Today is May 20th. 520 is a homophonic pun pronounced like “I love you” in Mandarin and Taiwanese Hokkien, a language spoken by Taiwanese and oversea Taiwanese communities.
I love you / 我愛你 / Guá ài lí
We love you / 我們愛你 / Guán ài lí
Try to say Guá ài lí
And you may notice that your mouth forms into a smile-like shape naturally, just like saying Cheese. Say this Taiwan-style I love you, and you will smile!
We love you
Last Sunday in California, when the gunman started his killing in Geneva Presbyterian Church, Dr. John Cheng (鄭達志) went straight to disarm him but was fatally shot.
He gained time for other parishioners that they had the chance to restrain the shooter and prevent further bloodshed.
Flowers and cards were placed outside the church to honor the victim. One of them wrote: To our Taiwanese family: We love you.
I am an individual, and we built a community.
Dr. Cheng represents those who would not surrender to violence in crisis, regardless of status, nationality, or skin color; he is us. He is we. He is in our community.
We can support each other in love. Love is the only thing that can overcome hate.
Today, let us say Guá ài lí, say I love you.
This pun makes you smile, and your "dictionary of love" has a new sentence. Be the hope.
"No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends." (John 15:13)
photo credit@AP Photo/Jae C. Hong