Fri, Nov 12, 2004 - Page 8 News List

Welcome multiculturalism

By Doug Tygar

I read with alarm your article "Life Not Easy for Foreign Spouses" by Cody Yiu (Nov. 9, page 2). The quote attributed to Kathy Ke, "These foreign spouses, who are often the main caregivers at home, have little idea about how to raise their children," is at best absurd. After all, Taiwan is not the only place in the world where children are raised. And it was disturbing to see the word "interracial" (rather than "intercultural") used to describe marriages that are overwhelmingly to a spouse from Vietnam, the Philippines or other countries in east Asia and southeast Asia.

To understand how offensive these sentiments are, consider what the reaction would be in Taiwan if a US or European expert were to make similar denigrating remarks about Taiwanese immigrants.

I was particularly disappointed that the article mentioned only challenges in intercultural families, and failed to mention the significant advantages of multiculturalism for Taiwan at a time when the country seeks to be more international and hopes for greater international recognition. One hopes that Taiwan would welcome those seeking to make a new life -- much as those from Taiwan hope to be welcomed when they travel and live in other countries.

Doug Tygar

Berkeley, California

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