Make America Great' is a term we have been hearing lately. Hmmm, I wonder what that really means?
This year the son of a good friend of mine married a woman from Taiwan, in Taipei, population 2 million to 3 million (funny, what’s another million), last February. As you read this, they will be in Highwood, Montana, belatedly celebrating this special occasion with friends and family here.
David and his new bride, Hsiang-Yu-an, pronounced “Shawn - u - in”, arrived in Missoula along with 13 of her close family, all the way from Taiwan to spend about two weeks in Montana, embracing this beautiful country we live in. To paint a better picture, Montana is 10.3 times larger than Taiwan, but contains less than 1 million people compared to the 24 million people in their island country. The majority of Taiwanese live in high-rise apartments, many times with several family members living in the same apartment building, if not the same apartment, or are located very close to each other.
They produce most all their own food — rice, fruits and vegetables. Our friends were at their cabin on Finley Point last weekend and we spent the afternoon with them and the Wu family. As a tradition in our country when we come to visit, we bring food. I inquired if there was anything I should not bring, and my girlfriend replied, “They eat everything!” So nacho casserole it is. I felt this would give them a good sense of taste for their taste buds …They loved it. Unfortunately, in their country it would be extremely hard to make. One of the items our daughter craved while studying abroad this summer was cheddar cheese — she could not find this anywhere in Rome. I still need to share that experience of making tacos in Italy! Ha ha…
Isn’t this something that does make America great, from the diversity of nationalities that have immigrated here generations ago, all the variety of cuisines we are able to enjoy. It will be interesting to hear their thoughts as they go back home to their traditional cuisine. Will they miss anything?
Family is VERY important. Hsiang-Yuan’s brother, Joseph, although he is 32 and owns his own apartment, still lives at home until he marries. Although this is certainly changing as our Western ways make their way into the Asian culture. Their whole culture is all about honor and respect in all aspects of their lifestyles. Elders are honored and respected, not challenged. The concept of face is extremely important to the Taiwanese. Face is really about the overall character reflecting on a person’s reputation, dignity and prestige. Giving face, losing face and saving face are all terms with tremendous meanings and taken into consideration in both their personal and business interactions.
Upon meeting Hsiang-Yuan and her family, I just automatically reached out in our traditional way of greet-ing someone, and we shook hands; however, where I have concentrated on teaching our children and our Team at Central, that a good firm handshake is good as well as looking the person in the eye … for their culture, they are more apt to be less firm and look down, which is their form of respect. Interesting. I was concerned a bit, “Was this OK for both women and men,” and looked for guidance from my girlfriend … all was good.
A few years back when our daughter was still in high school, I was reading the book “Tiger Mother,” and my daughter about had a heart attack. She goes, “You do not need to read that book and get any more ideas!”
I actually took that as a compliment. I think a lot of American mothers mistook the concept promoted by author Amy Chua, who raised two daughters in our Western culture, but blended in her own strict upbringing. I personally agree with some comments from her website, where she states, “I have a very close relationship with my parents. Having high expectations, coupled with love, is the greatest gift anyone could have given me.” Shouldn’t this be something we should be focusing on to strengthen our America more, and get back to respect, honor and love … instead of what seems like just plain laziness by many American parents. If I ground my kid, I am grounded, yeah … the discipline is love and happens at the beginning of our children’s lives. Amy’s parents were pretty much committed to teaching their children that discipline gives them the gift to be successful in their own lives when they grow up.
I inquired about this with Hsiang-Yu-an. With her culture being Chinese-based, she confirmed that Taiwanese education is known for being very demanding. In their culture, the children go to school much longer than ours do, and after school, they go to “cram schools,” to learn English, Japanese, Korean or math.
And when you meet her family, her mother Lucy and father Tim, as well as her aunts, uncles and cousins, there is just such a sweet, nice calm about them — very, very gracious and thankful for everything.
So if we are looking at making our America stronger and greater than it is today, I really think we should look at the Taiwanese culture with 24 million people and virtually NO crime. Let’s get back to the basics of raising our children with high expectations, coupled with love and demanding respect.
At Central, we have high expectations of our Team as to be respectful to our customers while throwing in a bit of love. As always, your comfort is our Central concern, call 756-6656, for all your heating, cooling, plumbing, electrical and drain cleaning needs.
1 can of refried beans 1-2 cups pico or salsa
1 lb. of ground beef browned in
favorite taco seasoning
2-4 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 can black olives
½ cup green onions
Layer in this order. Take half of salsa as second layer, and half of cheese as fourth layer and then end with more salsa, a layer over the chips, and end with the cheese. Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes …
I like to garnish with pico or salsa a bit down the middle for color … ENJOY