Speaking for Ourselves

Migrants make Glasgow: Hsiao-Chiang Wang (Hope)

Migrants make Glasgow: Hsiao-Chiang Wang (Hope)


 Migrant Voice - Migrants make Glasgow: Hsiao-Chiang Wang (Hope)

What is your background?

I am Hsiao-Chiang Wang (Hope) and I was born and grew up in Taiwan. We mainly speak Mandarin in Taiwan, but I sometimes speak Taiwanese with my mother, because it is her mother tongue, and her cultural identity is local Taiwanese. My father’s family migrated from mainland China after the 1949 Chinese Civil War. As for myself I believe I inherited both Chinese and Taiwanese cultural values.  

What was your life like in Taiwan?

In Taiwan, I studied Chinese literature, and my first master’ is in Chinese literature and education. I got a job at the Ministry of Culture which enabled me to visit many museums across Taiwan and other countries, such as France, China, and the USA. I was responsible for museum policy, museum digital transformation projects and co-curation work with indigenous people in Taiwan. It really opened my mind and inspired me to explore multicultural identity and co-curation methods.

When did you come to Scotland?

My husband, Lupin, and I have been in Glasgow for three years, since 2021. We decided to quit our jobs to move to Scotland and pursue our studies here. In the beginning, my family was not supportive of my decision because we both had stable careers. However, we wanted a chance to see the world, and we came here in the hope of experiencing different ways of life, values, and culture. We had initially planned on staying here for my second master’s in museum studies, and then returning to Taiwan. However, I met Professor Alison Phipps and the UNESCO Refugee Integration through Languages and Arts (RILA) team during the 2022 Spring School. That encounter made me realise that I could contribute my creativity and do more valuable things in Scotland. Lupin fully supported my decision.

migrants make glasgow hsiaochiang wang hope

How has the experience of doing your PhD in Glasgow been? 

I study refugee integration and heritage education, which I am passionate about. I love being able to relate to other people and to connect to heritage sites. My husband and I have spoken about moving back home after completing my PhD, but now we prefer to stay in the UK. My PhD. research topic is about world heritage and refugee Integration, which is hard to continue studying in my country, as Taiwan is not a part of the United Nations and does not have properly designed refugee laws and policies. However, if I can continue researching this topic, I believe I can become a bridge and window for Taiwan. It is important for Taiwan to face the issue of migration and refugees. More importantly, I want to do more meaningful things for people and the heritage sector in Scotland. I believe I am more valuable here as here I can contribute both to Scotland and to my native Taiwan. 

How do you find living in Glasgow?

I love the Glasgow vibe and I enjoy my life here. I feel safe here and I like greeting and engaging in small talk with strangers. Very few people would do that in the cities of Taiwan. I have formed genuine friendships with colleagues at the University of Glasgow and with people I have met through Migrant Voice, who are all open-minded and kind. That does not mean I have not met people who are mean to foreigners. People have different views and may exclude others due to ethnicity, gender, age or disability. You cannot escape it as it can happen anywhere. However, I choose to see the bright side of life. In Chinese, we have a saying ‘Home's where the heart is.’ My heart is here now.

With thanks to Nell Williams for her support with transcription and editing of this interview.

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Phone: +44 (0) 207 832 5824
Email: [email protected]

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Number: 1142963 (England and Wales); SC050970 (Scotland)

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