WuToWu #55: Family Stories

Hi Jessica,

Thanks for giving me a bit of a grace period for this post; spending Thanksgiving in a no-internet zone makes it a bit difficult to write blog posts. However, it does make it easier to learn about family history.

I spent Thanksgiving break in New Jersey with our grandparents. While I was there, I got to hear several stories about life in Taiwan. These stories would come about naturally in the course of our conversation. While we were eating lunch at a buffet, I heard the story of how our grandparents met each other and got married. In the course of a conversation about my plans for the future, I got to learn about our grandfather’s educational and vocational paths. And when we sat down at their kitchen counter to eat dinner, I heard about how our grandfather grew up in a large family, where food was portioned out by rice bowl. These stories flow beneath every conversation. They form the basis of our grandparents’ characters and how they view the world. Occasionally, they broke through the surface.

There was one instance where our conversation centered entirely on these stories. Instead of playing a supporting role, our family’s history took center stage. There is a book, written entirely in Chinese, that chronicles the lives of each of our grandfather’s siblings. Since he was a middle child in a large family, his entry comes about halfway through the book. It records his life in Taiwan, but the entry spends a large proportion of its time on our grandfather’s faith. There are pictures of his children and grandchildren, and our family is included in these photographs. In this chapter of the Wu family book, our lives are presented as a continuation of a much longer story.

The function of WuToWu is to connect my life at college to your life back home, but it also functions as a record, similar to the Wu family book, of the stories that are shaping our character. It’s a lot of work for a blog! Hopefully, you find it useful.



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