Taiwan is my home, forever and ever
(Mo Aifang and her family)
(Mo Aifang and her family)
Hi, everyone! I'm Mo Aifang from Indonesia and also the third generation of overseas Chinese. I'm a new immigrant living in Taiwan.
In 1998, anti-Chinese sentiment had begun. My father thought Indonesian was not safe anymore, so he sent me to Malaysia for studying when I was 18. Then I went to Singapore and have worked in Taiwan until now.
In the last two months of my job, my boss and I visited my husband, and then I got appreciated by my mother-in-law who introduced me to her son. My husband doesn't smoke, drink, or gamble, and he doesn't have other bad habits. That's why I like him. After my job was expired, I went back to Indonesia. I didn't expect my husband to follow me to Indonesia, but destinies are just magically amazing. I finally decided to live in Taiwan for marriage.
After coming to Taiwan for marriage, life was not as easy as I expected. My mother-in-law has cancer, and my father-in-law has hit by a stroke before. My husband's big family having 11 members turned me into a free housekeeper to serve the whole family. This kind of life was not what I wanted, but there was no turning back. Three years passed, and in the third year of my marriage, my mother-in-law passed away. This was also the first time, I started trying to put myself out there to try things for myself. I met Director Huang Muyan, who is now the president of Dong-an Elementary School(東安國小）, in Chinese class. She encouraged me to join in voluntary services at the Immigrant Center for Learning of Zhongzhen Elementary School(忠貞國小). I was also invited by the director to play in the "Niang re ziwei"(娘惹滋味), Life Story series of Chinese Public Television. I didn't expect this show to make me stand on the stage of the Golden Bell Award, becoming Taiwan's first new resident movie. I didn't expect this show to make me become the first immigrant Best Actress of the Golden Bell Award. My life now is totally different from before. My family is very happy, and my daughter is already 13 years old. I've also played in many shows, opened a cake shop, and hired some new immigrant staff.
Within these 13 years, being an actress is my happiest time. I didn't expect that I could really play. I did some performances at a temple when I was a child, so I'm very familiar with doing performances. After coming to Taiwan for marriage and joining in several dramas, although I might be kind of famous among new immigrants, I still remind myself of keeping going on for more opportunities to prove myself to be an outstanding woman. No matter where I live, as long as I work hard, the stage belongs to me. I'm honored to meet a lot of senior actors and actresses who treat me very well, take care of me, and has taught me a lot of acting skills. I've learned how to get along with everyone and build close relationships. Those experiences also broadened my visions, and I gradually understood if I'd like to succeed, I needed to improve myself to make myself shine. I often told directors that I'm not an acting professional, but I have a great interest in performances. If there is something that I don't know, please tell me and teach me. I'm really willing to learn. I'm grateful for having those opportunities to become who I am today and also hoping to make contributions back to society in the future.
Four years ago, I heard many new immigrant friends say "I can't find a job because I don't have skills". Every time I heard it, I felt really bad. Skills can be obtained through learning. So I asked them, "what can you do?", and they answered, "nothing but cooking". I said, "cooking is a skill! Let's improve our cooking skills."
(Mo Aifang and her friends sell their handmade cakes to factories that hire migrant workers and brokers and post photos of cakes on Facebook, and their handmade cakes have become popular among people)
(Mo Aifang and her friends sell their handmade cakes to factories that hire migrant workers and brokers and posts photos of cakes on Facebook, and their handmade cakes have become popular among people)
Later, I started creating Indonesian cakes and cuisines with those friends. Just four years ago, I opened a cake studio. We were not professional at the very beginning and lacked some specific materials which were not sold in Taiwan. I even went back to Indonesian to buy kitchenwares and materials that I needed. Taiwan's unstable weather also brought us many troubles. A cake made of the same materials in summer may taste different in Winter. Thanks to these experiences, we conquered it. However, we met the second problem. Cakes were delicious, but who we sold to? We then sent boxes of handmade cakes to factories or brokers that hired migrant workers for free. Later, our cakes became popular among migrant workers, and our business has become stable and better. I've also posted photos of cakes on Facebook, and many netizens were attracted to buy cakes from us. An Indonesian shop also wanted to work with us. We make, and they sell. We jointly established a small factory that has received many orders so far.
What I'd like to share is, "one's capability is unlimited". As long as we strive, learn, make use of resources, grasp all possible possibilities, and build ourselves with perseverance, we all will be successful in the future.
Story by Mo Aifang
Edited by Huang Xiuting