|I didn't create this. It came from somewhere on Facebook.|
Here ya go.
And I will say that what I'm going to write below somehow feels different from the perspective of having permanent residency, something I didn't have at this time last year (this time last year I was actually in Turkey). I'm not Taiwanese but I am sufficiently invested in this country to feel as though it's worth it to say something.
Once again, I won't be celebrating "National Day" (well, I will, in the spirit of Dr. Sun Yat Sen founding the Republic of China so I could have a day off - thanks Dr. Sun!). It's not "Taiwan's birthday" - nothing of any note happened in Taiwan on October 10th, 2011. Maybe Old Chen took his chickens to market. Maybe District Governor Fukuda of the Japanese colonial government heard a petition from a local resident. Maybe Miss Lin and Mr. Li fell in love - but nothing really happened on that day in Taiwan. Taiwan wasn't under Chinese rule then, and the founding of the Republic of China did not reach these shores on that day.
If someone wants to say "Happy birthday ROC", that's fine with me - if they want to celebrate an imported Chinese holiday in Taiwan, which is not a part of China, well, it's a free country (country!) and they're free to do so.
But it is not - absolutely not - "Taiwan's" birthday.
I'm not terribly interested, however, in celebrating a holiday imported from a different country by the people who instigated the White Terror and martial law, and I am not interested in celebrating the continued rule of their sons. I know, I know, the push these days is to let the past be the past and to move forward together. Generally I agree with that, but the KMT hasn't done much for Taiwan recently - despite doing a hell of a lot for China - so I still see no reason to support them. Besides, as someone whose own family survived a genocide not terribly dissimilar from the White Terror (the Armenian genocide, which the Turkish government has yet to recognize, let alone apologize for), it's something that does arouse emotion in me and best not forgotten, even if the only path forward is to move past it.
When Taiwan has a birthday - when it is an internationally-recognized independent nation and has a National Day that falls on the day of such a declaration, I will run out into the street, and sing and dance and say "Happy birthday Taiwan!" For now, no.
I know, I know, there'll be at least one comment coming in (which I won't publish) that will be along the lines of "stupid foreigner, go home" or "you don't know anything". All I can say is that I may not be Taiwanese, but I love Taiwan. I love Taiwan. I don't really care about the Republic of China, but I love Taiwan. I can't say why (although I've tried), but I do. I've lived here for almost exactly six years, and I am now an official permanent resident - for reals, y'all, I paid my fee and everything, it's done - so I do have the standing to say that I am invested in Taiwan and my life here. I'm not leaving anytime soon. I'm not here for beer&women (not all expats who come and stay for two years and then leave are, but enough of them are that they've kind of got a bad reputation, and a not-entirely-undeserved one, although it's not nearly as bad as China or Korea). I have local ties and local friends whom I care about. As such, I may not be Taiwanese but my opinion is relevant. Maybe not as relevant as someone who was born here and has ancestry here, but still relevant.
So, uh, happy day off everyone.