Dr. Chiufang Hwang Demystifies Culture of Fear Among Chinese Immigrants

A Push for Privacy

Even though she was shy and isolated herself, Hwang thought her private, insular nature was just proof of a real-life stereotype. But, in fact, she realized over the years that such self-isolationism happens to be a very real, cultural trait. As a rule, no matter how turbulent their lives are, Taiwanese people maintain tranquil appearances. In her case, Hwang believes this reserved nature stems from the fact that her parents were raised to be very secretive, even with their closest friends. That instinct to fly under the radar and not make waves was borne from an ingrained fear passed down through many generations, a heritage of living under an oppressive regime where vocal dissent could be fatal. To protect her, Hwang’s parents did their best to instill in her the dangers of speaking out – about anything.

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