Raising Blasian Kids Part 2: A Conversation with Rolla Chng and Eileen Lin-Goutier Ep 95

21 September 2020

A note from Talking Taiwan host Felicia Lin:

 

This week’s episode of Talking Taiwan features part two of my conversation with Eileen Lin-Goutier and Rolla Chng about raising Blasian kids. This was definitely the longest interview that I’ve done for Talking Taiwan to date, which is why we split it up into two parts. In this episode, Eileen talks about the Facebook group for Taiwanese Moms with Blasian kids, and Rolla talks about her son and daughter’s cross-country road trip and the different concerns that she, their father Frantz and their uncle Tim had.

 

While much of conversation focused on parenting, we also got into a discussion about racism, the understanding of the Black experience amongst Taiwanese and Taiwanese Americans, and human rights.

 

About Eileen Lin-Goutier:

 

Eileen was born and raised in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and moved to U.S. when she was in high school. While at the University of Virginia she founded the Taiwanese Language Club and served as the president of Taiwanese Student Association. She later kicked off her nonprofit career by working at the Formosan Association of Public Affairs (FAPA) for three years (2010-2013) managing FAPA’s Young Professionals Group (FAPA-YPG). Eileen has also served on the board of Taiwanese American Association of America’s (TAA) Greater Washington Chapter for several years by helping to plan local cultural events and Taiwanese American Heritage Week. Her nonprofit career was been guided by her belief in fighting for social justice, equity and human rights. Eileen met her Haitian American husband, Edwin through a love for food, family and passion for social and environmental causes. She currently lives in Washington D.C. with her family.

 

About Rolla Chng:

 

Rolla Chng was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. While at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, she established the Taiwanese American Students Club (TASC) and helped to found the Intercollegiate Taiwanese American Students Association (ITASA). Rolla has been involved with the Taiwanese American Conference- East Coast (TAC/EC) in the 90s and early 2000s. She organized the second generation program for TAC/EC in 1998 and 2003, and has been a strong supporter of TAC/EC’s new iteration, Taiwanese American Next Generation (TANG). She raised her Haitian-Taiwanese American daughter and son in Baltimore City with their father, Master Frantz Cadet, owner of Cadet Martial Arts and Fitness. She began teaching math in Baltimore City Public Schools and community college when her children reached school age. After her children graduated from high school, she returned to her pre-family career of civil engineering.

 

About Rolla’s children:

 

Her daughter, Uiseng Francois, is on pandemic hiatus from her New York City gig playing a Jet in the Broadway revival of West Side Story. She is a second year BFA student in dance at Peabody Institute, and is currently continuing her studies, virtually, as she travels cross country. Rolla’s son Evains traveled with Uiseng during the first week of her cross-country trip, before entering his second year of a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.

 

Here’s a little preview of what we talked about in this podcast episode:

 

  • The Facebook group for Taiwanese Moms with Blasian kids that Eileen is a member of and what she’s learned from it
  • Topics commonly discussed in the Facebook group for Taiwanese Moms with Blasian kids
  • Skin colorism
  • How Eileen and Rolla balance educating their kids about both of their cultural backgrounds
  • How Rolla wanted to make sure that her kids were exposed to the Taiwanese language at an early age and that they visited Taiwan
  • How Eileen plans to teach her kids Taiwanese with the help of her parents and by planning to take them to Taiwanese school
  • The importance of language in understanding and connecting to one’s culture
  • Thoughts on the term “color blind” and raising kids to be “color blind”
  • People’s different reactions to using the term “Black”
  • Incidents that Rolla’s kids have had with the police or authorities
  • How Rolla’s kids feel about the police
  • The advice that Frantz would give his and Rolla’s kids and how it is different from Rolla
  • The concerns that Tim, Rolla’s brother and Frantz her partner have about Uiseng and Evains’ cross-country trip
  • How Rolla and Frantz co-parent
  • The importance of teaching your kids negotiation skills
  • Asian Black relations
  • The racism that Asians have toward Blacks
  • The understanding of the Black experience amongst Taiwanese and Taiwanese Americans
  • Minority relations
  • How doing the right things and having an education does not exempt you from experiencing racism
  • Advice for parents of Blasian kids
  • Rolla’s advice for parents and her parenting philosophy
  • What the job of a parent is in raising their kids

 

Related Links:

 

Intercollegiate Taiwanese American Students Association (ITASA): https://itasa.org/

 

Taiwanese American summer camps and conferences:

 

Taiwanese American Next Generation (TANG): http://tangeneration.org/

 

Taiwanese American Foundation (TAF): https://www.tafworld.org/

 

Formosan Association of Public Affairs (FAPA): https://fapa.org/

 

Formosan Association of Public Affairs- Young Professionals Group (FAPA- YPG) on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/fapaypg

 

FAPA- YPG LA/OC Chapter Facebook Group: https://facebook.com/groups/54085939954

 

FAPA- YPG NY/NJ Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/nynjypg

 

FAPA- YPG San Francisco/Bay Area Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/fapaypgsf

 

Taiwanese Association of America (TAA): https://www.taa-usa.org/

Taiwanese American Conference- East Coast (TAC/EC): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiwanese_American_Conference

 

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