As some of you may know, I am originally from Taiwan. Cultural and ethnic identity is a very relevant topic right now (not that it never was before) and is something that has always been important to Taiwanese people. But moving to London really opened my eyes up to what true cultural diversity means and looks like. It is a wonderful thing when people share their lives with others from another ethnic background. Racial stereotypes and unconscious biases simply do not matter if you just embrace differences in people - no matter how different they are to you. As a mother of a mixed race child, I can certainly vouch for that.
At FIN and ZEE, we started out with a message - a brand philosophy - to bring together a community of parents who embrace and celebrate differences between us. Today, we have Yun with us to share her story.
Yun is a mother, author, blogger and architect technician from Taiwan. She is now living in England with her husband and their three year old son. I personally love her food diary - she documents and share her inspiring recipes and beautiful food on her blog and social media. Do follow her on @yun_yuan
*Tell us a little bit about you and your family.
We are a small family of three - a three year old boy, my husband and I!
Before we moved to the UK, I was a landscape architect. I love to cook and I enjoy photography. So my daily life basically revolves around food, plants and taking photos all the time! My husband and I first came to the UK to study. At that time, we travelled around Europe to see the great architecture, museums and churches, and fell in love with the excitement of immersing ourselves into cultures so different to ours. My husband then got a job offer after he completed his degree. So we took the opportunity to extend our adventure and we have lived here ever since – can’t believe it’s been 11 years already!
We chat about their everyday life in the UK and the differences between UK and Taiwan...
Yun works part time as an architect technician, so she can have some quality time with her little one. She also enjoys blogging, photography and creating recipes whenever she has time. She even had a recipe book published in Taiwan (2015).
The family is now living in West Sussex, where they can enjoy the countryside. Both Yun and her husband grew up as big city kids in Taipei city - a place with a very different lifestyle to West Sussex! In Taipei, it's easy to get whatever you need at any time of the day and you always have something to do. But like all big cities, it can be a stressful way of life.
*How do you intend to educate your little one about Taiwanese history, culture and language?
As we live in an English speaking environment, it can be difficult as resources for learning the language and culture are very limited. Since my boy was born, we shipped lots of Mandarin books and audio books from Taiwan. We read books and sing songs together all the time and we found this is an effective way to teach him Mandarin. When our national holidays come up, I will make some traditional festive food (Zongzi, moon cake, etc.) and dress up for these days. I think it's a good way for him to connect to and celebrate his roots.
Every summer, we invite our Taiwanese friends over for a BBQ party, then the kids can all get to know each other and make friends who also speak Mandarin. We also have Chinese New Year celebrations with close friends and introduce our traditional culture to everyone! I do believe that by making great memories together, this will help my boy to develop a good connection with our hometown.
*What do you look for when choosing products (toys, clothes, etc…) for your little one?
Safe, non-toxic materials will be the first thing I look for when choosing something for my boy. I personally prefer simple designs with playful details. For example, some solid colour T-shirts with a contrasting coloured pocket, or denim with some floral printed details. I also prefer toys and garments that are made from natural materials.Toys and garments that are made from natural/recycled materials with minimalist design have always caught my eye.
As a big fan of unisex style, I would love my boy to try different colours of clothes, different types of toys without considering whether it’s meant for a boy or a girl. I try not to place gender expectations on my boy – something I think is important as a Mom.
*What is your favourite piece from FIN and ZEE? How would you style the item?
I have always loved wearing dungarees myself. So you can image I have bought quite a few pairs of dungarees for my little one!
One of my favourites is the Finnery Dungarees Shorts - simple denim shorts but with fine and beautiful details. I would normally dress my boy in a T shirt to go with these Dungarees Shorts and add another outer layer when it is chilly.
Sometimes I will use the straps for my hair to make a mother and son matching outfit! The shape of the shorts is just so cute and very well made. I can tell they are comfortable when seeing my boy make them his go-to shorts!
The Blue Floral Fin Shirt with the Finnery Dungarees Shorts is absolutely my favourite match. As a Mom of a boy who loves floral prints, it is not easy to find boys' clothes in floral print and it is just so adorable to see my boy wear them – they are really well made and comfortable.