Pageant winner encourages Taiwanese-Americans to write ‘Taiwanese’ in census

By Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Mon, Aug 12, 2019 - Page 3

Sissi Lin (林以心), who was crowned Miss Taiwanese-American on Aug. 3, urged Taiwanese-Americans to write “Taiwanese” as their race in the US Census on April 1 next year.

Hosted annually by the Taiwan Center Foundation of Greater Los Angeles, the Miss Taiwanese-American pageant was first held in 2000 to encourage Taiwanese-Americans to check “Other Asian” and write “Taiwanese” in the census.

About 230,000 people filled in “Taiwanese” in the 2010 census.

Raised in Argentina, Lin moved to the US when she was 15. She is a sophomore at the University of Southern California majoring in Communication and East Asian Languages and Cultures.

Lin and her family are often involved in the center’s activities and she has a deep understanding of Taiwan, she said on Saturday.

She is fluent in Chinese and speaks some Hoklo (commonly knwon as Taiwanese).

She received seven weeks of training for the pageant, along with the eight other finalists, which included workshops on makeup, dance, public speaking and Taiwanese-American identity, Lin said.

The greatest reward she received was self-confidence, she said, adding that although she doubted herself at first, she gradually discovered that the source of her self-confidence is Taiwan.

Over the next year, Lin is to promote Taiwan at community events with the other finalists who have been named princesses and ambassadors.

The second generation of Taiwanese-Americans embodies both Eastern and Western cultures, which is their greatest advantage, foundation chairman Alan Thian (田詒鴻) said.