Where does the sudden love of Toisan and desire to spread the good language come from? It stems from my childhood, to which I vividly remember conversing with my grandmother. I can still feel the effects of the spit-filled words and funny dialect that no one else could decipher.
Although my Chinese consists mostly of Cantonese, I still love a good conversation in Toisan. However, I have noticed that the language is dying and I am determined to keep it alive. How am I doing this? Most of my friends have relatives with a Toisan background and can understand the language. I speak as often as I can in Toisan to these friends, most notably Christopher Dea. They laugh when I converse with them in Toisan but they will only respond in English. They don't want their Toisan to be heard.
Therefore, I've come up with a great idea. If the good language will not be spoken, it can be expressed on a t-shirt! This will keep Toisan on the map. PLUS, wearing these shirts will bring all sorts of Toisan brothers and sisters together, especially the closeted Toisanese (you know who you are!). Imagine wearing a Toisan Lives t-shirt and meeting someone from the same village as you!
After visiting my blog for the first time my buddy Taylor Lin, the Toisan enthusiast, asked me to create a shirt of San Francisco. I thought what a good idea this is since there are so many Toisan folks up there. I remember the countless hours of driving up to San Francisco to visit my Toisan relatives while growing up and getting some of that delicious 'Jackson Market beef jerky'.
I also threw one in for 'Chinatown' and 'Canada' for fun. Hope you get a kick out of it.
Feel free to contact me if you have suggestions on new designs.