Taiwanese Father’s Day

August 8th is the Taiwanese Father’s Day since it sounds like the Mandarin words for dad (which is roughly pronounced as “ba ba”). And, I was inspired by my father to write a letter, which was deemed too poignant for him to actually read. So, I thought I might as well post it in both Mandarin and English since I already spent so much effort writing it.

*******

八八節的來臨使我想要跟您,我的父親,感謝您教我的一切。

 

我的父親教我如何沮喪

以我那從小到大會去打或罵一些欺負女生的男生的個性,我的心裡還是希望我自己的父親至少會支持女人的基本獨立。性別歧視的話語,讓我為女性而感到絕望。

我的父親教我如何演戲

五歲的我每晚必須裝可愛,深怕我的父親今天工作又有甚麼不愉快,而對媽媽和姊姊發脾氣。

我的父親教我如何諒解

數年來,媽媽嘴邊都是掛著同句話:"他很愛你們,只是他不了解你們喜歡的方式而已。"不知道為什麼,我竟然靠著這個想法忍受了十幾年。

我的父親教我如何忌妒

不管我的表現,我的個性,我的長相,我一定樣樣不比其他家裡的小孩。難道他不知道我的”成熟”是母親的教育加上他那(揠苗助長)的忽略?

我的父親教我如何對我的身分錯亂

我不知道要怎麼當他的女兒,因為這十七年來,我對他而言似乎只是一個擺在玻璃櫃裡的獎牌。

我的父親教我自私的意義

因為我每個暑假,永遠都有一些他給的功課:買這個,給那個,一天到晚就是要幫他辦事。儘管我的母親盡量扛起所有的責任,我還是必須為我們的假期打報不平。(一個月後,他就會在Skype上嘆息:”你們這次回來,帳單多了很多。” 難道他不知道有一半是他自己的開銷嗎?)

我的父親教我矛盾的意義

他說他唯一顧及著我跟我姊姊的快樂,但是不管我們要去哪裡,他沒事打來的電話或是他的事情,必定是優先。

我的父親教我如何跟大人建立相似父女的關係

我的校刊導師,一些教會的大人,似乎比我的生父來的更想要知道我的小想法。

我的父親教我如何使用寫作來洗清痛恨

我每一個故事都是繞著一個太多想法的女孩,試著平衡一個瘋狂的世界。

 

我用了一個我已經不熟悉的語言來跟您解釋我今天不高興的原因,也只是希望您能諒解我的措辭跟憤怒:昨晚說的話語也只是壓死駱駝的最後一根稻草罷了。

 

Father’s Day prompted me to want to thank you, my father, for everything that you have done for me.

 

My father taught me disillusionment

For a girl who fights boys physically and verbally since her youth, my heart wishes for my father to at least understand the basic rights of woman. Sexist rhetorics naturally kills me within.

My father taught me how to act

I remember those long nights when I was but five, waiting to try my best to act silly so you would smile in fear that some minor annoyances at work made you upset at my mother and sister.

My father taught me understanding

My mother always told me that he “loves you guys very much, but simply does not understand how to love you guys in the way that you guys want.” For some reason, I used that to endure for over a decade.

My father taught me jealousy

No matter how good I perform, how well-behaved I am, how beautiful I try to present myself, I am always after others’ children. Does he not know that my supposed “maturity” is but a product of my mother’s teachings along with his negligence?

My father taught me how to be confused about my identity

I don’t know how to be his daughter: for the past seventeen years, he treated me like an award in a glass display shelf, coincidentally made out of the same material as the ceiling preventing women from equal pay.

My father taught me selfishness

Every summer it was always dotted with running his errands. Even though my mother tries her best to hoist the entire responsibility upon her shoulders, I still mourn the death of our vacation. (One month later he would say accusingly on Skype, “The bills skyrocketed when you guys came back.” Does he not know that half of those expenses included him in the center?)

My father taught me contradiction

Despite his claims for his sole purpose being that of ensuring his children’s happiness, his calls always come first. It doesn’t matter what type of church gathering we are planning to go, it doesn’t matter what hiking plans we have. His business comes first.

My father taught me how to find good father-figures

My newspaper advisor…adults at church…how come they all seem to be more concerned about what goes on in this brain of mine?

My father taught me how to wash away hatred with writing

Every single story I write evolves around a girl occupied with thought, attempting to balance a crazy world.

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