred up anger, disappointment, and sometimes frustration. There were people who passed by with indifferent eyes and the look told you that they were not interested in you probably because they had their own troubles. And of course, there were always wonderful people who gave you soup when you were weak in bed. Some listened to you and ensued a conversation that sparkled some light when you thought you were doomed to walk in darkness. Some listened to your joy or sorrow about bits and pieces of personal life, some offered encouragement that made your heart soar and want to sing. I feel that all kinds of people enriched this journey, and I am grateful to all of them. Thanks to my research supervisor, Dr. Rita Irwin, who is always there to listen and support. I am grateful to both Dr. Graeme Chalmers and Dr. Kogila Adam-Moodley. Their careful reading and suggestions have been valuable resources for the research project. Thanks to Dr. Catherine Milsum for the patience in explaining the wonders of the English language. To Karen Knutson, Kadi Perm, Neville Swartz, Esther Mang, and Gerda Hlodversdottir who made the graduate student office a pleasant working experience. Thanks to Green College for bringing me ideas and friendship. It was a place that introduced me to a Western academic life. I encountered respectable minds with not only a head but also a heart to care about the world. The tension and debates among many exotic tongues that spoke English at the dinner table were ideas that eventually led me to explore ethnic relations and cultural identity. I also developed friendships that I shall always cherish. Among them, I thank Scott Hazelhurst, Peter Urmetzer, Kevin Au, Rushen Shi, Lorenzo Garlappi, Sue Liu, and Julia Berardinucci. Asha and Sachin Mithal have been wonderful cheerleaders along the way, and whose friendship taught me patience and trust. Iris and Reggie Chen, Rose Wan, Perri Strawn, Carillon Kinley, Martin and the late Doris Urmetzer were angels who brought insights and laughter to lighten up this stage of my life. Thanks to the Taiwanese community members who provided me the experience to observe a cultural phenomenon and listen to many immigrant stories. To my Aquacize instructors and friends for accompanying me splashing in the water like a group of children. To my yoga teacher, Gioia Irwin, who guided me to a path of healing through physical awareness and opened a door for me to look deeper into this learning process. Finally, to my family, Pa, Ma, Pauline, Victor, William, and Miki whose tender love seems remote yet at times significant for my survival in Canada. To all the people in the village, my hands in front of my heart, Namaste (the light within me honors the light within you). vi Dedicate to my father, Dr. Chi-Hsiung Lin, and those of his generation, who went through the Japanese colonization, the Chinese Nationalist regime, the American modernization, the Taiwanese democratic movement, and are still yearning for a Taiwanese identity. vii Chapter One Introduction We are all strangers once. (Passover Seden) At the 1998 Vancouver International Film Festival, exile and immigration were key themes. Hundreds of members of the arts-related population from many nations had contributed their talents to depict one of the most significant cultural phenomena of our time. Stories of displaced people reveal the troubles of our contemporary world— political upheavals, racial and religious conflicts, and economic crises that rip out people's roots and cause them to start over in new places. They document what happened to the world in the wake of such historical events as European global expansion. Immigrant tales express deep emotions such as nostalgia, hostility and acceptance, emotions attendant upon searching for the past and surviving between cultures. Through the arts of visual image, music, and storytelling, the film festival helps us to remember that we were all from somewhere once and that Canada is a nation largely constituted of immigrants. Canada, like most developed Western societies, plays the role of a receiving society where immigrants seek refuge and opportunity. It is characteristic of an immigrant-receiving society to have diverse coexisting ethnic groups and cultures. Canada mandated multiculturalism in 1971 as a public policy that responds to the country's diverse ethnic reality. The concept of a multicultural society is one in which a society searches for the means to address ethnic relations. The goal of multiculturalism — "a tolerant, ethnically diverse but politically stable Canadian state" (Hryniuk, 1992) — 1 represents the country's humanitarian position, while also conveying an ambiguity, since it has different meanings to different people in a culturally diverse society (Fleras & Elliott, 1992). Issues such as the power relations between a dominant culture and ethnic cultures, controversy between descendants of various ethnic groups, and the search for a common Canadian identity can create heated discussion. This is particularly significant in the sphere of education where curricula foci and distribution of resources are often disputed. While the receiving society reflects the socio-political dimension of coping with immigration, immigrant stories reflect the socio-cultural aspect. Each immigrant inevitably faces problems such as language, culture, and identity. The journey of the migrant is like walking across cultural borders to dwell in a sort of limbo. Moving between homes and borders eventually raises questions regarding social belonging and identity. This is particularly evident among visible minorities whose facial features or spoken language marks their difference in the receiving society. It seems that difference and similarity are linked within the notion of identity: because of a similarity or difference with others, there are memories and stories, ways of living and thinking, ways of defining who one is and one's relations with surrounding people. Difference/similarity and identity, therefore, is a framework for the immigrants to negotiate between past and present, home and abroad, here and there. Cultural theorists such as Hall (1994) and Bhabha (1990) claim that we are living in an age of "immense spatial upheaval" and that modern nations are gradually written by people who live at the margin in a multicultural society, such as women, members of the working class, and ethnic groups. Like members of countless social movements quest for 2 women's and civil rights, for example, immigrants also constantly yearn for a place and seek recognition in society. They tell stories of their homelands as well as stories of dynamic changes that reveal a deep side of universal humanity. Through performance, music, and visual arts, they express their particular cultures both to indicate where they come from and to claim a place in multicultural society. The 1998 Vancouver International Film Festival and the increasing popular ethnic cultural festivals in Canada are cases where cultural identities are publicly performed and declared. On studying the relationship between textile art and cultural identities among Hmong refugee women, Conquergood (1992) observed that "in such a world of dislocations and discontinuities, cultural identity is not given, stable, or secure. It must be continuously performed, remembered, and improvised. Identity is more like a performance in process than a postulate, premise, or original principle" (p.242). Why is there a strong desire among immigrants to express their cultural identity? How are ethnic cultures performed and represented in a multicultural society? How do the cultural performances reveal or affect people's identities? These questions point to a central site in which the concept of culture is theorized and practiced in a multicultural society. Since ethnic cultural identity often uses the arts as a means of representation, I first examine the concept of culture by exploring how multicultural art educators address theories and practice issues in the field of education. Secondly, I provide four examples of multicultural art practice according to my experiences and observations in Canada. Understanding Taiwanese as a non-Western ethnic group, I discuss ethnic relations between the West and non-West, and the effect of cross-cultural interaction in a multicultural society. 3 Background of the Study The evolving definition of culture Culture is a significant concept for the development of systems of thought. However, the word has different definitions among intellectual disciplines and has evolved complicated meanings in modern usage. Its linguistic development suggests that the original primary meaning of culture was a process of tending biological growth, such as animals or crops. It was extended later to the process of cultivating human development. During 18th and 19th century in several European languages, the word acquired new meanings as an abstract process of human development or the product of such a process. It further moved away from its origin and became an abstract noun as a state or an achievement (Williams, 1983). In complex modern usage, culture is commonly associated with two definitions. The first so-called "opera house" definition refers to the products of intellectual and especially artistic practices: classical music, literature, painting, sculpture, and theater. The second definition of culture refers to a way of life, including beliefs, behaviors, values, artistic expressions of a group of people. These two basic definitions are indicative of different academic positions and provide various perspectives to examine human activities. The first interpretation of culture as the achievement of artistic, intellectual or spiritual development, is traditional for scholars in literature and art. This notion of viewing culture as a particular system of universal knowledge has a profound influence on developing criteria for judging the qualities of fine art. For example, the elements of art and design (line, color, 4 composition, perspective, etc.) are the focal features in traditional Western art appreciation. H. W. Janson's (1986) well-known textbook, The History of Western Art is full of descriptive art languages which reveal such a tradition. While the traditionalists centered on pictorial formal analysis, there was also a growing recognition of socio-cultural milieu in Western art which examined art from a socio-economic perspective. This position, strongly influenced by Marxist theories, is best exemplified in the influential Social History of Art by Hauser (1951). The formal analysis of art appreciation and the socio-cultural analysis of artistic products, however, have been partly replaced by alternative cultural concepts. The position of the two "high-culture" approaches to which I have just referred is criticized as an elitist view of Western culture due to its dichotomous, exclusive nature. The elitist view can be examined from two perspectives. First, the traditional approaches discriminate against other forms of artistic production. Judging from its standards, it differentiates art as either being "high" or "low." Oil painting and bronze sculpture, for example, are considered high art, whereas folk art and crafts are viewed as low art. This exclusion of practices from everyday life experiences was criticized by the increasing popularity of mixed media presented in contemporary art works. With the rise of popular or mass culture, which characterizes contemporary technological communication, the definition of culture is being forced to expand its scope. Second, Western aesthetics as the standard of human artistic expression introduces a dimension of power relations when encountering art made by non-Western societies such as African and Asian. The awareness of the civil rights movement from the 1960s promoted cultural sensitivity that extended to all facets of society. 5 A second common definition of culture is to look at culture as a creative expression of a particular society through customs, values, and behaviors expressed by the members of the group in their everyday life. This anthropological view was provided by the often-quoted Primitive Culture by Tylor (1871). Tylor's definition of culture as a "whole way of life" has since become a framework for anthropologists to study cultures of different societies. However, there is an evolving definition of culture within the field of anthropology. For example, the British 'social anthropology' which focuses on studying social structures within institutions contrasted sharply with the American 'cultural anthropology' which emphasizes 'patterns of culture.' Kroeber and Kluckhohn (1952) address the relationship between the patterns of symbolic expression and human behavior. In art education, both definitions of culture have strongly influenced the content and the approaches which art educators have adopted to teach culture through art. There are debates among art educators on articulating cultures in the classroom because culture is defined as either universal or relative (Freedman, Stuhr, & Weinberg, 1989). Anthropological theories of culture, mainly cultural relativism, has been the framework for art educators to justify the teaching of different cultures in the North American multiethnic society (e.g., Blandy & Congdon, 1987; Chalmers, 1978, 1996; McFee & Degge, 1970; Stuhr, Petrovich-Mwaniki & Wasson, 1992). Along with multicultural education theories which emphasize the importance of equal distribution of power and resources among individuals in a culturally diverse society, the socio-anthropological relativist perspective acknowledges that every group of people has their own values, and that worldviews are transformed into various cultural practices. Art, for example, 6 manifests cultural differences among various groups. Each culture has its own relative significance and should be studied on its own terms. This anthropological view of culture, however, has been criticized for its apolitical standpoint that neglects power relations among diverse ethnic groups. Shanklin (1994) provides a good criticism of anthropologists' refusal to address racism, after the wave of criticism of earlier anthropologists, who were seen as imperialistic. Gramsci's (1971) theory of cultural hegemony and Hall's (1994) analysis of collective identity through diaspora experiences amplify how culture provokes the politics of identity. The anthropological concept of culture fails to address the issues of racism and of power relations between cultures. Influenced by the contemporary debate on the relationship between knowledge and power relations, several anthropologists support writing which contests the anthropological understanding of culture (Abu-Lughod, 1991;Appudarai, 1991; Clifford 1988). With the emergence of post-colonial cultural politics which interconnect the colonized and the colonizer, cultural relativism as a cultural theory is shifting towards culture as an ideological vehicle (Turner, 1995). Building on the work of cultural theorists such as Gramsci (1971) and Hall (1994), art educator Desai (1995) proposes a concept of culture as a hybrid to articulate the complexity of differences among various cultural groups. The hybridity of cultures assumes that cultures are constantly in the process of transformation and highlights the relational understanding of differences situated within specific historical moments and spaces. This notion of cultural hybridity allows for both a macro perspective for understanding cultures without borders and a micro perspective on power relations evident in our everyday life. Most importantly, acknowledging culture as hybrid allows 7 for the understanding of how people with different historical and cultural backgrounds interact within a multicultural setting, and how specific representation encompasses meanings created by people of difference. Current academic debates on culture have prompted art educators to reflect upon cultural knowledge and power (Efland et al., 1996). Issues such as cultural context, and the relationship between content, context and community, are among the few ideas that have initiated the search for new meaning in multicultural art education (Hart, 1993; Irwin, 1998; Neperud, 1995). In order to examine the internal dynamics of an immigrant community within a multicultural context, this study intends to look at culture as a dynamic process that is influenced by the interaction with other members of the society. In line with contemporary cultural theorists, such as Hall (1994), this study also views culture as an ideological instrument that manifests a post-colonial cultural phenomenon. Multicultural art education practice Although the importance of multicultural art education is not in question, significant problems remain within its implementation. Questions such as "How do we teach non-Western art in a culturally diverse society?" challenge the content of the existing art curriculum in North America. Multicultural art education is often complex and controversial because of the ethnocentric views that can be held by art educators (e.g., Garber, 1995; Lippard, 1990). Alternative concepts of art history, art criticism, and aesthetics that appear to contrast with traditional Western art curricula are often the basis for heated discussions in art education (Chalmers, 1978; 1992; Congdon, 1989; Hart, 1991). 8 From a practical standpoint, the two most discussed approaches to teaching diverse cultures through art are issue-oriented and theme-oriented curricula. The issue-oriented approach encourages learners to examine critically and to reflect on matters of public concern through art objects. While the issue-oriented approach advocates an active social function for the visual arts, the theme-oriented approach emphasizes experiencing cultural traditions through motifs and images. It recognizes symbols and themes as a means of communication. The theme-oriented approach gives greater emphasis to various cultural traditions and the aesthetic aspect of an art work, whereas the issue-oriented approach focuses more on how the art work influences the viewer. Both approaches to art education are derived from multicultural education: the theme-oriented approach leads to recognition of diverse cultures while the issue-oriented approach moves toward social change. Desai (1995) analyzes the ideologies underlying the current multicultural art curricula of the above two approaches in the United States. She argues that multicultural art teaching presents art as a feature of a fixed set of cultural products and a biological/historical cultural heritage, with no relevance given to the interconnectedness of contemporary society. Furthermore, ethnic culture in multicultural art curricula lead to "partial representations" that are likely to perpetuate selected features of ethnic arts. The random selection of ethnic artistic styles and techniques are grouped in almost supermarket type display and arrangement. Garber (1995) suggests that the study of other cultures is like border crossing. In order to go beyond one's own cultural heritage, art educators need to develop border consciousness to teaching about cultures. Drawn from theoretical writings and her 9 teaching observations, Garber identifies that exoticizing a culture and homogenizing cultures are two of the major misconceptions in current multicultural art practice. She points out that multicultural units taught at schools tend to exoticize a culture or people. By focusing on food, clothing, or tourist items, multicultural art curricula differentiate "us" and "them." Another misconception is homogenizing cultures — several cultures are lumped into one cultural group, such as Hispanic cultures. Homogenization is an "act of removal", which neglects the diversity of local knowledge and regional history. Issues of border crossing and homogenizing cultures of others are best exemplified in Hicks' (1992) sharing of her teaching experience with African-American students. As a beginning teacher, Hicks assumes African-American students' cultural heritage to be African art, yet finds that her students' identities are situated within the American context rather than Africa. She argues that current multicultural education which defines culture through racial or historical continuity, or as a single coherent set of artifacts, is a "pedagogy of erasure", erasing the complexities of intra-cultural differences. It is also a "pedagogy of dislocation" that dislocates students of immigrant families whose identities could have been formed by diaspora experiences and assimilation within the host society. She finds that linking African-American students with African culture not only erases the internal differences within cultures, but also dislocates the identity of students who are currently situated within an American context. In the study she finds that multicultural art education, which focuses only on content (e.g., traditional ethnic art models) and generalized ethnicity (e.g., African-Americans' being assumed to affiliate with African cultural heritage), over-simplifies the complexities of cultural formation. The identity of African-American students is deeply rooted in a specific time and cultural 10 space which differs from their own cultural origins and those of the host societies. Art educators who are often the mediators of cultural knowledge generally have little understanding of social elements due to contact with the West, modernization, and immigrant experiences. Consequently, cultural knowledge introduced in the art classroom is criticized as a parade of selected ethnic arts with the potential to produce ethnic stereotypes (Hicks, 1994; Neperud, 1995). Multicultural art education and ethnic communities To avoid the pedagogy of erasure and dislocation of culture, Hicks proposes examining students' identities and the realities of other ethnic communities. Ethnic community as a valuable resource for multicultural education through art has long been recognized by a number of art educators (e.g., Blandy & Congdon, 1988; Chalmers, 1981; Chen, 1995; McFee & Degge, 1970; Neperud, 1995; Petrovich-Mwaniki, 1997; Stuhr, 1995). Stuhr, Petrovich-Mwaniki's & Wasson's (1992) "Curriculum Guidelines for the Multicultural Classroom" stands out as a strong proposal which emphasizes ethnic communities as valuable resources for multicultural understanding. Local communities are fully illustrated as important resources through which teachers and students confront their own cultural identity and bias. Local communities also invite an ethnic pedagogy to reflect the socio-cultural and ethnic diversity in the classroom. Case studies based on ethnic community art learning, such as Chen (1995) on Chinese-American students' learning experiences in art classrooms in a Chinese ethnic school and Stuhr's (1995) curriculum guidelines based on the American Indian powwow festivals, are important examples of research that enriches multicultural art education literature. 11 Although an ethnic community is identified as an important learning center for cross-cultural learning, there is little literature on the internal operational norms occurring in ethnic communities. How does an ethnic group define its cultural heritage? What are the conflicts, hierarchies, and differences in affirming cultural identity within a multicultural setting? Why are the artifacts made and for whom? How can the cultural activities practiced within the ethnic community be meaningful to multicultural education? Grounded in both post-colonial cultural theories and multicultural art educators' emphasis on exploring the specificity of local communities, I intend to examine cultural formation and representation within an ethnic community context. Within the discussion of cultural identity and ethnic representation, I look at the process of identity construction through ethnic public events (such as ethnic cultural festivals) which manifests the public display of cultural identity. Ethnic communities and cultural festivals Festivals, according to folklorists, are an ancient universal cultural expression found in world societies. Typically, they are regulated according to calendars, public, and center around collective memories of a particular group. As such, they are deeply meaningful events that also reveal the complexities of the social structure. Stoeltje (1989) comments that ethnic festivals convey ethnic cultural experiences, and they are accomplished through the transformation of symbolic forms. Derived from such shared lived experience, festivals therefore tend to emphasize the past. However, since festivals occur in the present and for the living members, there is often an interplay between the past traditions and current social themes. This process of traditional and social change 12 subtly embedded in festivals is what Stoeltje terms as "the two dimensions of temporal reality." In addition to the manipulation of temporality, festivals are also recognized for their selective nature of public representation. Events are manipulated resulting in a shift from everyday domestic reality to an intensified experience. Visual or audible symbols come to represent shared experiences of the community members. This is why food, music, dance, or stories dominate the pace and atmosphere of such events. Within the celebration of ethnic common experiences and heritage, cultural representation itself is inevitably visible through materials on public display. However, while there are many overt messages beyond the material surface, concepts such as the expression of group identity or the articulation of a group's heritage are among the unstated, hidden purposes of public cultural representation. The socio-cultural meanings of festivals have long been recognized by cultural anthropologists and folklorists (Georges & Jones, 1995; Stoeltje, 1983, 1989). Through intensive participant observation and studies, scholars confirm that festivals help to bring people together through participation, promote social interaction, present a group's world views, and enhance ethnic pride and identity (Abrahams, 1980; Austin-Broos, 1987; Feintuch, 1988). This is particularly significant within a multicultural setting where immigrant community members and viewers are from different cultural backgrounds. Within the field of multicultural art education, the significance of cultural understanding through ethnic public exhibitions has been increasingly recognized. Through participating in ethnic public display of culture, art educators have started to study ethnic cultural events and have developed guidelines for teaching ethnic art (e.g., Congdon, Delgado-Trunk & Lopez, 1999; Stuhr, 1995). Stuhr (1995) provides an 13 example of using the Milwaukee Indian summer festival to study the complicated socio-cultural issues in American Indian art worlds. Stuhr views multicultural education as a social reconstruction process and shows how festivals can be developed into guidelines for a socially sensitive art curriculum. Congdon, Delgado-Trunk, and Lopez (1999) describe the artistic and educational experiences related to the Mexican American Day of the Dead celebration in Florida. Based on their involvement in the Latin-American cultural practices and folklife festivals, the authors suggest guidelines for teaching and strategies of participation in the cultural practices of others. They also caution art educators that Latino cultures have a great diversity, and suggest that educators need to be sensitive to their students/audiences cultural contexts. Art educators have traditionally studied ethnic cultural festivals from a focus on artistic processes and educational goals. In line with art educators' advocacy on understanding students' cultural contexts, I intend to examine exclusively an immigrant community through political and historical aspect of cultural festivals in order to confirm and extend the scope of multicultural art education. This study investigates the internal dynamics of a Taiwanese immigrant group in Vancouver, Canada and presents a case of one aspect of Chinese cultural diversity. Leading Questions In the following, I use four examples to illustrate how cultural identity and public representation relates to our everyday multicultural art experience. The four examples derived from my experiences and observations studying and residing in North America. As an immigrant from Taiwan, I stumbled on the inquiry of cultural identity due to my 14 own need to make sense of what I encountered in a multicultural society. As an art educator with non-Western art history training, I tended to view multicultural art practice in North America from a critical perspective and felt the need to engage in a dialogue about multicultural art education. Example I: The ethnic Chinese in Canada are assumed to be "different" from mainstream Canadians. There is a perceived expectation in Canada of what constitutes Chinese cultural heritage. In art education, recent studies on the artistic development of children from various cultures suggest that Chinese children in Asia tend to be interested in techniques, and their drawings/paintings tend to be realistic (e.g., Chen, 1997). My own conversations with local Canadian art teachers reveal that Chinese immigrant children can also be regarded as technique-oriented. Chinese children's artistic development is regarded as "different" from the non-Chinese children who tend towards self-expression. Such a difference can generally be considered as a manifestation of a cultural difference between North American and Chinese students. Instructional packages or references to Chinese art, nonetheless indicate that Chinese tradition of visual arts is far from representational. Rather, the Chinese tradition of visual arts is more symbolic than realistic depictions of visual images (Lee, 1983; Li, 1994; Stocking, 1968). If Chinese children are supposedly influenced by their cultural traditions, then why do Chinese children, either in Asian or Canadian classrooms, choose to draw realistically and not using traditional Chinese symbolic artistic expression? Example 2. There is a void created for the contemporary Chinese cultural contexts derived from modernization and immigration. The reluctance of the receiving society to acknowledge the changing nature of Chinese culture entrenches the creation of this void. 15 At the Taiwanese Cultural Festival in 1996, there was a concert for Taiwanese composers whose compositions were performed by the Vancouver symphony orchestra. Some compositions strongly reflected the 19th century Romantic classics similar to Dvorak and Rachmaninoff. Canadian music professors claimed in personal communication that the music was not Chinese, but merely imitations of Western classical music. While I accepted these criticisms, I am bewildered by the expression " not Chinese." While Piccaso could be inspired by African art, and contemporary Western ceramics acknowledges the influence of Asian Zen aesthetics, contemporary Taiwanese composers' attempt to express the Western influence in Asian music invited criticism. As Chinese society evolves, should its cultural production maintain a distinctive style as perceived by Westerners? Resistance towards accepting the changing nature of non-Western cultures is common in the Western arts world, as evidenced by comparative literature (Chow, 1991) and Asian art history (Desai, 1995). What is Chinese tradition and who defines it? Why does the West enjoy the freedom to be inspired by certain ethnic cultures that influence modern artistic forms, while simultaneously constraining other ethnic cultures to mere static tradition, frozen in the past? Eample 3: There is a significant gap between the Chinese traditional cultures and contemporary social contexts of Chinese immigrant students. To explore this gap I draw attention to available resources for understanding the context of Chinese culture in Vancouver. It is common that when local residents want to know about the Chinese, they go to Chinatown. Through the popularization of multicultural awareness, there is also a tendency for art educators of Chinese students to 16 learn about these students by including Chinese traditional arts in art curricula or by using available resources such as a local Chinatown. But do Chinese students live in Chinatown? Is Chinatown the social reality where Chinese students reside or is it the creation of a Canadian site for cultural preservation? While Chinatown is the symbolic representation of Chinese culture in Vancouver, relatively new immigrants from Hong Kong and Taiwan commonly congregate in suburban neighborhoods such as Richmond, British Columbia. This phenomenon also occurs in other North American metropolitan cities, such as Monterey Park in Los Angeles, and has typically been studied from a socio-economic perspective (Horton, 1994). Aside from the economic status of the new immigrants, does Richmond imply a new cultural context of Chinese students which is far removed from the old familiar North American concept of Chinatown? Example 4: Chinese students are lumped together as a homogeneous cultural group in North America. Canadian educators have little understanding about the political and historical experience within the Chinese immigrant student context. During the first two years of my Ph.D. program, I chose to reside at an international graduate students' college at the University of British Columbia. Among the eighty residents, there were four Chinese students from the People's Republic, one from Hong Kong, one Malaysian-Chinese, two Chinese-Canadians who were born and raised in Canada, and myself from Taiwan. During the dinner conversations which were a major feature of college life, I found the Chinese students were viewed as a homogeneous cultural group. Regardless of the different socio-economic and political structures of where the Chinese students came from (e.g., Communism in the People's Republic of China, British colonization in Hong Kong, American capitalism in Taiwan, and Canadian experiences for Chinese-Canadians), it seemed that the nine Chinese students were 17 lumped together culturally. The extent of modernization and westernization of contemporary Chinese societies has created millions of Chinese descendents scattered around the world, and consequently Chinese diaspora experiences have changed how the Chinese look at themselves. Yet, whenever questions related to Chinese culture are raised, the Chinese remain the same in a racially defined society from the perspective of Others. On discussing the Chinese diaspora experiences, Canadian writer Bissoondath (1994) comments: how misleading it is to speak of the Chinese, as if no radical differences of experience, of outlook, exist between the people of Hong Kong, so long a British protectorate, the people of authoritarian Taiwan and the people of the brutalized mainland. Only through misrepresentation can a place be made in the mosaic for the Chinese community, (p. 84) This misrepresentation of a unitary Chinese community reflects ignorance of a receiving society regarding the complexity of one ethnically diverse group of people in North American society. The four examples above echo Garber's (1995) and Hicks' (1994) critiques of multicultural art practice. Both Garber's Mexican-American and Hicks' African-American examples indicate that there are two prevailing assumptions associated with studying cultures of others. The first issue refers to "ethnic exoticism" in which ethnic others are assumed to be different. The second issue refers to homogenization of cultures and lumping together cultural groups. These two assumptions suggest that there is a need to acknowledge the changing nature of immigrant student contexts due to their historical experiences. As discussed above, there are diverse Chinese cultural contexts derived from the impact of post-colonization and immigration. Art educators who teach Chinese children therefore need to be sensitive to the socio-cultural context of these students. 18 While communicating with local art teachers, it has become apparent to me that it is more important to clarify the evolving nature of Chinese cultures due to imperial influence and diaspora experiences than to develop the content of traditional non-Western visual arts. The differences between the cultural heritage that influence Chinese students in art making and appreciation and the cultural tradition that art educators perceive by reading instructional packages and visiting Chinatown, need to be examined. The conceptualization of differences among ethnic members in North American society and the impact of Western influence through colonization in Asia are generally neglected elements in multicultural art education. As post-colonial subjects, Chinese descendents are scattered throughout the world with specific socio-political experiences and immigrant stories. The arts presented by an ethnic community are a means of expressing such experiences and voice a collective cultural identity. On examining the context of ethnic arts in a multicultural society, I suggest that ethnic relations between the West and non-West need to be addressed in multicultural art education. This study is one attempt to apply post-colonial perspective in examining the relationship between cultural identity and ethnic arts representation and to look at its implications for multicultural art education. The Purpose of the Study This research is a case study about why and how Taiwanese immigrants construct their cultural identity through public festivals within a Canadian multicultural setting. The purpose of this study is to facilitate understanding of the relationship between 19 cultural identity and ethnic representation, and to provide a broader understanding of socio-cultural contexts that effect the Taiwanese immigrant community in Canada. This study is also an attempt to discover the internal dynamics of Taiwanese cultural festivals in Canada, the festivals' larger social contexts, and the hidden messages of such ethnic representations. The goal of the study is to examine critically both the content and the context of Taiwanese cultural festivals and their implications for multicultural art education. This research will focus on the issues involved in why and how Taiwanese immigrants represent themselves through arts and culture and the strategies they develop to respond to the social reality in Canada. I will explore how cultural identity emerges through the making of cultural festivals and the immigrants' view of searching through a Taiwanese past. Research Methods In order to explore ethnic relations and Western representation of non-Western cultures, I first draw upon literature on both interactive and post-colonial ethnic relations. This literature review serves as a framework to guide me into the "why" aspect of ethnic representations and their effect on ethnic cultural identity. The major research methods of this study embrace ethnographic strategies to explore the content and the context of cultural festivals constructed by a Taiwanese immigrant community in Western Canada. Ethnography emerged from cultural anthropology, and is widely acknowledged as the most appropriate methodological approach for a study of culture. This study applies Spradley's (1980, 1986) understanding of ethnographic techniques such as participant 20 observation, research journals, interviews, and data analysis. The emergent and evolving nature of this inquiry method indicates that data analysis and report writing are conducted simultaneously with data collection. Each stage of the research encourages the framing of new questions, and thus, an evolving inquiry emerges. Based on a pilot study conducted from September, 1996, to December, 1996,1 gained access to a Taiwanese-Canadian cultural institution that was in charge of presenting an annual Taiwanese Cultural Festival and the Lunar New Year Festival. From August, 1997 to September, 1998,1 spent time in the immigrant community and conducted participant observations, attended meetings, met with parents and volunteers, and served as a volunteer in the cultural institution. Most of the interviews were conducted during the fall of 1998 after the Taiwanese Cultural Festival. As an ethnic insider researcher, I had access to organizational meetings, allowing me to get to know the volunteers and parents in their home settings where most of the discussions for the Lunar New Year Festival were organized. The data collected provide a foundation for an analysis of Taiwanese immigrant identity and cultural representations. The Significance of the Study Multicultural art education research has developed from rich theoretical foundations and is well represented in art education literature. However, case studies on specific ethnic groups and their experiences in a multicultural context are at an embryonic stage in multicultural art educational research. There is a lack of well-documented qualitative research examining the internal cultural norms and beliefs of 21 local ethnic communities. Art educators committed to multicultural understanding are still in need of actual experiences on which to base their claims. Therefore, a case study which provides data on ethnic cultural festivals in a multicultural context promotes greater consideration in multicultural art education research and practice. As a native of Taiwan, I am adopting an emic perspective, an insider's view, to engage in multicultural art education research. This study focuses on an ethnic community's perspectives on cultural performances and cultural identity underlined through such representation. Examining the socio-historical background of the immigrants, this study focuses on a post-colonial perspective to explore the relationship between ethnic identity and cultural representation. Another characteristic of this study is to emphasize ethnic community members as agents of multicultural art education. Ethnic community members are not only potential stakeholders in the local education system, they are also ethnic cultural curators responsible for ethnic cultural formation and representation in the receiving society. Previous research tends to suggest classroom teachers are agents of educational change recognizing non-Western cultures. My study tries to expand the scope of multicultural art education to include the context of the local ethnic community. This research project attempts to demonstrate that cultural representation organized by the Taiwanese community members can be a potential resource for providing an understanding of Asian ethnic groups within a multicultural art curriculum. Equally important, this study will also present a model for Canadian educators and the public to understand the cultural dimension of Chinese immigrant influx. For example, the impact of Hong Kong immigrants on Canada has made Canada an active 22 participant in Pacific-Rim economic development. Economics aside, it is timely for Canadians to understand the intra-cultural complexities of Chinese groups. The Taiwanese immigrants are an example of a new cultural phenomenon that they bring to represent themselves in the Canadian mosaic. I believe that the arts are one of the socialization vehicles to enhance cross-cultural understanding. This study will not only provide Canadian educators with a better understanding of local communities, but also has implications for immigrant communities to recognize their places in Canadian multicultural education. The Limitations of the Study While this study will promote cross-cultural understanding between immigrant communities and Canadian educators, it occurs in a particular place where a group of selected Taiwanese are eligible for immigration and where Vancouver appears as one of the favorite destinations for the immigrants. Due to Canadian immigration policy since 1976 (e.g., sufficient capital or point system for Chinese immigration), the newcomers in Vancouver have changed the demographics and stereotypes of Chinese immigrants who first came a hundred years ago. Thus, the economic status and educational background of Taiwanese immigrants in Vancouver appear as a specific cultural phenomenon and for this select group there are issues not applicable to other ethnic groups. The participants studied are from the elite of Taiwan, with most of them having high educational backgrounds, professional experience, and financial stability. This study is limited to an environment where the community members have sufficient leisure and financial support 23 to "survive" in a new land. Cultural awareness and emphasis on education for cultural transmission are among the significant characteristics of the focus in such a community. Consequently, the cultural festivals organized by this immigrant community could be a partial representation as elitist as the group itself. This study also occurs at a particular time when increasing numbers of Taiwanese are awakening from the dominant Chinese culture imposed by the Chinese Nationalist government in Taiwan; and a time when the Taiwanese are intensively searching for their own cultural identity distinct from that of other Chinese cultural groups (e.g., those in Canada, China, Hong Kong, and Southeast Asia). It also occurs at a time that the Taiwanese, both in Taiwan and overseas, are struggling through the political hegemony threatened by the Communist Chinese government. Due to this unresolved political bondage with China, there are different opinions on Taiwanese cultural politics. Cultural festivals presented by the studied Taiwanese community are manifestations that derived from a voice in the complex Taiwanese political context. The study of the Taiwanese cultural festivals grows from my observation and participation in one Taiwanese cultural institution in Vancouver, Canada. The specific political/cultural experience of the studied immigrants, therefore, can appear to be selective amongst diverse Taiwanese and Chinese positions. Based on the history and immigrant experiences of the participants, this study is limited in understanding the specifics of a local Taiwanese immigrant community in Vancouver, not generalities of Taiwanese cultural representations in North America. 24 Overview of the Study Chapter one addresses the conceptualization of culture and issues involved in multicultural art education. It proposes a need for studying immigrants' cultural identity and representation in multicultural art education. Chapter Two is a theoretical framework that serves as a map to guide this study of cultural identity and ethnic representation. I first review the literature of power relations between the West and non-Western ethnic groups affected by colonial experiences. Significant key themes are colonization and post-colonial effect on the cultural identity of the colonized. I draw upon theoretical concepts of Park, Blumer, Said, Bhaba, and Hall to discuss how ethnic relations are affected by colonial experiences and the colonized cultural identity. The second part of the chapter situates the Taiwanese within the contemporary Chinese diaspora context. Chapter Three lays out the historical and social context of research participants. It provides a background to discuss the reasons and the need for ethnic cultural representation in a multicultural society. Chapter Four discusses the research methods used to conduct this study. I first explore the concept of experience and my ethnic insider's viewpoint. I then describe a personal journey as an original resource of this study. The second part of the chapter describes the procedures involved in the research, such as entry access, setting, problems encountered in the field, and techniques of data analysis. Chapter Five and Six describe and analyze what I found from attending the events and interviewing the immigrants who participated in the festivals. The time and social 25 context of the festivals in Canada is also discussed. Chapters Five and Six describe and analyze the happenings of the Taiwanese Cultural Festival and the Lunar New Year Festival respectively. Since the two festivals have different agendas and different findings, I include description and analysis of the data in each chapter and provide a description of each festival followed by an analysis of the data collected from interviews and field journals. Chapter Seven includes both a reflection of conducting this study and a discussion of findings that could be implied to multicultural art education. 26 Chapter Two Ethnic Relations and Diaspora Identity: An Analytical Framework This chapter explores the concepts of ethnic relations and diaspora identity that are related to the Taiwanese immigrant cultural representation. Due to the nature of the Taiwanese immigrants in a Canadian multicultural society, I first look at the interactive aspect of how ethnic groups interact and respond to others within a specific social context. I then review the theories of ethnic relations from the post-colonial perspective. Both the interactive and post-colonial theoretical positions on ethnic relations provide a framework for me to examine the dynamics within the Taiwanese community and the collective action of its members. The interactive perspective of ethnic relations draws attention to not only interdependence among ethnic groups, but also the subjective aspect of the Taiwanese immigrants' group activity. The post-colonial perspective of ethnic relations explains how difference is constructed and how cultural symbols signify the affirmation of an ethnic identity. The second part of the chapter deals with identity in the modern Chinese diaspora context. I start with a historical aspect of the Chinese diaspora, how it emerged, and the consequence of diaspora identity in North America. As members of the Chinese diaspora in Canada, the Taiwanese immigrants came with a specific economic, cultural and political background. That background marks a different diaspora than that of non-Taiwanese Chinese immigrants. The differences within the Chinese diaspora open a politics of intra-cultural complexities. It is such difference that is deeply tied with the 27 making of the Taiwanese Cultural Festival and the Lunar New Year Festival of the Taiwanese immigrant community. Theoretical Positions on Ethnic Relations Park, Blunter, and Symbolic Interactionism Ethnic relations that derive from heterogeneous groups coexisting within a multicultural context have been an important concern among sociologists and urban anthropologists. The Chicago school of American sociologists developed well-recognized theories about the study of ethnic relations. In particular, Park's (1927) "the process of social interaction" and his follower Blumer's (1969) "symbolic interaction" are the guiding concepts of social interactionism. According to Blumer (1969), there are three premises in examining the social interaction amongst a human group. The first premise is that members of the group act toward things on the basis of the meanings that the things have for them. Such things include physical objects, institutions, or guiding ideas. The second premise is that the meanings of such things are derived from, or arises out of, the social interaction that one has with the other. The third premise is that these meanings are interpreted by the individual as he encounters these things. Symbolic interactionists see meaning emerge from social interaction, including a process of interpretation by individuals. Interaction between people or groups happens within a social context or situation. Individuals attach meaning and develop attitudes from the situations they encountered. Ethnic relations are therefore influenced by the specific situation in which interaction occurs. The meanings also have a history, and the role of historical evidence plays a definite part in ethnic relations research. The historical 28 context in which experience takes place and in which meanings and attitudes arise is a significant perspective within the symbolic interactionist tradition. Park (1927) views cities as social contexts where ethnic relations arise because it is within such context that ethnic groups meet for competition and engage in a process to preserve or change their group's status. Park suggests that the status differences, particularly due to occupation and economic resources, is one of the factors of ethnic conflict and an outcome of social interaction. Group status in the society, as Park indicates, relates to self-esteem of its members. Based on the concept of group status and self-esteem, Park comments that foreigners: who begin by deserting their groups end by attempting to improve the status of these groups— seeking to make them something with which a man may be proud to identify himself. The fact that the individual will not be respected unless his group is respected becomes, thus, perhaps the most sincere source of nationalist movements in America. To this extent the nationalist movements represent an effort to increase participation in American life. (Park and Miller, 1921, pp. 143-4, quoted in Lai, 1986, p. 290-1) Park concludes that group status and self-esteem go hand in hand in defining one's place in a multicultural society. The greater the group's status within the society, the higher the self-esteem of its members. The collective action of ethnic members (e.g., cultural representation or political advocacy) usually is a means to enhance the status of one's group. This presentation to others results from social interaction with the mainstream society. In other words, the projection of culture to others is to respond to the way they wish to be seen within the society. An assertion of one's group identity, therefore, is a strategy for improving ethnic group status and the self-esteem of its members. 29 Blumer and Duster (1980) further develop Park's work by proposing the interactive process as a collective action. They point out that ethnic groups come to see each other and themselves according to their interpretation of social interaction and events that bring about these experiences. The process is collective because "judgments and interpretations are presented to others and are subject to their evaluation; and, in turn, the views of these others enter back into the circle of consideration" (Blumer and Duster, 1980, p. 220). They also see members of ethnic minority groups struggling between a duality of "emulation" and "specialness." Emulation often occurs when subordinate ethnic groups hope to improve their economic status, while an insistence to celebrate and retain their specialness happens when "economic mobility is not likely and the group members instead opt for an improvement of their lives through political action" (Lai, 1986, p. 289). The duality of emulation and specialness is a useful strategy to describe the internal discussions within the minority group. The duality is an important attribute of symbolic interactionism since it describes the impact of social interaction on ethnic relations. On discussing symbolic interactionism, Lai (1986) concludes that there are four significant features of the Chicago sociologists in the investigation of ethnic relations. Firstly, symbolic interactionists provide the concept of "transformation of traditional cultures." Ethnic groups are constantly recreating their cultures to adapt themselves according to their place within the social context. Therefore, ethnic members select and transform cultures to respond to social interaction. Secondly, symbolic interactionists suggest ethnic relations as an ongoing process and ethnic "boundaries" are in the dynamics of being negotiated and renegotiated. Thirdly, symbolic interactionists 30 emphasize meanings derived from social interaction and the subjective interpretation of ethnic groups. Finally, symbolic interactionists place historical events, such as migration, and personal experiences which spring from these events, as an important viewpoint to examine ethnic relations. Edward Said, Orientalism, and Imperialism Edward Said's (1978) Orientalism was a significant breakthrough in examining the process of how the Other was and has continued to be constructed in European tWnking. The Orient is one of Europe's oldest colonies, a place that serves as a foil to reflect the difference of Europeans. Using the example of Middle Eastern cultures, Said argues that the Western methodology and representation of the Other are based upon a presumed binary opposition that differentiates the West and non-Western world. Such binary opposition, a boundary between "us" and "them," has been taken for granted as a starting point for the representation of non-European cultures and peoples. Such dichotomous division prevailed in traditional disciplines studying the cultures of the Other. For example, early structuralists in anthropology suggested that symbolic boundaries constitute the essence of ethnic cultural orders. They studied the formation of cultural realms and categories as binary oppositions separated and joined by symbolic boundaries. Said further argues that the Orient, as a body of knowledge and practices, was constructed by European corporate institutions. Through generations of what Said called "the Orientalists" — intellectuals, writers, politicians, and artists — the Orient was not merely a factual depiction but incorporated exotic differences in ideas, personalities and 31 traditions. Through the Orientalists' description and teaching, the Orient became a point of reference used to define European identity as a superior people and culture compared with the non-European others. Through colonial territorial and economic conquest, the relationship between the Occident and the Orient became one of power, of domination. Through educating the natives, the imperial West also exerted what Gramsci (1971) called "cultural hegemony" over the Orient. Consequently, the difference between the Occident and the Orient became a research enterprise for the Orientalists to study in the academy, to display in the museum, or to administer from the colonial office. The representation of the Orient served as a "mirror'' to reflect the West's presumed cultural superiority and to justify differences and stereotypes of the Orient. Said's interrogation on the European's representation of the Islamic world inspired a proliferation of literature on other non-Western cultural representation. Black representation, in particular, is a recurring theme discussed in cultural studies. As former colonial subjects, black peoples and cultures have been represented in the West since the imperial conquest. Through scientific research, ethnographic documentation, or description in the literal world, black images were continuously represented and associated with negative racial stereotypes. In the discussion on how African-Americans contest black representation in popular culture, Hall (1997) demonstrates the process of such institutional construction of the black colonized Other. In Asian Studies, too, debate on power relations between the West and Asia prevails. Chinese scholars in the Western academy, such as Chow (1993), strongly question the exclusion of contemporary Chinese literature in Western institutions. Chinese culture, from the Western viewpoint, is supposed to be exotic, authentic, and, most importantly, different from the West. 32 Contemporary Chinese arts and literature, as a hybrid mixture of traditional Chinese and Western influence, does not fulfill the Western notion of Chinese culture as a contrasting image of the Other. The persistence of a defined Chinese culture and the refusal to accept a contemporary cultural realm in Western research institutions support Said's thesis on the academic forms of knowledge based upon the rigid distinction between the West and the Other. The significance of Orientalism is that it provides a strong articulation as to how knowledge of the Other has been institutionalized through systematic construction (Cashmore, 1996). Within Western institutions, Said's argument creates a controversy for many academic disciplines and generates an uneasy tension between the politics of representation and interpretation of the Other. Although Said focuses on literary criticism, the response to his study has been multidisciplinary. Academic disciplines related to the cultural study of the Other, such as anthropology, geography, history and regional studies of Africa and Asia, are urged to reexamine the disciplinary traditions and the norms of inquiry. Anthropological notions of cultures, for example, traditionally failed to address the issue of power relations between cultures (Shanklin, 1994). Said problematizes the oversimplified approach of cultural history pervasive in Western institutions and challenges a body of theories and practices constructed from European perspectives. The study inspires and challenges many reflective minds to become aware of their positions and sensitized to the issue of power and knowledge. In his other book, Culture and Imperialism, Said (1993) discusses the impact of imperial history and stresses a significant concept of identity, namely that nobody in the contemporary world has a fixed label (such as woman, Chinese, Indian, or Canadian). 33 Said reminds us that European imperialism controlled eighty-five percent of the world by 1914. Hardly anyone in the world is not affected by the impact of the imperial history. Through education, imperial control penetrated into native cultures and deeply affected the identities of millions of people in post-colonial societies. The relationship between the powerful colonizer and the powerless colonized has complicated how people look at themselves. Said suggests that a discussion of identity should go beyond identities as given essences, since identity formation is a process of contrapuntal ensembles. Among post-colonial subjects, Said sees immigrants and exiles or displaced people as results of imperial and post-colonial conflicts. Said comments that migration is an experience of crossing boundaries whereby immigrants live not only between languages, but also between homes and cultural domains. Boundary crossing is an intriguing site of inquiry because it is inevitable and demanding for the immigrants. It also provides questions that probe deeply into ethnic, racial, and gender identities and differences. Said has been concerned about the role of cultural intellectuals in constructing knowledge. While identity and cultural differences occur in the process of boundary crossing, it is crucial for cultural intellectuals to address the relationship between identity and imperial past. "The main job facing the cultural intellectual is not to accept the politics of identity as given, but to show how representations are constructed, for what purpose, by whom, and with what components" (Sarup, 1996, p. 160). Homi Bhaba and Border Theory How the Other is represented is a major theme in cultural and postcolonial studies. The constructed otherness generally falls under the "Big Three," race, class, and 34 gender, and representations of racial difference are often overlapped with those of women and lower-class people. Said has argued that the European invention of the Other is based upon a rigid distinctive binary opposition between the West and the East. The binary opposition is the underlying idea in which the Other is often represented as negative opposition in order to justify the difference of race. It also constructs a monolithic and homogeneous identity such as self/other, white/black, man/woman, and a fixed spatial of here/there, home/abroad. Although "Orientalism" has become a popular term to address a Western style for dominating and having authority over non-Western peoples and cultures, Said also fell into the similar trap of dividing the Occident and the Orient as a binary opposition (Said, 1996). As the world is becoming intercultural through immigration, travel, and telecommunication, the hypothetical borderline dividing a world into East and West is becoming blurred. The binary oppositions as systems constituting differences are problematic to the study of contemporary cultures that are often interdependent and mutually responsive. The post-colonial cultural critic, Bhaba (1994), extends Said's challenge of binary opposition, and employs the term "cultural diversity/cultural difference" to explain the interaction of cultures due to the imperial past. To Bhaba, cultural difference/diversity does more than acknowledge the existence of a variety of cultures. The acknowledgement that diverse cultures coexist in our contemporary society is the underlying idea for liberal multiculturalism as it avoids a Eurocentric worldview; yet it is still limited by the drawing of boundaries between cultures. It fails to address the imbalance or inequality of cultural relations. Bhaba contends that it is never enough to document the content of distinctive cultures as separate systems of behaviors, symbols, and values. The recording 35 of cultural objects or symbols may continue to suggest different cultures as exotic, and continue to study cultures through pre-given cultural content and customs. Cultural difference/diversity, in Bhaba's view, is not "a series of fixed and determined diverse objects but in a process of how these objects come to be known and so come into being" (Ashcroft, Griffiths, & Tiffin, 1998, p.60). By emphasizing the process, Bhaba leads us to question how we make statements on different cultures. Bhaba (1996) proposes that the production of meaning in the relations of two cultures requires a "Third Space." To Bhaba, the power relations between the Western imperial power and the colonized are interdependent rather than uni-directional. He deconstructs the opposition border by reconceptualizing cultural construction within an in-between "third space." It is the in-between space where cultural meanings and identities are often constituted in relation to the other meanings and identities. Hybrid culture is the creation of the third space where two cultures retain their significant characteristics and yet create new transcultural forms. Consequently, post-colonial cultural relations are a complex and ambivalent process. The process is constantly changing and opens to many different possible interpretations; therefore, a culture's difference is never static and fixed. Bhaba's notion of hybridity in the third space blows up binary oppositions and fixed monolithic construction. In an interview with Rutherford (1990), Bhaba emphasizes that hybridity is not to trace the two origins but the third space that offers a new possibility for interpreting different cultural practices. By locating cultural interaction in spatial terms, Bhaba (1994) questions cultural identity "as a homogenizing, unifying force, authenticated by the originary Past" (p.37). He further claims that inherent 36 originality or 'purity" of cultures is untenable. Hybridity and the 'Third Space" create a border between identity-as-given and identity-as-conjuncture to overcome the presuppositions of previous socio-cultural analysis. Bhaba's notion of "culture-in-between" addresses the dynamics of cultural interaction. Cultural identity emerges in this ambivalent space. Bhaba suggests that the recognition of this ambivalent space of cultural identity may help us to overcome the exoticism of cultural diversity. In his view, it is the in-between third space that carries the burdens and meaning of culture. His concept of third space allows us to examine the condition of living on the borderland, where the immigrants share. There are no fixed patterns in immigrants' stories since they concern a process of negotiation. Everyone adjusts his/her position and constructs a personal identity accordingly. Bhaba's notion of third space deconstructs binary oppositions and fixed monolithic construction since cultural identity is in a state of movement, where negotiation never ends. Diaspora identity and the politics of difference Diaspora derives from the Greek term dia (through) and speiro (to sow or scatter). It is a concept that originally described the Jewish exile experience from a historical land, to be scattered around many places. Now, diaspora is usually used in cultural studies, anthropology or related fields to describe a voluntary or forcible movement of peoples crossing the borders of nation-states to new regions. Diaspora as a concept, as Clifford (1994) observes, provokes various approaches to examine it as theoretical issues, as discourses, and as distinct historical diaspora experiences. Diaspora as a global movement, which creates massive population redistribution around the world, generates 37 discussions on social and cultural related issues. One of the key elements of diaspora is border crossing and location. The experiences of location/dislocation provide a strong effect upon identities of diasporic communities. Cultural theorists such as Hall (1994) examine diaspora identity from a historical impact of colonization and claim that cultural identity is a political construct as well as a mode of power operation. The descendants of diaspora movement and diaspora cultures in the New World, such as African-Americans or East Indians residing in many regions, are examples of diaspora movements. In Diaspora and the Detours of Identity, Gilroy (1997) comments that diaspora has two significant aspects in relation to the conceptualization of identity. First, the concept of diaspora "highlights the tensions between common bonds created by shared origins and other ties arising from the process of dispersal and the obligation to remember a life prior to flight" (p.328). Secondly, the idea of diaspora questions a popular belief of nationality that cultural and historical belonging are determined by shared territory. The concept of diaspora challenges the notion that political and cultural identity might be understood via kinship, land, and location. It offers a basis to reevaluate the idea of an essential and absolute identity and provides a means for diasporic communities to understand the complex dynamics of identity formation. Hall (1990) suggests that cultural identities among diasporic people are fluid and continuously transforming through the interpretation of history, culture, and power relations. He uses the black experience as an example and reminds us that diasporic identities are closely related to colonial histories and power relations between the colonizer and colonized. In other words, cultural identity has a history. Cultural identity is not an inherited entity based on a biological factor, but arises from interaction with 38 others. Cultural identities not only have histories, but also are subject to dynamic transformation through the "play of history, culture, and power" (Hall, 1990, p. 225). How an ethnic community constructs itself or is constructed by others both contribute to the formation of cultural identity. In North American societies where diasporic cultures coexist, cultural identity is indeed a recurring theme that provides a place of affirmation. For example, the development of African-American diaspora cultures in the New World challenges the stereotypical representation of black images and questions the notion of black cultures as fixed and static. Hall (1997) provides examples of traditional dominant stereotypes of black images and an evolution of black affirmation that contests such representation. At the beginning of the century, blacks could enter mainstream society only at the cost of adapting to a white image of them and by assimilating white social norms of style and behavior. Following the Civil Rights movement, the term 'black' was used as a site of resistance among black groups and communities regardless of their different histories and ethnic identities. Although it unified the black, African, Indian, and Caribbean together to reverse popular stereotypes, the diversity of cultural identities and immigrant experiences were simplified and were lumped into the category 'black'. There is now an increasing attempt to substitute negative stereotypes with positive attitudes towards black people and cultures, and to challenge the stereotype that reduces all black people into a simplified category. Within the discourse of ethnicity, Hall argues for awareness of a complexity of one ethnicity and challenges the simplification of black as a category. He suggests that the black cannot be represented without reference to other dimensions such as class, gender, and ethnicity. Hall argues that this strategy expands the 39 range of racial representations and the complexity of black diaspora identity. From this point of view, diaspora identities allow specific narratives and immigrant stories of diverse social experiences. The aim is to construct a politics that works with and through differences, a politics that does not suppress the particularity of experiences and identities. Hall comments that we are now beginning to see a new ethnicity that engages rather than suppresses differences. Diaspora identity is always negotiated and in a state of becoming. The descendents of Asian-American communities have also joined in the analysis of diaspora cultures in North American multicultural societies. Cultural anthropologist Kondo (1996) discusses the production of "home" and "community" as racial and ethnic identities in Asian-American theatre. Centered on the motif of home, she discusses how the people in diaspora reconstruct their ethnic identity through narrative and performance. By examining the works of Asian- American playwrights in Los Angeles, Kondo suggests that "home" for the Asian American is a production that challenges the notion of a singular identity and asserts a belonging in a racially defined society. Kondo claims that the term "Asian American" was created to replace the term "Oriental" which connotes stereotypical exoticism and a reinscription of the East/West binary defining the East in terms of the West. "Asian American is... a historically specific, constructed political identity, a specific response to a particular social, cultural, economic, political, and historical situation in North America, where people of Asian descent tend to be lumped together regardless of national origin" (p.98). For native-born Asian Americans who are removed from immigrant experiences, the search for a collective memory and experience growing up in North America is 40 important. As a third-generation Japanese-American, Kondo strives to break stereotypes and asserts a belonging to where she was born and educated. In analyzing the contemporary production of Asian-American theater, she points out that one of the most important features of such a narrative is the absence of exoticism (such as fake "Oriental" accents, Asian women as wilting flowers, or quasi-Asian music) with which Asian Americans are usually depicted for mainstream audiences. The lack of exotic "Oriental splendor" challenged the expectation of the white audiences, and received a lukewarm reception. Yet, for the author and her community who have been in America for three generations, such narrative is an "authentic" representation of a normal, everyday Asian American. Kondo argues that Asian-American theater carries a political connotation that Asian Americans attempt to write themselves into existence for themselves, not for the dominant mainstream media. Identity in the Contemporary Chinese Diaspora Cultures within the peripheries will change at different rates and in different directions. [...] We can be sure that these changes will take place along the triple axes of migration, urbanization and cultural contact. The choice between an authentic nationalism and a homogenizing modernity will become more and more outmoded. Questions of cultural identity, both in the core and the peripheries, become more complex as we begin to understand that there is no single model of a hybrid or composite culture, but many different possibilities. (Chambers, 1994, p. 83-4) The history of contact between the Chinese and the West since the second half of the 19th century is full of humiliation and frustration for the Chinese. What it means to be Chinese in the 20th century has been complicated by a turbulent modern Chinese history, caused by Western imperialism, the collapse of the Ching Empire, the struggles of the 41 warlords, Japanese invasion, and the conflict between communist and nationalist ideologies. The political turmoil and economic difficulties created an unprecedented immigration scattering Chinese all around the world. After more than a hundred years of this Chinese diaspora, the issue of Chinese ethnicity and identity is far more than a biological, linguistic, and geographic reality, but a complex array of social and political experiences (Chow, 1993; Tu, 1994). When discussing Chinese identity in the contemporary era, one important issue is to define the meaning of "Chineseness." Tu (1994), an internationally renowned Confucian scholar, provides a framework to discuss "Cultural China." He distinguishes between the Chinese of mainland China as the 'Center' and the peripheral Chinese communities of various Asian countries (e.g., Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore) and overseas Chinese. He uses exposure to different political, cultural experiences as the basis for his comparison. The question of identity is often constructed along with these experiences. For example, while traditional Confucian values were severely questioned and artifacts were violently destroyed during the Cultural Revolution in China of the 1960s and 1970s, they were cherished and transformed into a national identity by the Nationalist government in Taiwan. For the early Chinese immigrants in North America, Chinese identity was constantly subjected to the dynamics of the immigration policy of the receiving countries. The social construction of Chinatowns in North America exemplifies such an ethnic product defined by government policy towards early Chinese immigrants (Anderson, 1991). Cultural identity for Chinese immigrants in North America, thus, is a continual struggle which involves compromise or conformity. 42 Immigration and the process of modernization happening in Asian peripheral regions are two major aspects which challenge a uniform Chinese cultural identity. In Taiwan, for example, specific political and social factors serve as a rationale for studying traditional Chinese culture. Presentations of Chinese culture have been politicized due to hostility between Communist China and the Nationalist government in Taiwan. They were also an instrument to decolonize the imperial Japanese influence. Due to the international political isolation and the military threat from China, the political leaders in Taiwan elevated modernization as the first priority and chose to ally Taiwan with the United States. Along with exported political, economic, and technical aid, the United States brought a new form of colonization which introduced new education systems, social interactions, and consumer values. Under the American model, the lingering pre-war Japanese colonial influence, and the imposed Chinese tradition, cultural identity has remained an unsolved puzzle for the Taiwanese. For both state and society, there is no consensus about what Taiwanese identity is, or about what its place in the international arena might be. The late 1980s saw a new appreciation of locality which led Taiwan to reexamine itself in search of grounding and identity. Examining the post-war cultural change in Taiwan, Harrell and Huang (1994) comment that cultural identity for the Taiwanese is at a crossroads. At this crossroads, Taiwan is no longer restricted by a state cultural control defined by authoritarian cultural policy. Neither is it caught up in a rush for materialistic progress (modernization), nor is it prepared to return to the legitimacy of mainland Chinese culture. Under such dramatic tensions between modernization and tradition, the search for identity is prominently revealed in literature and the arts. For example, Kuo's 43 (1994) term "new Taiwan painting" reflects the development of a Taiwanese consciousness. After the struggle to continue Chinese traditional ink painting, Japanese-filtered oil painting, and Western aesthetics through the education system, Taiwan is evolving a "somewhat distinctive style", in which paintings "possess their most distinct individuality in their subject matter, which reflects the complex reality of postwar life in Taiwan" (Kuo, 1994, p. 273). For those who chose to immigrate to North America, the political experience in Anglo-American or Canadian society provides a different context for cultural identity. Issues of assimilation and cultural maintenance are among the most critical to confront a multiethnic society. Particularly, the process of assimilating into the mainstream culture strongly influences how Chinese identify themselves. For example, early immigrants who have been in Canada for generations have developed their own subculture as Chinese-Canadians. Although categorized as ethnic Chinese, the Chinese-Canadians do not and cannot attest to sharing the same goals or culture with either Canada or Asia. "Chinese-Canadian does not equal "Chinese"... We have an identity and a culture unto ourselves" (Lee, 1991, p. 24). Such a resounding voice through art production is one of the most charged issues informing Chinese-Canadian art. For example, an exhibition in 1991, Self not Whole: Cultural Identity and Chinese-Canadian Artists in Vancouver, identified the Chinese-Canadian group as a culture unto itself. It was the first exhibition in Canada to challenge the notion of a "whole" Chinese culture and questioned the notion of a "Chinese community" (Chang, 1991). Through the manipulation of contemporary Western art forms and traditional ink paintings, Chinese-Canadian artists asserted a 44 particular cultural identity whose political, social, and historical context is fundamentally different from "within." Issues such as intra-cultural diverse experiences and how they relate to the formation of cultural identity are critical as we attempt to understand the diversity of Chinese descendents residing in Canada and their cultural representation. As Hall (1992) indicated, historical experiences could be a source of strength, and open up a possibility for identity formation. For the new immigrants, such as the Taiwanese whose relocation happened recently, the Taiwanese immigrants inevitably engage in representing themselves in what Hobsbawm and Ranger (1983) term "the invention of tradition." According to Hobsbawm and Ranger, identity formation is a process of intersecting past history with present experience. Their notion of invented tradition suggests that cultural identity is selective whereby only some features, symbols and group experiences are chosen to represent and others are excluded. In other words, the elements of tradition or cultural production are selectively transmitted. Part of the tradition is chosen to be remembered, just as some parts are purposely forgotten. Case studies from colonized cultures in search of a national identity, such as India and African cultures under European colonization, provide examples of such a process. From this political perspective of identity construction, Hobsbawm points out experiences in the past and present as a significant element of identity formation. How people deal with their past reflects how they define who they are in the intersection of their daily life with the economic, political, and cultural relations with the Other. It is this historical/political nature of post-colonial identity construction and an interactive aspect of ethnic relations as analytical framework, that my analysis of 45 Taiwanese cultural festivals will ask: Why and how did the call for cultural representation come about? How did historical experiences as Taiwanese connect to the cultural performance in Canada? How did Taiwanese immigrants relate to complex relationships among Chinese descendents and the non-Chinese public? What are the signifiers of a Taiwanese cultural identity chosen to mark out its difference in a multicultural society? And what is included and excluded? These are a set of questions evolving around the issue of constructing Taiwanese identity and they will be explored in the following chapters. 46 Chapter Three Social Context of Taiwanese Immigrants in Vancouver Identity... is a matter of 'becoming' as well as of 'being.' It belongs to the future as much as to the past. It is not something which already exists, transcending place, time, history and culture. Identities come from somewhere, have histories. But like everything which is historical, they undergo constant transformation. Far from being eternally fixed in some essentialized past, they are subject to the continuous 'play' of history, culture and power. Far from being grounded in a mere 'recovery' of the past, which is waiting to be found, and which, when found, will secure our sense of ourselves into eternity, identities are the names we give to the different ways we are positioned by, and position ourselves within, the narratives of the past. Stuart Hall (1990, p. 225) The question of identity from Hall's historical perspective suggests a study of identity specifically located in time and space. In this chapter, I will provide a general picture that contextualizes the emergence of a Taiwanese immigrant institution and of cultural festivals. This context is one of the important elements in understanding the meaning of the festivals and their complexities regarding the construction of Taiwanese identity in Canada. I will first outline a brief history of Taiwan from a political, cultural, and educational perspective. A review of the socio-political development in Taiwan will provide an understanding of the dynamics of an often fragmented and ambiguous cultural identity. The description of the education system in Taiwan will emphasize that an education curriculum is highly instrumental in social production. Education goes hand in hand with socio-political history and is often a powerful vehicle for political manipulation (Pinar et al, 1995). Such a context forms the cultural background that 47 accompanies the immigrants to Canada and explains the motivation of Taiwanese public cultural representations in Canada. The second half of the chapter describes a Taiwanese immigrant community in Canada, by focusing on the composition of the chosen Taiwanese community and its relationship with other Chinese communities in Canada. Taiwanese immigration to Canada has continued for nearly forty years with three generations of immigrants. While the cultural background in Taiwan provides an understanding of how the Taiwanese immigrants were educated to see themselves, the immigration experience to Canada indicates how "others" have typified the Taiwanese immigrants. By relating the Taiwanese immigrants to the two given places and times, I intend to answer why there is a strong need for identity construction through cultural performances and why there is an ambivalent character of representing a Taiwanese identity in Canada. Socio-Political History of Taiwan Phase 1: Taiwan as a land of Southeast Chinese immigrants Taiwan is an island located on the southeast side of mainland China, 150 miles across the Taiwan Strait from China. It was inhabited by a diverse collection of Malayo-Polynesian people (regarded as the aboriginal people) before an immigration flow of Hoklo and Hakka from southeast China in the 17th Century. The Hoklo and Hakka both belong to the Chinese Han ethnic group, but speak different languages and have distinctive lifestyles and customs. By the 17th century, Hoklo, Hakka, and aboriginal people were under the territorial rule of the Ming Chinese Empire. 48 Historically, whenever the Chinese Empire was declining politically, its subordinate states were often threatened by external forces. This occurred twice in Taiwan. In the first case, the Dutch came to seek a trading center in East Asia, taking control of Taiwan in 1624 when the Ming Chinese Empire was conquered by the Manchurians. The Dutch established the Dutch East India Company in Taiwan primarily for trading purposes until a Chinese officer from China reclaimed the island territory (Tsao, 1991). In the second case, the Ching Chinese Empire struggled with both international and domestic political upheaval in the 19th century. The Ching Chinese Empire (1644-1910) was established by the Manchurians and was the last Empire in Chinese history. As a minority ethnic group in China who took control of the Empire, the Manchurians suffered drastic turmoil. Taiwan, which was a remote land far away from Chinese corrupted feudal systems, became a destination for Chinese at the Southeast coast. A vast number of Hoklo and Hakka immigrants fled the Manchurian Empire and settled in Taiwan. The Hoklo and Hakka Chinese immigrants brought the social customs and beliefs that prepared the cultural practices in Taiwan. However, neither China nor Taiwan could escape from imperial colonization in the 19th century. During the European imperial era, China was no exception to military conquest and was a colonized territory devoured by Western European countries and Japan. In 1895, Japan defeated the Chinese Empire during the Sino-Japanese war and Taiwan became a Japanese colony as part of the peace settlement exacted under the Treaty of Shimonoseki. 49 Phase 2: Taiwan as a Japanese colony (1895-1945) Japan was the first country in Asia that imported Western technology and successfully transformed itself into an industrialized state. After the painful political reform of the Meiji Restoration, Japan successfully emerged as an imperial country equipped with a powerful military force. Its victory over Russia and China in the late 19th Century bolstered Japan's ambition to conquer Asia. Lured by the abundant natural resources of Taiwan and its geographical importance in East Asia, Japan built up Taiwan as a center for economic exploitation and colonial expansion in Asia. During the fifty years of colonization (1895-1945), the Japanese applied Western principles to establish the administrative and educative infrastructure in Taiwan. The postal service, railway system, and public administration, such as the judicial and policing system, were among the many social reforms conducted according to the Japanese model. The infrastructure constructed by the Japanese paved a foundation for Taiwanese modernization and is often cited as a contributing factor in Taiwan's later economic development (Gold, 1986; Wachman, 1994). The Japanese also introduced a public education system to Taiwan, with Japanese as the official language of instruction. Through the Japanese language, Taiwanese were educated into becoming colonial citizens who shared a sense of community and purpose with the Japanese Empire. Despite the hostile act of invasion, Japanese colonial education opened the window to the Western world for the Taiwanese. It was through Japanese education that Taiwan started its contact with Western approaches to science, medicine, arts, and music (Tsurumi, 1977). 50 While China was battling countless military forces, Taiwan was preparing to enter an industrialized era led by the Japanese colonizers. Through the implementation of education, Japanese culture began to weave a new socio-cultural fabric into Taiwanese history. It had also influenced manners and customs on the island. For Taiwanese intellectuals, Tokyo, the capital city of Japan, was the center of knowledge that allowed these young minds to venture. However, a borderline always existed between the colonizer and the colonized. Despite all the industrial advancement in Taiwan, under Japanese rule the Taiwanese themselves were still regarded as subordinate. Phase 3: Taiwan as a post-colonial society (1945-1949) The Second World War ended the Japanese military conquest in Asia. As a defeated country, Japan returned Taiwan to China. Chiang Kai-Shek was the leader of China who defeated the Japanese during World War II. Though exhausted by defending China against Japanese invasion, Chiang's political party, the Chinese Nationalist Party (also known as the Kuo-Ming-Tan, the KMT) struggled concurrently to battle with the emerging power of the Chinese communist party. In 1949, four years after World War II, the communist party led by Mao took over China, and Chiang led one-and-a-half million Chinese refugees and fled to Taiwan. The ensuing political transition from a Japanese colony to Chiang's Nationalist regime was a nightmare in Taiwanese history. Due to a brutal invasion by Japan during the Second World War, the Chinese had an emotional hatred of the Imperial Japanese. The Taiwanese found that the incoming Chinese government arrived with intensive hostility towards the Japanese-influenced society which Taiwan had become. The 51 Japanese language was prohibited in favor of Mandarin. The Chinese Nationalist government not only embarked on a program of massive social reform (e.g. language policy, currency reform, and land reform), but also presented itself as a violent conqueror to wipe out Japanese colonial influence. The new government not only repressed but also looked down upon the Taiwanese with Japanese education. This hostility between the Nationalist government and the local Taiwanese intellectuals reached a climax and triggered an anti-KMT riot in February 1947. The violence spread over the whole island and was brutally suppressed by the K M T military troops. An estimated 10,000 to 20,000 victims, mostly Taiwanese intellectuals and social elite, were persecuted by the Chinese Nationalist government (Kerr, 1965). This incident has been regarded as an intentional attempt by the K M T government to wipe out those who were educated under the Japanese colonial system (Gold, 1986). The February incident, later known as the 228 Incident (for its date, February 28th), rooted a deep distrust among the Taiwanese towards the Chinese Nationalist government and immigrants who later followed Chiang to Taiwan. Phase 4: Taiwan as a one-party ruling state (1945-1987) According to Chiang, Taiwan was to preserve traditional Chinese culture as opposed to the new communist influence in China. While China adopted communist practice and was violently destroying Chinese traditions (such as during the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s and 1970s), the Nationalist government in Taiwan heartily embraced Confucian traditions in order to "decolonize" Taiwan as far as Japanese influence was concerned (Wachman, 1994). Mandarin (the official language of China 52 since 1911) replaced Japanese and Taiwanese and became the medium of instruction conducted at schools. The curriculum was designed to familiarize Taiwanese with the history and geography of China and also with KMT political ideologies. The curriculum privileged knowledge of classical Chinese, English, Chinese/Western history and geography, the Nationalist Party ideology, and science for entry into higher education. The Nationalist government practiced one-party politics in Taiwan for over forty years (1945-1987). As a refugee government, the Nationalist party created political terror by censoring Taiwanese history. "Taiwan" was taboo whether as word, identity, or concept, since it was always associated with a subversive independence movement. Therefore, Taiwan as a geographical place, its significant cultural practices, and its colonial histories were forbidden in schools and in public speech. Wilson (1970) in Learning to be Chinese: The political socialization of children in Taiwan, presents detailed accounts that explain how education serves as a powerful apparatus for a specific political ideology. Based on his research in 1966-67, Wilson points out that the education system in Taiwan attempted to train children to conform and be loyal to the state. He concludes that education became the Nationalist government's means of gaining political stability and social control in Taiwan. Internationally, the Nationalist government in Taiwan would shift from being a legitimate Chinese government to an exile government. During Chiang's regime, the Nationalist government in Taiwan enjoyed legitimate status recognized by the United States and the United Nations. As one of the Allied leaders of the Second World War, Chiang was able to maintain Taiwan's political legitimacy abroad. However, in 1971 the Nationalist government in Taiwan was forced to give up its seat in the United Nations. 53 Nixon's visit to China in 1970 led the communist party of the People's Republic of China to replace Taiwan as the recognized Chinese government. After Chiang's death, Taiwan lost most of its international diplomatic relations, including those with Canada in 1971 and the United States in 1979. Its international political isolation sparked the fear of a communist invasion by China, and precipitated the first wave of immigration to the United States. The United States played an important role in post-war Taiwanese history. When Chiang retreated to Taiwan, his goal was to establish Taiwan as a military base from which the Nationalist government could return to China. During the cold war era, Chiang joined the United States to combat communist forces and fight against China. The United States became Taiwan's most influential ally and supported its industrialization. The United States established military bases along East Asian coastlines which linked South Korea, Okinawa (Japan), Taiwan and the Philippines to defend against communist China and Russia. The Taiwanese were receiving American aid and, like most of the other developing countries, dreaming of themselves as "American" (Jacoby, 1966). The influence of the United States has continued beyond Japanese colonialism to become the status symbol of economic, political, and social life in Taiwan. For example, English has replaced Japanese as a promising social ladder to higher education and elite class membership in Taiwanese society. Through the inclusion of English in the public school curriculum, American graduate schools have replaced Japanese in attracting young Taiwanese scholars and shaping the Taiwanese world view. The English world is a magic mirror that reflects Taiwanese poverty and "primitiveness" in political, social, and cultural structures. 54 Though Taiwan did not have a political identity recognized internationally after 1971, the Nationalist government did not change its policy of regarding itself as the legitimate ruling party of China and educating the Taiwanese to "liberate" people under communist rule. Industrialization and an authoritarian ruling party remained the two means for maintaining a perception of power over China. From the early 1960s on, industrialization brought Taiwan sufficient economic development (9% average growth per year) to bring international acclaim of an "economic miracle" (Barrett and Whyte, 1982). It improved the material life of the Taiwanese, and transformed the island from agricultural to urban. While the Taiwanese were engaged in the labor-intensive economic market, the ruling party continuously implemented martial law to restrict civil congregation, freedom of travel and censorship of the media (Mao, 1997). Along with economic growth came new technologies and urbanization. Urbanization created a consumer's market that brought environmental disorder, and rising crime belied an incompetent public administration. New technology brought a communication system that informed the Taiwanese about the outside world. Popular culture from Hollywood, as well as liberal ideas such as feminist assertion of women's rights flowed into the society through mass communication. The economic development also provided a redistribution of wealth that created a large new middle class in Taiwanese society. The increased levels of literacy inadvertently created citizens who were able to challenge the Taiwanese Nationalist government's political control over the Taiwanese. All these factors served as grass root socio-political movements that challenged Nationalist government policies. 55 Phase 5: Taiwan as a post-modern society (1987-present) 1987 was a significant year in Taiwan since the Nationalist government withdrew martial law and ended its one-party rule. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), mainly composed of Taiwanese, emerged as the opposition political party on the island. The DPP was rooted in the actions of overseas Taiwanese intellectuals who challenged the dictatorship of the Nationalist government in Taiwan (Wachman, 1994). Since the 1960s, Japanese and American university campuses were the centers for Japanese and American- trained Taiwanese post-graduates rebelling against their government's propaganda. Due to their political activities that threatened Nationalist legitimacy in Taiwan, many of the post-graduates were not allowed to return to Taiwan and became immigrants in North America. These political exiles pushed the birth of the first Taiwanese opposition political party, the DPP. The DPP went through harsh political oppression during late 1970s and early 1980s yet came a long way towards challenging the political hegemony of the Nationalist government in Taiwan. The DPP vigorously interrogated the Nationalist policy of sacrificing the people and the land of Taiwan to fulfill the Nationalist's ambition to regain power in China. The most heated debate concerned the Nationalist's education system in which the history and culture of Taiwan were never addressed in the school curriculum. Instead of educating the students to know the community and the place where they grew up, the Nationalist government created an imagined Chinese identity by imposing the so-called "sinonization curriculum" which focused on the grand Chinese civilization and the indoctrination of the K M T political ideology. In Constructing Taiwanese identity: The making and practice of indigenization curriculum, Mao (1997) 56 strongly criticized the way that the Nationalist sinonization curriculum produced children in Taiwan (including the Hoklo, Hakka, mainlanders who grew up in Taiwan, and aboriginal people) who were ignorant about Taiwan yet knowledgeable about China. The notion of national identity, imposed by the Chinese Nationalist government, was to convert Taiwan to represent Chinese political legitimacy. The process of this affiliation with Chinese identity fits well into Gellner's (1983) observation of shaping a national identity. According to Gellner, a nation depends upon a political or intellectual elite imposing a shared culture on the whole population of a territory. A national education system, Gellner comments, is essential to ensure that all members are able to fulfill their roles to belong to the nation. This imposed affiliation with China and educated Chinese cultural identity among the Taiwanese was what the DPP strongly opposed. One of the major strategies that the DPP implied was to stir up amongst the Taiwanese from the renewed discussion of the history of Taiwan. Discussion of the 228 massacre between the local Taiwanese and the postwar mainlanders had been prohibited for over forty years, and silenced many of the older generation who endured the political transition. The generation born after the war was largely ignorant about the history of Japanese colonization in general and the 228 incident in particular. After lifting the publication restriction in 1988, Taiwan was thrown into a heated debate which continuously argued the interpretation of modern Chinese history and the place of Taiwan in relation to China and the rest of the world. This debate repositioned Taiwan from the margin subordinated to China to a central place. In public education, for example, proposals on indigenous curriculum, one that places Taiwan as 57 the focal subject for the Taiwanese to learn history, social studies, and geography, challenges the official sinonization curriculum. The re-awakening of "Taiwaneseness" since 1987 not only manifested itself in domestic socio-political change, but also emerged from the anxiety about the threat of Chinese communist government (Hai, 1995). The 1989 Tienanmen Square massacre in China shocked the world and cast a dark shadow over the Taiwan Strait. The meaning of "Chineseness" raised questions for the Taiwanese who are not only constantly threatened by China but also experiencing international political isolation. The deconstruction of the Nationalist government policies threw Taiwan into an anxious search for the meaning of "Taiwaneseness". The process of such searching for the self brought political insecurity greatly accentuated by the threat of China and also by the domestic social reforms that brought Taiwan into a state of social disorder. Claiming to be Taiwanese, culturally and politically, invited objection both from the Nationalist government in Taiwan and the communist Chinese government. The anxiety brought on by the political insecurity and domestic social disorder became difficult for the people in Taiwan. Since the late 1980s, there was another flow of immigration to English-speaking countries, such as the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. It was a time during which those countries opened up their immigration policies and welcomed Asian investment for potential economic growth. The Taiwanese, including Hoklo, Hakka, and the mainlanders who came to Taiwan after the Second World War, began to scatter to all corners of the globe. Thus began the diaspora of the Taiwanese, who left with a fragmented, ambiguous conception of their cultural identities. 58 In conclusion, the history of Taiwan can be summarized as a history of immigration and colonization. Early settlers from Southeast China in the 17th century and immigrants who were forced to flee from communist China after 1945 largely made up the cosmopolitan population of Taiwan. Within three hundred years it underwent political control under the Ming Chinese Empire, the Dutch, the Ching Chinese Empire, the Japanese, and the Chinese Nationalist government. Instability accompanied every transition of political power and created a historical rupture that attempted to liquidate the previous regime. The imposition of a specific educational curriculum reflected political hegemony and cultural superiority. An ambiguous identity caused by colonization and rapid political change in Taiwan resembles the Bosnian journalist Slavenka's (1997) vivid depiction of the internalized inferiority of Eastern Europeans who went through political trauma. Those who grew up under changeable political ideologies seemed destined to be confused, outraged, and lost in identifying who they are. The chaotic turmoil confused their sense of their "private" identity, and their categorization in distinction to others (i.e. Western Europe) tends to force a false public identity. This confusion of self-identity and public identity, caused by constant political change, also reflects on the Taiwanese. It is this historical context of awakening from an educated-Chinese identity and searching for a "Taiwanese" identity that lays the foundation for this study. Having reviewed Taiwanese history, I will explore the Taiwanese immigrant community in Vancouver. I do not intend to explain the intention of immigration, or the reasons why people uproot from the land they live in and immigrate to a foreign land. Instead I view 59 this as a background that explains the conflict and ambiguity when confirming or defining an immigrant cultural identity within a multicultural society. Taiwanese Immigrants in Vancouver Opinions, creeds and doctrines become intelligible when we know their history; when we know, in other words, the experiences out of which they have sprung...Not merely events, but institutions as well become intelligible when we know their histories, and particularly they have their origin and on which they finally rest. (Park, 1927, quoted in Lai (1986), p. 287) The history of Chinese immigration in Canada is full of humiliation. The Exclusion Act officially rejected Chinese. In 1967, the Canadian government changed its immigration regulations and opened up to immigrants of Chinese origin. These post-1967 immigrants are from Hong Kong, Singapore, Britain, South Africa, South America, and Taiwan. However, since Taiwan was under severe martial law where people did not have much freedom to travel and Canada did not have diplomatic relations with Taiwan, there were very few Taiwanese who could afford to come to Canada. Those who could immigrate to Canada accompanied missionaries or came for post-graduate studies. According to the senior members of the Taiwanese community in Vancouver, there were approximately 800 Taiwanese families scattered in the Lower Mainland before 1989. Because of the limited population and language difference from the local Chinese-Canadian community, the Taiwanese families were closely tied to each other. The majority of the male heads of household were graduate students who came to North America in the late 1960s and early 1970s, so they shared similar educational 60 backgrounds and political ideologies. Social gatherings were informal yet frequent among the Taiwanese families. Besides personal contacts, the major social gatherings occurred through Christian Churches, such as the Vancouver Taiwanese Presbyterian Church, and political organizations, such as the Overseas Taiwanese Association, which rallied against the Taiwanese Nationalist government for a democratic Taiwan. The Taiwanese community remained a small minority group in Vancouver until 1987. In the late 1980s, due to the potential capital of the Taiwanese, Canada established a government office that operates consular activities in Taipei, Taiwan related to tourism and immigration. Direct air links were also established between Canada and Taiwan in 1990. As Taiwan was going through a domestic social change and political confrontation with China, the Canadian immigration law attracted many middle-class and upper-middle-class Taiwanese. Vancouver and Toronto were the destinations that the immigrants chose. According to BC Statistics, the Lower Mainland in British Columbia has been the most popular destination for Taiwanese inrmigrants since 1988. The number of Taiwanese immigrants settling in British Columbia increased steadily from 222 persons in 1986 to 5,327 in 1995 (BC STATS, 1996). Seventy percent of recent Taiwanese immigrants came to BC under the Business (Self-employed, Investor or Entrepreneur) Program. The business immigrants are middle-aged business persons who are married with children. BC Statistics also reports that the Taiwanese immigrants who came to BC between 1991 and 1995 were concentrated in the age groups of 0-19 and 35-54. As a result, educational institutions providing English courses and public school preparation courses started to emerge in Vancouver. For example, The Vancouver Formosa Academy, registered with the British Columbia Ministry of Education, offered 61 junior high school programs to prepare the immigrants' children to adjust to the new education system. The Taiwanese-Canadian Cultural Society (later referred as TCCS) was founded in 1991 by 40 Taiwanese immigrants who had resided in Vancouver for twenty years. Expanding from 282 families in 1992 to nearly 2000 families in 1996, the membership numbers indicate the increasing numbers of Taiwanese immigrants who chose to reside in Vancouver (TCCS 1996 annual report). As of the end of 1996, the Taiwanese immigrant population in the Lower Mainland was 60,000 and constituted approximately 25 percent of the Chinese immigrant population. As of 1998, 2200 families joined as members of TCCS. Because the organization helps new immigrants to settle in Canada, most of the TCCS members are recent immigrants who came since 1987. The founding and committee members, however, are mostly immigrants who have resided in Canada for more than twenty years (at TCCS, they are usually referred as the "long-time residents" in Vancouver). TCCS is composed of Taiwanese immigrants who came to Canada at different times and at different ages. This plays a very important part in how TCCS functions and how immigrants interact with the mainstream society. In the following, I categorize the members into three groups according to their ages. The senior group The first generations (age 65-80) are those who grew up during the Japanese colonial era and experienced the early authoritative administration of the Chinese Nationalist government in Taiwan. With the Nationalists' arrival, Taiwanese professionals and the social elite, whose Japanese education background put them at risk, 62 chose to leave for Japan or Hong Kong and came to Canada as their final destination. Some of them survived in Taiwan and joined their family members in Canada only after their retirement. The senior group usually is well respected in the community and its members have served as advisors on different committees. Most are also members of the Taiwanese Senior Association. They usually gather once a week for lectures and social entertainment. The senior group usually communicates in Taiwanese, Hakka or Japanese, and lacks Mandarin. The founder of TCCS, Dr. T. Y. Lin, was one of this group; he came to Canada as an intellectual exile after the Second World War. The intellectual exiles and new business immigrants The second group (age 45-65) grew up under the Chinese Nationalist regime and constitutes the most important part of the Taiwanese community in Vancouver. It can be subdivided into two categories depending on the time of arrival. In the first category are political exiles who came to North America for higher education during the 1960s and 1970s. Most of them are highly educated professionals, who have stayed in North America since their post-graduate days. This group of people grew up under the Nationalist government education system and followed the vogue of pursuing their American dreams. They were the potential social elite among young scholars who were selected to study in North America; travel was considered as a highly privileged act at that time. When they left Taiwan in the 1960s and 1970s, Taiwan was still receiving American aid and was struggling through the process of industrialization and severe martial law had been imposed by the Chinese Nationalist government in Taiwan. The North American university campuses allowed them different political positions and the 63 freedom of critical thinking. Though most of them were trained in science and medicine, many of them became politically active and involved themselves in organizing an opposition political party to challenge the Nationalist government dictatorship. As a result, many of them were listed under the so-called "Black List of political persecution" of the Nationalist government and were not able to return to Taiwan. The Taiwanese intellectual exiles who scattered in the United States and Canada have always been an active force promoting Taiwanese democracy and cultural awareness. Due to their proficiency in English and knowledge about Canadian society, the members of this second group are the most important human resources at TCCS. The three directors and many of the board members are intellectual exiles. Most of them established their careers and families in Canada, and considered themselves rooted in this society. They are usually fluent in Mandarin and English. However, many of them choose to speak Taiwanese or Hakka in their families. As political exiles, many of the intellectual exiles and their children did not experience first-hand socio-economic transformation in Taiwan since they were in exile until the withdrawal of martial law in 1987. Like many intellectuals from third world countries, they are concerned about their motherland. During martial law (1949-1987), most of them were actively involved in organizing an opposition political party which became the Taiwanese Democratic Progressive Party. After the withdrawal of martial law in Taiwan and the beginning of the immigration influx to Canada, they were active in assisting Taiwanese immigrants and in promoting Taiwanese culture. Their experiences in a Canadian multicultural society drove them to focus on assuring a Taiwanese cultural 64 identity through participating in local activities. To be proud of being Taiwanese and to maintain a distinctive Taiwanese identity are primary concerns of this group. Unlike the intellectual exiles who came to North America as graduate students, a number of Taiwanese immigrants came as investors or entrepreneurs. This second category of the same age group is composed of successful businessmen who arrived in Canada since the late 1980s. The new immigrants came with sufficient wealth to qualify for Canadian immigration. As members of the business class in Taiwan, many of them witnessed the economic growth and social turmoil of Taiwanese society. They brought with them diverse political ideologies, and mixed opinions regarding the Nationalist government in Taiwan. Having chosen to come to Canada, their major concern was how to survive in this foreign land. Being successful in Taiwan, many of them retain business in Taiwan yet were unemployable in Canada. These conditions created single parent families where mothers and children stay in Canada, while their father travels back and forth between Taiwan and Vancouver. They are usually called "astronaut families." Single parenthood creates numerous stresses for astronaut families. The mother has to grapple not only with adjustment to a new environment, but also with the relationships between the family members. Consequently, many women turn to TCCS seeking support from other Taiwanese immigrants. The TCCS provided study group programs to assist the specific needs of these women and children and acted as a social and educational organization. Subsequently, the women and children of the new immigrant group served as the major volunteer groups at various TCCS committees. The major difference between the Canadian-educated professionals and the business group lies in their perception of Taiwan. The former strongly supports 65 Taiwanese autonomy. Their cultural identity as Taiwanese is firm while immersed in a multiethnic society. The Canadian experience taught them to be proud of their cultural roots, and thus many of them are committed to the cultural activities in the Taiwanese community. The business group, having experienced the transformation of Taiwan and succeeded there, yet distrusted the contemporary political situation and chose to come to Canada. Their major concern is survival in a foreign country and the education of their children. For many of them, the practical aspect of becoming rooted in Canada is overwhelmingly uncertain. The abstract concept of culture or identity seemed a lower priority compared to their daily need of English skills and their teenage children's adjustment at the local public schools. The rooted group and the new immigrants thus have different perceptions of Taiwan and its culture. Their understanding of Canada differently affects how they and their families involve themselves in Taiwanese cultural activities at TCCS. The young urban professional generation The third group (age 25-45) grew up under the Chinese Nationalist education and witnessed the dramatic socio-political change of Taiwan since 1987. This group usually worked as urban professionals in Taiwan, and came to Canada under the independent immigration category. As a young professional group that enjoyed the fruits of industrialization in Taiwan, they brought with them an American-style education and urban working experience. Due to the Nationalist government education, many of them have a good foundation in English. Most of them came to Canada with very young families, and hoped to establish a career in Canada. 66 Like the business group, these immigrants are mainly concerned with the practical process of survival in Canada. However, they are usually more informed about North America, and show much interest and confidence in reaching out to the mainstream society. Language skill is the fundamental issue to affect the immigrant's life in Canada. Due to age, educational background and urbanization experience in Taiwan, this group of immigrants is not only familiar with Chinese culture but is also more comfortable to merge into English-speaking society. Another significant characteristic of this group: most of them have limited Taiwanese, or do not speak it at all. The staff members of TCCS all belong to this young professional group. They act as bridges to help mcorning new immigrants become familiar with Canada, and are also able to communicate with the local English-speaking communities. The three groups generally reflect the stages of Taiwanese political history and the associated cultural ideologies. All the three groups are bilingual, yet the language combination is different. The senior group speaks Japanese and Taiwanese; the middle-age group speaks Mandarin and Taiwanese; the younger group speaks Mandarin and English. All three generations have very different perceptions of Taiwanese politics and culture. In particular, the experiences under the Nationalist government create heated debate and conflict in the context of TCCS's representation of Taiwanese culture through cultural festivals. 67 The Taiwanese-Canadian Cultural Society TCCS relation to local Chinese communities According to Griffin (1993), there are over fifty organizations of Chinese descendants in Vancouver. To their members from all over the world, Chinatown is a symbolic representative in Vancouver, as well as a historical site that manifests over a hundred years of Chinese immigrant history in Canada. Chinese-Canadians whom the majority from Canton and have settled in the West Coast for generations, excel in expressing immigration experience, whether through films (such as Double Happiness), literature (such as The Jade Peony, The Concubine's Children) and visual arts (such as the 1991 Self not Whole: Cultural Identity and Chinese-Canadian Artists in Vancouver exhibition). The Chinese Cultural Center and the Sun Yet-Sun Chinese Garden in Chinatown are major cultural symbols of Chinese culture in Vancouver. For new immigrants who came since the 1980s, SUCCESS (The United Chinese Community Enrichment Services Society), with its headquarters located in Vancouver's Chinatown, is the official immigrant center which aims to assist new immigrants to settle in Canada. SUCCESS is the Canadian government-sponsored immigrant social service agency established in 1973. Upon new immigrants' arrival in Vancouver airport, every immigrant gets a SUCCESS pamphlet on settlement programs which help to orient new Chinese immigrants and assist new arrivals to overcome language and cultural barriers. SUCCESS offers a variety of services which include language courses, employment services, women's and seniors' programs, Canadian public education, and counseling. Many of the board members of SUCCESS are well respected Chinese-Canadians who 68 were born and educated in Canada and successful businessmen from Hong Kong. Due to the commonality of Cantonese language, SUCCESS attracts most of the Hong Kong Chinese immigrants. For immigrants from Taiwan, Chinatown and SUCCESS are as foreign as mainstream English-speaking society. Cantonese, the language of Chinatown and SUCCESS, is an obstacle to the Taiwanese at the immigrant settlement center. China has always been a multiethnic and multilingual society. The Chinese written form was unified by the first emperor of China and remained so for nearly two thousand years. However, the pronunciation of the Chinese characters differs according to different regions. Mandarin, the language spoken in the historical capital city Beijing, became the official spoken language since the beginning of the 20th century. Besides Mandarin, there are hundreds of languages spoken in the Chinese Empire. Cantonese, Taiwanese, and Hakka are among those regional languages which cannot communicate with each other. While Mandarin became the official language in China and Taiwan, the once British-colonized Hong Kong retains Cantonese and English. Though categorized as Chinese, the Taiwanese cannot communicate with either Chinese-Canadians or Hong Kong immigrants in Vancouver. Indeed, the only common language for all the Chinese immigrants, early arrivals or new immigrants, is English. The lack of social understanding among Chinese societies is also an important factor that prevents the Taiwanese from joining SUCCESS. The British-colonized Hong Kong and Taiwan were separated as two different societies with different languages, political and educational systems, and cultural practices. Despite their proximity, the two Chinese societies did not communicate with each other until the late 1980s. Political 69 stances towards the Communist Chinese government also act as a crucial factor that separates Taiwanese and Hong Kong Chinese. The Taiwanese immigrants do not understand the British colonial experience and business culture in Hong Kong, just as the Hong Kong Chinese immigrants cannot comprehend the political aggressiveness of the Taiwanese. Taiwanese immigrants have been in Canada for more than three decades, yet have existed as a silent group within local Chinese communities. Historical documents that describe Chinese immigration history to Canada do not have traces of Taiwanese. For example, in The Illustrated History of Chinese Canadians, Yee (1988) provides a comprehensive story of Chinese immigration from early settlements to new Hong Kong arrivals. The book documented a few lines on the Chinese Nationalist diplomacy after the Second World War, yet did not mention the existence of the Taiwanese immigrants. Though the population of Taiwanese is 25 % of the Chinese immigrants in Vancouver, the Taiwanese were an invisible group among local Chinese-Canadian communities. Language barriers and different political ideologies urge the Taiwanese immigrants to form independent social groups. Since the Canadian government recognized all Chinese under same category, and public funding for new immigrant settlement goes to SUCCESS, TCCS exists as a non-profit charity organization established by the Taiwanese themselves. TCCS is financially self-sufficient and offers settlement programs for Taiwanese immigrants. The TCCS for Taiwanese immigrants is equivalent to SUCCESS for immigrants of Chinese origin. 70 TCCS relation with the Taiwanese Nationalist government Of all the many Chinese organizations, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Vancouver seems to be the most closely related to TCCS. The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Vancouver is in charge of consular activities and functions as an informal embassy. Since the Canadian government recognized communist China as the sole representative of China in 1970, its contact with Taiwan was minimal. The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Vancouver was established as a government office in 1991; it indicated a changing relationship between Taiwan and Canada. Since Taiwan does not have diplomatic relations with most of the countries in the world, the Taiwanese government set up many economic and cultural offices in the world to maintain business contacts and joint ventures. Business activities are the major focus of these government offices. The relationship between the TCCS and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office is a complicated one. On one hand, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office represents the Taiwanese Nationalist government and does not encourage the use of Taiwanese culture suggesting a difference between Taiwan and China. Therefore, it does not financially sponsor TCCS' cultural activities. However, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office has started to appreciate the efforts of TCCS in promoting cross-cultural understanding, and unofficially supports TCCS for fundraising. Structure of the TCCS The TCCS was recognized as a non-profit charity organization in 1992 by the Canadian federal government. Its organizational structure can be divided into three parts: general membership, board of directors, and the TCCS office staff. General membership 71 includes six membership chapters on the Lower Mainland (Vancouver, North/West Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, Coquitlam, and Surrey/Delta). Those with life membership donate money regularly to support the organization. Among them, eighteen are selected to serve on the board of directors. They elect a chairperson, a vice-chairperson, a general secretary, and a treasurer. At the office, one executive director and four staff members work as full-time employees at the TCCS. The TCCS is also a self-sufficient organization that depends on its own balance between revenue and expenditures. Income resources include cultural/social activities, donations, fundraising, investment income, and membership fees. According to the TCCS 1996 annual report, the biggest sources are donation and cultural activity income. The Purpose of TCCS The stated purpose of TCCS is "to assist new immigrants and long-time residents in familiarizing themselves with and adapting to mainstream Canadian life and customs...[it] also seeks to introduce and promote Taiwanese culture in Canada's multicultural society"(TCCS 1996 annual report). Based on these two purposes, TCCS established significant goals related to the settlement for immigrants and the cultural promotion of Taiwan. To the new immigrants, TCCS aims to "educate and help new immigrants understand and integrate into Canadian life and culture... and to encourage new immigrants to take part in the local community through educational programs and activities, with the goal of greater mutual understanding among ethnic groups." In connecting Taiwan to the multicultural environment in Vancouver, TCCS aims to "contribute to multiculturalism through educational activities and programs related to 72 Taiwanese art, culture, history, and language... [It also aims] to introduce Taiwanese culture to Canadians and to promote, with the community at large, a better understanding of the Taiwanese contributions to the Canadian society" (TCCS 1996 annual report). New immigrants' settlement The greatest significance of the TCCS for the new arrivals is its orientation program. Through its high profile at the Vancouver Mandarin newspaper (such as World Journal), the TCCS set up a liaison, information, and referral center to assist them. Its services include language translation services (Mandarin, Taiwanese, Hakka, and English), English courses, driving lessons, citizenship examination preparation, and seminars on financial planning, income tax, and house maintenance. The TCCS also provides orientation to Canadian cultural and governmental institutions; it takes groups to visit local governmental institutions, service organizations, and community events. Through the orientation to Canadian organizations, the TCCS offers opportunities for new immigrants to participant in local communities. For example, the TCCS held a weekly Current Affairs Forum on issues of public concern such as First Nations land claims, a major election, and amendment of local legislation. The Forum also invites local government and private agencies to share information and exchange ideas. Since 1995, the TCCS has organized a bi-annual Community Resource Day to encourage members to participate in the associations or volunteer organizations of the community in which they reside. Besides settlement programs, the TCCS also offers seminars on new immigrants' social and psychological adaptation. Since 1992, the TCCS has established a telephone 73 service, Hope Line, to assist new immigrants in their adjustments. In 1994, the TCCS conducted a survey on adjustment issues. Since the majority of new immigrant families are made up of mothers and teenage children, the TCCS formed a Family Advisory Committee for parental growth and an Educational Advisory Committee for youth programs. The Family Advisory Committee maintains contact with Vancouver family counseling institutions, such as the Canadian Mental Health Association and Family Services of Greater Vancouver. It is through such contacts that the Family Advisory Committee is able to offer bi-weekly parental growth workshops to exchange experiences and ideas of parenthood. The "Women's Hour" program organizes study groups to assist women in a search for life goals, self-esteem, and inner growth. There are major events organized including seminars on family violence, youth crimes, family care, listening to your children, and parental growth. The Educational Advisory Committee is to assist children of the immigrant families. With the assistance of the Vancouver School Board, the committee gives a weekly 'Trouble-shooting Day" that offers advice on referred questions and school admission. It also sponsors a bridge/chess club and youth computer club that provide social opportunities for the young. Since 1994, the TCCS organized an annual Taiwanese Canadian Youth Summer Conference and Youth Leadership camp to assist young adults to integrate in Canadian society. Leisure and entertainment are also important resources for helping new immigrants feel at home at the TCCS. Numerous classes on the bulletin board at the TCCS office indicate that a wide variety of activities are designed for members. Activities include classes in chess, painting, choir, cooking, financial management, and Chinese martial arts. Sub-organizations gather members who share similar interests, 74 forming the Bonsai, Horticultural, Literature and Arts, and Volunteers clubs. Each club elects its chairperson to organize activities according to its members' needs. For example, the literature and arts club was formed to introduce art and literature of Taiwan and familiarize Taiwanese Canadians with local cultural heritage. The club invites public speakers, such as the editors of Maclean's magazine and the resident conductor of Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Some of the speakers discuss Taiwanese folklore and some demonstrate Taiwanese handicrafts such as bamboo basket weaving and clay dolls (1998 TCCS monthly newsletter). The TCCS also established the TCCS Children's Choir since 1993, which meets regularly in Vancouver and Coquitlam to sing folk songs of various countries. Among the leisure activities designed for new immigrants, the environment education program of the Green Club has been the most active in educating TCCS members about Vancouver's environment. Through the support of local environmental organizations, such as the Vancouver Natural History Society and the Outdoor Recreation Council of BC, the Green Club provides a designated column, "TCCS Environmental Talk," in local Chinese newspapers and organizes monthly "Nature Walk" programs and "Green Night and Photography" workshops. Nature Walk programs are ecotours based on themes such as salmon spawning, snow geese, white-head ducks or provincial parks. Participating in public hearings regarding local environmental issues, and involvement in environmental protection campaigns (e.g., salmon preservation), are also important concerns for the members. 75 Cross-cultural promotion Another major TCCS mission is the introduction and promotion of Taiwanese culture in Canada's multicultural society. Cultural activities, according to the 1998 TCCS monthly newsletter, are "limited to language and the arts, such as music, fine arts, and folk culture, rather than the broader meanings of customs and behaviors." There are three major events that present Taiwanese culture to the English-speaking society. The events are the Taiwanese handicraft tent at Vancouver International Children's Festival, the Taiwanese Cultural Festival, and the "Lunar New Year in Taiwan" (TCCS 1998 annual report). There is also a Taiwanese Canadian Art Gallery, established in 1996 in the cultural exchange program. The art gallery serves for both Taiwanese and Canadian artists as a platform to exhibit their ideas through their art work. In the past two years, the TCCS has invited Taiwanese artists resident in Vancouver to exhibit on a regular basis. The TCCS also plans to invite local artists from mainstream society for exhibition of their works in order to fulfill its mandate of cultural exchange. Since 1993, the TCCS has participated in a weeklong presentation of Taiwanese craft activities in the annual Vancouver International Children's Festival. Led by one of the advisors to the TCCS Board, it engages TCCS volunteers who spend much time and energy preparing materials and practicing to perfection the making of each handicraft. The Vancouver Children's Festival is recognized throughout the world as an innovator in the field of performing arts for young people, and attracts thousands of local children to learn and participate in cultures from different places in the world. As an annual participant, the TCCS's Taiwanese village has presented Chinese calligraphy, paper cutting, Japanese origami (paper folding), Chinese puppet shows, Chinese kites, and 76 Asian fan design. Under the Children's Festival Committee, the Volunteer Club, the Youth Club, and the Health Professionals Association of TCCS are available to staff the Taiwanese tent. According to the 1998 Annual Report, there were over 120 volunteers, young and old, and over 1200 daily visitors to the Taiwanese tent. Since 1992, the TCCS has cosponsored with Vancouver Formosa Academy an annual Musical Festival of Taiwanese Composers, which has grown into the larger scale Taiwanese Cultural Festival in 1996, with the intention of introducing various aspects of Taiwanese culture to the Canadian public and promoting cultural exchange and mutual understanding. While the Taiwanese Cultural Festival is held at public places in Vancouver, the presentation of "Lunar New Year in Taiwan" is an exhibition held at five elementary schools in the Lower Mainland. Both events require volunteers to work together and cooperate with other members of the community. Both events also represent the TCCS's interpretation of where its members histories. A detailed description of the two events is contained in the following chapter. Summary In this chapter, I have provided a general picture of the historical background of Taiwan and the social context of Taiwanese immigrants in Vancouver. The historical development of Taiwan conquered by various political forces creates an ambiguous identity for contemporary Taiwanese. Through the enforcement of national curriculum and language policy, the Taiwanese were educated that they are not Taiwanese, rather they were educated to be Japanese or Chinese. After the Second World War, the 77 Taiwanese also internalized the power of English and Mandarin over Taiwanese, and brought with them a complex identity. Such cultural ambiguity is particularly confusing when the Taiwanese emigrate to live within a Canadian society where each ethnic group has its own space within a larger mosaic. Being categorized as Chinese in Canada yet with different language and political experiences within the local Chinese communities, the Taiwanese are desperately in need a place of their own. Being categorized as Chinese is a public identity that many Taiwanese immigrants refuse. This social context in Vancouver indicates why a Taiwanese community searches for its identity through public cultural representations. The Taiwanese community not only struggles to form an identity among its members, but also to deal with the intra-cultural differences among local Chinese communities. 78 Chapter Four Research Methods through a Taiwanese Lens Qualitative research methods derive from cultural anthropology and sociology, and have been adopted by applied fields such as health science and education with the intention of understanding a specific social event or organization by describing, explaining and analyzing the research subjects (Marshall & Rossman, 1989). The focus of qualitative research is to search for the participants' experiences and perceptions. Qualitative researchers are particularly interested in how social interaction occurs and pay attention to processes as well as outcomes. One of the unique characteristics of qualitative research is related to the interpretation of data. Rather than offer broad generalizations, the data provides particulars and details of a specific case (Lincoln & Guba, 1985; Marriam, 1988). It is from this interpretive position that methodological approaches and research methods I employ in this study shall be viewed as ways of seeing Taiwanese immigrants' cultural identity and public representations. In calling for case study researches, Yin (1989) suggests that qualitative research projects are suitable "when how and why questions are being posed, when the investigator has little control over events, and when the focus is on a contemporary within real-life context" (p. 13). The nature of this study is to ask the why and how of ethnic identity formation and cultural representation at a specific time and space. It shares the same basis with Yin's notion of social interaction. I employ ethnographic research methods, participant observations and in-depth interviews, to provide a context of how cultural 79 festivals came to be and how Taiwanese immigrants actively made sense of the festivals in relation to their construction of cultural identity. Underlying this research is the guiding assumption that though each ethnic group presents its unique particularity, the emergent themes of cultural activities of this study can provide an insight for partnership between public schools and ethnic communities, which in turn promotes a multicultural understanding. Experience as a Standpoint Marshall and Rossman (1989) state that in qualitative inquiry, "initial questions for research often come from real-world observations, dilemmas, and questions and have emerged from the interplay of the researcher's direct experience, tacit theories, and growing scholarly interests" (p. 16). As briefly indicated in the leading questions of Chapter one, this study grows from my experiences and observations as an art educator and an immigrant. In this section, I first discuss my ethnic insider's viewpoint to look at the cultural phenomenon I seek to understand. I then reflect on my personal journey as the original resource of research questions and how these experiences evolved into major research questions and theoretical concepts to bring into the field. An ethnic insider's viewpoint Since I identify myself as an indigenous researcher of the Taiwanese immigrant community, I discuss how an insider position brings up a methodological issue — how we 80 as researchers conduct our inquiry to achieve the goals we seek to achieve— in qualitative research. The term, "insider", does not have a consensus definition in social science literature. Due to the recognition of diversity of broad cultural elements within culture, such as language, ethnicity, religion, class, or nation-state, insider status needs to be specified. Although there is a plethora of terms to indicate researchers studying their own society, here I refer to indigenous insider based on nation-state, language, and ethnicity. For Third World scholars particularly, an insider's bias could easily be regarded as advocacy for political ideologies or cultural chauvinism in the process of selecting data and the formulation of conclusions (Aguilar, 1981). Being aware of this risk, I took a reflective and interpretive stance for data collection and interview analysis. Max Weber acknowledges that each of us was bound to have cultural preferences and political prejudices (Nisbet & Perrin, 1977). We cannot help but be personally involved in what we study and are in some degree attached to certain ideologies and opposed to others. As a sociologist, Weber was committed to a set of social values, and he did not hesitate to advocate what he believed in and work against those of opposite ideas. Yet Weber argues that it is still possible for a researcher to conduct a "value-free" research through the awareness of his/her own values. Weber declared that a social scientist have the intellectual integrity to see that it is one thing to state facts, to determine mathematical or logical relations or the internal structure of cultural values, while it is another thing to answer questions of the value of culture and its individual contents and the question of how one should act in the cultural community and in political associations, (quoted by Nisbet & Perrin, 1977, p. 302) An insider researcher's personal ideological beliefs and values, as Weber would contend, are essential to the search for knowledge and to reach reasonable statements of 81 the interrelationships of data. On one hand, I opened my eyes to the social behavior and interaction among the immigrants without judgmental interruption; on the other hand, I critically interpreted the experience in the field and the interview data. The experience of the participant observation is an interacting process between me as a researcher and the immigrant community members. As Blumer (1969) suggests, such social interaction involves a process of interpretation by researchers who seek to study meanings of group collective action. The interview data is the studied immigrants' interpretations of the meaning of the cultural festivals. In addition to record the immigrants' stories, I took an interpretive stance to support my arguments and wrote this study according to what I selected from the data. As I seek to understand the meaning of the immigrants' cultural activities in Vancouver, I inevitably have to confess my own selective stance and interpretation. The research data collected from participant observation and interviewing are not evidence that indicate what Taiwanese culture or overseas Taiwanese identity is, but rather I seek to interpret why a Taiwanese identity is actively contested within a multicultural society and how it is constructed through the production of a Taiwanese cultural representation. I begin from my lived experiences to ask research questions. Sociologist Smith's (1987) concept of experience and ruling relations provoke researchers to reflect on the identity of a researcher. Although her concept of everyday experience refers to the researched, I find experience as a place to begin an inquiry, and a place to return to is crucial for a researcher. Campbell and Manicom (1995) further elaborate on Smith's concept of everyday experience, and comment that "the researcher explicitly notes the place from which she looks, acknowledging the way that her inquiry is situated vis-a-vis 82 other knowers and other ways of knowing. Beginning with experience helps the researcher identity "whose side she is on," while constructing an account that can be trusted" (p.7). A researcher's personal experiences, professional training, and cultural background influence the selection of the participants and data. For me, this description of personal journey serves as what LeCompte (1987) called a "disciplined subjectivity". It not only includes the voices of the studied subjects, but also clarifies a researcher's standpoint prior to an inquiry. Experiential knowledge does not make me "the authority of experience" to exclude others from joining the discussions on ethnic cultural representations (e.g., only women understand feminine experiences; only Taiwanese understand the Taiwanese experiences). Mindful of my status as an insider researcher, I view my experiences as what hooks (1994) terms a privileged position from which to initiate an inquiry. This biographical significance not only shapes my identity as a researcher, but also determines the social relationship with the Taiwanese immigrant culture that I want to understand. Personal experiences and initial questions As an ethnic insider within the Taiwanese immigrant community, I locate my two "selves" within two contexts; namely, the place where the participants and I come from (Taiwan) and the place where the participants and I are ethnic minorities (Canada). My interest arises from the dynamics straddling these two worlds. As an immigrant in Canada, I am intrigued by numerous ethnic cultural events and the opportunities to explore Taiwanese amongst diverse cultures. Canada is a place where Taiwanese continue to grapple with an elusive cultural identity from home. Canada is also a 83 multicultural context which stresses ethnic similarity at the cost of honoring and celebrating differences amongst peoples with distinct cultures and histories. This situation makes it necessary for me to clarify my dual worlds as an ethnic insider and as a researcher. To do this, I turn to my personal history (cultural background, ethnicity, gender, and class) and the significance of personal learning (the influence of schooling) to identify the sources of my insider bias. I include what I believe to be significant biographical information based on the claim that a researcher's position in a qualitative study is influenced by her personal history. To declare a researcher position is to acknowledge that no research or researcher is neutral. It reveals the worldview, the political and the personal biases of the researcher that motivated an inquiry. Growing up in the Chinese education system I grew up and was educated under the Nationalist regime in Taiwan. Nearly two hundred years ago, my family came to Taiwan from Fuken, one of the Southern provinces in China. Both my grandfathers and parents were educated during the Japanese colonial era and went through the transitional period when the Chinese Nationalist government took over Taiwan from Japan. We lived in an agricultural county where most of the population were farmers. There was one rule in the family: perform one's duty to honor the Lin family. One's duty at school was to be a good student, and this duty implied being an obedient and hard-working student. In public schools, we all dreamed of passing the entrance examination and becoming university students. Classical Chinese, Chinese/Western European history, geography, mathematics, English, and the Three Principles of the 84 People (the political ideology of the Chinese Nationalist government in Taiwan) were the subjects that would send me to study at the university. As in most of the Asian homogeneous societies, in which conformity is much emphasized and provides few alternatives, the university is a yardstick to measure a person's capability. A university's reputation remained as a ladder for social mobility since it affects one's job opportunities, social network and status. Years of schooling taught me the importance of Mandarin and English. To speak fluent Mandarin is highly honored at public schools, and to be able to read English is to enter a better life. Yet, as I came of age and excelled at schools, I found myself distanced from village life, where Taiwanese is the spoken language. The Nationalist government in Taiwan prohibited all students from speaking Taiwanese in public schools. Students were fined if found speaking Taiwanese, which was degraded as a vulgar language. I, as well as most of the students in my generation growing up in Taiwan, internalized Taiwanese as a symbol of the vulgar. We practiced and practiced to get rid of our Taiwanese accent in order to gain honors at schools. I started to speak Mandarin wherever I went, regardless of the resistance from my grandparents and parents who refused to speak Mandarin. Through schooling, I was educated that I was Chinese and would "liberate" people in China from Communism. Across the university campus of my time, the much-chanted slogan was "Come, come, come, come to Taiwan university; go, go, go, go to the United States." Fluent Mandarin without a Taiwanese accent and an English textbook carried by university students on campus were "intellectual" statements that indicated an educated elite lifestyle. Americans had established military bases in Taiwan and we saw how Americans lived a luxurious life in the American districts in Taipei. Compared to the then 85 poor Taiwanese, the English language was considered to be the means to enhance our lives, and many of us were ambitious to enter graduate schools in the United States. Taiwan in the 1980s manifested Hall's (1990) observation on intellectuals of the developing countries and how we joined the other Third World countries to dream to be American. Identity crisis in the U.S.A. 1987 was a significant year in Taiwan because the Nationalist government withdrew martial law. The people gained freedom of speech and travel; and I left for my American dream. I was intellectually attracted to Asian art history, and interested in how Western scholars interpret Asian art. Like the other 10,000 students annually who left Taiwan for post-graduate studies in the United States, I brought the educated Chinese identity with me to the American Midwestern campus. This first away-from-home experience was a turning point in my life. I was surprised that people in Chinatown spoke in Cantonese instead of Mandarin which I had assumed was the official language for all Chinese. On campus, I was challenged by Chinese students from China on knowledge of Chinese arts and my interpretation of modern Chinese history. I was emotionally struck by watching the Cannes award-winning Taiwanese film, A City of Sadness, about the massacre of Taiwan's intellectuals and social elite when the Nationalist government came to Taiwan, about which I was learning for the first time. The film, which was banned in Taiwan until the early 1990s, indirectly explained my family's resistance to the Nationalist government and shocked my educated identity as Chinese. I could not read any Chinese publication for nearly a month because I had mixed feelings about being 86 mocked by the education I received in Taiwan. This film which was presented from a Taiwanese perspective threw me into doubts about the knowledge that formed my belief and worldview. I shared the experience of what African-American educator Foster (1994) commented on her growing up in American mainstream culture. "In matriculating into the dominant culture, we are instructed in different paradigms, tutored in new worldviews, and trained in correct "ways of knowing." Years of schooling taught us to rename, recategorize, reclassify, and reconceptualize our experiences" (p. 131). Growing up in an authoritarian society where I was educated that we, as opposed to the communist China, were the legitimate heirs of Chinese political and cultural heritage, I was thrown into the confusion of "who am I? " Gold (1993) comments that Taiwan in the 1990s had joined other Asian countries going through the process of industrialization and modernization. Rebellion against past rulings indicates that Taiwan had also reached the stage of cultural nationalism. On the streets, loud voices protested for the rights of women, the disabled, aboriginal people, and other marginalized groups. The Taiwanese language, once banned in public, became one of the most significant symbols for rebelling against the dominant ruling of the Nationalist government and became fashionable to speak in public. Popular culture conducted in Taiwanese also became a social vogue. At the university campus, American graduate schools were still popular for post-graduate studies, yet there were also constant protests questioning the American intervention in Taiwanese political/economic/social development. I was not alone as a lost soul when I arrived home from the United States. I found the landscape of my childhood had been transformed into industrial sites, and I was 87 critical of the rootless curriculum that did not provide the history/culture of the island for the Taiwanese to appreciate the land. The whole island at the beginning of the 1990s had lost contact with the environment and the people were confused about an ambivalence Chinese or Taiwanese identity (Halbeisen, 1991). Since freedom of speech had been granted, numerous voices had appeared in the media and in public. In the congress hall, the Taiwanese representatives were aggressively pushing the Nationalist government to rewrite the constitution written by the Nationalist government in China before WWII and imposed for fifty years. Taiwanese congressmen forced the Nationalist government to respond to the changing nature of Taiwanese society by renewing government structure and its policies. Verbal disputes and physical fights on the tables separating political parties were the highlights of domestic politics and social issues. After three and a half years living in the U.S. and traveling to several countries, I knew very well that holding a Taiwanese passport could constantly push me into a rage. In the international context, I didn't belong to a nation, and I was a citizen of nowhere. The confusion and humiliation I felt at custom entry points made me question the place I grew up. The United States experience not only threw me into a personal identity crisis, but also made me aware of how the Taiwanese were viewed in an international arena. I took home a critical eye to look at the society where I grew up, and I was also eager to participate in social changes. I, as well as a majority of Taiwanese descendents in the island, was bitter about the Chinese Nationalist government propaganda. Moreover, the political hegemony and military threat from China to prevent Taiwanese independence often cast a heavy shadow for domestic reform. Yet the reverse cultural shock living in the land of constant chaotic mess burdened by socio-political reform and Chinese military 88 threat was overwhelming. As a seventh-generation Taiwanese returning after several years in the United States, I found I did not understand the land where I had grown up. A Canadian multicultural experience Canada is the second place for me to experience life in a multicultural society. Living and interacting with people from different parts of the world seem to be a first step in confirming where home is. From the experience interacting with students of diverse ethnic background at a graduate residence, I have gradually come to accept that I come from what Sinologists call the "Chinese periphery." Cultural superiority, where "the Center" dominates, is a common theme in cultural interactions; consider, for example, China and Taiwan or Parisian and Quebecois French. I also found that Chinese were viewed as a monolithic cultural group. Regardless of the diverse socio-economic and political histories of Chinese descendents, the Chinese were lumped together from the gaze of the Other. I have to admit that it sometimes irritated me since the acknowledged "difference" was being fixed and neutralized. The issue of intra-cultural difference did not explode until China projected missile to Taiwan, caused by the Taiwanese presidential election in March, 1996. The general ignorance about Asia amongst the residents and the local media shook my confidence in the welcoming Canadian mosaic ideology. Along with the political tension at the Taiwan Strait, there were heated discussions at the college dinner table. The experience was emotionally draining because it constantly reminded me that I am not only from a cultural periphery, but also from a political powerless place. The intellectual debate on Chinese issues became a most uncomfortable topic while I went through the fear of war. During 89 the time, I was desperate to find how the other Taiwanese respond to the political tension haunted from the homeland. I started to observe why do my Taiwanese friends constantly complain that we need to assert an identity in this multicultural society. Why does the Taiwanese immigrant community actively present cultural events? Is it an urge to clarify the impervious boundaries among the Chinese and to voice immigrant experiences one encounters in everyday life? This ignorance of intra-cultural difference among the Chinese was also manifested during Chinese New Year. The residents in the College proposed that Chinese students organize a dragon dance from Chinatown to celebrate cultural diversity. My response to this proposal was rather indifferent, as if Chinese New Year were just another exotic cultural event. Chinatowns in North America were established by immigrants from Canton whose language I do not understand. The dragon dance implies a subtle commercial culture celebrated by the Cantonese in North America. I refused to participate in such an event because I could not connect myself with such a representation. To me, Lunar New Year in Taiwan is far from the dragon dance of Chinatown. It is a family event that involves relatives, friends, neighbors, and all the people with whom I am connected within society. It is a time for the Lin family to practice an annual ritual: to clean and decorate the house with flowers and calligraphy pieces; to join in the kitchen to prepare and decorate food for families and visitors; and, most important of all, to join the villagers to pay tribute for the peaceful past and the ancestors who had settled in Taiwan and to hope for a good year. The street parade including percussion and the lion/dragon dance is a minor component compared with the flowers particularly chosen for the year, the smell of the family food and our much 90 practiced calligraphy pieces at the family gate. How could I reduce these most cherished features and magnify the Western notion of a Chinatown dragon dance New Year to express where I am from and who I am? The New Year experience is personal for all Chinese, since every family has its own ways to create a New Year memory. I refused to celebrate Lunar New Year in the college as it was interpreted as an exotic experience by non-Chinese students. I also refused to express my cultural heritage by going to the commercialized food fair and the dragon dance perpetuated in a Chinatown in which I feel like a foreigner. Bissoondath (1994) criticized Canadian society's ignorance regarding the complexity of an ethnic diversity. He described the Canadian way of looking at the Chinese issue as "the simplification of culture." The exotic experience of the dragon dance is an illusion primarily for tourists and non-Chinese locals. What representation would I choose, then, if I were asked to present myself amongst the residents, to indicate who I am and where I am from? Were I the organizer of public cultural events of the Taiwanese immigrant community, what content would I select to present the Taiwanese and to other local Vancouverites? Among the Taiwanese public cultural activities, what cultural symbols do Taiwanese immigrants choose to assert their cultural identity? Anthropologist Cohen (1985) observes that "people become most sensitive to their own culture when they encounter others, the opposite place at which to find their attitudes to their culture is at its boundaries" (p.70). Residing in a micro-multicultural graduate student community, I knew and I experienced that I am different among Chinese descendents. Chinese culture is part of my cultural heritage, but not all of it. Besides Chinese influence, there was a component of Japanese and American effect that shaped 91 my world. My personal experiences often lead me to reflect on how post-colonial subjects grapple with cultural identity. Residing in a multicultural society like Canada, where cultural diversity is a national pride, how do post-colonial subjects interpret historical memories and cultural experiences that shape their identities? How do differences manifest through arts expression among the immigrants? Intrigued by the politics of education and the arts, I immersed myself in multicultural education through art. I value my previous experiences growing up in the Taiwanese education system, following social norms to pursue North American post-graduate degrees, and being awakened by the political reality when I was away from home. These experiences are not stories of myself alone. I share emotions similar amongst Taiwanese exiles in the Vancouver immigrant community who excelled at school, came for North American post-graduate studies, and stood firmly to search for a Taiwanese identity. I am no exception to these immigrants who chose to live in a country of hope, desiring change for the next generation. As an immigrant myself, I am part of this collective voice of a Taiwanese community. Participant Observation In the field, ethnographers go through a unique experience. ... Their main tool is an ensemble of personal relationships by means of which they connect themselves to a cultural network.... The tool is not everything; it requires proper handling. The best ethnographers are not those who have the best personal relationship, but rather, those who best understand these relationships, who recognize what is being transacted, who are capable of interpreting, first for themselves, the representations involved. (Speber, 1982, p.33) 92 This study applies ethnographic techniques such as participant observation, interview, and data analysis. There is an emergent and evolving nature of this inquiry method. Each stage of the field experience, interview, and analysis requires the framing of new questions, and thus, an evolving inquiry emerges. In this section, I am both describing how I got involved in the research site and reflecting on the interaction with community members in the field. I not only discuss the advantage and disadvantage of my insider's status, but also the dilemma I encountered in the field. I adopt Lareau and Shultz's (1996) reflection on giving details of fieldwork research. It describes the reality of fieldwork, and discusses how research questions evolved according to the experience in the field. Site selection For Taiwanese immigrants in Vancouver, there is a visual medium that everyone can relate to: The World Journal. The newspaper's headquarters is in Taiwan, and the North American edition has served Taiwanese immigrant communities in North America since 1970. As in many cities in North America, this daily newspaper is a bulletin board for the Vancouver Taiwanese community. The World Journal reports, advertises, and shares news among Taiwanese residing in Canada and USA. I started to read the World Journal during the first Taiwanese presidential election in March, 1996. This political event was a landmark that symbolized a democratic era in Taiwan, yet was threatened by China sending missiles to Taiwan. Living through the anxiety of a potential war between Taiwan and China, I was desperately in need of a connection with the place where my parents were residing. To remedy my homesickness, 93 I "swallowed" all the news that I could gain, and started to have a general picture of the Taiwanese immigrant community in Vancouver. From the newspaper, I learned that there were various social clubs that subtly reveal the Taiwanese immigrants' financial status (such as numerous gulf clubs and traveling clubs); organizations that indicate specific regional, political, or language groups (such as the Hakka organization or Taiwan pro-independent organization); and businesses that reflect how the immigrants survive in Canada (I knew most of the Taiwanese restaurants by heart then). I read the newspaper with one major question: under such political tension, how did the Taiwanese immigrants, who live with other Chinese from Hong Kong and China in Vancouver, respond to such an event? Was there a particular collective identity or representation to express an anxiety of war and was there a site of resistance? I found no answer from the World Journal, yet there were a string of words that appeared weekly which attracted my attention: "Know the new land in order to appreciate Canadian and Taiwanese cultures". This was the theme of a lecture series on environmental education. It was worth noticing because aside from a program in English as a Second Language, it was the only program that seemed to educate the immigrants about Canada. While most of the immigrants' settlement depended heavily on Taiwanese social connections and activities that occurred only within the community, the environmental education program advertised in the World Journal addressed the issue of an interdependence relationship between Taiwan and the new home. I read the weekly column faithfully. It usually appeared on Tuesday, and served as an introductory article for the weekend walking tours at various parks in Vancouver. Aside from purveying specifics about the parks, plants, or birds of the Greater Vancouver 94 area, the author indirectly expressed the purpose of environmental education as "to understand the new place, to appreciate and love the home where we chose to come. This appreciation and love of the land can help us to get rooted in Canada." The author's way of applying the metaphor of "place'V'home" from environment was a wonderful method for the immigrant community. I asked a Taiwanese friend who was been in Vancouver for five years if she was aware of the column. She told me that the author was a well-known figure among the Taiwanese community because of the column's popularity. The author was a medical doctor in Taiwan active in the environmental movement there and then the executive director of the Taiwanese-Canadian Cultural Society (TCCS). In April, 1996, one month after the political tension between China and Taiwan, the World Journal announced the beginning of the Taiwanese Cultural Festival in Vancouver. The Festival was sponsored by the TCCS and included a concert of Taiwanese composers played by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. I attended the concert because I was interested in the Canadian interpretation of Taiwanese music. One contemporary composer had used a popular folk song as a symphonic theme; when the melody was heard, I could feel that the air at the Orpheum was rattled. The lyrics of the folk song described the Taiwanese who were oppressed under the Japanese colonial era. I saw from my rear seat that some members of the audience were wiping their eyes. I knew that they were sobbing because the lyrics touched upon the historical memory of Taiwan under Japanese rule and a political fate Taiwanese always being treated as inferior. I thought of the political/social dynamics of the island I grew up on and how Taiwanese scattered around the world and tears came to my eyes. I had heard this song hundreds of times, and it had never touched my heart as it did at the Orpheum. At this particular time 95 and place—the audience of the Taiwanese sitting at the Vancouver classical concert hall — I reflected on the meaning of being a Taiwanese in the Western world and the power of the arts. In September, 1996,1 took a course in ethnography and conducted a pilot study on Taiwanese arts activities in Vancouver. I was interested in exploring the dynamic process of decision making behind cultural events in the Taiwanese immigrant community. Through the pilot study, I found there were 35 Taiwanese organizations existing in British Columbia in 1996 and TCCS is the non-profit organization that promotes Taiwanese culture and cross-cultural understanding between Taiwan and Canada. I collected the documents and calendars published by TCCS, and was impressed by the numerous activities. The immigrant settlement programs reflected TCCS's leadership role in the Taiwanese immigrant community and according to the TCCS publications the emphasis on culture seemed significant. Since the Taiwanese government does not have diplomatic ties with Canada, it seemed that TCCS acted as a bridge between Canada and Taiwan through its cultural and environmental education activities. During that time, there were lectures on the ecology of BC salmon offered by the weekly columnist, Dr. J. Lin, at TCCS. I asked my Taiwanese friend who was active in the immigrant community to mention my name to Dr. Lin. Because Taiwanese culture gives more credit to interpersonal connection than to formal titles (e.g., a researcher from UBC), it was important to have a mediator acquainted with potential participants to introduce my presence in the community. After I made sure that my name had been mentioned, I phoned TCCS to register for the lectures and briefly introduced myself as a 96 U B C graduate student in art education. Dr. Lin answered the phone in a very friendly manner. He chatted with me in a Taiwanese way to welcome a newcomer (my being new in the Taiwanese immigrant community) about Taiwan—where I had grown up, what school I had gone to, and where I had worked. Dr. Lin encouraged me to attend the lecture and this started my journey to TCCS and the festivals that followed. Access to Taiwanese-Canadian Cultural Society I attended Dr. Lin's lecture several times, and I found that the immigrants' enthusiasm and frustration in the new land and their mixed feelings of being Taiwanese intrigued me as a research topic. For example, "multiculturalism" was a word frequently talked about at TCCS and proudly referred to as the spirit of Canada. It seemed to me that the concept of multiculturalism challenged the immigrants to ponder their identity seriously since they had frequently been questioned about their "country" by non-Taiwanese in Vancouver. To identify and articulate what Taiwan is became an everyday experience for most of the immigrants at TCCS. The conversations regarding this topic appeared to be the most interesting because most of the immigrants have ambiguous identities. There were many opinions about the historical past of Taiwan infused with emotions such as confusion, bewilderment, and resentment. It seemed to me that "Taiwan" has become what Anderson (1994) called, an "imagined community", for the Taiwanese immigrants to justify their existence in a foreign country. Through the ethnography course I was taking, I arranged to have a four-hour interview with Dr. Lin and staff members at the TCCS office. Besides the technical skills of conducting interviews and reflecting upon participant observation, this pilot study 97 experience also brought out several issues regarding building rapport with the research site and potential informants. Most important of all, the pilot study taught me to be sensitive about my insider status at TCCS. Since my entry into TCCS went smoothly and my ethnic background served an advantage, I took for granted that I could easily develop what anthropologists called the "emic" perspective to communicate with the members of TCCS. Since I identified myself as an insider researcher, I did not know that I could not plunge into the organization to collect what I was looking for until I was told that it was "not necessary" to sit in the broad committee meeting. The reason for the rejection was that the meeting was exclusively for leaders of TCCS to discuss practical issues such as budget and personnel of the organization; I should restrict my involvement to the arts activities. The rejection made me realize that I was still an outsider of the organization. This experience not only reflected the weak formulation of my research questions at the time, but also challenged my taking for granted status of one who shared the same language, and cultural background within the community. It was a starting place for me to think seriously about the role of a researcher, and reminded me to develop sensitivity to the cultural norms practiced in the research site. Patience is a crucial element to build rapport with the participants. I was ignorant to assume that I could be involved in the board meeting to observe the process of decision-making. I also realized that I was asking the wrong questions of the wrong participants, because at the end of the pilot study I found that the board members were not directly involved in selection and presentation of TCCS's arts activities. After the pilot study, I broadened my questions to include the notions of Taiwanese cultures defined by members at TCCS, and the goals that TCCS as a leading organization wishes 98 to represent in Vancouver. Instead of asking the community leaders about how they selected the content for representation, I looked at the definition of Taiwanese cultures at TCCS, TCCS as an institution and its relationship with cultural festivals. TCCS was a financial and personnel resource for the cultural festivals, yet the establishment of the festivals involved a wider scope beyond TCCS. The coordinators of Taiwanese Cultural Festivals and the Lunar New Year Festival have their own interpretation of Taiwanese cultures. This finding lead me to realize that I needed a greater familiarity with the community members in order to identify potential participants. Since the festivals involved community members of both genders and different generations and immigrant experiences, it seemed necessary for me to get involved in TCCS in order to overcome estrangement in the community. I used two methods to advance my connection with the TCCS members. First, I decided to pay the membership fee — a gesture recognizing that I wanted to be part of the community. Secondly, since I was working as a student guide at the Museum of Anthropology, I decided to contribute three hours each month giving free tours to TCCS members. Dr. Lin responded with excitement, and immediately arranged the tour for December, 1996. Using the Museum of Anthropology as a lecture site, I gave sixteen monthly tours for TCCS members from December, 1996 to May, 1998.1 developed eight issues regarding BC First Nations artifacts and treated each for two months. I adapted the tour by introducing First Nations culture through comparison with examples of Taiwanese history, current issues, or Taiwanese aboriginal issues. Through this activity, I not only met most of the community members but also listened to different voices regarding Taiwanese cultural identities. Such exposure to the community established my credibility in the community and helped 99 to build connections with members of TCCS. The discussions of history also broadened my questions on Taiwanese cultural identity and how the arts related to such identity. The dilemma of an insider researcher Participant observation generated a significant part of the data of this study. Once volunteer- lecturing, I started to formulate my research questions and asked permission to sit in the Taiwanese Cultural Festival 1998 committee meetings, which lasted for one year. TCCS's Taiwanese Cultural Festival committee members got together monthly to brainstorm, and to discuss issues. Committee members were half elected by the board members of TCCS, half respected community members nominated by board members. The three TCCS executive staff were also frequently present at the monthly meetings, which were held at the TCCS office usually on a weekday night from 7:30 to 9:30. Most of the meetings ran later than scheduled. Of twelve meetings for the Taiwanese Cultural Festival, 1998,1 attended eleven. My presence as a participant observer during the committee meetings was not to judge or evaluate TCCS or to advocate Taiwanese culture in Canada, but to understand how the Taiwanese select arts activities to represent themselves in Vancouver. However, it was difficult not to become involved in the decision-making process. Partly because of my research in cultural studies, the chairman always asked my opinion during meetings. Especially whenever questions regarding to content of the festival arose, I could often feel the gaze of the members on me. Because the 1998 Taiwanese Cultural Festival was the first to be organized by a committee, the members were especially serious about 100 working. I could feel the expectation from the committee members, since all of them believed that I was on their side to make the festival successful. This belief that I, as an insider of the immigrant community, was on their side reflected my role as a researcher in the field. Due to my ability in English and knowledge of the arts practiced in Taiwan, it was expected that I would contribute to the festival. At the beginning of the festival committee meeting in September, 1997,1 was elected coordinator in charge of English media. My position was thus defined by these senior members as what Merriam (1988) termed, an active observer participant rather than a passive participant observer. This elected position revealed an expectation from the committee members, and created an ambivalent feeling about my role as a researcher. It took me the next two months to convince the committee that I was there to "study" the process of the festivals, and that my priority was observation in addition to participation. On examining the insider researchers' experiences during the process of conducting fieldwork in Arab women's societies, Altorki and El-Solh (1988) suggest that the insider position is critical in determining the researcher's relationship with the subjects. Throughout the fieldwork, the relationship between the senior members and my own resistance to remain as a participant observer became a subtle cultural game. I remember vividly that one time there was a proposal for organizing an exhibition of Taiwanese history in the Taiwanese Cultural Festival. I was asked my opinion on this, and I expressed a personal preference for an exhibition on Taiwanese immigrants. I thought that a display of Taiwanese immigrants' profiles or motivation in coming to Canada might be more accessible for a mainstream Canadian audience to understand Taiwanese identity. The chairman immediately responded, "Who is going to collect these 101 profiles and data?" I could feel all the eyes on me, and I knew that I was expected to follow this suggestion. Another instance occurred which revealed a similar pattern. The members were discussing how to access the Western media after the pubic relations coordinator expressed helpless frustration after contacting the media (none of the English media showed up at the press release for the 1997 Taiwanese Cultural Festival). I suggested that instead of targeting the public media (e.g., T V stations, newspapers, and radio stations), we could break down the contents of the festival into several agenda and invite local professional groups to attend (e.g., B.C. Potters Guild to join the ceramics exhibition; B.C. aboriginal groups to participate with the Formosa Dance Troupe; local folksong association to join the Hakka concert). Everyone at the meeting said it was an excellent suggestion, but who could contact these organizations? Again all the eyes were towards me. With the festival approaching, the committee complained that it was not ideas and brainstorming that count; there was a lack of people to carry out the ideas. Throughout the process during the fieldwork, I could feel TCCS members' eagerness to be included in Canadian society. Characteristics of the group I was observing and studying are the sense of being Taiwanese with an assertive political position. Ever since I was accepted as a researcher in the community, I gradually found that the members were expecting me to share a similar enthusiasm. I felt embarrassed to be present at the meetings, to act as a passive observer as if I were there to see how the festivals rise or fall. The Lunar New Year Festival committee members also had high expectations of me. Due to my high profile in the community as a museum lecturer and my background working in Taiwan as an assistant curator, I was often asked to provide 102 information on all sorts of New Year's customs. It became a distressing experience that members would phone me and ask about the anecdotes of the Lunar New Year, or about the educational resources of various aspects of Taiwanese culture. I was alarmed that if I was involved too much in offering ideas to shape the festivals, what kind of data and the quality of data would I get. If I presented my ideas too much, would I end up collecting data that were about myself? Would I trap myself into what some ethnic insider researchers were criticized that we present the other according to our own expectations (Hargreaves, 1995; Alcoff, 1991)? Yet, if I resist their expectations too often, would such resistance effect my relationship with the interviewees? The relationship between an insider researcher and the participants are dynamic. Emerson, Fretz and Shaw (1995) observe such relationship is crucial in writing up the study. Fieldnotes and finished ethnography are inevitably and unavoidably mediated by the ethnographer's persona, experiences, point of view, and theoretical priorities. But the researcher's point of view and theoretical priorities are not simply pre-given; they are shaped and influenced by the relationships he forms with the people whose social worlds he is trying to understand, (p.215) The participants I studied are well-respected and well-educated members of the immigrant community. Though there are age differences among the participants, all of them are senior to me. From our shared cultural background, we, the researcher and participants, understood seniority to convey a complicated layer of both authority and respect. Members made me feel that if they can give time and energy to TCCS, I, an advocate on arts and culture, should be able to as well. As the festivals approached, I was overwhelmed by their expectations. I had been assigned a public relations role as they 103 assumed I was the most suitable individual to represent them to the English language media. To preserve the balance of such a delicate relationship in the field is most challenging for an insider researcher. It also confirms what African-American researcher Foster's (1994) reflection on ethnic-insider researcher that "insider status was continuously tested and renegotiated, and that differences of gender, generation, and geography produced varying degrees of solidarity" (p. 134). It took me several months to negotiate with the committee, and to clarify my priority to observe the process of Taiwanese cultural representations. I remained an intentional distance in participant observation, particularly on deciding the content of the festivals. As the festivals approached, I decided to participate in the festival. Partly because there were so many things that needed to be done, partly because of what I saw and felt at the volunteer training program. I was moved by the mothers and teenage members, who formed the majority of the volunteers, offering their time and energy. I decided that it was time for me to reciprocate. During the Taiwanese Cultural Festival in 1998,1 was assigned to sit at the front desk to greet people and distribute guest handbooks. The climax of my participation was a BCTV interview for an early night news broadcast on August 3, 1998. Since this was the first time the festival was featured in the mainstream media, I was given numerous responsibilities. I was not only "on their side", but also spokesperson for the people I was studying. Reformation of related research questions Derived from my personal experiences living in Vancouver, I was interested in how the Taiwanese immigrants make themselves visible in Canada through cultural 104 activities. Specifically, I was interested in the selecting process from the everyday experiences that constitutes a cultural resource within the Taiwanese community. Their selection of content and manners of presentation reflects their cultural values. During the participant observation, I was looking at the chairman's leadership and the interaction of the festival committee members at TCCS. While I was also listening to different opinions expressed at the meetings, I constantly reminded myself that I came with a "looking for" purpose. I went to the field with the "how" arts performance were selected and it determined the early stage of field notes and journal reflection. My attention was originally geared towards the brainstorming process on deciding the content of the festival, and how the committee members discussed different opinions to reach a final decision. It was not until the March meeting in 1998 when the members engaged themselves in discussing the reasons not to include certain performing groups that my questions on asking the "why" started to emerge. In other words, why were certain performing groups excluded from the festival? And why were certain performing groups included to represent Taiwanese culture? What were the reasons for inclusion and exclusion? The reasons offered by the members and the debates during the meetings led me to look at the strategies the immigrants employ. Were there internal factors (e.g., the expectations within the immigrant community) or external factors (e.g., the expectations from the mainstream society) that influenced the immigrants to adopt certain strategies to present cultural events in public? 105 Interviews Interviews are "a conversation with a purpose" (Kahn & Cannel, 1957). In-depth interviewing is one of the most employed data collection methods in qualitative research since it was widely acknowledged that it offers an opportunity to explore the participants' perspectives. I used in-depth interviews to pursue an understanding of Taiwanese immigrants' perception of Taiwanese culture, and of the meaning of Taiwanese cultural representation in Canada. The interview provides information about how individuals make their own sense of social belonging and how their subjective positions explain their ways of interpreting public festivals. Interview questions Interview questions related to the Taiwanese Cultural Festival and the Lunar New Year Festival can be categorized into four areas: 1. Personal background information: What made the interviewee come to Canada and get involved in TCCS and the Taiwanese Cultural Festival/New Year Festival? 2. Experience in the festivals: What is it like for the interviewee to be an organizer, coordinator, or volunteer in the cultural festivals? What are the most rewarding and frustrating experiences that relate to the participation in cultural festivals? 3. Meaning making: What does it mean for the interviewee to be involved in the process of organizing the cultural festivals? How does the interviewee make 106 sense of his/her participation in the festivals? Does their involvement in the festivals affect their identity as being Taiwanese in Canada? 4. Relation to Canadian multicultural society: What is advocated as Taiwanese culture in Canada? What does the interviewee think about the relation between the cultural festivals and Canadian multicultural education? I asked similar questions regarding the New Year Festival, although I focused more on the content of the festival. Since the New Year Festival has been a traditional festival practiced through generations in Asia, I was more interested in how the customs (e.g., food and ceremony) were translated into the Canadian context. In others words, what is the difference between New Year practices in Taiwan and Canada? What practices were chosen to continue in Canada and why? Since the New Year Festival also involves a different context at elementary schools, I also asked about the issues that relate to school settings. For example, what are the most fulfilling or frustrating experiences celebrating Lunar New Year in Canadian elementary schools? Does the interviewee involvement in the Lunar New Year Festival affect his or her view on multicultural education? Interview questions are derived from my field notes from participation observation at the eleven Taiwanese Cultural Festival meetings. In the interviews I wanted to explore the participants' perspectives of the function and the process of organizing the festival through interview question guides using an audio tape-recorder. Most of the interviews were conducted as an informal conversational interview or using the general interview guide approach. Though I usually took an interview guide, the 107 actual interviews did not usually follow it. One response from the participants would lead into other questions to elaborate more in search of explanation or understanding. During the interviews, I was aware of the political sensitivity that most Taiwanese irnmigrants carried with them. Mindful of the immigrants' various political positions, I went with an attitude of acceptance. In other words, whenever the conversation touched upon politics, I consciously shifted my position from a person involved in a dialogue to a passive listener. I learned this through several interview experiences during the pilot study. Without sensitive awareness, it would have been very easy to slip into a debate rather than an interview. The request for interviews went smoothly, as all the interviewees were helpful and willing to participate. All the interviews were conducted in Taiwanese, Mandarin, and bits of Japanese, depending on participants' preference. Lareau (1996) suggests that researchers need to develop a very short and simple explanation of what the study is about so as not to confuse the interviewees with academic jargon. I think that layman language is particularly appropriate when multiple languages are involved. For example, one issue emerged from this interview experience related to the uses of language meaning "cultural identity." Whenever I wanted to talk about it, I could find neither Mandarin nor Taiwanese that could communicate what I meant. After several attempts, I found that home as a concept seemed to be an easier notion, encouraging the interviewees to respond more freely about their immigration cultural experience. 108 Interview process I conducted interviews with 20 members who are related to either the Taiwanese Cultural Festival or the Lunar New Year Festival. Since the two festivals are sponsored by the TCCS, I included interviews with the board members and the executive staff at the TCCS office. All the interviews were held at either the TCCS office or the interviewees' houses, depending on the interviewees' schedule. All the interviews from the Cultural Festival were conducted between Feb.- June, 1998. Three months after I participated in the monthly meeting, I started to select the informants for the Taiwanese cultural festival interviews. I usually phoned them two weeks before the monthly meeting, and asked if I could set a schedule for a two-hour interview. Most of the informants of the Cultural Festival were interviewed once, except the two coordinators who were the two primary informants in the production of the Taiwanese Cultural Festival. I interviewed Ms. Chen three times, and Mr. Hsu twice, in addition to several informal telephone conversations. With respect to the New Year Festival, all interviews were conducted after the 1998 celebration (i.e. between March-August, 1998) These interviews were held in the homes of the interviewees. I interviewed the coordinator of the TCCS for two hours. I also talked to eight individuals who had been involved in presenting the New Year Festival at five elementary schools at the Greater Vancouver area. The interviews with the five school coordinators lasted about 90 minutes whereas those with the three participants were slightly briefer. There were two staff members at the TCCS office that were also included in the interviewee list. One resigned from TCCS yet was involved with the preliminary stage of organizing the New Year Festival; another was then on the TCCS staff and was in charge of festival administration. 109 Data Analysis and Case Report Hammersley and Atkinson (1983) state that qualitative research exhibits a strong emphasis on exploring the nature of social phenomena, and iUuminating the meaning of such social reality. The tendency is to work with "unstructured data" during collection, and the analysis of such data involves the explicit interpretation of the meanings and functions of human actions. In order to discover the meanings embedded within my data, I mostly followed many of the ideas in Miles and Huberman's (1984) book on data analysis, Qualitative Data Analysis: A Sourcebook Book of New Methods. In this section, I will summarize the strategies I used in data analysis and the directions that explained my subjective interpretation of the data. After I finished the interviews, I started to listen to and transcribe the tapes. Since the interviews were conducted mostly in Taiwanese and Mandarin, it seemed much more sensible to transcribe into Mandarin. Taiwanese is a spoken and the most common language at the TCCS; whenever I encountered Taiwanese, I summarized the meaning and typed into Chinese characters. It took an average of 15-20 hours for me to transcribe a 90-minute tape, depending on the complexity of the interview language. I read through the Chinese transcriptions, and divided each interview based on the four general interview question categories (with a code name on each quotation). I used index cards as a sorting system, white cards for the Taiwanese Cultural Festival, yellow cards for the New Year Festival. With over one thousand index cards at hand, I further divided the Taiwanese Cultural Festival cards into different categories based on 110 the constant word choice from the interviewees. For example, the interviewees often talked about the definition of Taiwanese culture, the function of the festivals, political concerns within the community and other Chinese communities, and indifference of the English media. The categories of the Lunar New Year cards included parents' participation at schools during the festival, the preparation process, the relationship with the TCCS members, and the information resources of the New Year customs. Based on these categories, similarities of major themes started to emerge, such as culture, tradition, roots, and multiculturalism. Following Miles and Huberman, I also made "data displays." For example, I made a list with committee meetings listed in rows and various types of agenda in columns (e.g., naming, budget, public relations, administration, activity responsibility). I also made charts that compared the two festivals on selected issues, such as the difficulties encountered in preparing the festivals, or the resources regarding the content of the arts programs. The data display charts provided a visual overview of the data collection and the categories I developed. Whereas the index cards provided much evidence that can be integrated into theory and ideas, the visual display indicated the nature and different patterns of each festival. The index cards' coding categories, sorting system, and data displays are the "triangle posts" that support my interpretation of the data. The report of a qualitative study remains an important concern: the authorial voice throughout the account. Among the representational styles that Van Manen (1988) identified—impressionistic, realistic, and confessional— this case study adopts the position that the author is the narrator of the writing. In other words, I use a third person position 111 to write about the cultural activities that happened in the Vancouver Taiwanese immigrant community. In the process of deciding my voice and selecting quotations from the interviewees, I allowed my subjectivity to come in. I realized writing up the study was similar to what Sanjek (1990) called "a socialized process." His three canons of validity, namely theoretical canon, the ethnographer's path, and field notes all lead towards the decision of an ethnographer's voice. I analyzed the data based on two directions. The first direction was from the TCCS perspective to look at how the festivals were constructed and why there is a need for cultural representation. The second direction was from a personal standpoint to analyze the data in the way that I can interpret how individuals make their own sense of immigration experiences and bring their conceptions of cultural identity in line with their involvement in public festivals. In the process of analyzing interview data, I was aware that the TCCS official voice and the interviewees' voices could be viewed as political arguments. In the process of analyzing the TCCS perspective, I situate the coordinators' voices in an institutional level. For example, how did the TCCS as an institution relate to other Chinese communities in Vancouver, or what were the expectations of the TCCS as a cultural presenter to the English media. Seeing the TCCS as an institution, I interpreted the data from a political view. The political nature of the festivals, especially the Taiwanese Cultural Festival, indicates a tension between ethnic groups and explains the reasons why there is a need to assert a Taiwanese cultural identity in Canada. In the process of analyzing how individuals making sense of the festivals, I tend to situate the voices of interviewees in their personal construction of cultural identity. From the interviewees' personal perspective, I found recurring themes in the data, such as roots, 112 tradition, and the role of food. The themes were closely related to how the festivals were produced and how that process related to the construction of a cultural identity. Lareau (1996) states that portraying a comprehensive social reality and presenting a focused argument are two different goals. She suggests researchers need to know their intellectual identity by reflecting on personal belief and the extent of participants' acceptance. Although I admire many studies that remain true to the participants' subjective experience and interpretation, I want this report to build a coherent argument by selecting out elements of the immigrant experiences. I believe this study should accurately portray the cultural festivals in the Taiwanese-Canadian community. I also believe that as a serious researcher, I will be able to make meaning based on the field notes and interviews I gathered and my understanding of cultural theories. The report selected from interview data does not define what a Taiwanese cultural identity is, but my understanding of the relationship between cultural performance and the construction of an ethnic identity in Vancouver. 113 Chapter Five Constructing Identities in the Taiwanese Cultural Festival Is identity like a kaleidoscope where the patterns are continuously changing, or is it, rather, like the overlapping fibres of a rope? It is clear that identity is not something we find, or have once and for all. Identity is a process, and that is why it is difficult to grasp it. Madan Sarup (1996, p. 28) Sarup's observation on identity opens up a space to look at the complexities of identity formation. Examining the impact of historical experiences and the outcome of imperialism, Sarup concludes that identity is constantly changing in the post-modern world. As an East Indian who grew up in Britain, Sarup refers to himself as a 'fragmented subject' and searches for a theoretical as well as a personal identity. Political control, in his view, brought not only territorial and economic conquest, but also an inevitable 'subject-constituting project.' By educating natives, imperialism has influenced the identities of millions of people all over the world. Sarup reflects on the themes of identity, cultural boundaries, and immigration, and argues that post-colonial subjects do not have a fixed identity but rather multiple contradictory selves. Identities, whether ethnic, social, gender or cultural, are transient and constantly involved in a process. It is from the perspectives of post-colonial politics and immigration that I will try to employ Sarup's proposal of 'identity as a process' to discuss how cultural festivals manifest the making of Taiwanese immigrant identity. As described in Chapter three, the Taiwanese with nearly four hundred years of political history ruled by various foreign 114 powers as well as a current political threat from China, face a serious quest for cultural identity. The Taiwanese past is a history of subjugation by political forces which successively practiced control over the island precisely by erasing its past. Its past is also a systematic construction of abstract dominant culture that is estranged from the Taiwanese environment. Taiwan, as a political identity, provokes frustration among its people and denial from the larger international community. Such frustration emerges from past political repression and current lack of national identity. Not only do people in Taiwan search desperately for recognition, but also Taiwanese immigrants in Canada inevitably join in such agony. Canadian multicultural society provides a free space in which immigrants can reflect on their identity and search for a means of cultural representation. The Taiwanese Cultural Festival is a case in point. An implied expression of a Taiwanese identity in Canada, it is a site of struggling with the past and making sense of the present. It is where past and present, here and there, us and them, intersect. It also represents a collective Taiwanese identity for inclusion in the Canadian mosaic; in the process, the Cultural Festival invariably becomes a terrain for political struggle which attempts to assert a Taiwanese particularity and to promote Taiwanese culture. How does the question of identity emerge in the Taiwanese Cultural Festival? What are the internal operational norms and how do Taiwanese iirirnigrants construct their identity through cultural performances? To provide responses to these questions, I will first describe the festivals and then analyze the organizational process and strategies applied in the irnmigrant community. I will then shift my attention to explore individual interpretation in the making of the festivals. By focusing on the interview data provided 115 by festival coordinators and participants, I will elaborate on the themes that highlight the internal dynamics of such a process. Finally, I will discuss hidden issues that pose challenges to the cultural festival and its relation to Taiwanese identity in Canada. Taiwanese Cultural Festival It is a display of old and new, refined and rustic, a combination of cultures coming together to form a dynamic future. This is the new Taiwan, the kind of heritage that Taiwanese want to bring to Canada, and the theme of this Taiwanese Cultural Festival. (BCTV, August 6, 1998) These words announced the coming of the eighth Taiwanese Cultural Festival on a sunny August weekend. The T V camera featured three parts of the festival: a spinning potter's wheel set amongst a wide variety of Chinese ceramics; a dance performance by Taiwanese aboriginal groups; and an exhibition of Taiwanese-Canadian artists' paintings. The diversity of visual representation on T V suggested that the Taiwanese community was proud to celebrate its newly discovered multicultural heritage and was inviting Canadians to participate. Indeed, the one-minute news clip's key concept was the celebration of multiculturalism in the Taiwanese urimigrant community of Vancouver. I spent three hours in downtown Robson's Square orienting the B C T V journalist to the exhibitions and answering questions about the festival. I toured him through exhibitions of Taiwanese history, Ying-Ko ceramics arts, and Taiwanese-Canadian art works. Stopping at the conference rooms, we heard three seminars on traditional and contemporary Hakka music, ceramic arts in Taiwan, and prospects for the indigenous peoples in Taiwan. One of the four Taiwanese films for the festival was showing in another conference room. We also went to the performance hall to watch the rehearsal of 116 the Formosa Aboriginal Singing and Dance Troupe and a Hakka contemporary folk-song band. The air was warm for an August afternoon, and the place was bustling with camera flashes, greetings, whispers, and laughter. I saw the TCCS festival committee members whom I sat with at the monthly meetings and most of them were engaged in the interviews with local Chinese TV, radio, and newspapers. During the time I spent with the journalist, people stared at the B C T V logo, immediately stood aside listening to our conversation, and smiled at us. It seemed that the whole community knew that the festival would be broadcast on the English channel, and it was an important happening. Wherever the journalist and I went, volunteers came up and stood beside me to offer help. The climax was reached when the journalist and I went before the camera. I was also facing at least 50 Taiwanese faces. At first the crowd was silent watching how we posed. I was terribly uneasy and sometimes could not utter a word in English. Then I heard the crowd start whispering some words to remind me as if they were part of the team; everybody maintained a frozen smile. Afterwards, I was exhausted and many people came over to pat my shoulders for accomplishing an important task. It was the first time that the English media had shown an interest in the Taiwanese Cultural Festival organized by TCCS. The Cultural Festival is the Taiwanese immigrant community's largest-scale public cultural event in the Lower Mainland. Since 1990, Taiwanese immigrants have organized a number of performing arts that represent the cultures of their native land. According to the 1998 TCCS program handbook, the main goal of the festival is "to introduce Taiwanese culture to Canadians and to promote within the community at large a better understanding of the Taiwanese contribution to Canadian society." With mainstream Canadians as the intended audience, the festival presented a 117 classical music concert as well as other arts considered to be "international languages." The works of Western-educated Taiwanese composers were performed in the festival by engaging local musicians, such as music students in the academy and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Other arts activities included an exhibition of Taiwanese artists residing in the Lower Mainland and seminars on Taiwanese literature and visual arts. After seven years of sending news releases only to be ignored by the English media, the 1998 B C T V report was a symbolic moment for TCCS and the Taiwanese community. It was not surprising that among the 5000 visitors to the festival, there was a sense of pride in the air shared by the festival committee, volunteers, and other Taiwanese at the festival. This first exposure to the general public was clearly a collective victory because the attention of the English media symbolized a long journey toward public recognition in a multicultural society. Such recognition from the mainstream society is one of the major elements of constructing an ethnic identity. Sarup (1996) distinguishes the way we see ourselves as "private identity" and how others label us as "public identity". People usually define themselves and define others. Our identities are not only influenced by events of an individual past that shapes our private identity, but they are also influenced by external forces such as how others label us. Both the psychological and sociological factors overlap and identity construction is, therefore, a process of evolutionary interplay between the self and others. As an ethnic public event, the Taiwanese Cultural Festival is a site of struggle for establishing a public image in Canadian society. Given the Canadian multicultural context and the time of Chinese descendents' immigration influx, how the mainstream others look at Taiwanese immigrants is crucial for any assertion of 118 Taiwanese identity. This external factor determines how the immigrants choose to emphasize the content of a Taiwanese cultural representation. This quest for establishing a public identity is crucial in examining eight years of Taiwanese cultural festivals. According to their leadership and content, I divide the festivals into three stages. The first stage was presented by the Vancouver Formosa Academy, and held at local churches from 1990 to 1993, where Taiwanese composers' works were performed. The second phrase was co-sponsored by the Academy and TCCS. The participation of TCCS not only provided financial support, but also human resources. Accordingly, the festivals expanded to present both music concerts and other cultural expressions, such as visual arts and popular culture. Prior to the committee being formed for the 1998 cultural festival, the festivals were guided under a consensus that represents an elite vision of Taiwanese identity. The third stage of the cultural festival that was organized by the group of committee members brought a mixed perception of Taiwanese culture. The group dynamics reveal issues of representing a collective identity and the strategies involved. Vancouver Formosa Academy (1990-1991) Prior to the festival committee, Cecilia Chen was the major character to coordinate the cultural festival. Having taught music in a Taiwanese high school for several years, Chen followed her family and immigrated to Canada in 1982. When she first arrived in Canada, the Taiwanese community in the Lower Mainland was largely composed of a small group of North American trained post-graduated professionals. As members of an exile minority group, Taiwanese families had close ties with each other; 119 many of them also found emotional support through religion. For example, Christian churches were places providing social and emotional connection for the early Taiwanese immigrants. Chen belonged to a Taiwanese intellectual family and was a dedicated Christian. She raised her children and was active in the local church choir. In the late 1980s and the beginning 1990s, Canadian immigration policy attracted growing numbers of Taiwanese families and teenage students. The early immigrants were invaluable resources for the new arrivals, a small group of well-educated professionals, fluent in English; their educational background and Canadian experiences made them sounding boards between the mainstream and new immigrant societies. Due to an increasing demand for an emotional support network and language training for young students, the early immigrants founded the Vancouver Formosa Academy. Its purpose was to assist young Taiwanese students with English and to prepare them to enter local public schools. As a secondary teacher from Taiwan, Chen felt a deep concern for the teenage group. She engaged herself in the education committee of the Vancouver Formosa Academy, and was in charge of assisting extracurricular activities at the institution. The new immigrant influx expanded the Taiwanese community into a larger ethnic group, and brought significant issues for both the mainstream community and the Taiwanese one, at this stage small and insular. One of the most well known social issues was the racial tension between the new immigrants and the residents of the host society. Mitchell (1997) discusses the impact of the transnational capital flow brought by the selected business elite and middle-class immigrants from Hong Kong to Vancouver during this time. She cites the local media, such as the Vancouver Sun, reporting and 120 emphasizing as Hong Kong Chinese characteristics aggressive capitalism, interest in material success and a disrespect for the natural environment. As a privileged, select immigration group, the wealthy new immigrants brought with them different perceptions of taste and cultural norms to the host society. Mitchell further describes how the exclusive marketing and sale of Vancouver property to the Chinese businessmen and the immigrants' ostentatious display of material wealth created a racial tension between Hong Kong immigrants and local Canadians in Vancouver. The public controversy on the rapid change of urban landscape and tree removals in certain neighborhoods triggered a hostile attitude towards the new Chinese immigrants. As one kind of Chinese descendant, the Taiwanese business groups followed the Hong Kong Chinese immigrant influx and were involved in making the kind of social news that upset the local residents. The image reported in the English media of Chinese newcomers troubled the early Taiwanese immigrants who used to remain as a silent group in Canadian society. Since such racial discourse involved the public image of all the members of the Taiwanese community, the leaders of the Taiwanese community decided to reach out to Canadian society and promote cross-cultural understanding. The first action towards resolving such racial tension was to promote cross-cultural understanding, proposed as educational opportunities in two ways by the leaders of the Taiwanese community. The first was to educate the new immigrants about the Canadian environment, especially the cultural and natural environment of the Lower Mainland; the second was to present a positive image of Taiwanese immigrants to the mainstream society. The results were the establishment of TCCS for educating the new 121 immigrants and a public festival for the local residents. As a trained musician and educator, Chen became the leading figure in organizing a public festival. In her words: The idea of presenting an annual concert was originated from the Taiwanese immigrant influx. In the late 1980s, there were many Taiwanese immigrants who came to this society without knowing local customs. The Canadians cherish the environment, yet the new immigrants made embarrassing news about cutting trees, destroy the lawns for more living space, etc. Many of us who have come earlier were troubled by both the Taiwanese behavior and the image depicted in the media. Many of us do not think that the Taiwanese bring these bad things to Canada. But did we bring good things to this society? Besides our quiet life and working performance at a personal level, we as a group have been very silent in this society. Because of the tension provoked between the new immigrants and the Canadians, we started to reflect on our place and position in this place that we called home. We hope to let the majority of Canadians understand that the Taiwanese community is willing to participate and contribute good things to this country. In the process of rooting ourselves into this new place, we really have to reflect on our cultural heritage and understand ourselves. We have to feel comfortable about who we are in order to have an equal relationship to establish a cross-cultural understanding. From 1990 through 1991, Chen presented two annual music festivals of Taiwanese composers at local churches. The composers were Western-trained and influenced, composing in classical form using Taiwanese folk music. Taiwanese encountered Western music at the beginning of this century through Japanese colonization. For the past twenty years, Western music and instruments, such as the piano, have become the most popular instruments in Taiwan (as in most Western countries). Most Taiwanese composers received their training in Japan, or in Western countries such as Germany, France, or the United States. Through the form of Western music, Taiwanese composers started expressing Taiwanese sentiments and a national music culture. Folk music of the Hoklo, Hakka, and Aboriginals is the most important resource for planting the roots of contemporary Taiwanese musical culture. For example, 122 the contemporary composer Tyzen Hsiao, who gained his musical training in Japan and the United States, has created numerous works based on Taiwanese folk music, including religious songs and concertos. Also characteristic of the music festivals is the involvement of local Canadian musicians. Due to Chen's involvement in the local church choir, she brought together the performers of local Canadian musicians and young Taiwanese-Canadian musicians born and educated in Canada. Chen stated that the participation of Canadian musicians would help both the Canadian audiences and the Taiwanese to recognize Taiwanese music culture, and that music to be more easily integrated into the local cultural scene. The organizers of the events had chosen Western classical music as an international language to share Taiwanese cultural heritage with Canadian audiences. By involving both Canadian and Taiwanese-Canadian musicians, the festival called for an increased awareness of contemporary music in Taiwan on the part of Canadian immigrants. The Western classical music form serves as a bridge for cross-cultural understanding, while Taiwanese folk elements emphasized Taiwanese particularity. Through the interplay of form and content, the music festivals of Taiwanese composers created the foundation for the Taiwanese Cultural Festival. The name, Taiwan The presentation of music by Taiwanese composers was a unique historical event in the life of the Taiwanese community in the Lower Mainland in two ways. First, the concert was organized under the leadership of the early Taiwanese immigrants. It represents the taste of early Taiwanese intellectuals many of whom were in exile after 123 graduation for advocating a democratic Taiwan society that threatened the then one-party Nationalist Chinese government in Taiwan. Their political positions, ranging from a radical independent political movement to a call for democracy, asserted that Taiwan has its own historical experience and should be granted autonomy. As opinion leaders of the community, they came with a consensus that Taiwan has its own cultural expression that is distinct from any Grand Chinese traditions. By highlighting the works of Taiwanese composers and Taiwanese folk music, the music festival manifests the vision of the early Taiwanese immigrants who believed Taiwan has its unique cultural expression. Second, it represented a breakthrough from a political struggle to a search for cultural representation. As I have described in the context of the Nationalist government educational policy in the previous chapter, Taiwan, as a name or an identity, created an ambivalent identity for the Taiwanese. The political connotation of the name, Taiwan, implies a threatening concept of separation from the Chinese historical connection and assertion of autonomy. The name, Taiwan, has been a suppressed taboo and the immigrants were still uneasy in clarifying the question of Taiwanese identity. Although the political ideology of the community leaders was firm, the search for a collective identity and consensus within the community invited dispute and challenge. For example, Chen recalled that at the first Taiwanese music concert, her music professor, a mainlander who came to Taiwan after the Second War, was upset about the naming of Taiwanese composers. Taiwanese should not be mentioned, since it always implied a political statement and the danger of a Taiwanese consciousness. Chen insisted that Taiwan should be the name of the concert, because her motivation was to show the Canadians where her people come from, and to get rooted in Canada by expressing her 124 cultural heritage. The politicalization of naming, such as the past and present relationship between Taiwan and China, was a political game that should not be considered in a Canadian multicultural society. Chen said: We are simply enjoying the music composed by people from Taiwan. They grew up in Taiwan, not China, and their music is a cultural expression of the place in our time. The Taiwanese folk music describes the Taiwanese people, environment, and our historical experience under the Japanese colonial era. The music is not derived from the people and culture of China. I do not understand why the Taiwanese immigrants still have the doubt of being Taiwanese after they left for Canada. The political climate and the education we learned from the Nationalist government had such an impact on us that some of us are still confused about who we are. Vancouver Formosa Academy and TCCS (1992-1997) The founding of the TCCS in 1991 indicates that the Taiwanese community has an official voice to express its need in Canadian society. Among the original forty farnilies who founded the TCCS, most of the members were early immigrants and some of them were also active in the Vancouver Christian community. The founder and the first three directors of TCCS were early immigrants who came to Canada during the 1970s. They shared a common interest in assisting the new immigrants to settle in Canada and in reminding the new immigrants to be proud of their cultural heritage. Greatly pleased by the success of the previous music festivals, TCCS offered to co-sponsor the music festival with the Vancouver Formosa Academy. Chen continued her coordination to put together chamber and choral music and talented musicians. She provided knowledge of contemporary Taiwanese music, social connection with local Canadian and Taiwanese-Canadian musicians, and previous experiences of organizing music festivals. The TCCS offered the connection with 125 Taiwanese cultural performance groups, fund raising among its 2000 Taiwanese families, and a group of enthusiastic volunteers. The TCCS tried to expand the scale of the festival by not only having Canadian audiences in mind, but also including new immigrants who were scattered at various geographical locations. Since the new immigrants were residing at cities in the Lower Mainland, the annual festival started to move out of the churches and took place at various places, such as Burnaby, Richmond, or Surrey. The involvement of the TCCS led the annual festival to evolve into a larger scale of cultural representation. The evolving nature of the festivals After four years of one-night-concerts on Taiwanese contemporary music, the Taiwanese Cultural Festival expanded to a one-week celebration of Taiwanese culture. The music festival retained its importance in the annual event, and the content of the festival included other arts forms, such as seminars on Taiwanese literature, visual art movements, theater, and photo exhibitions of Taiwanese folklore. The expansion from music concerts to public cultural events involved not only local musicians, but also Taiwanese performing groups, and speakers on various subjects. For example, the 1994 annual concert of Taiwanese composers was presented by the joining of musicians from the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Chamber Choir, and the Taipei Teachers' Chorus from Taiwan. Speakers in the seminars on fine arts, theater, and music development were Taiwanese researchers who were invited to participate. By engaging local Canadian musicians and the Taiwanese groups, the 126 Taiwanese Cultural Festival represented a culmination of efforts to bring about cultural interaction between Canadian and Taiwanese through music, theater, and the visual arts. Due to the involvement of performing groups and speakers from Taiwan, the cultural festival started to develop a theme for its annual event. For example, the theme in 1995 was Taiwanese aboriginal cultures. Besides the music festival of Taiwanese composers, all the exhibitions and seminars were related to understanding Taiwanese aboriginal arts and culture. Taiwanese aboriginal folklore exhibitions, Taiwanese indigenous tribal literature, and ceremonial songs and dances were among the content of the festival. The performance of the Formosa Aboriginal Singing and Dancing Troupe was the major event that highlighted this aspect of Taiwanese culture. The focus of 1996 and 1997 was Taiwanese Hoklo popular culture that included a Taiwanese delicatessen, Taiwanese folk songs, and a Taiwanese opera. The Taiwanese delicatessen presented nearly one hundred local Taiwanese recipes and engaged many immigrant families in food presentation. A Taiwanese folk song singing-contest was held in Karaoke style and followed by a seminar on the history of Taiwanese folk songs. The highlight was the performance of Lan-Yang Taiwanese Opera. Lan-Yang was the birthplace of Taiwanese drama and the Opera Company was the first opera company to combine Taiwanese drama and music to maintain its folklore tradition. Besides representing Taiwanese culture by inviting performing groups from Taiwan, the festival also included arts activities among the Taiwanese immigrant community. Since 1997, Taiwanese artists who reside in the Lower Mainland have been invited to organize exhibitions in the annual festival. The diversity of media displayed, such as oil painting, collages, sculpture, ink painting, and seal carving, indicated an active 127 energy in the new immigrant community. There was also a Taiwanese-Canadian young people's talent show presented in the festival. Due to the large population of teenagers in the new immigrant community, the young people's talent show was an attempt to encourage the teenage group to participate in the cultural representation. The majority of participants presented their interest in Western instruments that reflected the popularity of Western music and the taste of the middle-class new immigrant community. Characteristics of performing arts in the cultural festival Cultural performances are a direct result of a struggle that cultures have to go through before they can actually sing songs of reclamation. Many of the songs of Taiwanese folk music have barely survived through times of colonial cultural policy and the aggressiveness of American popular culture in Taiwan. The Taiwanese Opera, for example, was a folk tradition that used to perform in front of the temples during festivities or celebrations. The Nationalist government pro-Chinese cultural and language policy had an alienating effect on the Taiwanese opera; it was considered to be in vulgar, low-class taste. This encouraged Taiwanese individuals to start gravitating towards Chinese songs and neglecting their Taiwanese cultural heritage. Along with the crisis of Taiwanese identity as a member of the international community and the emergence of an increasingly viable political opposition during the late 1980s, there was a quest for maintaining and reviving traditional Taiwanese folklore. The establishment of Lan-Yang Taiwanese Opera Company in 1992 manifested an awareness of a particular Taiwanese tradition which had been ignored by the cultural establishment. The Taiwanese aboriginal tribes also provide a good example of cultural practices that were always besieged but 128 still made their mark through unique folklore and music. The performance of these songs are associated with struggle, although that is not how aboriginal music and folklore usually came about. Though the nostalgia and sentiment of Taiwan prevailed through music and the arts, both the classical music concert and popular culture are a synthesis of Western and Taiwanese cultural expression. In the introduction of Cultural Change in Postwar Taiwan, Harrell and Huang (1994) comment that Taiwanese cultural expression is gradually evolving from the Mainland Chinese, Japanese, and American cultures with which it interacts. The exposure to the outside world, especially to the Western developed worlds, brought a liberating experience for Taiwanese contemporary artists and audiences. It is not just the different techniques the Taiwanese learned, but the authentic personal experience and compassion towards one's homeland and people. The fusion of tradition and modernity, native and foreign, local and cosmopolitan, is a subtext that was absorbed into the Taiwanese contemporary cultural scene at large. In the case of the cultural festivals, the classical music composers were trained in most of the Western developed countries or Japan. Western classical music form is an international music language that can be used to express a Taiwanese sentiment. The work of the Japanese and American educated contemporary composer Gordon Chin, who presented his world premiere Symphony No.3 - 'Taiwan" in the 1996 Taiwanese Cultural Festival is an example. Under the conducting of Clyde Mitchell and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the well-known Taiwanese folksong "Blossom in a Rainy Night" was heard as the major melody in the second movement. Chin applied the melody of the folksong to echo the voice of Taiwanese people just as Dvorak implies a Czech folksong in his New 129 World Symphony. Chin's music representation uses contemporary music structure, yet the work strongly focuses on the cultural roots of struggle against the sadness and deprivation that has at times befallen Taiwan. While the classical music concert represented the contemporary development of Taiwanese music, the various cultural themes in the festival indicated a revival of Taiwanese folklore. The revival of Hoklo and aboriginal Taiwanese folklore also saw the positive aspect of Western influence. Both the art directors of the Taiwanese Aboriginal Singing and Dancing Troupe and Taiwanese Opera hold degrees from North American universities, and many of the performers and musicians received formal training from a Western academy. There are visible Western influences on the stage representation (such as stage set design, sound effect and lighting), yet the content (story, language, interaction patterns, and values) derives from its native land and people. This fusion of Taiwanese particularity in the form of Western influence reflects the evolving nature of Taiwanese cultural interaction with others. The TCCS Cultural Festival Committee (1998) The 1998 Taiwanese Cultural Festival was organized by a festival organizing committee of the TCCS. After the 1997 Cultural Festival, Chen decided to focus on her job at the Vancouver Formosa Academy and her music career with the local church choir. In September, 1997, the festival organizing committee was formed at TCCS and Chen resigned as an advisor for the 1998 Taiwanese Cultural Festival. The committee members included seven board members from TCCS, two executive members from TCCS, and three volunteer coordinators. 130 As B C T V news indicated, the theme of 1998 Taiwanese Cultural Festival was multicultural Taiwan. It included various cultural traditions that vividly illustrated a Taiwanese multicultural nature. The content of the festival included the ceramics arts of a Northern Taiwanese ceramics center in Yin-Ko city, a Hakka folk song concert, an Aboriginal Singing and Dance Troupe, Taiwanese films, a seminar on ceramics, Hakka culture, Aboriginal issues, and an art exhibition of Taiwanese artists residing in the Lower Mainland. There was also a poster exhibition "Understanding Taiwan" that emphasized its ethnic composition and historical development. I started participant observation in September, 1997. The first committee meeting invited Chen to give an overall report on the previous experience of the festivals. Issues included content selection, funding resources, and volunteers' involvement. Among the issues, the content selection was a repeated and most heated discussion at the first six monthly meetings. With the festival approaching, the funding and management of volunteers became important topics. I was intrigued by the process of selecting and producing cultural activities. Observing the process of decision making at TCCS, I came to understand that the annual festival was a "text" that reflected a particular definition of Taiwanese culture. The potential variations on "What is Taiwanese culture" and "How to represent Taiwanese culture in Canada" are endless according to each decision-maker. Through constructing a cultural festival, the TCCS festival committee selects its own perception and interpretation of its cultural heritage. This involves a process of agreement and dispute among the committee members, and a series of strategies to voice their existence in Canadian society. 131 The composition of the committee The committee members of the 1998 Taiwanese Cultural Festival were a mixture of old time immigrants and new immigrants. The 1998 cultural festival coordinator, Hsu, was a volunteer participant who had been actively involved in the cultural festival since 1995. He is an old-time immigrant, who teaches at the local community college and has lived in Vancouver for nearly thirty years. Among the twelve committee members, four early immigrants had resided in the Lower Mainland for more than twenty years; the others arrived in Canada in the late 1980s or the beginning of 1990s, and were mostly urban professionals or business executives in Taiwan. Unlike the previous festivals organized by Chen and her committee of Canadian-trained intellectuals, the 1998 festival committee reflected the increasing diversity of the Taiwanese new immigrant community. While Chen is a musician who had a professional connection with Taiwanese composers and local Canadian musicians, none of the new committee members were familiar with the arts world. The committee valued Chen's previous experience and her suggestions, yet the festival proceeded with a more pragmatic approach. The dispute There were three major issues that created heated discussions during the monthly committee meetings. The first related to the poster exhibition, "This is Taiwan". The exhibition aimed to orient the Canadian general public and the young Taiwanese immigrants with a general picture about Taiwan. It intended to present a story of economical and political transformation of the island. Tracing Taiwan's settlement 132 history necessitates taking a position. The history of the past and especially the interpretation of its political development invited the question of Taiwanese identity in the past and at the present stage. Once again the name Taiwan" stirred up the postwar memory of Nationalist government policy towards the Taiwanese. The committee members were split between viewing the past as oppressive or downplaying politics to emphasize economic success. This inside debate on how to present Taiwanese history to the outsiders was interestingly related to public relations to the local Chinese and English media. As I mentioned above, the cultural festivals were eager to seek public recognition, especially the English media that never showed interest on the Taiwanese activities. Therefore, public relations were a major component of the 1998 cultural committee to initiate the Taiwanese community voice to the society. According to Chen's report on previous festivals, the Taiwanese Cultural Festival had gradually attracted most of the Hong Kong Chinese and Taiwanese media. Press conferences held before the cultural festivals attracted Chinese media reporters, yet none of the English media was present. While the Taiwanese community was thrilled to listen to Taiwanese contemporary music interpreted by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the event never became a feature reported in the local English media. The cultural committee decided to put more effort to approach the English media, and elected a public relations coordinator who would be in charge of sending out press releases and visit both the Chinese and English media. At every monthly meeting, each coordinator would give a brief progress report on how things were going. As the festival approached, the public relations coordinator brought news that stirred up emotional reactions among members. Issues were sometimes 133 related to the image of wealthy new immigrants or to a lack of public or media distinction between the Taiwanese and Chinese from other parts of the world resulting in a perception of the Taiwanese Cultural Festival as a regional Chinese cultural performance. The disagreement over how best to represent the Taiwanese past ceased when the committees encountered the English media. When the public relations coordinator explained how the mainstream media could not comprehend the difference between Chinese and Taiwanese, the committee all agreed that Taiwan should be different from China or Hong Kong. A consensus was found to face the English media as a way to inform the public about Taiwan. The budget was the third issue that was frequently referred to and caused much concern among members. During the content selection process, funding became a significant factor for the festival organizers. It seems to me that funding resources were crucial elements affecting the content of the festival. Since the previous festivals did not attract the English media, participation of non-Taiwanese members was scarce. Therefore, most of the committee members were concerned if the programs presented would attract the Taiwanese community members whose private donations were a major resource for producing the festival. To what extent should the Taiwanese cultural representation reflect the "taste" of the community members? While some of the committee members prefer the emphasis on refined arts performance (e.g., concert at the music hall), some were of the opinion that such performance only attracted a few of the members. Popular culture, such as Karaoke or pop singers, is accessible to most of the members. Yet some of the committee members argue that popular culture was as ordinary as family dishes, and the cultural festival should be presented as a special feast to both 134 the family members (Taiwanese immigrants) and the guests (non-Taiwanese members). During the content decision making, committee members were sometimes caught between personal requests from large amount donators and suggestions from professional musicians and artists in the community. There was a subtle play of balancing between the classic arts performance and popular culture. The 1998 Cultural Festival was an outcome of accepting different opinions and included diverse aspects of cultural tastes of the immigrants and regional cultures in Taiwan. Strategies Ethnic cultural self-representations symbolize a common bond of the immigrant community, and require the immigrants to be highly creative in understanding how and why to express one's ethnic pride. On exploring the symbols and strategies of ethnic representation in the United States, Stern and Cicala (1991) remark that creative strategies are the art of survival in ethnic communities. Based on different case studies of American ethnic groups who struggle between cultural preservation and assimilation, Stern and Cicala conclude that "choosing an ethnic expression, applying it to diverse situations, and transmitting it through time and space are based on decision-making and community interplay that require a great deal of creativity and inspiration" (p. xii). In the Taiwanese community, interaction with members of one's own ethnic group while responding to the expectation of other groups in the mainstream society, lead to the searching for symbols and strategies for cultural representation. The Taiwanese community drew on vast and varied cultural resources. The new Canadian social context provides a stimuli for the members to invent new forms for strategic incorporation into 135 traditional culture. This flexibility in many forms of cultural expression suggests that cultural heritage is a dynamic and evolving force in an immigrant community. The role of traditional arts Of all the ways to constitute a cultural identity, traditional arts play a significant part in ethnic representation. Due to the nature of performance in festivals, cultural symbols such as song, food, or ceremony serve as key elements in defining culture to natives and foreigners alike. These traditional forms of expression are not just depicting the existence of the immigrants, but are creative responses to the social context of ethnic groups. Yet for the Taiwanese immigrants, traditional arts are an ambiguous term which is defined by external political forces. Under the Nationalist government education policy in Taiwan after the Second World War, the Taiwanese were taught that classic Chinese culture is the Taiwanese traditional culture. Traditional arts, such as music, literature, drama, and visual arts, refer to the arts expression that originated from Imperial China. The Nationalist government policy prohibited any arts movement that suggested Taiwanese regional expression. One example was the Taiwanese literature movement in the 1970s when writers advocated the usage of Taiwanese language and the depiction of its distinctive customs. The literature movement was declared an illegal quest by the government, and advocates were sentenced as political criminals (Harrell & Huang, 1994). It was not until the withdrawal of martial law and the emergence of an opposite political party that Taiwanese people were able to express the perceived differences between Taiwanese cultures and classic Chinese traditional arts. 136 The Taiwanese Cultural Festival expressed an identity based on the new socio-political climate of Taiwan. It offered an opportunity for the immigrant community to reflect upon the history and culture of its past. The Taiwanese folk songs, regional food preparation, and performances derived from Taiwanese local expressions, asserted a Taiwanese identity. To emphasize traditional Taiwanese arts in the cultural festival not only reflected the current quest of people from Taiwan, but also an immigrant assertion of Taiwanese identity in a multicultural context. Artworks have different meanings according to their social context. In order to assert a Taiwanese identity in a multicultural society, it is necessary to present a cultural program that avoids confusion with other Chinese communities in Canada. The role of Taiwanese traditional arts, therefore, emphasizes differences rather than commonalties among Chinese communities in Canada. Yet at the same time, Taiwanese traditional arts presented in the festival reveal similarities with Western classic music and visual arts brought about by contact with Japan and the United States. This similarity, influenced by the colonial history, is interpreted as an international culture and became an important media for contemporary musician and artists to understand Taiwanese culture. Chen commented in an interview that the similarity and difference with the Other indicates the spirit of the Taiwanese Cultural Festival: The classical music orchestra is to present that Taiwan, along with other countries in the world, shares a similar music culture and creativity. Lan-Yang Taiwanese Opera, on the other hand, represents the authentic, original Taiwanese culture that differentiates us from others. It is a mixture of international classical music culture and the localization of regional culture that make up a Taiwanese culture. I think it is very important to let the mainstream Canadians know that in the international level, we have developed similar language to communicate with the Western world through classical music. Yet for us who are from a 137 different civilization, we also need to learn what we had lost in the past more than anyone else in the world by going back to our regional arts. Inclusion and exclusion Wallis (1994) asserts that in our contemporary era, visual representation is a powerful instrument for expressing a national identity. He provides examples of various national festivals held in the museums of the United States (such as Mexican Festival and Festival of Indonesia), and demonstrates the economic, social, and political undertone of these public cultural events. Visual representation in a constructed cultural festival is determined by specific political circumstances and is "a sign of the repackaging of the imagery'Xp. 267) to express such identity. By asking whose version of such culture is being shown, what is not shown and why, Wallis reminds us to be aware of how a nation is being reconstructed through cultural representation. In the case of the Taiwanese Cultural Festival, Taiwanese regional cultures were selected whereas the Grand Chinese classic culture was excluded. Classic Chinese culture has dominated the core of Taiwanese public curriculum since the Second World War, yet this is exactly what the Taiwanese immigrant community refuses to include. The classic Chinese culture is a signifier that reminds the Taiwanese of a suppressed past, and an inferior place under the colonial cultural policy. From this point of view, the cultural festival reveals a strong sense of Taiwanese identity politics. It is as if classic Chinese culture served as a compass to direct committee members to select unique cultural performances and cultural productions as Taiwanese cultural representations in Canada. Another reason for excluding the Chinese cultural influence in Taiwan is a response of the Taiwanese place in the Canadian multicultural ethnic context. Due to the 138 general ignorance of Asian politics in the Canadian society, TCCS emphasizes the differences rather than the commonalties of a kind of Chinese descendant. Its specific historical experience and the evolving nature of regional cultures under Western influences are the characteristics that differentiate the Taiwanese from Hong Kong Chinese, Mainland Chinese and the Chinese-Canadian community. Though most of the Taiwanese are familiar with Chinese language and culture from the Chinese Nationalist government public education, classic Chinese culture, however, is the central point of reference for Taiwanese to assert their difference. In other words, to include classic Chinese culture is to mislead the general Canadian outsider who views Chinese as one ethnicity and culture. By excluding and detaching from the classic Chinese culture brought by the Nationalist government to Taiwan, the Taiwanese community would be able to claim its own place in the Canadian cultural mosaic. On talking about the inclusion and exclusion of the cultural festival, Mr. Hsu comments: This is a very practical question for us Taiwanese residing in Canada. If we were in Taiwan, people would understand why we include and exclude certain cultural expressions. We are not denying that Taiwan has strong influence from Chinese culture, yet the Canadian audiences could not differentiate between the two. If we say that we are presenting Chinese culture, then the Canadians would think that we are from China. Taiwan has evolved its own cultural expression in the last hundred years, and it is important to emphasize our difference from the Chinese. Hong Kong is also originated from Chinese culture. Due to its British colonization history and the hand over to China, Hong Kong has a high profile in the media and the Canadians understand the difference between China and Hong Kong. I insist to use Taiwanese culture to represent our community, because we are from Taiwan, not China. What is Taiwanese culture? For the three generations of Taiwanese immigrants who grew up under Japanese colonialism or the Chinese Nationalist regime, Taiwanese 139 culture is a new concept and a blank area to fill in. Due to the suppressive past, Taiwanese immigrants are typically ignorant of the history and culture of their native land. The questions "What is Taiwanese culture," or more specifically, "what are Taiwanese traditional arts," create a learning experience for the Taiwanese immigrants in Canada. For example, Taiwan is a multicultural society since it is composed of aboriginal, Hakka, Hoklo, and World War II Mainland Chinese refugees from different parts of China. The Nationalist government dominated and advocated one Chinese culture under its regime, and others were erased under its power. Since the 1990s, the Hoklo Taiwanese, who form nearly 70% of the Taiwanese population, began to gain political power in the government. Along with political influence, the once suppressed Taiwanese language and folk expression became the vogue in the society. This recognition in the public sphere brought about a Taiwanese confidence. Yet in terms of learning to respect and tolerate diversity within a newly recognized multicultural Taiwanese society, the Taiwanese or the immigrants still have a long way to go. Social scientists often comment that the multicultural issue is a struggle of power relations between different ethnic groups. This comment is applicable to the Taiwanese community whose recent victory of being Hoklo Taiwanese often ignored the other cultural group from Taiwan such as the Hakka, or the aboriginals. In 1997,1 returned from the Taiwanese Lan-Yang Opera performance with a very mixed feeling about being Hoklo Taiwanese. The Opera was extremely successful, and it brought back my childhood memories from central Taiwan. The director of the Opera company was a professional folklorist and his explanation of the Opera was informative and interesting. He explained the opera in Taiwanese and there was an English interpreter for English-140 speaking audiences. While most of the people were relearning how to appreciate Taiwanese Opera through the explanation, the Taiwanese had forgotten that some of the immigrants in the community are mainlanders, Hakka, and aboriginals who could not understand Taiwanese. My Hakka friend was outraged because she could not understand a word of Taiwanese and had to depend on the English translation. Knowing that language is the core issue of Taiwanese politics, I was surprised at the TCCS insensitivity toward the usage of Taiwanese. I could not help wondering, does yesterday's oppressed becoming today's oppressor? Similarities and differences A cultural festival is a reflection of traditional ethnic sentiments, and a modification that takes on new meanings to communicate with mainstream society. One of the major purposes of the Taiwanese Cultural Festival was to provide an opportunity for mainstream Canadians to understand Taiwan through cultural performances and exhibitions. Yet according to Chen, many of the ethnic cultural performances in Canada are attended only by its ethnic members, such as ethnic performances in 1997 when Vancouver hosted the international APEC conference in Canada. This observation has created two different approaches to engage the Canadian audiences. One is by involving local Canadian artists, another is to emphasize Taiwanese difference, thereby presenting Taiwan as an exotic culture attracting non-Taiwanese audiences. The first approach, engaging Canadian musicians and artists, is Chen's strategy to attract Canadian audiences. Chen believes that only through the participation of local musicians can Taiwanese culture gain public recognition and win the respect of the 141 Western arts world. To her, cultural performances are not only for immigrants to learn about the past, but most importantly, they are processes becoming part of Canadian cultural scene. Observing the prevailing phenomena that the majority of ethnic performances are mostly attended by its ethnic members, Chen has established the participation of local musicians and artists as the main characteristic of the Taiwanese Cultural Festival. For example, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra was invited to perform Taiwanese composers' works since 1994. Young Taiwanese-Canadian musicians who were born and raised in Canada are also an important cultural resource of the cultural festivals. Chen commented: I do not think the Canadians will come to our concert if the performers are exclusively Taiwanese musicians. Through Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, we can attract general public to come to listen to Taiwanese composers' works. We want to get rooted here in Canada, and we need to communicate in a similar language. Classic music is the most powerful international language and through it, we allow local musicians to participate and understand who we are. This is very important for us to be part of Canadian culture. In the church choir we sing Canadian folk songs, and most of them are originated from Europe. I dream that someday, maybe my children's generation or my grandchildren, Taiwanese songs will be on the lists of Canadian songs. It is a long process to be recognized, but we have to do it and introduce ourselves to the Canadian society. I think this is the way for us to survive and get rooted in a foreign land. Chen's approach is to emphasize similarities with the mainstream society through Western classical music. Local Canadian arts professionals are cultural agents to connect the Taiwanese community with mainstream Canadian society. It seems that Chen understands well the hierarchical structure of the arts world written by the Western canon: International languages are English and Western arts. Chen's approach is well grounded in this reality. Her determination to get rooted in Canada brings her to 142 assimilate into the European western white norms of music language and artistic activities. The role of local arts professionals reminds me of Fine's (1994) statement to justify for her a need of speaking for and with the Other. Fine, a Western ethnographer studying ethnic cultures, comments on the prevailing attitude of White dominated academia. "When dropouts speak, few listen. When African...Asian scholars do the same kinds of work as I, they are more likely to be heard as biased, self-interested, or without distanced perspective" (p. 80). I would agree that this statement is also true for the classical music concert held during the Taiwanese Cultural Festival. When the Taiwanese musicians do the same kinds of music as Canadian musicians, they are more likely to be heard as self-interested, or as the Canadian music professors commented on the concert, "imitating" the Western masters. The participation of local arts professionals is to speak for and with the Taiwanese composers. The second approach is to emphasize Taiwanese difference in order to attract mainstream audiences. Though the 1998 festival committee members did not verbally articulate this strategy, their interest in expressing Taiwanese difference was obvious when selecting the content for festival performances. As I mentioned above, the committee members were mainly composed of new immigrants, a few early immigrants, and one Taiwanese-Canadian who was born and raised in Canada. When I asked Mr. Cheng about how he decided to represent Taiwanese culture in Canada in an interview, Mr. Cheng: I choose what the Canadians like. Researcher: How do you know what the Canadians like? Cheng: Because.... (a pause for about five seconds) I am a Canadian, and according to my experiences with local Canadians, they like our differences as Taiwanese, not the Westernized side of me. 143 I am intrigued by this response, and many others in the organizing committee on their notion of "what the Canadians like." Since the 1998 Cultural Festival put much effort into attracting Canadian audiences to participate in the festival; "what the Canadians like" was a major concern. Reviewing the content presented by the committee, I found an underlying concept of the cultural festival was to project Taiwan as an exotic culture that is fundamentally different from that of the mainstream audiences. This approach raised an issue that contemporary critical theorists from the Third World, such as Chow (1993), fiercely attack; Asian cultural differences have been socially produced by Western institutions and popular culture. It seems clear to me that the exotic difference of Taiwan is also shaped by the Taiwanese immigrants who present themselves according to the taste of the English media. This approach risks that the Taiwanese community itself is falling into a trap of "self-Orientalism," internalized for themselves as different from the majority Other, according to what local Canadians prefer of Taiwanese exoticism. It also confirms the stereotype of Asian arts shaped in North America. Canadian folklorist, Carpenter (1992) raised a significant question on the exoticism celebrated in ethnic cultural festivals. She states that ethnic festivals which exoticize ethnic artistic expressions excludes immigrants from a process of becoming Canadian. While cultural festivals are encouraged to promote the cohesiveness of all ethnic groups in Canada, the emphasis on difference serves as a boundary between the dominant group and ethnic others. Yet, ironically, the Taiwanese immigrant community received much attention from the English media when they adopted an exoticism approach. This preference of the mainstream society to see the Other as different also 144 appears in Kondo's (1996) account of Asian-American theater in Los Angeles. Kondo reports that Asian American playwrights challenge the exotic Asian stereotype by presenting a hybrid mixed culture of Asian Americans who were born and grew up in California. Its attempt only received a lukewarm review from the media. In other words, the new immigrants or the Asian Americans who have been living in North America for several generations, equally face the stereotypes that are expected to be different from mainstream society. From an ethnic member's point of view, I think it is a result responding to the social interaction between the Taiwanese and the non-Taiwanese audiences. As symbolic interactionists remind us, the views/judgments of the Other often enter back into ethnic group collective action. As a strategy of making themselves to be seen, the Taiwanese had to adapt themselves according to what the expectations of the Other. It reflects the passive role people from different cultural groups play in shaping the cultural reality in North America. If the exotic expectation prevails, ethnic groups have little control in the process of cultural production, even in self-representation. Emerging Themes The production of ethnic cultural representation depends on the speaker's position, the place where performance is held, the intended audience, the strategies, and the medium used. In the shaping of ethnic representations and identity formation, much also depends on the available material resources. I have discussed the social context of the festivals, the intention to be recognized by mainstream Canadian audiences and the role of traditional arts as symbolic expressions. How the immigrants select the content of 145 the festivals and the strategies employed were also addressed. In the following section, I will shift attention to the individual speaker's positions in order to reveal the individual's aspect of making sense of a Taiwanese identity. Why is there a need for asserting a Taiwanese identity through festivals? How do the community members' participation in the festival affect their identity as being Taiwanese in Canada? For the immigrants, the cultural festivals are used to reflect symbolic notions of community, cultural identity, and worldview, involving different experiences and several dimensions to construct one's story. These questions lead me to focus on personal interpretations and how the Taiwanese see themselves in such cultural festivals. In my interviews with the committee members and festival participants, three major themes constantly emerged in the issues of ethnic representation and identity formation. The three themes, roots, difference, and multiculturalism, speak for the immigrants themselves and the making of Taiwanese identity in Canada. Roots When asked about the reasons for a Taiwanese cultural festival, many people talked about roots. With increasing transnational capitalism, searching for one's roots is one of the most significant cultural phenomena in our contemporary society. For immigrants, who chose to uproot from one place and resettle in another, the metaphor of roots is strongly related to a certain place. Although roots are associated with place, the concept can also be seen in a historical and economic context. None of the interviewees were born in Canada, but most of them have children who were, or who grew up here. When referring to roots, the immigrants usually spoke of them as a family unit. 146 Therefore, the future of the second generation in Canada is also an important factor for presenting a Taiwanese cultural identity. Here/there Clifford (1997) believes that displaced people are strong enough to resist systematic assimilation into mainstream society because diaspora communities are 'not-here-to-stay.' Diaspora cultures negotiate between the experiences of distancing and remembering, between living here and remembering there. As a community with a short immigrant history, the Taiwanese inevitably mediate between their Taiwanese homeland and their Canadian residence. The cultural festivals manifest such negotiation between the two places. The director of TCCS describes it as a process of cross-cultural understanding. In his words: The purpose of Taiwanese Cultural Festival is to invite the mainstream Canadian to have a positive image on Taiwanese immigrants. Cross-cultural understanding is very important for us because it is like informing our new neighbors whom we are and we are to live here. I have been living in Canada for nearly thirty years, my children were born and raised here. Therefore, my home is in Canada now, and I am getting rooted here. However, Taiwan always has a hold on me because it is a place that formed me. Many memories were there and the festival brought back those memories that make me feel like going home again. How do the immigrants place themselves in this process of cross-cultural understanding? Ong (1993), in "On the Edge of Empires: Flexible Citizenship among Chinese in Diaspora," explores how contemporary Chinese descendents move between the West and Asia. Using Hong Kong immigrants in Britain and the United States as an example, Ong suggests that contemporary Chinese immigrants survive as bridge-builders, traveling like astronauts between English-speaking worlds and their place of origin. The 147 majority of Taiwanese immigrants also travel frequently between Canada and Taiwan. The easy access to information through mass media and technology updates the memories of Taiwan. For example, the Internet shortens the distance between here and there, while daily television broadcasts and newspapers provide information on the latest developments in Taiwan. In this context, Taiwanese cultural representation in Canada aligns itself with the latest developments in Taiwan. Through extending cultural resources, the Taiwanese place their roles in cross-cultural understanding and see themselves as bridges between cultures. This is especially obvious among the young professional immigrants whose urban experiences gave them confidence as they viewed cultural representation as an adventurous journey rather than a nostalgic sentiment. Mr. Chen is a typical example of a young professional immigrant with transnational experiences: In order to get rooted in Canada, we have to know ourselves. With our rootless education in Taiwan, I often feel embarrassed when my Western neighbors ask me about the place I am from. This is why I came to volunteer in the cultural festival. I have the luck to be able to communicate with the Western media, and I think I am a bridge that can connect the two places. Taiwan is my home and it would always be. Canada is also my home. I see myself going between the two places, and it is an exciting role to play. Past/present The past-present relationship and its reconciliation are important factors for constructing an identity. The past is important for people's representation because through past memories people define and connect themselves to the present. The political oppression throughout four centuries of Taiwanese history created generations of Taiwanese who learned cultures purposely selected by various ruling parties. The unique 148 political history of the Taiwanese as discussed in Chapter three created generations of Taiwanese who internalized their inferiority, ignorant of their own cultural heritage. An affirmation of Taiwanese identity contradicts the received past and creates anxiety about the present. It is therefore easy to understand why choosing a cultural representation was full of ambiguities and uncertainty for the festival committee members. Along with the people in Taiwan, the immigrants also joined in the search for cultural identity where the Taiwanese need not be subordinate to the colonial Japanese and Chinese. One of the committee members of the 1998 Taiwanese Cultural Festival, Mrs. Hung, commented on this anxiety and yearning: Every political force that controls Taiwan created superiority over Taiwanese language and culture. Therefore we have many generations that experienced cultural confusion and misunderstanding. Today there are many Taiwanese who came to Canada and find it difficult to integrate into the mainstream culture. I think one of the main reasons is that we still have this uncertain identity about who we are. Cultural festival is a very practical issue for me as a parent, because at school there are many opportunities to show who you are through multicultural day or multicultural week. The Dutch kids wear their traditional costume, Indians, Korean, and Japanese all have something to offer. What will our Taiwanese children offer to this multicultural week? Do we present the same thing as the Chinese because we have Chinese blood and influence? Or is there something that we are different from the Chinese? What do we want our children to be proud of? I think Taiwanese Cultural Festival is contemplating on this question. Although we do not have the answer, we are reflecting seriously through relearning Taiwanese culture. Difference The Taiwanese Cultural Festival has become a performance to assure the Taiwanese of their identity. By emphasizing the nature of their multicultural society and colonial past, the Taiwanese set a boundary and emphasize difference within the Chinese communities in Canada. By excluding the Chinese influence in Taiwan after World War 149 II, the Taiwanese community performs a cultural difference that expresses the uncertainty and anxiety of a post-colonial identity. Sarup (1996) articulates well an identity that focuses on difference: Identity is always related to what one is not - the Other. We should remember that identity is only conceivable in and through difference... To maintain a separate identity, one has to define oneself against the Other.. .That one is not what the Other is, is critical in defining who one is. (p.47) Conflicting claims of identity on Taiwan reflect the consternation that has been the topic among Chinese intellectuals this century. Due to Taiwanese political development, there are several influential factors that originate a Taiwanese identity. Wachman (1994) suggests that separation from Mainland China and alien rule, friction with the National government, the February 28 calamity, legacies of frustration and authoritarianism, and attitudes towards languages of the Nationalist government all lead toward an awakening of Taiwanese culture and consciousness. Such analysis in the Taiwanese context could explain the immigrants' emotional connection with their native land. However, in the Canadian context, there are immigrant experiences that also foster assertion of a Taiwanese identity. Language, history, and power characterize an identity that focuses on difference within Chinese communities. . Language Mr. Chang, the former director of TCCS, came to Canada in 1968 as a doctoral student in mathematics. After post-graduate study, he moved to the West Coast in 1975. During his interview, he told me how humiliating he found it to buy Asian food in Chinatown when he first arrived in the Lower Mainland. He felt the Chinatown 150 merchants ignored or discriminated against the Taiwanese because of language differences. In his words: The dominant Chinese language in North America was Cantonese, and the Chinatown Chinese immigrants used to look down upon us because they thought that the Taiwanese should be ashamed that we did not know how to speak the Chinese language. When I first arrived in the city, there were very few Taiwanese families and most of us had finished our post-graduate studies. As educated professionals, most of us had respect from this society, yet we were discriminated against by the early Chinese immigrants. Chinatown is a foreign place to me and I felt more humiliation there than in other places. They really made you feel that you are very different. That place made you feel more unfriendly and cold than white Canadian places. Therefore, I only went to Chinatown a few times and I never went again. With the influx of immigrants and Hong Kong becoming part of China, the Chinese language is Mandarin. Nowadays Chinatown maybe is converting itself to Mandarin, but it is a historical landmark of the early Chinese immigrants in Canada. To go to Chinatown only mark out how different we are as Taiwanese, and how alienated we were when we were among the Cantonese speaking Chinese. In Sons of the Yellow Emperor: The Story of the Overseas Chinese, Pan (1990) records historical movements of Chinese diaspora. She observed that language is the very core of a Chinese identity. The Canton origin Chinatown immigrant forebears brought with them not the urban culture of China, but the village culture and language of the peasantry. According to Pan's observation, the Chinatown population in North America remains predominantly Cantonese. They generally feel overwhelmed by a large influx of new immigrants whose language and educational background are different from their origins. Using Chinatowns in the United States as examples, Pan comments that: A gulf exists between the descendants of the earlier immigrants and the new comers from Taiwan, who, even if their first dialect is Hokkien, will all be speakers of Mandarin, the language of education back home. Unlike the [Cantonese] Four Districts immigrants of humble rural origin, many of the Taiwan arrivals will have come from well-to-do or well-educated families, and not a few will have been students who, upon their graduation 151 from an American university, have stayed on to work in the United States, (p. 276) Mr. Chang, as well as the majority of the early Taiwanese immigrants in the community, belongs to student-immigrants in North America. The middle-class student immigrants are distinctively different from the early Chinese immigrants who experienced the North American Exclusion laws that set Chinese immigrants apart from the white majority. The student immigrants are a special group whose education privileges provides them a vehicle of upward mobility in North American societies. As Mr. Chang mentioned in the interview, the student immigrants gained respect among Canadians, yet were discriminated against by Chinese-Canadians who speak a different language and share little common culture from their origins. Speech differences, as well as class differences, divide the Chinese community in North America. The definition of the Other The Taiwanese stress on difference within Chinese immigrant communities should be placed specifically in a Canadian context. Though many Taiwanese admit that they share similar cultural features (such as food, religion, family values) with other Chinese immigrants, the definition of Chinese within the larger Canadian society strengthens the solidarity of the Taiwanese group. In certain situations, the categorization of one Chinese ethnicity by the mainstream Canadians force the Taiwanese to assert their differences among the Chinese. For example, the distribution of financial support for ethnic cultural events does not include the Taiwanese as an ethnic group. The official definition of Chinese means that the specific needs of the Taiwanese groups are denied. 152 This leads TCCS to struggle with scarce financial resources and budget was the issue that was of most concern in the Taiwanese Cultural Festival. The Taiwanese Cultural Festival solely relies on fund-raising from the Taiwanese immigrants, and private Taiwanese cultural foundations in Taiwan have also been involved since 1996. The previous treasurer of the TCCS, Ms. Shih said: The Canadian government encourages and financially supports ethnic cultural representations. But we hardly can get support from the government...We do share similar cultures with the other Chinese, but our differences, our history, our language, are ignored. Since our differences are ignored, we can only rely on ourselves to survive. It is a very difficult task to keep an annual cultural festival by ourselves. The official categorization by the Canadian government is the result of the Chinese government attempt to exclude Taiwan in international relations. Such lack of public identity often provokes an aggressive attitude among the Taiwanese immigrants as they assert their identity. Consequently, it creates an impact both on the content of the cultural representations and on a personal level. Mr. Chang comments on the committee decision and his personal immigration experience: We have to avoid using cultures that relate to China. Whenever we use Chinese culture, the Canadians immediately think of China or Chinatown. This creates a lot of confusion and frustration for our public relations to the media. The majority of Canadians do not know the differences among Chinese, Hong Kong Chinese, Taiwanese, or Chinese-Canadians. If we emphasize Taiwanese culture, we have to select the content that will not let them lump us together. We have to first identify our difference for the Canadian audiences. In fact, don't you think we are still searching for this difference? Over there in Taiwan, the whole island is overwhelmed by this question of cultural identity. The Taiwanese government could not find a place internationally, and the people are thrown into fear to say who we are because of the military threat from Communist China. When I first arrived in Canada, people asked me where I came from. I often have to emphasize I am not from China, I am not from Hong Kong. I wonder why I always have to emphasize on who I am not, instead of who I am. I found 153 most of my Taiwanese friends were the same. I do not think this is a sign of insecurity. The moment I sense that the Canadians thought we were the same, it pushed me to stress my difference as Taiwanese. Chinese diaspora experience Many post-colonial writers indicate that the journey of immigration changes people's identity. In the Chinese diaspora experiences, I think the socio-economic and emotional distance from China are significant factors that separate the Chinese communities in North America. For example, the Chinese-Canadians who originally came at the end of 19th century were labor workers. Like other labor immigrants who came from Asia (China, Japan, Korea, and India), the early Chinese immigrants shared similar conditions such as being classified as "ineligible to citizenship" practiced in early 20th century. Its immigrant history is often associated as victims of prejudice and persecution under the Canadian immigration law against Asians. The narrative voice of Chinese immigrants is predominantly by the descendants of these early immigrants whose education and integration gradually brought them equal language and professional skills in Canada. Although there are at least four generations of Chinese immigrants in Canada, the Chinese descendants are perpetually considered foreigners as hyphenated Chinese-Canadians and associated with their motherland. Many of them are successful in schools and business, yet they often became the scapegoat in the "damned if they do, damned if they don't" way (Chan, 1991). While the early labor immigrants went through political experiences in Canada, the recent immigrants from Hong Kong and Taiwan are generally equipped with wealth and professional skills from their places of origin. Adam-Moodley (1994) observed that 154 gone are the days of labor immigrants and refugees. The recent Asian immigrant influx attracts international capital flow and economic opportunities in and out of Canada. The socio-economic status of new immigrants reverses the stereotype of early Chinese immigrants and its difference created "a new Chinatown" phenomena in Toronto and Vancouver. Observing the Chinese Americans in the United States, Pan (1990) states that the Chinese communities are "a heterogeneous lot, sharing neither language nor class. They also differ by their emotional distance from China" (p. 283). In the case of the studied Taiwanese immigrants, the stories of immigrants are of political exiles of the early Taiwanese intellectuals and the new immigrants' ambivalent perception as being Taiwanese. All the interviewees at the TCCS view Taiwan as their homeland, and their emotional detachment towards China are deeply embedded within Chinese politics. Though sharing Chinese cultures, the TCCS members consider themselves different from Chinese-Canadians, Hong Kong Chinese, or Mainland Chinese communities. In their struggle for a Taiwanese democratic society and to win international recognition, the Taiwanese irnmigrants had ignored China and had distanced themselves from other Chinese communities. Multiculturalism As BC Television indicated, 'Multicultural Taiwan' was the theme of the 1998 Cultural Festival which celebrated the differences in Taiwan. Multiculturalism in Canada encouraged the immigrants to go back to their own cultural heritage, and celebrate its ethnic identity. Although the social and cultural context of Canada and Taiwan are 155 different, Canadian multiculturalism as a concept provides the Taiwanese immigrants with the opportunity to reinterpret the past and to present the current socio-political climate in Taiwan. With the fall of the Nationalist government ideology in the early 1990's, the Taiwanese are gaining their voices and different cultural practices are demanding attention in Taiwan. The 1998 Cultural Festival manifests the diversity of the contemporary cultural scene from their native land. As a newly arrived minority group to Canada, the Taiwanese interpret multiculturalism in Canada as an opportunity to promote their ethnic self-esteem and to negotiate a place in a multicultural society. It is a resource of transfiguration, and a process of becoming Taiwanese and Canadian. Becoming Taiwanese "I did not know Taiwanese Opera could be so heart-touching and enjoyable". A middle-aged lady who sat beside me proclaimed such statements after watching the Taiwanese Opera performance of the 1997 Cultural Festival. She had lived in Canada for ten years, and she generally did not want people to know where she was from. In her words: It was a place of shame, of poverty, and as you know, Taiwanese Opera was for those uneducated, those lazy folks who squatted in front of the local temple. In my family, our parents spoke Japanese. We were taught to behave in a Japanese way, and we wanted Taiwan to follow the Japanese model to become a modern place. The language and culture of Taiwan is a sign of backwardness. When the Japanese came, Taiwanese was considered as second rated. When the Nationalist government came, Taiwanese was again considered vulgar compared with classic Chinese culture. My children feel ashamed to speak Taiwanese when they were growing up. I have come to Canada for ten years, and I never feel proud of being Taiwanese. I know I am Taiwanese, but I do not know what good I have. Without tonight's performance, I did not know Taiwanese folklore is delicate and attractive. My stereotype about Taiwanese vulgarity has 156 changed, and I felt that I am becoming a Taiwanese who appreciate herself. Now if I have a chance to talk to my neighbors, I know what I can talk about besides the economic achievement of Taiwan. Why the schools in Taiwan taught me nothing about the place I am from? I felt like a rootless person drifting through places, and jealous about the Japanese, the English, or the Jewish. The above statement represents a good example of a Taiwanese internalized inferiority due to the ignorance of one's own place and culture. The cultural festival is an opportunity to reeducate, or more accurately, to let the Taiwanese relearn the knowledge they were deprived of in the past. This process of self-realization is often mixed with resentment about the past and a subtle pride of living in the present. One of the committee members, Mr. Fung, said: What is Taiwanese culture? Many of us cannot answer the question. I do not think people in Taiwan could answer this question either. One of the main reason for not able to answer is that Taiwanese history is a story of continuous suppression from different political forces. The Taiwanese have been ruled by different dominant cultures, so it is very difficult to define. For many years, we are rootless generations. Now when I went back to Taiwan to research various performing groups, my friends said that I am more Taiwanese than those who live there. I guess this is because I started to gain a perspective of my root by leaving away from that place. I am not the same person anymore. It took courage and time to look at the past, and say I am not Chinese. The Canadian multicultural experience gave me an opportunity to reflect on who I am and to appreciate where I am from, though I am still learning Taiwanese culture. According to the objectives of the TCCS, the cultural festival was to present an artistic side of Taiwan, thereby teaching mainstream Canadians how to understand Taiwan through cultural performances. Through cultural performance, the Taiwanese immigrant elite expects to contribute to the cultural landscape of Canada and be part of the mosaic. Yet, I find that the most significant meaning of the festival is to lead the 157 Taiwanese immigrants to relearning Taiwanese culture. For the early immigrants whose memories of the homeland are generally frozen at the time of departure from Taiwan, I find the contemporary mixture of cosmopolitan Taiwan and the local Taiwanese folklore a means of confidence building, an assurance of Taiwanese culture. The festival not only connects the early immigrants with the contemporary cultural development in Taiwan, but also reminds them to look at the repressive past from a different perspective. It helps the Taiwanese to reconstruct a cultural identity, and to understand the past through cultural performance. From this perspective, cultural performance serves as both a political and an educational instrument for the immigrants. There is a hidden political stance of the Cultural Festival to confirm a Taiwanese quest for the past. Becoming Taiwanese is also a powerful message of the Cultural Festival that claims an educational process to relearn one's own cultural heritage. Learning to be Canadian The sun is hot and clouds clear, The wind is light, A green pasture, Falling seeds fly in all directions. It is a seed with thorns, Stuck to a strange place. It is a seed with wings Still swirling in the wind. The wind doesn't understand the seed's desire, Always expecting some good soil To accept one with humble origin That it may develop true life from the soil. Gordon Chin (1997) 158 Chin is a Taiwanese composer whose 'Taiwan Symphony" was performed at the 1997 Taiwanese Cultural Festival. He wrote the above song expressing the Taiwanese sentiment as diaspora subjects in a contemporary world. Like seeds in the wind, the immigrants are scattering around the English-speaking worlds with an uncertain future. Sociopolitical strife in Taiwan and the persistent illusion of an educational paradise in Canada have precipitated a continuous flow of new Taiwanese immigrants. In my interviews with the Taiwanese immigrants, most of the immigrants intended to root down in Canada. As a visibly different minority group, the Taiwanese may not find the process of ethnic merging as easy as some of the cultural groups presently coming from Europe. The director of the TCCS comments that as an immigrant with non-Western traditions, the Taiwanese have to not only distinguish difference, but also assimilate into the society. The festival serves as a space of negotiation in a Canadian society. In his words: Because of my Asian appearance, I know it is much more difficult to be recognized as Canadian. I have to not only know myself well, but also assimilate in English and social customs in order to be Canadian. This is what multiculturalism means to me. I am proud to be a Canadian, and in order to share with others, I have to know my difference. The festival is to demonstrate we have a capability to be different, yet at the same time share similarities with the mainstream Canadians through artistic activities. It is our way to negotiate a space to become rooted in Canada, and becoming Canadian. Becoming Taiwanese and becoming Canadian echo the symbolic interactionists observation on immigrants' collective action in a host society. Members of ethnic groups often struggle between a duality of emulsion and specialness. Ethnic members chose emulsion to enhance their economic mobility in the host society, whereas to declare one's specialness is to improve their self-esteem and group status through political action. As 159 post-colonial subjects, the Taiwanese immigrants are engaging in the process of such duality. Ethnic cultural representation, such as the Taiwanese Cultural Festival, indicates the dynamics of the social interaction in a multicultural society. Conclusion The Taiwanese Cultural Festival is not only a cultural performance, but is also situated within a Canadian context. Its original motivation was to respond to the negative stereotypes of the Chinese immigrants and to transform the image to a positive cultural contribution. However, it provides a means by which the Taiwanese seek to construct their unique public identity for the general public, notably the mainstream Canadian audiences. Under the leadership of the Taiwanese community, the cultural festivals allow the immigrants to produce a certain view of one's culture and history of the past. Such construction asserts the specificity of a Taiwanese historical experience and cultural expression that differentiates itself from other Chinese communities in Canada. A Taiwanese identity that is based on difference excludes the grand Chinese influence in Taiwan after the Second War, and emphasizes the once-suppressed Taiwanese ethnic cultures and the emerging hybrid mixture of contemporary cultures in Taiwan. Through the cultural festival, the Taiwanese immigrants not only celebrate difference in a new place but also seek to negotiate their rights in a new space. Cultural identity emerges in the tension between selection and interaction with the public. Textured by familiar language, music, art, and general crowd activity, the cultural festival is confirmed as a Taiwanese physical and cultural space. Internally, the cultural 160 festival functions as an action and self-reflection to assert a cultural identity. It allows the immigrants to define self and to challenge the larger society with a different definition of Chinese ethnicity and culture. The Taiwanese Cultural Festival is a construct of symbolic political power. It is an opportunity to reconstruct cultural identity by selecting and creating new traditions, while allowing for the education of themselves through such a process. 161 Chapter Six Community Networking and Lunar New Year Festival Tradition...has been remarked, is akin to memory; their functions are often the same. Tradition, usually said to be received, in reality made, is an activity of selection, revision and invention. Its function is to defend identity against the threat of heterogeneity, discontinuity and contradiction. The purpose of tradition is to bind and necessarily, therefore, to exclude. It tends to represent itself as custom, as continuity. In this way, tradition becomes a useable past, and the evocation of deep, sacred origins becomes a means of creating a people. Madan Sarup (1996, p. 182) In contrast to the contemporary cultural scene of the Taiwanese Cultural Festival, the Lunar New Year Festival is a representation of hundreds years of tradition. However, the Lunar New Year Festival is also a selective activity and is tied to an identity formation for the Taiwanese immigrant community. In this chapter, I describe how a Lunar New Year is celebrated within the Taiwanese community and how the celebration becomes a process of outreach to local elementary schools. By exploring New Year celebrations organized by Taiwanese immigrants, I look at issues such as the role of food and the criteria of selection of the traditional festival. Through the immigrants' search for self-representation in an educational context, I discuss how tradition is represented by the members of the community and cultural transmission to the younger generations. 162 Lunar New Year in the Vancouver Taiwanese Community Lunar New Year was traditionally celebrated in many ancient agricultural societies that followed the lunar calendar, and it remains the most important festival among Chinese communities globally. Due to various Chinatowns located in North American cities, the festival is a well-known cultural event that represents the heritage of Chinese culture. Since Chinatowns have become heritage areas in many North American cities including Vancouver, the dancing lion, percussion instruments, smell of firecrackers, and curious crowds have gradually become part of the North American scene. The Chinese New Year Festival, as celebrated in North America, manifests a traditional celebration's transformation in a diasporic society. Chinatown's celebration of a New Year represents the cultural heritage preserved by Cantonese immigrants since the late 19th century. For Chinese descendants who have immigrated to Canada since 1970, the celebration of Lunar New Year differs subtly depending on where they are from. Compared with the New Year activities among Chinatown communities and Hong Kong Chinese immigrants, Vancouver's Taiwanese have been silent on this event to the non-Taiwanese for the past twenty years. Lunar New Year, the major social event among the Taiwanese residing in Vancouver, was exclusively celebrated within the immigrant community which numbered under one thousand people prior to 1986. Mrs. Hsieh, who has resided in Vancouver for 31 years, recalls that: In the past, the Taiwanese community had an informal organization called the Overseas Taiwanese Association. Every year we would get together at different festivals, such as Mid-Autumn festival, or New Year. I remembered there were about 800 Taiwanese from the Lower Mainland at 163 the Lunar New Year event in 1980. The New Year Festival is the most important event that brought the Taiwanese together once a year. We did not have the money or resources to reach out to the mainstream society because it was more of a community activity and we did not want to go to Chinatown. Our community gathering of the New Year included performing activities, such as a women's choir, children's folk dancing, for entertainment after the big New Year dinner. Many of us could not go back to Taiwan, and we tried to bring that kind of festival atmosphere to where we were, you know, the atmosphere like family reunions with plenty of New Year food, children paying respect to elders. An elementary school story The exclusive nature of Lunar New Year in the Taiwanese community, however, was broken by a group of women whose children were entering an elementary school in Delta, British Columbia. The story began with the untouched lunch box of a Taiwanese boy who came to the elementary school in 1995. Taiwanese mothers usually prepare a homemade lunch for their children to bring to school. The mother of the Taiwanese boy who later became one of the founding members of the New Year festival recalled: I found the lunch box was untouched. It never happened before and at first I was anxious that my child was sick. After I questioned persistently, he finally said in a very helpless manner as if we cannot do anything, "the kids at school laughed at the food in my lunch box." The food I prepared was sweet rice stuffed with black mushroom and other ingredients. I did not understand what was wrong with my food, and I told my boy never mind what others think of us. However, it happened several times later. My boy was very unhappy and I was upset. My English was not good enough to communicate to the teacher at school and I did not know what to do.. .1 talked to the other Taiwanese mothers, and they told me that it was the black thing that the Western children made such a fuss about. You know these Taiwanese black mushroom, seaweed, black stewed egg, right? What's wrong with these foods? I felt a great need to be understood. Of course, we can change our diet to sandwich, but (sigh)... I put my heart into preparing food for my child. 164 The difference of daily food is among the many issues that immigrant families encounter when they arrive in new Canadian school settings. Besides diet, differences of educational practices also require the newcomers to adapt. For example, the lunch hour changed from the Taiwanese big meal and a siesta to the Canadian 15-minute lunch break. The performance at the ESL (English as a second language) program for immigrant children is also a major concern for immigrant families. Many of the families are astronaut families whose father has stayed in Taiwan to work while women take responsibility for involvement in their children's education. The adapting process created a certain level of stress between immigrant children and their mothers. Many Taiwanese mothers did not know how to communicate with people at local schools, language being considered the largest barrier for them. In 1995, a new principal arrived at the elementary school. An Irish immigrant himself, whose father left home to work on the East Coast during his childhood, his experience had been similar to that of most of the Taiwanese children. He particularly understood immigrant mothers' responsibility for the whole household. With the increasing influx of Taiwanese children, he called a meeting of Chinese parents and expressed good will on the part of the school. The Taiwanese mothers felt a need to do something between the Taiwanese parents and school. Since the Lunar New Year was approaching, the lunch box story was immediately brought up as an example of the need for cross-cultural understanding. With the principal's encouragement, the mothers decided to follow the Taiwanese custom of organizing a homemade luncheon and expressing gratitude to the teachers. It is a common practice in Taiwan for parents to send gifts to or do something for teachers before New Year holidays. The mothers thought that 165 the food culture in Taiwan was closely related to their children's daily life and that there was an immediate need for teachers to understand the difference of Taiwanese diet. There were five mothers involved in organizing the luncheon, and more than twenty mothers offered homemade dishes. In order to introduce different regions of Chinese food in Taiwan, the mothers not only paid attention to preparation, but also to the origin and customs of New Year dishes. Since Taiwan's population is mixed, including people from different parts of China and aboriginal people, it was challenging to decide what to serve. For example, dumplings are not a traditional New Year food in Taiwan but were brought by northern Chinese who came after the Second World War. After fifty years of integration, dumplings have gradually become one of the dishes in many Taiwanese families. In order to explain the multicultural composition of Taiwanese cuisine and its development, the mothers accepted all customs practiced in Taiwan. Therefore, dumplings were not only included, but also their origin and meanings were explained. The luncheon organized by the Taiwanese mothers served not only as an introduction to Taiwanese New Year customs, but also as an opportunity for the mothers to communicate with teachers. The mothers had a chance to understand school programs and learning activities. Since the luncheon was hosted by a group of Taiwanese women, the mothers were not so intimidated or shy about speaking to the teachers. The food raised the topics of daily diet and language barrier, which led to the reasons for Taiwanese parents' passive attitude towards volunteering at schools. 166 "Lunar New Year in Taiwan" The applause from the principal and the Parent-Teacher Association for the Lunar New Year luncheon encouraged Taiwanese parents to present other aspects of the Lunar New Year celebration in Taiwan. The following year, the Taiwanese women organized an artifact exhibition displayed in the school hallway. The artifacts were predominately related to the food presented at the luncheon, such as traditional kitchen wares or utensils for making traditional New Year dishes. There were also decorating items, such as paper cutting and calligraphy that are displayed in homes during the Lunar New Year. The third year the Taiwanese parents started to organize the exhibition according to the astrological themes of each lunar year. For example, 1998 was the year of the tiger. The content of the display centered on the tiger theme, and its meaning was explored through folk stories. Besides the luncheon for teachers and hallway exhibition, the third year further engaged the elementary students to participate in the Lunar New Year celebration. The mothers collected traditional toys and children's games played in Taiwan, and set up toy/game stations in the school gym. During the one-day event, students played games such as bamboo sling, paper stack, chopstick competition, and Chinese yo-yo. Founded by Taiwanese mothers who were concerned about their children in a new education system, the mothers successfully used a cultural event as a bridge to participate in their children's school environment. Using the customs practiced in Taiwan, the Taiwanese mothers first organized a New Year luncheon to express gratitude to the teachers. They then organized a display of traditional artifacts in the school hallways. The third stage included students' participation through Taiwanese toys and games in the 167 gym. Within three years, the Taiwanese mothers paved the foundation for reaching out to local schools, and the New Year celebration was officially named "Lunar New Year in Taiwan". TCCS and Lunar New Year Festival Chinese New Year is a well-known public festival in Vancouver since the Chinatown New Year celebration has become a tourist attraction and the Hong Kong Chinese food fair has been advertised through local media attracted public attention. The TCCS, however, did not go public during the Lunar New Year. As a major association of Taiwanese immigrants, it has been the headquarters for a Lunar New Year ceremony celebrated among the Taiwanese since its establishment in 1994. The TCCS members bring homemade dishes to the office on the first day of New Year, and share food with each other in the community. There they greet each other and burn incense to pay respect to the ancestors, similar to how Taiwanese people in Taiwan practice their customs during the New Year. The luncheon and ancestor worship ceremony not only preserves the social function for old members in the Taiwanese community, but also welcomes new members to experience New Year outside of Taiwan. The Lunar New Year is celebrated as a private community event. The story of the "Lunar New Year in Taiwan" organized by the Taiwanese parents in Delta inspired the Taiwanese community to reach out to the public. As members of the TCCS, the Taiwanese parents in Delta shared their experiences with other parents in Vancouver. According to the TCCS, there were approximately 80 % of new immigrants who have children entering the local elementary schools in the Lower 168 Mainland. Most of the parents encountered similar difficulties to participate in their children's school environment and there was a need to be understood by local teachers. The "Lunar New Year in Taiwan" not only fulfills the TCCS objective to introduce Taiwanese culture to Canada, but also provides an opportunity for the Taiwanese parents to participate in schools. Based on the TCCS objective to promote cross-cultural understanding, members of the community decide to reach out to the general public by offering an educational perspective of the New Year. Its goal is to present cultural customs of Lunar New Year in Taiwan and to explain the meanings through activities and displays. By presenting the activities and offering meanings, the Lunar New Year Festival intends to present an educational experience for the public to understand this traditional festivity. With the participation of immigrant parents and children, the TCCS started a one-day event at a local Vancouver community center in 1997. The popularity received from the local school population encouraged the members of the TCCS. Consequently, the educational objective for New Year cultural events became a central point for the TCCS New Year public celebration. Since 1998, the TCCS focuses on public school presentations and the Lunar New Year event that engage both the immigrant families and the local public school staffs, parents, and children. One day event at a community center (1997) The TCCS first Lunar New Year cultural event was held at the Kerrisdale Community Center in Vancouver. On February 10, 1997, the community center was crowded with TCCS members, volunteers, local residents, and there were twenty-four school trips from the Lower Mainland. The most impressive scene upon one's arrival was 169 the strong red and gold color scheme that dominated the community lobby. Spring couplets, paper ball, paper collage, knotting crafts, worshipping goods and utensils, wood block prints were among the display items, and the interplay of the colors symbolized the traditional festival spirit of joy and fortune. Smiling volunteers with yellow vests came to greet the visitors, and led them through the first Taiwanese custom: tea for the guests and candies/sweets for children. There was a table of Lunar New Year Eve feast for display and for the afternoon ritual. Festival foods were served for seniors and local residents, and everyone joined for food at noon. The atmosphere reminded me of an afternoon public market during the New Year back in my hometown in central Taiwan, with people running around with their mouths full of food, greeting each other or laughing loudly. The chairman of the TCCS board of directors greeted everyone in the opening ceremony. He expressed gratitude for the past year and led people to pray for a good year to come. A women's choir sang three Taiwanese folk songs on the joy of Lunar New Year following the ceremony. Throughout the one-day event, there were videotapes on foods and customs celebrated in Taiwan, and the music box played traditional percussion instruments. I joined a third-grade school tour guided by a TCCS member. The two teachers were curious about the food and its preparation, and highly complimented the volunteers who kept serving food. The children were enjoying the golden wrapped chocolate disguised as a gold coin. After the refreshments, the volunteer took the group to a corner to learn paper cutting. Paper cutting with a variety of animal or floral patterns is a popular decoration for New Year in Taiwan. Most of the children chose animal patterns, especially the tiger and rabbit pattern. While the children were concentrating on the paper cutting, the guide, having to compete with the background music and people's 170 conversation, talked about the origin of the decorative artifacts. The group was then guided to a Chinese calligraphy stand where two mothers demonstrated the practice of Chinese brush and the mothers also wrote the names for those who requested to have a translated Chinese name. Tea was served at the calligraphy stand. While the teachers were complimenting how wonderful the Taiwanese green tea was, most faces of the young children honestly showed that the green tea was still a bit too difficult to appreciate. I talked to one girl who stood beside me. With a timid smile, she showed me her Chinese name written on the red paper. Her schoolmates came to join us and proudly showed me the paper cutting. Before the group left, the volunteer taught us the greeting gesture and wish for a Happy New Year. It was indeed a New Year scene, the air vibrating with people's greetings and conversation. The music burned one's ears, and the food generated a smell of home. The central lobby was transformed into a home while the activities became a performance of home. Many senior members of the TCCS told me that one of the most enjoyable memories of New Year celebration was to host visitors and distant families who were visiting and to wish for a good year. The act of communal eating was a sign of reunion, prosperity, and happy living. It used to be that Taiwanese families came to visit each other at the TCCS office, but more recently visitors were curious audiences with all kinds of questions that kept the TCCS members busy serving food, and practicing their English. The volunteer who guided our tour and had been residing in Vancouver for ten years told me that: This is a very exciting event. It is fun to watch children playing around and having fun with chocolate money. New Year used to be a celebration 171 for the homesick, but now I am gradually feeling that I belong to a big family. I feel like going home again. Celebration with school children at TCCS (1998) Due to limited budget and human resources, the TCCS moved the "home" celebration back to its own office in 1998. Based on the previous experience at the community center, the TCCS focused on the New Year artifacts display and activities for school children. The educational aspect of explaining and participating in the exhibition became the major objective for the performance of the Taiwanese New Year home. Prior to the 1998 Lunar New Year, the TCCS sent out hundreds of invitation cards to local elementary schools. During the one-week exhibition, there were forty-two school tours guided by the TCCS volunteers. Each tour was offered by volunteers who were able to communicate in English; most of them were college students who had themselves attended the local public schools while other volunteers were mothers. Each school tour lasted about 60 to 90 minutes. There were five stations designed to encourage children to explore at the exhibition. The first station demonstrated calligraphy. Each student would stop at the station, and asked the volunteers to translate their name phonetically into Chinese before writing their name in the form of Chinese calligraphy on a piece of red paper. The students could use the Chinese brush and practice the strokes or pictures with black ink. The theme of the second station was the traditional customs related to children in Taiwan. For example, the most exciting thing for young children during the New Year was receiving the red envelope (pocket money was put in a red envelope by parents or relatives symbolizing the wish for a lucky year). It was like gifts received under the 172 Christmas tree during Christmas. All of the young children at the exhibition each received a piece of chocolate wrapped in gold paper that resembled money inside the envelope. Volunteers also taught the young children the body language of how Taiwanese children return their gratitude and how people greet each other in public places. The third station was a poster exhibition designed to demonstrate the relationship between rituals and foods during the traditional fifteen days of New Year celebration. According to the lunar calendar, there were specific rituals and festival foods for each day. Each poster explained a specific day of rituals related to the agricultural society and the production of food. Rituals and food were tightly dependent on each other, and the volunteer generally offered a personal experience of how families share food while attending ceremonies. For example, there were days for making the steamed rice pastry as New Year cake, for shopping, for spring cleaning, and for preparing the most important New Year Eve family dinner. There were ceremonies related to Buddhist or Taoist beliefs, and most important of all, to paying respect to ancestors at the family shrine. The fourth station was designed to explore the animal patterns according to the twelve astrological symbols. Traditional stories and legends about the animals were told, and students were encouraged to try the paper cutting of the animals. The teachers and students were then led to a room which housed the last station of the New Year exhibition. It was decorated as an ancestor worship room with a table of flowers, fruit, and incense. The ancestor ceremony represented the most important family activity during the New Year, since it was a time to pay gratitude to the blessing of the ancestors 173 and gods and a time for family reunions among many Taiwanese. The volunteers shared their personal stories of what their families do during the ancestor worship ceremony, and explained the virtue of gratitude and appreciation in Taiwanese culture. The TCCS and five elementary schools (1999) The Delta elementary school story represents the Taiwanese parents' initial step to reach out to the local school, and the TCCS exhibition indicates the Taiwanese immigrants' collective interest to present a non-profit educational program for local school children. The frequent request to extend the exhibition from local school shows that there is mutual interest between local schools and the immigrant community to explore the traditional festival. With the activities at Delta and the TCCS receiving support among the Taiwanese community, the TCCS took further steps reaching out to Lower Mainland elementary schools in 1999. In its monthly newsletter, the TCCS announced its plan of encouraging members with children at local public schools in organizing Lunar New Year cultural events. The TCCS developed a package for Taiwanese parents who are interested in establishing such "cultural embassy" programs by bringing the New Year activities into local schools. In 1999, the TCCS continued its exhibition at the head office and became a supportive center providing a Lunar New Year package for Taiwanese parents who were interested in organizing New Year celebrations at their children's schools. Most of the interested parents had children in the elementary schools, so the activities were suitable for an elementary school environment. Accordingly, the TCCS choose five schools from five different school districts in the Lower Mainland to present "Lunar New Year in 174 Taiwan." Each school has Taiwanese cuisine, Lunar New Year astrology, traditional artifact hallway display, and traditional games/toys, organized by the Taiwanese parents of the school district. The exhibition displayed at the TCCS office served as a "model example" for the Taiwanese parents and members to explore, but also for school tours and visits by the general public. Aiming specifically at immigrant parents and local schools, the TCCS plays a mediating role in providing suggestions and resources of the Lunar New Year cultural practices. The TCCS-designed package for parents included how to make a proposal to a school, how to involve the interested parents in the school, how to search for information and local resources of Lunar New Year activities (such as videos and books), and how to connect with other Taiwanese and form a community network to organize the cultural event. One of the TCCS staff who designed the Lunar New Year package, Ms. Lee, stated that the role of TCCS at the Lunar New Year festival was not to present festive performances nor to celebrate together with the mainstream Canadian public. By observing Chinatown activities and the Hong Kong Chinese food fair, the TCCS saw its limits (such as low budget and lack of exhibition space) and its advantage to have interested members to participate. With the support of motivated parents and children, the TCCS chose an educational context to present the traditional festival. The immigrant mothers were the most important human resources in carrying such tradition with their children to schools. They are not only motivated to mediate between the TCCS and schools, but were also interested in participating in their children's school life. Lee commented: 175 The TCCS does not have enough staff and budget to organize another festival besides the Taiwanese Cultural Festival. Lunar New Year used to be the most important family celebration for us, and it was difficult to bring to the public. After several years of trying to reach out to the Canadian society, we found immigrant parents, especially the mothers, are the best cultural ambassadors to bring the private family celebration to the public sphere. The TCCS is like a training center and we offer an opportunity for the parents to learn how to display in our office exhibition. All the display and activities at the headquarters exhibition were designed by the mothers. After this experience, the mothers would feel more confident to participate in their children's schools. We write down the principles and guidelines for those interested in organizing New Year celebration in their schools, and the meanings of the artifacts and traditional customs are compiled into a handbook for reference. We want to bring an educational aspect of Lunar New Year to Canada, and we are reaching out with the support of immigrant parents. Searching for Cultural Curriculum As a researcher at the Lunar New Year, my agenda was to discover how and why the Taiwanese community chose to present certain items of traditional arts for public schools. Yet I found the theme that most concerned community members was the form and content of such a cultural event, asking questions such as, "What should we highlight and how should we package and present ourselves to others?" or "What are the most important New Year's traditions that my children should share with their class?" These observations raised three issues: one, the relationship between selective content and ethnic identity; two, the concern for the transmission of cultural form to younger members of the ethnic community through cultural festivals; three, the community in the process of constructing its cultural heritage. All three observations from the New Year festival share similar questions and concerns of ethnic cultural representation with the Taiwanese Cultural Festival. Both festivals share a similar motivation which is to be 176 understood by the mainstream Canadian audiences. While the Cultural Festival searches from a refined arts performance to create a collective public image, the Lunar New Year activities looks from the everyday lived experience of the immigrant families. Both festivals are about searching for the past, the Cultural Festival to find a new interpretation of the suppressed past, and the New Year to revive a tradition that is gradually vanishing from the rapidly changing consuming society. They also share a similar issue on relearning Taiwanese culture through cultural self-representation. The process of constructing the festivals point to the idea that the newly arrived immigrant community is searching for a "cultural curriculum" through which to educate the young members of the community as well as the larger society about what it means to be Taiwanese. Curriculum itself is a selective process that we choose to pass down, and transmit through an educational process. Examining the everyday experience of family life, Grumet (1991) comments that the "choosing and naming of what matters and the presentation of those values for the perception and engaged participation of others are the deliberations that constitute curriculum development" (p. 75). In the case of the Lunar New Year Festival, immigrant parents engage themselves in the process of choosing and naming their perception of the New Year tradition in the Canadian educational context. Based on the need for their food and diet to be understood, choosing the New Year festival content is an educational process balancing the old agricultural traditions and the depiction of a contemporary Taiwanese life style. Presentation form, content, and selectivity are critical elements to the formation of an ethnic cultural curriculum. 177 Traditional Festival as a cultural representation form Lunar New Year is represented as a traditional festival to suggest the cultural background of the Taiwanese immigrant families. I have provided two examples of Lunar New Year representation, one at the Delta elementary school and the process of the TCCS exhibition to reach out to various school districts at the Lower Mainland. In each example, Lunar New Year conveys the Taiwanese common experiences and identities and it is accomplished through the transformation of symbolic forms, such as food, music, folk arts, or ancestor worship rituals. Indeed, the relations between a traditional festival and cultural identity and the role of such relations in the education process are the rationale for organizing a Lunar New Year festival. Within the Lunar New Year celebration, cultural representation itself is inevitably a selective display of cultural symbols. On studying the issues of selection and presentation at a multicultural festival, Auerbach (1991) observed that traditionality and cultural transmission to the younger generation were two significant issues involved in organizing ethnic cultural festivals. In the Lunar New Year festival, traditionality and cultural transmission also stand out as two most significant themes that motivate the traditional festival. There is a subtle interplay between the past tradition for the living participants. Ethnic tradition was used for the Taiwanese members to search for a place in the Canadian educational context. The process of transforming a homogeneous society's traditional practices to a multicultural context is indeed a selective activity. Selected traditional foods and social customs represent shared sentiments of Lunar New Year that bound together members of the Taiwanese group. Selected artifacts and rituals also reveal the values of the immigrant parents that they wish to pass down through the second 178 generations. Since food and artifacts are the major content, I use them, especially the role of food, as examples to demonstrate issues of selection and cultural transmission of the traditional festival. The role of food in the Lunar New Year Festival Taiwanese cuisine remains the most important focus in the Lunar New Year festival. Taiwanese mothers use food as symbols and the communal cooking of holiday foods as an expression of their cultural heritage. On discussing the food of Lunar New Year, I do not intend to discuss the socio-historical aspect of the holiday foods, or the symbolic meanings of food-related rituals. Considering the context of a multicultural society, where the participants are of mixed ethnic groups, holiday foods and festivity are evolving into a performance that in turn becomes symbolic in the Canadian context. Therefore, I pay attention to examining the variety of meanings that food creates in a festive event and the social functions of communal eating during the Lunar New Year Festival. Food has been commonly used as an ideal ethnic boundary marker in an ethnic festival. In ethnic festivals in North America where awareness and expression of ethnic identity is approved, food is used as a symbol of ethnic identity in such contexts. Like artistic productions (e.g. fine arts) which encapsulate human experiences, foods presented in the festival are symbolic vocabularies to communicate across cultures. However, food as symbolic forms presented in public events are usually defined by the ethnic groups as "ours." While the presentation forms serve as a sign of belonging, they also become boundaries that differentiate and exclude others. Food usually constitutes the most 179 common meeting ground between strangers, yet it is also the very source of stereotypes which occur in a multicultural society (Auerbach, 1991). Food as an ethnic stereotype The relationship between foods, ethnic stereotype, and festival is well documented in an anthology edited by Humphrey, Samuelson, and Humphrey (1988), We Gather Together: Food and Festivity in American Life. Examining different ethnic and social groups, the authors suggest that food is a means for groups to define themselves and establish internal and external boundaries. Through food, we who participate in a festival select and perform significant aspects of where we come from, our sense of self, and our values. Foods collected in ethnic cultural events are transformed to a cultural performance that is appropriate for a particular context. Food, then, is an expressive celebration of cultural identity, yet at the same time easily becomes a part of an ethnic stereotype. In her powerful critique of foods and festivity, Van Esterick (1982) points out that ethnic groups were often negatively defined through food. Ethnic food used to be associated with smelly, exotic, or negative connotations that are different from the standard diet in North America. The Delta elementary school lunch box is an example of how ethnic foods can generate such difference and bewildered the new Taiwanese immigrants. In the Lunar New Year luncheon, the mothers focused on homemade dishes that were foreign to the school children and teachers. Specific ingredients of Taiwanese regional dishes, such as dried fungus, mushrooms, and seaweed were prepared as well as holiday foods. With a specific goal to be understood by the new school environment, the 180 New Year luncheon not only displayed a traditional feast of the Lunar New Year holiday foods, but also emphasized the different, exotic element of Taiwanese daily diet. It is through food that the mothers felt excluded and misunderstood upon arrival, yet it is also through food that such negative stereotypes becomes what Stein and Hill (1977) termed "the basis of the inverted positive self-definition" (p.215). Such positive solutions of difference are well presented by the mother of the little boy with the untouched lunch box. She comments on the luncheon: The lunch box once made me angry and confused, but it is also food that provided an opportunity for us to communicate with schools. After our New Year luncheon, my child told me that his teacher talked about the difference of foods around the world in the class. The school also showed videos that talk about diets of different parts of the world. I am grateful that Canadian educators are open-minded and I am actually quite proud that we have a difference to offer to a school of multiethnic children. Food as a communication instrument The social meanings of food sharing, or communal eating used to be recognized as a cohesive act uniting participants as members of a group, differentiating the group from others, and maintaining ethnic solidarity. This is manifested when the Taiwanese community was a self-inclusive ethnic party celebrating Lunar New Year. Food is the focal point of the event and there are many rituals associated with food and eating. Through holiday foods and communal eating, the Lunar New Year was a family reunion and a social gathering of the Taiwanese immigrant community. It remained a private place where ceremonies and rituals were celebrated exclusively among its members. The Taiwanese mothers, through their understanding of traditional foods, transform such traditional social gathering from a private place to a multicultural public 181 sphere. The popularity of exotic cuisine and ethnic affirmation in North American metropolitan cities provides a suitable timing and place for such transformation. The New Year luncheon not only meets the needs of reaching out to a new school community, but also has created another meaning of food sharing. Daily Taiwanese dishes and holiday foods broke the boundary and became a means to communicate between the immigrants and teachers. By sharing the homemade dishes, the immigrant mothers and teachers both discussed their thoughts on immigrant education. One of the founders of the New Year festival, Mrs. Yeh, commented that the luncheon is a bridge connecting the immigrant mothers and teachers. During the New Year luncheon, I learned some of the science activities designed in my kid's class. I also found some of the teachers misunderstood that we new immigrants came to Canada only to receive, but not to give. Many times we are silent because of our language, but it does not mean that we do not want to participate. The luncheon brought other Taiwanese mothers with me, so I am not as intimidated as when I was by myself. I tried very hard with my poor English to explain to the teachers that we really need time to participate at schools. The food not only brought the mothers together, but also connected us with the school. I think after the luncheon, we parents and teachers understood each other's position a bit more. In my personal observation, food sharing also creates a symbolic meaning for ethnic members engaging in a multicultural community where multicultural understanding is a shared value. The transformation from the private to the public sphere suggests ethnic members are vital partners in addressing multicultural understanding. Heightened by foods, the immigrant mothers bring an open attitude to learning about their new community. Food performs a pragmatic function of connecting between the parents and the teachers. The Lunar New Year luncheon, with immigrant parents and 182 teachers eating foods together is a social gathering where cultural issues are the focus of the event. Food sharing under such context suggests a process in which ethnic members take the role and demonstrate the partnership in multicultural understanding. In Making a Place Home: A Latino Festival, folklorist Cadaval (1991) records the growing popularity of ethnic display at a Latino festival in Washington D.C. Food and crafts are means of ethnic showcasing that allow ethnic groups to develop a sense of community among themselves, while at the same time being proud to be the citizens who coexist within a multiethnic metropolitan city. The Lunar New Year social gathering, performed through cooperative food preparation, not only brings together the immigrant parents, but also encourages the parents to take the initiative as mutual partners in the new Canadian school community. It is not surprising that food and social gathering affirms the power of what Jones, Giuliano, and Krell (1981) comment on the social significance of food sharing: "Once we have associated food with social experience, and have attributed meaning and significance to preparing or serving a dish, then food becomes symbolic. Experiencing food with others often results in a transference to food of assessments and valuations of those experiences" (pp.41-42). Selective tradition in the Lunar New Year Festival The first theme of the Lunar New Year Festival is tradition. The Taiwanese immigrant representation of Lunar New Year for the Canadian local schools is an example of Taiwanese parents using traditional culture as a media to become familiar with the new education environment. By establishing a New Year Festival for school populations, the Taiwanese parents became actively involved in searching for a cultural 183 curriculum based on New Year traditions. In order to introduce Lunar New Year to the non-Taiwanese audiences, the parents had to first dig into their past memories and collect the memories that could represent the traditional practice of Lunar New Year in Taiwan. The loss of a tradition What is New Year tradition? Many of the Taiwanese immigrants are often puzzled and embarrassed about the question because they grew up at a time when Taiwan was losing its agricultural traditions. Being Taiwanese does not mean that they are knowledgeable about the Lunar New Year tradition in Taiwan. New Year cultural practices evolved from an agricultural past, therefore customs and cultural symbols indicate changes of four seasons and the relationship between people and nature. Modernization and industrialization in Taiwan during the past thirty years brought prosperity to the Taiwanese, yet erased many elaborate forms of New Year practices. As Taiwan transformed into an industrialized society, many traditional practices were gradually replaced by the fast life style of urban development. The family structure of an agricultural society was broken into nuclear families dwelling in the cities. Consequently, many traditional customs are modified or simplified for contemporary Taiwanese nuclear families. For many Taiwanese who grew up under this rapid social change, a Lunar New Year experience is food purchased from mass produced chain companies instead of home-made dishes, with a two week celebration reduced into a three day holiday rushing back and forth to visit families. The food, customs of expressing gratitude to others, and social customs are strongly influenced by commercial advertisement. Industrial mass 184 production popularized many New Year delicacies and provided convenience for contemporary families. With the pace of industrialization and mass-produced consumption, traditional Lunar New Year is becoming similar to traditional holidays such as Easter or Christmas in North American societies. The source of food, how families spend time together, how families interact with others in the neighborhood and the social activities that tie people together to create collective memories vary depending on different generations and families. Growing up in Taiwan and experiencing Lunar New Year in Taiwan do not automatically grant the Taiwanese immigrants knowledge of cultural representation of such a traditional festival. This is why most of the Taiwanese parents are panicked about the lack of knowledge when it comes to organizing a Lunar New Year exhibition in Canadian local schools. One of the volunteers for the TCCS exhibition said, When we mothers got together to discuss ideas, I realized that many New Year rituals and cultural practices did not exist in most of the families. Many of us did not know exactly how to celebrate the New Year, and we knew little about the meanings behind the celebration. A lot of the objects and practices were considered backward and primitive and we were too busy to think about or took for granted about the New Year. The display at the local elementary school is an educational experience for both my children and the other children, but most important of all, it provides we parents with opportunities to learn about the past. To learn about our tradition and to select from a wide variety of food and practices are the most difficult tasks we encounter in presenting "Lunar New Year in Taiwan" at local schools. The strategies and criteria of selection I term the anxiety and desire of the Taiwanese immigrants to represent the Lunar New Year tradition, a search for cultural curriculum. In order to represent where one comes from, one has to go back and search for the self first. The process of searching for 185 the self and representing it to the Other involves identification, selection, and negotiation. Since there are limited financial and human resources among the immigrants, the process of identification and selection for the festival go hand in hand with the availability among the parents and the supportive system from the immigrant community. Unlike the annual Taiwanese Cultural Festival to present a public image in Canada, Lunar New Year specifically focuses on the local education context. While the TCCS spends a majority of its annual budget on the Cultural Festival with the support of professional performing groups from Taiwan, the TCCS does not have additional funds for organizing New Year activities. Unlike the formal committee of the Cultural Festival, the making up of the Lunar New Year festival is a process of brainstorming among mothers in kitchens or over the telephone. Generally speaking, there are two strategies in preparing the New Year activities. First is to identify available resources within the immigrant community. Among a wide variety of cultural practices in New Year celebration, food is identified as the most important item for representation. The immigrant women and Taiwanese food companies in the Lower Mainland are the most important resources to support such a cultural representation. The Lunar New Year Festival also needs tangible and visible kitchen ware or decorative items for display, therefore the kitchens and living rooms of most of the immigrant mothers are a major support for organizing school hallway displays. The second step is to negotiate from the available resources among immigrant members. Since New Year has been a private family event for many immigrant families, the public representation of New Year tradition needs to borrow family display items. For example, one of the most important display items is the ancestor worship table and equipment 186 related to the ceremony, such as an incense burner. It is not an ordinary table, but often a sacred space where family ancestors names were written on a tablet and the few families who own these items were usually reluctant to display them in public. It involves much negotiation among members to transform the private family treasure into a public exhibition. On how the immigrant mothers select the New Year tradition, Ms. Wong, one of the Delta elementary school founders said: We first have to figure out how much resource we have in the immigrant community and then try to persuade the members to support what we are doing at school. Sometimes we need food supply from local Taiwanese food companies or restaurants (for ingredients). In terms of the display items, we often have to drive a truck and collect what we could gather from Taiwanese families. It is a community activity and involves much persuasion among members. All the effort is to present our daily, lived experience to local schools. For example, food is the item that we mothers know by heart and could handle well. I think the food culture we have from Taiwan is a good start to introduce where we come from. The homemade dishes that show our everyday living is, I think, the most important criteria for us to select. Though we have special food for New Year, we think it is more important to introduce our daily diets than the holiday foods. It is difficult to choose from a variety of artifacts and customs, but we usually focus on food and customs that are related to our contemporary life style in Taiwan and Canada, not the agricultural past. We also have to consider that our audiences are mainly elementary children, so the activities have to be entertaining and attractive. New Year is a happy time like the Christmas here in Canada, so we have to make the exhibition fun. Lived experience of the immigrant families and entertainment is the criteria for choosing a New Year content for representation. Due to the need to communicate with local teachers and children, New Year traditions became what Sarup (1996) calls a "useable past" creating meanings for the immigrant families. Fun and joy are the spirit of New Year holiday that are used to convey a celebration of harvest and good rest. Through 187 drinking, eating, and playing, "Lunar New Year in Taiwan" also tries to transform the happy moments to Canadian schools. Food and the selective New Year tradition Griffith (1988) describes the selling of "traditional foods" as an effective activity for sharing a wide range of cultural traditions with the general public in a multiethnic American city. Based on three booth menus provided by different ethnic groups, Griffith comments that traditionality embodies in the foods has a range of cultural expressions at an ethnic festival. For example, food is a symbolic identity statement for the Ukrainians. The Ukrainian serves food, holiday food, which is very similar with the food they eat at their own regular scheduled celebrations. It seems that these foods have become, for American Ukrainians, symbols of their heritage and identity, and as such are served on occasions when that identity is being celebrated. For the Desert Indians such as Papago, the popover is a successful and popular export to the visitors of the festival. For non-Papagos the food may be becoming a Papago identity symbol, but it does not appear to be so for most Papagos. Traditional food, therefore, is an identity symbol identified by outsiders. In the process of choosing traditional foods, the Taiwanese mothers did not restrict traditional foods based on ethnic or regional identity. There were holiday foods, like the Ukrainians' selected symbols, identified by the Taiwanese as a collective traditional representation. Rice cakes, for example, were served at New Year's Eve because they clearly mark the Taiwanese in the context of belonging symbolically to a rice culture. Rice cake symbolizes home, a place where rice harvest indicates abundance 188 and blessing. It is often vegetable dyed in red, a color that associates with joy in the festival. It is also often made into different shapes, such as a plum blossom or turtle associated with longevity. There are also foods that are identified by outsiders as traditional foods. Dumplings or stirfried noodles that are popular in the local Chinese restaurants are also among the dishes served at the New Year festival. Although they are not traditional foods from the Taiwanese perspective, the food is becoming a kind of Chinese symbol identified by the non-Taiwanese. Among the foods appearing in the Lunar New Year celebration, family dishes made by mothers were the most important features of cultural representation. Lunar New Year practiced in Taiwan is basically a family reunion and many of the traditions and customs were developed based on family values and social relationships. Transforming such private cultural practices to a public context in Canada, the Taiwanese immigrants chose family dishes as cultural statements. This indicates that Taiwan is a multicultural society where different customs are practiced based on where families come from. For example, there are a wide variety of Chinese regional foods and mixture of Japanese dishes. Japanese colonization and Mainland Chinese from different parts of China who came with the Nationalist government to Taiwan both contribute to the wide variety of Taiwanese cuisine. Chinese regional New Year dishes (such as hotpots and dumpling from Northern China) add flavor and varieties to the traditional Fukenese and Hakka dishes. Decoration (such as patterns of paper cutting and symbols of deities) enriches the artistic expression of Taiwanese New Year scenes. While the Taiwanese Cultural Festival insists on Taiwanese regional cultural performances, Lunar New Year displayed a wide variety of traditions that included cultural practices in China. Tradition embodied in the 189 foods of the Lunar New Year thus present a mixture of symbols identified by the immigrant families and by others outside of the Taiwanese community. "Lunar New Year in Taiwan" and Education Similar to the Taiwanese Cultural Festival, the New Year festival was a learning process for the Taiwanese to search for a common past. The educational aspect of the festival was the most recurring theme from my interviews with the TCCS staff members, members, and parents who participated in Lunar New Year celebrations. The Taiwanese immigrant representation of Lunar New Year at the Canadian local schools was an example of the Taiwanese learning and applying a traditional festival to seek recognition while becoming familiar with the new education environment. The education aspect of the festival was not only for others to understand Taiwanese culture, but also an opportunity for the immigrants themselves and their children to learn about Taiwan. The process of searching for self and communicating to others often involves anxiety and insecurity, yet at the same time a journey of discovery and excitement. In fact, most of the interviewees reflect mainly on the self-educating aspect on the Taiwanese culture, instead of the effect of how New Year is perceived by others. In other words, the Taiwanese parents express an enthusiasm for cultural transmission among the Taiwanese members instead of expecting Canadian audiences to understand their cultural traditions. The journey of discovering the past and its importance to the young generation are two issues to look at through the eyes of the three generations in the Taiwanese community. 190 Rediscovering home For the senior members of the Taiwanese community, New Year celebrations in Canada have brought years of nostalgia and a time for homesickness. The social meaning of the New Year used to be limited to a dinner party within the Taiwanese community. The TCCS's commitment to bring this private social occasion to public schools involved many senior members working on school exhibitions. The selection and preparation of foods and exhibitions drew many members of the immigrant community to the festival. Besides introducing Taiwanese customs to Canada, it brought joyful moments to community members. It was hard work, for sure, yet fun was an essential component of such cultural representation. Because of the planning and preparation, intense cooperative activities tended to bring members together working towards a common goal. It offers an opportunity for senior members to rediscover the social meaning of the New Year and the joyful spirit of the holiday. One of the volunteers, Mrs. Wong, who has been in Vancouver for thirty years, recalled: I left Taiwan in my late twenties, and the New Year was a vague childhood memory. I did not know much about the meanings of New Year, except eating together with families. New Year in Canada used to be phone calls to Taiwan, and dining with other Taiwanese immigrants. It was becoming dull and I saw it as Christmas holidays. But now the New Year starts to bring meanings to me. Partly because I am learning the delicate meanings through reading for artifacts; partly because we volunteers are working together for the project. The other day, there were twelve of us volunteers do paper cuttings at the TCCS office. We talked about personal memories, and the atmosphere became a spirit of a New Year. The New Year used to be families, but now it is extending beyond families to communities, and the exhibition seems to provide a purpose for us to celebrate together. I felt like at home again. I am learning to become who I am by working with my community and celebrating with the others. 191 In my personal observation, although the artifact exhibition and ceremonies are educational which are critical to the TCCS goals, in the real sense, it is food that brings the Lunar New Year celebration together. Folklorists, such as Griffith (1998) and Humphrey (1988), suggest that many of our social gatherings are given meaning by the preparation and sharing of traditional foods and the foods as a symbolic cultural identity throughout the history of human beings. The food refreshes memories and the meaning provokes warm connotations. Mrs. Wong further commented on food preparation for the TCCS ceremony: We are reproducing an event that is memorable through food. I associate the New Year cooking with pleasure at home. The sight of the abundance of food and the aroma of the steaming rice cake trigger warm memories. I hear the fire sizzling, the pot boiling, the clatter of pots and pans, the colors of dishes, and the incense burning at the living room, it always makes me feel something exciting and enjoyable is going to happen. The type of food, the presence of food, and the preparation of food are symbolic for expressing our families care and concern with each other. I think in most of the Taiwanese families, we do not talk about love, but through food, we understand care and love. New Year dinner is a moment of reunion, appreciation, and joy and it is where home is. Home is a motif that Mrs. Wong constantly implied and associated with the New Year Festival. For the immigrants who experienced both home and abroad, there was a constant yearning for a place, or a home. This is particularly apparent among the senior members of the Taiwanese community who were once exiles and have gradually became rooted in Canada. Where is home? How is home imagined and produced? Trinh T. Minh-ha (1994), a Vietnamese feminist scholar, discusses the journey of the self due to contemporary travel and immigration experience. She observed that "home for the exile and the migrant can hardly be more than a transitional or circumstantial place, since the 192 'original' home cannot be recaptured, nor can its presence/absence be entirely banished in the 'remade' home. Thus, figuratively but also literally speaking, traveling back and forth between home and abroad becomes a mode of dwelling "(p. 14-15). In the case of old members of the Taiwanese community, the New Year Festival brought back the memories of the "original" home by engaging members to participate. The "Lunar New Year in Taiwan" changes the ways celebrated by the old members of the Taiwanese community, and it is creating a tradition with input of the new immigrants. Sarup (1996) suggests that the concept of home is tied to the notion of identity and home is where tradition is created and practiced. He comments that places are created and constantly changing and they "should be seen in a historical and economic context" (p.4). This is true of an immigrant community where the effort in transforming the past to the present and dwelling between homes is apparent. It seems to me that home and identity depend on where one situates oneself and how one relates to the surrounding and people. The tradition which immigrants carry with them are always subject to change according to the larger socio-cultural context in which they are located. The increasing immigrant influx and the desire to seek recognition in the Canadian society both contributed to Mrs. Wong's feeling of homecoming. Homecoming is not an everyday experience. It is a heartfelt arrival after a long journey. To the senior members who have left their homeland for decades, "Lunar New Year in Taiwan" brings them out of the immigrant community and connects with others. It is a new tradition to celebrate with others and present in a public sphere and it is a renewed home in which to dwell. 193 Transmitting a New Year tradition Festivals serve as an ideal instrument of cultural transmission to young groups within the ethnic community. Auerbach (1991) describes how the youth are the key figures in festivals and how the elder members of the group act to pass down the values to the younger generation. The New Year Festival not only provides friendship among immigrant families through working together, but also allows the immigrant mothers and children to share a common goal of being included in the new educational environment. As one of the volunteers at the TCCS exhibition, Mrs. Kuo, commented: Sometimes I am caught between my children's education here and the traditional culture we have in Taiwan. The school and youth culture in Canada is so foreign to me, sometimes I am afraid that my children are drifting away from the traditional cultural values and me. I often feel like a stranger here, but my children are going to survive and be accepted in Canada. Sometimes I wonder if the past tradition would hold them back from belonging to this society, but they come home and were excited about gaining attention at school. The attention and appreciation from school made them feel important of our difference. This is why I think the cultural activities at TCCS are very meaningful for our children who came to Canada as young immigrants. The cultural activities are not just programs to show others who we are, it is also for us, the parents and the young, to work together to belong to this society. Hart (1996), based on her research of the Indo-Canadian second generation in Montreal, suggests that the participation and involvement in the ethnic traditional arts helps young members in an ethnic community to integrate into Canadian society. Derived from Berry's (1980) acculturation strategy, her finding suggests that young girls who participate actively in the traditional Indian dance identify more strongly with both their cultural heritage and the host culture than those who do not participate. Through the involvement in traditional arts, young ethnic members therefore take pride and are active 194 as cultural diplomats in intercultural activities. Their involvement in traditional arts contributes to their integration within a multicultural context. Such findings are similar with Sayegh and Lasry (1993) who studied the integration process of Lebanese immigrants. Both studies suggest that participation in traditional arts may be related to strong identification with both heritage and host cultures. Socio-psychological research on immigrants suggests one of the most important aims in multicultural education: to appreciate the self and then reach out to enhance cross-cultural understanding (Banks &Banks, 1989). For ethnic members, traditional arts practiced in cultural festivals not only serves to bolster understanding the self, but also enhances intergroup activities. The public valuing of ethnic traditional arts encourages young members to appreciate their ethnic community. In the case of "Lunar New Year in Taiwan," the meaning of transmitting a New Year tradition is not only an awareness of cultural continuity, but an opportunity to seek recognition as part of the Canadian system. Like the Taiwanese Cultural Festival, participation and recognition from the mainstream society motivates the immigrants to perform their differences. It is by performing and contributing such difference they become part of the Canadian mosaic. This is further confirmed by Mrs. Huang: I think the Delta school principal played the most important part in this festival. He did not offer any technical help, but his support and encouragement made us feel recognized and important. I think we Taiwanese are a rather passive group and most of us were hesitant to reach out to school. Canada has a very different school culture and we are intimidated by the language barrier and shy about making mistakes. Therefore, we care very much about the response from school. The positive encouragement from the principal means much to us volunteers. The attention from the teacher and classmates also means much to my children because they were recognized in the new environment. The festival should pay respect to the principal who mediated well during the 195 process. The recognition of the public is rewarding for us to carry on our life in Canada, and I think the principal is the most important cheerleader. The recognition from the school principal is an example of how the response from the Other often bounces back to influence ethnic community to evaluate its cultural representation. From my interviews with the mothers, the majority of them were excited about the response from schools. The moral support and encouragement from the principal and teachers encouraged Taiwanese immigrant parents actively engaged in such cultural representation. Challenges of "Lunar New Year in Taiwan" at Public Schools Resistance of the New Year Festival Although the stories of Lunar New Year celebration I heard are mostly positive and warm-hearted, the pubic celebration at local elementary schools had its setbacks and challenges. To promoting the understanding of Lunar New Year in Taiwan at school settings, there was resistance from Canadian teachers, other Chinese communities, and the Taiwanese members themselves. According to my interviews with the Taiwanese parents at the Delta elementary school and the TCCS, the major problem in presenting the New Year festival is the politics involved in public cultural representation. Ms. Huang recalled the opposition from some Canadian teachers during the first and second year at the Delta elementary school: Most of the teachers were excited about our proposal to organize a New Year luncheon and exhibition at school. However, there were some of them who were concerned about other children and parents from different ethnic groups. I think these teachers were concerned that we Taiwanese children were gaining too much attention and we seemed to become 196 dominant by bringing such festival into the school. Their opposition sounds like our one-day festival would suppress other ethnic celebrations in a multicultural classroom. The opposition from the teachers is an example of political awareness living in a multicultural society. One famous example is the celebration of Christmas or Easter at North American schools. Since these holidays are related to Christian culture, and many children in the classrooms do not share the same Christian background, there were debates on celebrating these holidays at schools. By celebrating the Christian holidays, other ethnic cultures were neglected and children from different ethnic backgrounds could not relate to these activities. The second resistance is from other Chinese communities in the Lower Mainland. When the TCCS encouraged Taiwanese parents to reach out to their children's schools, most of the Taiwanese parents went to their children's school to make a proposal. Some of the proposals were rejected, and the main opposition was from other Chinese parents in the same school. In the TCCS case, the proposal was usually rejected if the school was populated mostly by Hong Kong Chinese immigrants. Ms. Chen, one of the TCCS staff commented: Our celebration of Lunar New Year is different from Hong Kong Chinese immigrants. The food, the social customs and interpretation of ceremonies differ between us and them. The Cantonese-speaking Chinese immigrants from Hong Kong are the largest Chinese group in the Lower Mainland, and they have their own perception of how the Lunar New Year should be celebrated. We heard criticism from Hong Kong Chinese immigrants that our celebration is nationalistic, that it is a regional culture wanting to claim its importance. 197 The third resistance comes from the Taiwanese new immigrants in the community. Like the Taiwanese Cultural Festival, some new members interpreted the representation of Taiwanese culture as a political claim for an independent Taiwan. The tendency to politicize cultural activities was a common theme reoccurring among Taiwanese immigrants. To discover Taiwan is to trigger past taboos and to claim a political position. Using the name Taiwan in the Lunar New Year, instead of Chinese Lunar New Year, seems to be declaring a Taiwanese separation from the original Chinese culture and betrayal of their Chinese ancestors. Since the TCCS strongly emphasized the revival of Taiwanese history and culture, the TCCS inevitably carried an invisible marking of "rebels". For some Taiwanese new immigrants who are tired of the political burden, or the second generation whose parents immigrated to Taiwan after the second war, the emphasis on the Taiwanese past does not interest them. Ms. Chen stated: Some of the Taiwanese new immigrants thought that we are using these cultural activities to promote an independent political movement. I believe that we mothers are simply trying to share our social customs with local children and teachers. We Taiwanese are maybe burdened by clarifying who we are among ourselves, but to the Canadian teachers, kids and our own children, we are creating happy moments and fun activities. There is no political implication of our homemade dishes and children's games. Lunar New Year in Taiwan is specifically about the Taiwanese way of celebrating a traditional holiday, just like there are other celebrations of Lunar New Year in Hong Kong, Vietnam, or Okinawa. The politicization of the ethnic festival "Lunar New Year in Taiwan" and the Taiwanese Cultural Festival are both public events presented by the TCCS. They both share objectives in promoting an understanding of Taiwanese culture to the mainstream Canadian audiences. According to the participants of the festivals, both indicate that it is a process for the Taiwanese to search 198 for the past. While the Taiwanese Cultural Festival tries to recover a past suppressed by external political forces, the New Year Festival searches for a past that is vanishing due to the rapid modernization and urbanization of the society. By publicly declaring cultural background and identity, both festivals seek to be recognized in the Canadian mosaic. While the Taiwanese Cultural Festival looks for a collective public image that represents the Taiwanese community in Vancouver, the New Year celebration searches for an opportunity for the immigrant families to integrate into the new school environment. The Taiwanese Cultural Festival is a constructed festival organized by the TCCS in that its content is purposely chosen to reveal a contemporary perception of Taiwanese culture and identity. Due to colonial experience and interaction with the other Chinese-descendents in Canada, the Taiwanese Cultural Festival emphasizes its difference from Chinese communities in Canada. By focusing on Taiwanese historical experiences and regional cultures, the immigrant selects content that is particular of its own kind such as its social makeup and contemporary cultures influenced by decades of colonial impact. By excluding the grand Mainland Chinese culture, the Taiwanese assertively choose to represent a Taiwanese identity that underlies a political connotation. The process of interpreting the past is itself reconstructing a tradition, finding a new interpretation to renew a pride for its existence in a multicultural society. "Lunar New Year in Taiwan" is contained in its searching for culture derived from the land and its agricultural past, and deeply sustained in traditional forms such as food and customs. Since the audiences focus on local teachers and children, the festival tries to convey a joyful and entertaining spirit of the traditional festival. By including various forms of food, music, and children's games in Taiwan, the representation of New 199 Year festivity in an educational context that satisfies people's senses and brings about cheerfulness in the celebration. Griffith (1994) reports that the major principle of a successful ethnic festival is emphasis on traditional arts to eliminate the conflict of politics among different ethnic groups coexist in the society (such as among Arab, Israel, and Turkish immigrants). Since food and artifacts reveal a symbolic statement concerning an ethnic group's cultural identity, and cultural preservation, it is vital to limit a celebration through traditional arts instead of a celebration of multiethnic diversity. According to Griffith, an arts festival discourages political confrontation at a public event and avoids "the tension and conflict that are an inevitable byproduct of that diversity" (p.231). The New Year festival organized by Taiwanese women demonstrated the depoliticization of the festival by including different practices in Taiwan, and avoided the political connotation by emphasizing the common need for food and entertainment. The process of searching for the past is to revive a tradition that conveys a feeling of home which creating common memories by working together in Canada. The search for a Taiwanese past invites opposition from others and among the members of the community. The political tension between China and Taiwan and the differences within the Chinese descendants in Canada should be seen in this historical and economic context. No matter asserting a difference in the Taiwanese Cultural Festival or including differences in the New Year Festival, cultural celebration and politics seem always tied within each other for the Taiwanese. It seems like a stigma. However, the festivals provide an ideal world for the Taiwanese immigrants to celebrate a world where there is a right to be different, when there is a time that its particularity is understood, and where there is a place to belong to the Canadian society. 200 Conclusion As a form of cultural representation, the traditional Lunar New Year festival offers a valuable tool for educating about social customs and cultural practices in Taiwan. It is not only promoting cultural understanding, but most importantly, it allowed immigrant families to reach out and participate in the new school environment. The Taiwanese mothers select daily and holiday food and transform its meaning from private family reunion to a public celebration for teachers and children. The process of this transformation involves selection, preparation, and serving; the food and traditional arts became a symbolic communication language. The Lunar New Year allows the food and the exhibition to become a symbolic marker of identity. Interviews and the literature reviewed confirm that the traditional festival is a public relations statement of an iirimigrant community eager to be recognized and to be part of the ethnic mix of Canada. The process of selecting the content for such cultural representation involves a definition of tradition. Due to its educational context, the festival avoids the social, political agenda of cultural diversity and focuses on foods and entertainment. It maybe a mechanical way to understand the Taiwanese community residing in Canada, yet as an expression of an ethnic spirit within a multicultural society, the Lunar New Year festival expressed its ethnic identity in a positive way. 201 Chapter Seven Implications for Multicultural Art Education To understand others is to be knowledgeable; To understand yourself is to be wise. To conquer others is to have strength; To conquer yourself is to be strong. Lao Tzu (Henricks, 1989) The themes of this study center on immigrant community, cultural identity, and ethnic representation. It is located within a specific site in Western Canada, an active center for the production of ethnic arts and culture at this historical moment of non-European immigrant influx. The history of Asian immigrants, such as Southern Chinese, Japanese, and Eastern Indians, and the increasing immigrant influx from other parts of the world, make the Canadian West Coast an exciting place to be at the beginning of the twenty-first century. It is a time when multicultural issues are acknowledged and a place where diasporic communities are expressing themselves through cultural performances. Given this particular time and place, I argue that culture and traditions of ethnic groups are in a process of reconstruction due to post-colonial and immigrant experience in a multicultural society. Public festivals such as the Taiwanese Cultural Festival and the Lunar New Year Festival are self-representations of the Taiwanese immigrant community, heavily weighted with hidden messages. The two festivals are examples which reveal the process of constructing a cultural identity by searching for the past and selecting the arts according to the interpretation of the past. Tradition and culture in this context are therefore selected based on where the immigrants position themselves. 202 Another significant message of ethnic representation is that festivals are a space to not only claim one's cultural identity and difference, but also to clarify stereotypes generated by the Other and to seek public recognition from the receiving society. In other words, ethnic representation not only affirms an ethnic self-identity, but also seeks opportunities to reconstruct a public identity which relates to how the Other labels that ethnicity. This is particularly true in the Taiwanese Cultural Festival in which the group identity is presented through struggles of political positions and publicly declares its difference from Chinese communities in Canada. It thereby challenges mainstream Canadian generalization of a monolithic Chinese ethnicity and how Chinese cultures are perceived by most Canadian audiences. By presenting the contemporary cultural scene and multicultural makeup in Taiwan, it reveals the cosmopolitan side of modern Taiwan and the distinctive locality of the region. It intentionally implies a significant difference from Grand Chinese influence since its content suggests a distinct Taiwanese particularity. While the Taiwanese Cultural Festival presents the arts of Taiwan, the "Lunar New Year in Taiwan" emphasizes the lived experience of immigrant families as they seek attention from the Other in the receiving society. By using the food and entertainment of a traditional festival, "Lunar New Year in Taiwan" is a site where immigrant parents are specifically able to communicate with local elementary schools. The folklorist Feintuch (1988) reminds us that cultural displays within a public context, such as festivals, "are most valuable because of the questions they raise; they are most successful when they lead us to think about the appropriate place of the past in the present, about the maintenance of distinctive identities in the face of the globalization of culture" (p. 6). Indeed, the emerging growth of cultural festivals within a multicultural 203 context can be educational sites that provide opportunities for all members in the society to pose questions and to think about the meaning of cultural identity and issues involved in understanding ethnic arts and traditions. This chapter therefore focuses on the implications of ethnic cultural festivals to the field of multicultural art education. I first share my personal growth as an ethnic insider and multicultural art educator to discuss what I think and what I feel about the Taiwanese immigrant cultural representations. I then discuss this study's contribution to and implication for both the multicultural art education research community and art educators. It is my belief that cultural festivals are one of the major cultural expressions of ethnic communities in a multicultural society, and that they play an important educational role for multicultural art educators to think about our current practice and understanding of ethnic arts and culture. Personal Growth As a participant observer going into her own community to study, I feel that I am walking in the history of my time: the end of dictatorship and the one-party state in Taiwan, the conflict between Taiwanese autonomy and Chinese political control, the trend of Taiwanese emigrants scattering around the English-speaking worlds, and a quest of a Taiwanese cultural identity to be recognized by the Other. Throughout the research, I felt totally engaged in a struggle of emotional, intellectual, and political challenge. It is a struggle because a political position regarding the past and present relationship between the Chinese and the Taiwanese is such a sensitive issue that it prevails everywhere I go. I was first excited about the cultural activities in the Taiwanese immigrant community, and 204 wanted to know why the immigrants chose the arts for educating community members. Understanding that the arts existed in a vulnerable position in the Taiwanese education system, I was impressed with the active engagement of immigrants in arts festivals. Yet the more I involved myself in the community, the more I found that the immigrants were engaged in what cultural theorists call "the myths of nation." The lack of international recognition and the Canadian general ignorance of Chinese problems, urged the Taiwanese immigrants to voice their existence in the multicultural society. I understood the eagerness and political demand, yet the political history and sentiments could become so overwhelming that sometimes I found I was caught in a passionate whirl of nationalism. As an ethnic insider researcher, I found it challenging to be emotionally belonging to a part of the community while intellectually trying to see the whole picture. Opinions on where one belongs and should belong are extremely emotional, and it was a struggle to differentiate my subjective political stand from my intellectual attempt to analyze. Sometimes the immigrant stories made me sad about an uncertain identity prevailing in the community, though I was aware that the immigrants were the educational products of the repressive Taiwanese past. Sometimes I felt the sense of powerlessness of the immigrants when they talked about how the Chinese treated the Taiwanese, especially in international political relations. Stories of maladjustment, loss, and nostalgia sometimes affected me as I reflected on my own experiences on the university campus. Some days, the disadvantage of language and the socializing culture would make it seem too much to deal with and I would find that I shared a victimized mentality with some of the immigrants whom I had encountered in the community. I was angry about the 205 hierarchical structure of human society and I was tired of being a foreigner, a newcomer, an Asian, and a woman. Yet it was also these emotionally draining experiences that led me to the readings on cultural studies. The readings on power, representation, and ethnic relations provided an intellectual explanation of what I saw and felt in the immigrant community. Authors such as Hall and Sarup spoke to me on diaspora experiences and cultural representations in the Western world. I also related to writers such as bell hooks and T. T. Minh-ha when they shared the struggles of women of color. Through the silent dialogue with the authors, I gradually looked at these experiences as a blessing and found that my identity and the past could be where I drew strength to make a contribution in the present. In my eyes, the Taiwanese immigrants form a community of mobile wanderers with the status of near-refugees. I use the term not as a legal one (the immigrants are far from refugee status at the material level); I am referring to the journey between language zones and cultural borders. I am also referring to why many of the immigrants move to a new country due to the uncertain future of their homeland and hope for a better environment for succeeding generations. I am not a political exile like the early Taiwanese immigrants, or the new astronaut immigrant families, but I share what it is to be far from the environment and language that have formed one. I also understand the insecurity of being a foreigner and leaving the past behind to restart a life. Psychologically, the Taiwanese immigrants are no different from traditional refugees who arrive and struggle as underdogs in a North American society. Yet despite the heavy cloud of anxieties and uncertainties, I saw twinkles in the eyes of some immigrants and mothers. Through their enthusiasm, I witnessed the power of music and cultural traditions 206 that touched the hearts of the far away from home. I saw the immigrants reinterpreting and recreating a tradition for themselves to get rooted in Canada. Like millions of people who are searching for their roots and looking back to where they are from, they are relearning their roots and hope to gain a renewed pride in cultural interaction with others. During this process of searching for the past, the arts are a warm place for the wanderers to retreat, to lift up their spirits. Through teaching the arts, people can express the evolution of culture while also creating one's cultural identity. Individuals can also come to understand the politicization of culture and art, and use this awareness in the creation of identity. It is also a space in which, as art educators, we can contribute to socio-cultural, political, and educational change. Implications for Multicultural Art Education Cultural changes among non-Western cultures I have come a long way in telling a story about the Taiwanese immigrant cultural festivals and their quest for a publicly recognized cultural identity. From my interviews with Taiwanese immigrants and participants of Taiwanese cultural festivals, I found that the festivals are not only a cultural statement and an educational means, but also a political action. The festivals, like a piece of artwork, have their historical and social context. Taiwanese post-colonial cultural experiences and their differences from those of Chinese communities in Canada are critical to interpret the cultural production of this immigrant community. Cultural productions, such as festivals produced by the Taiwanese community, reflect how the Taiwanese look at themselves and wish to be seen by 207 mainstream society. When looking at ethnic festivals, it is therefore important to address the historical background of an ethnic community, as in the relationship between a collective identity and the arts performed. In the Taiwanese case, post-colonial Chinese diaspora experiences suggest the Taiwanese organizing and constructing a cultural identity through selecting arts to present themselves. Among various performing arts and art exhibitions of the Taiwanese Cultural Festival and Lunar New Year, the role of traditional arts plays a critical part in representing the Taiwanese community in Canada. Traditional arts, however, do not coincide with the Chinese arts as they appear in our Asian art instruction packages, nor in numerous bibliographies suggested from Asian art books. Through participating in the process of decision-making for cultural festivals in the community, I took the position that tradition is constructed by the community members; part of the repressed Taiwanese tradition is chosen to be remembered, just as some parts of the Chinese cultural influence are purposely forgotten. Therefore, traditional arts need to be interpreted differently according to historical and social context. It is from this concept of constructed culture and selected tradition that I want to call attention to the multicultural art education field. I drew upon post-colonial literature as a framework to explain the gap between traditional culture defined by the West and an evolving culture in an immigrant community. The concept of culture and tradition plays a fundamental role for us to teach about the cultures of our students in the classroom. The impact of current academic discussions on culture, such as post-Marxist theories of ideology, British cultural theories like those of Williams and Hall, and various feminist 208 positions, have transformed our way of thinking about culture. The concept of culture is no longer a static body of objects and customs, but a process. Culture as a process reveals several issues for art educators to think about our own practice on ethnic arts and traditions. First, ethnic culture cannot be understood simply by shared descent. Culture in multicultural art education is affiliated with ethnic artistic traditions, and such culture is generally considered as one ethnicity (e.g., Chinese, Hispanic, African). However, as this study indicates, Chinese descendants residing in Canada do not share one Chinese culture. While Canadian Chinatowns preserve a hundred-year-old Cantonese Chinese working-class culture, the Taiwanese immigrants brought with them a post-colonial experience mixed with Japanese, Chinese, and American-capitalist influence. The Chinese-Canadian community that has integrated through the socialization of the Canadian public school system does not share commonality with the Taiwanese immigrants who are still struggling with language. The Hong Kong Chinese do not have emotional ties to Taiwan and do not share a political struggle of Taiwanese sovereignty. In other words, each immigrant group came with its specific historical, socio-economic, and political experiences. Though often categorized as one Chinese ethnicity of shared common descent, each group expresses its cultural identity by experiences brought, and each chose its tradition to live by. Cultural self-representation generally indicates such selected tradition. Ethnic culture, therefore, requires a careful analysis of contemporary cultural changes and political struggles. Second, culture as process shifts our notion of culture as a body of artistic activities and social customs. On discussing how post-colonial studies apply to multicultural and antiracial education, Donald and Rattansi (1992) suggest that: 209 Culture is not limited to religious beliefs, communal rituals or shared traditions. On the contrary, it begins with the way that such manifest phenomena are produced through systems of meaning, through structures of power, and through the institutions in which these are deployed... [such that] culture is no longer understood as what expresses the identity of a community. Rather, it refers to the processes, categories and knowledge through which communities are defined as such: that is, how they are rendered specific and differentiated, (p. 4) The authors point to the very weakness of superficial cultural display in our common practice of celebrating cultural diversity. Such manifestations of culture which are restricted to content fail to address the hierarchies of power structures in a multicultural society. Ideally, a celebration of cultural diversity embodies the ideas and assumptions of different ethnic and racial groups that constitute Canada. Yet its form of celebration as a public display of "3 D" — dinner, dress, and dance— is strongly criticized from social and political perspectives. For example, Fleras and Elliott (1992) claim that ethnic culture celebrated as a form of apolitical art and entertainment masks contradiction among social groups, and only serves a decorative function. Canadian writer Bissoondath (1994) criticized such display as presenting a superficiality and generalization of ethnic cultures. The attempt to reduce a broad aspect of lived experiences to a public display itself risks being stereotyped, or "Disneyfied." The tendency to portray culture as a commodity that can be displayed, performed, and admired, reinforces the tourist expectation of exotic pleasure. Viewing culture through the fleeting moments of festivals does not serve the function of understanding ethnic groups, nor does it begin to initiate social change. The educational practice based on culture as a content art display has also been criticized by multicultural art educators (e.g., Delacruz, 1996; Desai, 1995; Garber, 1995). Hart (1993) 210 points out that the concept of ethnic culture and tradition is the key element in the distortion of cultural representation between the West and other cultures. She posits that the connotative meanings of tradition defined by the Western art world serves as a tool for stereotyping the differences from the standard of modernist Western cultural productions. Traditional non-Western art is to be considered ahistorical, unchanged over the centuries, frozen and timeless. The notion of Chinese culture, for example, is constructed by what Pinar (Pinar et al., 1995) calls the "Western gaze," which selects the exotic cultural traditions that represent the opposite of many of the canons of Western cultures. In North American institutions, Chinese studies had mostly been research enterprises conducted by Western scholars with reference to a body of culture treated as a static entity. Much of the resulting research focuses on Chinese antiquity and remains detached from contemporary social and political struggles. It is as though Chinese culture remains unchanged despite modern socio-economic and political turmoil. Chow (1991), an active scholar of comparative literature in North American academe, strongly criticized this romanticized Chinese cultural tradition perpetuated in North American institutions. Allied to this Western definition of Chinese cultural tradition, contemporary Chinese artistic expression, that synthesizes Western influences through colonization in mixed cultural forms, remains unrecognized. Without the awareness of how Chinese difference is constructed according to the Western concept of Chinese cultures, Chinese artistic and intellectual activities would always remain as different from Western arts. Examining the case of Taiwanese immigrants within a Chinese diasporic context in Canada, I firmly believe that many non-Western cultures are going through rapid 211 cultural changes due to the process of decolonization and modernization. Historical contacts with European imperialists and socio-political struggles have changed millions of people's lives and cultural identities in the world. The experience of immigration also plays a major part of reconstructing people's cultural identities. Like many art educators who advocate the sensitivity teaching non-Western cultures, I would like to suggest that the teaching of cultures, especially non-Western cultures which were shattered due to the contact with imperialism, has to be located within a specific time and space. How do we translate the concept of culture as process into art practice? From my perspective as both an immigrant and an art educator, multicultural art education as a concept is like opening the hearts of the proud and the successful to acknowledge there are alternative ways of making sense of the world. Resistance is understandable because the eyes of the proud are usually high up in the clouds, for they have the luxury of living in a world that, according to their rules, others should conform to. Thus, the recognition of the existence of others is a brave first step. However, inclusion or recognition of the Other does not equal understanding or respect. On teaching multiculturalism through literature, Shankar (1996) comments that: merely choosing to teach transnational or multicultural literature does not, automatically, contribute to either the emancipation of minorities, or to better understanding of or respect for international cultures in the (by now old) "New World Order."... It is not only important what texts are taught, but the teacher's subject position when teaching literature written by and/or about Others, (p. 114) Like Shankar, I value the openness and honesty of the human mind as the major agent for change and also of change. If sincerity does not prevail, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing as it might reproduce other forms of stereotypes. Like the African-212 American critical theorist hooks (1994), I see that one important factor for reaching social equality comes from the self-actualization of educators who play the role of helper, or healer. It is therefore important for teachers to examine their conscience and be aware of their responsibility to gain knowledge of a broader historical and socio-cultural context while engaging with ethnic cultures. I do not mean that art teachers should be responsible for knowing about all of the cultural groups in their classrooms. Instead of being trapped in the overwhelming information overload of various ethnic cultures (including European ethnic cultures), I suggest that the conceptual shift from a traditional culture definition to culture as a process is the crucial first step for art educators who are interested in multicultural issues. The understanding of how power has been structured between Western and non-Western cultures, cultural politics within ethnicity, and their impact on ethnic cultural identity are critical to explaining culture as a process. Through true realization of how ethnic cultures are constructed based on the "norm" of mainstream exotic expectation and how difference affects our teaching and understanding of ethnic arts, we can take action to develop strategies to understand students' ethnic backgrounds. The significance of self-realization on the part of teachers is further confirmed by Irwin, who suggests that art teachers' cultural experiences are themselves invaluable in multicultural understanding. Irwin (1998) claims that all art educators are not only cultural translators and pedagogues, but also cultural performers who teach about art as cultural performance. On sharing her research in an aboriginal village in Southern Taiwan, she reflected on various cultural resources that formed her identities and how art and life could be a united whole. Based on her research on aboriginal cultures in various parts of the world, Irwin positioned herself in a social-cultural and politically sensitive 213 multicultural art practice. As a committed art educator, Irwin encourages others to reflect upon one's travel experiences and identities in order to understand students' cultural experiences. Besides our conceptual shift on ethnic cultures, I also see ethnic community as a powerful resource for multicultural art education. This study shows that external social interaction with the Other in a multicultural society plays a significant role in how ethnic minorities construct a cultural identity. Since the festivals are to seek recognition from the mainstream society and to become part of a Canadian cultural mosaic, how mainstream society looks at the culture and tradition of the immigrants also determines the construction of the festivals. In the case of the Lunar New Year Festival, the Taiwanese community took the initiative to develop partnership with local elementary schools. The recognition and participation from local schools brought more energy to encourage immigrant parents to address multicultural and cross-cultural experience. As this study indicated, cultural festivals serve as a text/curriculum for immigrants in search of a cultural identity within Chinese diasporic context and negotiating a cultural space within the Canadian multicultural society. The ethnic community shares a mutual interest with schools in educating children about cultural traditions and ethnic pride. Cultural production initiated from the community offers a cultural performance for us to explore. Going to a festival is like reading a book or going to the movies; everyone can take as much as or as little as they want. The major character of the festival is participation, for whether in food, activities, or conversations, participation creates a common sharing or memories for others who want to know more about the culture. Ethnic community is an 214 educational site where an encounter with other cultures can introduce new worlds to respect. Having examined issues encountered in the Taiwanese Cultural Festival and The Lunar New Year Festival, I suggest that cultural festivals themselves provide a valuable educational resource that encourages multicultural understanding. For ethnic members within a larger society, the process of being involved in an ethnic festival serves as an educational instrument to face the past, rekindle, know the self, and integrate into the host culture. Cultural festivals have different meanings for ethnic groups and the dominant group. I suggest that cultural festivals should not simply serve to help students to recognize and appreciate differences. There is also a need to study the social, historical context of cultural presentations from an insider's perspective. It is the bridge between the two, I believe, which will create a true partnership between schools and ethnic communities. Conclusion and Suggestions for Further Research Most places in Asia, like Africa, are filled with a history of colonization and are still confronting the imposition of Western cultural norms at the present time. In Taiwan, for example, students have to learn the history, geography, and language of both China and the West. In art, the concept of art and aesthetics embraces the Western canons. Traditional Confucian art expression, such as zither, chess, calligraphy, and ink painting, barely survive in schools as marginal extracurricular activities. With the influence of mass media from the Western world, students can easily identify and recognize Western 215 painters, such as Michelangelo or Van Gogh, yet can hardly name a single Chinese painter. Imitation of Western cultures, including European languages (especially English) is a status symbol and is considered as a prerequisite for social success. Although the economic achievement in the past 20 years has brought the Taiwanese to regain confidence lost in a shameful political past, Western values and cultural norms are still overwhelming. I believe that in most non-Western countries which share a similar path with Taiwan, the notion of cultural identity is part of an on-going process of struggle to adjust the power relations between the local and the West. It is thus important for art educators in North America to acknowledge the hybridity of contemporary cultures shaping the cultural context of the students who come from non-Western societies. By emphasizing contemporary context, I do not mean to discard traditional ethnic arts and advocate the teaching of contemporary non-Western art. My purpose is to question the simplified recognition of cultural differences and call the attention of art educators to such an awareness. If North American art educators determine that non-Western art matters for students, then responsibility for understanding the social-cultural context of the students (such as the mixture of Westernization and locality) is much more important than including the content of traditional arts. Otherwise, the simplified and generalized information provided in the instructional packages for teachers is like a monthly visit to a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown. A taste of ethnic cuisine does provide the exotic flavor of a culture, but it is too shallow an educational process for understanding and appreciating the culture. Multicultural art education, like many other subject matters in Humanities and Social Science, is a study based on thorough scholarly analysis and contemplation, enabling one to learn and to 216 teach people how to understand more about each other. For many non-Western ethnic groups, cultural identity serves to re-adjust the lost self in order to survive in the present and to provide hope for the next generation. For many mainstream art educators, celebrating cultural pluralism is necessary for a harmonious society. Both not only require one's passion and intellect, but also a sincere attitude and a lifelong commitment. Through the examples provided, I hope the majority of art educators can develop a wider lens to look at non-Western immigrants/students and their cultural histories, which are complicated by going through the process of Westernization and immigration. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, we witness a world where migration on a massive scale goes hand in hand with globalization. Economic inequalities within and between nations, people's desire to seek opportunities to improve their lives and military tension between political systems are among some of the factors of migrations. These population movements are setting a new political economy and social climate in a world characterized by increasing transnational/multinational capital. This dissertation attempts to explore immigration issues within the Chinese diaspora movement to Canada. I focus on the political quest for recognition manifested in the cultural festivals, and how an awakening post-colonial identity transformed itself into a site of culture education. Through both the Taiwanese Cultural Festival and the Lunar New Year Festival, I argue that cultural identity of post-colonial subjects are constantly in the process of negotiation and reconstruction within ethnicity. Throughout the research, there is also an emerging concept of gender. The significance of women's role in immigration movements is gradually gaining its attention from cultural theorists, among them Castles and Miller (1993), who suggest that women predominate in a 217 number of refugee movements. Castles and Miller point out that women have become emblematic figures of contemporary massive dislocation and migration. Women comprise a growing segment of migrations in different regions and all types of migrations. The role of women in the organization of cultural representation could therefore be another focus for further research. This study focuses exclusively on why and how the immigrants see themselves and wish to be seen through cultural festivals. In other words, the study provides a view within the studied immigrants for Canadian educators to understand the specific context of Taiwanese immigrants in Vancouver. The description and interpretation of the Taiwanese cultural festivals are but a starting point to look at a local immigrant cultural representation. There is a need to extend this view to the educational process of how the ethnic festivals are perceived by other ethnic communities and Canadian audiences. Responses in public spaces and the interaction within a larger Canadian context therefore could be another focus for further research. 218 References Abrahams, R. ( 1980). Folklore. In S. Thernstrom (Ed.), Harvard encyclopedia of American ethnic groups (pp. 370-379). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Abu-Lughod, L. (1991). Writing against culture. In R. G. Fox (Ed.), Recaptureing anthropology: Working in the present (pp. 137-162). Santa Fe, NM: School of American Research Press. Adam-Moodley K. (1995). 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