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.















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?)










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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