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    Taiwanese American Heritage Week  2001

May 16, 2001

Mr. KLECZKA. Mr. Speaker, each May, our nation pauses to recognize the enormous contributions that Pacific Islanders and Americans of Asian descent have made to our country. One week of this month long celebration, the week following Mother's Day, is designated as Taiwanese-American Heritage Week. This observance offers us the opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of the Taiwanese-American population throughout the United States, and celebrate its rich and unique cultural heritage .

There are currently over 10 million Americans of Asian descent in the United States, 500,000 of whom are Taiwanese Americans. In Wisconsin, our Asian-American population has grown statewide to nearly 89,000, with over 25,000 located in Milwaukee County alone.

The Taiwanese-American community in the United States places strong emphasis on the importance of education. Over 40% of its population consists of college graduates, many with advanced degrees. Americans of Taiwanese descent have made significant contributions in all walks of life, including the arts, sciences, and the humanities. In fact, the 1986 winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Dr. Lee Yuan-tse, is a Taiwanese American.

The Taiwanese-American community in Milwaukee has also made important contributions to the quality of life in our community. This week, Milwaukee-area residents are being given the opportunity to learn more about the Taiwanese American people, its food, culture and history at the Taiwanese-American Heritage Week festival sponsored by the Taiwanese-American Associations of Milwaukee & Madison, the Taiwanese Student Association of UW-Madison and the Formosan Association for Public Affairs-Wisconsin. I congratulate these organizations for their efforts to share their rich cultural heritage with our community, and extend my best wishes for a rewarding and successful day of festivities.

And, as we join in celebrating the traditions and culture of the Taiwanese-American community, let us also remember to cherish the diversity that is America, and the spirit of community that binds us together as a nation.

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