Yellow And Confused released in 2019 is the latest offering from cookbook author, blogger and storyteller Ming-Cheau Lin.
Yellow and Confused is a memoir that looks into her life as a third culture immigrant in South Africa. In 2018, she released a cook book, Just Add Rice, a book focused on Taiwanese food interspersed with stories from her childhood and growing up. In many ways, she continues this conversation started in the cook book in her memoir.
Ming-Cheau Lin’s family emigrated to South Africa from Tainan, Taiwan when she was just three years old and stayed in Bloemfontein with a small East Asian community. Seen as an outsider, she struggled to understand her identity as a minority and immigrant and faced harsh realities of being ‘yellow’ in the western world in addition to the legacy of South Africa’s history.
After assimilating to the surrounding society, she is deemed ‘not Asian enough’ when she is unable to conform to the rules of first-generation Asian elders, yet too Asian for everyone else. Taiwanese or South African, teenager or rebel, creative or disappointment.. she shares her story and journeys to uncover the reasons why yellow people are treated the way they are in a space that doesn’t recognise them as part of the population.
Letlhogonolo Mokgoroane sat down with Ming in a deeply moving conversation about this memoir. The conversation spoke about Ming’s upbringing, her experiences of racism. In the conversation, we explored the idea of a ‘model minority’ and how that negatively impacts East Asians child and scars them into their adulthood. We spoke about sisterhood and how feminism has shaped her life. Some parts were hard to revisit such as sexual harassment and sexism.
We ended the conversation on a happier talking about her marriage and the addition of their lovely child. This conversation is one that holds both trauma and healing side by side.
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