Experiencing Self-identity Exploration, Li, Yun-Qi, Second-generation Immigrant, Devoted Herself to Social Work NGO

A photo of Li, Yun-Qi (李芸綺) in Vietnam  Photo provided by Li, Yun-Qi (李芸綺)
A photo of Li, Yun-Qi (李芸綺) in Vietnam Photo provided by Li, Yun-Qi (李芸綺)
Taiwan Immigrants' Global News Network】Editor/ Tim Wu (吳宗翰)

"Why didn't she live a happy life after coming a long way to Taiwan?" Li, Yun-Qi (李芸綺), who is a student of the Department of Social Welfare at National Chung Cheng University, visited her family in Vietnam many times with her Vietnamese mother. Seeing the rare, relaxed expression of her mother which always reminds her of what her mother always warns: "Don't let people know that your mother is Vietnamese, it will make people look down on you." As a second-generation immigrant, Li, Yun-Qi couldn't help but think about self-identity.

Li, Yun-Qi is currently in her early 20s, which is rather a young age, but she has already started to pay attention to social issues and has joined NGO groups. She often asks herself, "What kind of expectations does the public has to the life journey of the second-generation immigrants?" “Is it because I used to be discriminated for my mother’s identity? Or I learn mother’s mother tongue, follow the New Southbound Policy, and become an important talent for the country’s economic development?”

A photo of Li, Yun-Qi (third from left)with friends in Vietnam Photo provided by Li, Yun-Qi (李芸綺)

In Li, Yun-Qi’s eye, her mother is a capable and lively woman, “but I could never really understand her feelings even I’ve always considered myself to be the closest one to her.” Li, Yun-Qi, who is the bridge between her mother and grandmother in the family, did not gradually understand the difference in language until she was in high school, which made her mother's life in Taiwan predicaments.

She recalled what her mother often warned, "Don't tell others that you are Vietnamese." Even though Li, Yun-Qi always told her mother not to worry, she still emphasized it repeatedly. "Looking back, my mother's cognition may be originated from the negative feelings she experienced in Taiwanese society, and she doesn't want me to repeat the same mistakes."

Li, Yun-Qi began to focus on social issues and participated in NGO groups, includes the "Khuôn viên văn hoá Việt Nam (越在嘉)" the "Listener (聽你說)." Not only did she start to sort out her identity, but also wrote articles and followed the team to conduct surveys, in which she observed that social work has not been valued in Taiwan, and the number of people in it is inadequate. "And the social work of new immigrants lacks more due to the language barrier."

She has decided that by learning Vietnamese, the distance with her mother and family in Vietnam can be shorten, she looks forward to having the opportunity to participate in social work for new immigrants through language in the future.

“There are so many complex feelings intertwined in the self-identity of the second-generation immigrants that I have yet to figure out. But taking a different perspective of it, if the identity of the second-generation immigrant was given by my mother which means it is an irreversible necessity of life. Maybe the only thing I can do is to become my mother's harbor and have my mother’s back in Taiwan.”

Perhaps, the identity is still confused, but Li, Yun-Qi deeply knows that she wants to know her mother and Vietnam better. In terms of the expression of love, " o me or to my mother, nationality doesn’t matter."

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