Thursday, December 31, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Oh! Oshogatsu! Missing Japanese New Year's Day - AnnArbor.com


The doorbell rings. The dog barks. I turn on the porch light, open the front door, and…

No one is there. Then I look down. A package!

Ooh, I was not expecting any more Christmas presents. I bend down to pick it up, and I hear the unmistakable sound of…

Rice.

A box of rice. A very big box of rice. Who would ship me a very big box of rice?

I stagger into the house, the sound of trickling and flowing rice filling my ears, and I put the very big box down on the kitchen table. I look at the label to see who in the world would FedEx me a very big box of rice and smile when I read, “Koda Farms.” (click on link for more)

Oh! Oshogatsu! Missing Japanese New Year's Day - AnnArbor.com

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

AML: Wishing for an American New Year's Eve - NAM EthnoBlog

Oh the excitement of New Year’s Eve! The perfect little black dress, impossibly high heels, dazzling rhinestones, an invitation to THE New Year’s Eve party of the year, a handsome and suave “New Year’s Eve Date,” a fluted glass of champagne, cute foods, counting down with the crowd, getting magically kissed right at the stroke of midnight (the primary purpose of said “New Year’s Eve Date”), singing Auld Lang Syne with one’s dearest friends, starting on that new year’s resolution to lose ten pounds (tomorrow)… (click on link for more)

Wishing for an American New Year's Eve - NAM EthnoBlog

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

AML: Last chance to see the 'Native American Dioramas in Transition' exhibit at University of Michigan Exhibit Museum - AnnArbor.com

You don't have to spend more than a few minutes hanging around the Native American Dioramas in Transition Exhibit at the University of Michigan Exhibit Museum to see several children run up excitedly, thump up onto the ledge in their big snow boots, and squeal, “Ewwww, they’re naked! Why are they naked?”

A tired parent struggles to explain—or not—leaving the children to figure it out for themselves - “They must be really poor,” “They must not know any better,” or “That’s their culture.” There are no Native American doctors, lawyers, professors, engineers, architects, librarians, activists, or astronauts depicted.

It is not difficult to understand the hurt these diaramas must have caused Native American children seeing the exhibits with their classmates during the fourth grade Native American social studies unit, or how easily misperceptions and stereotypes are perpetuated.

I can feel it, too. Imagine if it was you and your family depicted there - tiny, naked, nerdy, weird, frozen in time. And all your friends and random strangers, looming giants overhead, pointing and laughing from on high about all the things that set you apart as different. (click on link for more)

Last chance to see the 'Native American Dioramas in Transition' exhibit at University of Michigan museum - AnnArbor.com

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Wishing for an American New Year's Eve - AnnArbor.com


Oh the excitement of New Year’s Eve! The perfect little black dress, impossibly high heels, dazzling rhinestones, an invitation to THE New Year’s Eve party of the year, a handsome and suave “New Year’s Eve Date,” a fluted glass of champagne, cute foods, counting down with the crowd, getting magically kissed right at the stroke of midnight (the primary purpose of said “New Year’s Eve Date”), singing Auld Lang Syne with one’s dearest friends, starting on that new year’s resolution to lose ten pounds (tomorrow)…

Oh the glamour! The style! The fantasy! As the child of immigrants, with my nose pressed up against the glass, it all seemed so exquisitely “American” and romantic, “better” in a way that as a child I had somehow decided that cars with trunks, ten-speed bikes, store-bought clothes, Adidas running shoes, and the symphony must be “better” and “more American,” because they were things “real Americans” (read Caucasian Americans) took for granted but which my sensible immigrant family would never indulge. I thought we were so uncultured and uncouth. (click on link for more)

Wishing for an American New Year's Eve - AnnArbor.com

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang And Multicultural Thanksgivings

Just found this reference and link to Multicultural Thanksgiving at slanteyefortheroundeye.com. Now is that a funny url or what? And he said dd was worth a click! That's a lot coming from a blogger...

There's just a nice read I wanted to post up from Frances Kai-Hwa - who's also editor at IMDiversity.com Asian American Village - down at the AnnArbor who talks about Thanksgiving and the different ways people are celebrating, and I just thought as this is the week of the Turkey (no no, not me - although thanks for the thought) it was apropos (and the picture of the cute kid hovering over a plate of Thai butternut squash curry is worth the click too).

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang And Multicultural Thanksgivings

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Is Christmas any less Christian if you put up a Bodhi Day tree? - AnnArbor.com


One of my daughter’s Jewish friends from preschool once said that she liked coming to our house this time of year because we were the only other people who did not have a Christmas tree, either. Her mother described the conflict her child felt at school having to do Christmas-themed art projects such as decorating trees, which, regardless of what you call them, are still Christmas trees. Even a 5-year-old could see this.

It felt good to know that she found comfort in our home, although I had to confess that the real reason we did not have a Christmas tree at that time was that we used to always travel over the holidays. I was raised Catholic. We do celebrate Christmas. However, we did it reflexively.

So then I nearly scared my children to death with the pronouncement, “Now that we’re Buddhist, maybe we shouldn’t celebrate Christmas anymore.” (click on link for more)

Is Christmas any less Christian if you put up a Bodhi Day tree? - AnnArbor.com

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

AML: Kung Pao Kosher Christmas? - AnnArbor.com

I once had a Jewish housemate who explained the different types of silverware her family needed to keep kosher—one set for meat, one set for dairy, and one set of disposable chopsticks for Chinese take-out. She also described how Jewish people go out for Chinese food on Christmas day because Chinese restaurants are always open (and back then, the only other people not celebrating Christmas). I never knew how critical my culture was for her culture.

Several years ago, I was amused to learn how some Jewish communities were taking that tradition another step and organizing big Jewish comedy shows at Chinese restaurants on Christmas Day. The organizers of one such event in San Jose, California, told the San Jose Mercury News at the time that they had had a difficult time explaining their proposal to the Chinese restaurant owners, who had not even realized that so many of their customers that day were Jewish, or why. We do not always realize the impact of how we intersect with other people, other cultures. (click on link for more)

Kung Pao Kosher Christmas? - AnnArbor.com

Monday, December 21, 2009

AML: Learning about Christmas and Santa through the claymation classics - NAM EthnoBlog

Once again in New America Media's Ethnoblog:

Asian American journalist Lisa Ling once said on The View that as a child she thought Santa liked Caucasian children better than Chinese children because he always left much better and bigger gifts, like stereos, for her Caucasian friends, whereas he only left small gifts, like batteries and toothbrushes, in her stocking. (click on link for more)

Learning about Christmas and Santa through the claymation classics - NAM EthnoBlog

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Learning about Christmas and Santa through the claymation classics - AnnArbor.com


Asian American journalist Lisa Ling once said on The View that as a child she thought Santa liked Caucasian children better than Chinese children because he always left much better and bigger gifts, like stereos, for her Caucasian friends, whereas he only left small gifts, like batteries and toothbrushes, in her stocking.

When I heard that, it was as if I was hearing silver bells. I always got batteries and toothbrushes in my stocking, too. I had grown up thinking that gifts from Santa always had to be small in order to fit inside the stocking.

It was not until I was in my 30’s that I discovered that some people received gifts from Santa that not only spilled out of their stockings, but covered the floor and piled up as high as the Christmas tree. Some people did not even bother hanging up stockings by the chimney with care, as they knew their gifts would be bigger than that. Is that allowed? (click on link for more)

Learning about Christmas and Santa through the claymation classics - AnnArbor.com

Friday, December 18, 2009

AML: Emily Hsiao: a role model for my children, an inspiration for me - NAM EthnoBlog

In New America Media's Ethnoblog:

My first memory of Emily Hsiao is from 11 years ago, when she and a bunch of her little 7-year-old girlfriends were sitting in a tree yelling “Kiss! Kiss!” at my daughter and Emily’s little brother, who, since they were both 3 years old at the time, would oblige, much to the giggles of the 7-year-old girls sitting in the tree.

As she grew older, I often asked Emily to babysit so my girls could develop a relationship with an older sister who could later lead the way for them and talk to them about teenage girl stuff should the need ever arise. (click on link for more)

Emily Hsiao: a role model for my children, an inspiration for me - NAM EthnoBlog

Thursday, December 17, 2009

AML: Tot Shabbat, Tot Chanukah, lots of latkes on Friday - AnnArbor.com

The last night of Chanukah falls on Friday, making this Friday’s Tot Shabbat at Temple Beth Emeth an extra special evening, Tot Chanukah! Tot Shabbat is a special Shabbat service every Friday night for families with young children, so Tot Chanukah is a special Chanukah service with crafts, songs, Shabbat dinner, and lots and lots of latkes. It is open to the community. On this night, families bring their menorahs, and because it is the last night of Chanukah, all nine candles are lit, and the sight of so many fully lit menorahs together is, according to my friend, Zoe, “Amazing!” (click on link for more)

Tot Shabbat, Tot Chanukah, lots of latkes on Friday - AnnArbor.com

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Three Asian American Perspectives on Thanksgiving

Cool 8asians.com post citing me, Eric Nakamura (Giant Robot), and Andrew Lam (New America Media) all in one entry. What great company in which to find oneself. Last month an editor said my writing reminded her of Andrew Lam's writing and I nearly fainted. Go ahead, flatter me more! (click on link for more)

Three Asian American Perspectives on Thanksgiving

Posted using ShareThis

AML: English High Tea at TeaHaus Sunday - AnnArbor.com

Before I went off to graduate school at the University of Michigan, my father gave me a beautiful blue and white Japanese teapot and a set of six small teacups that we picked up in San Jose’s Japantown. He said there is something about drinking a nice cup of tea out of a nice pot in a nice cup that you just need sometimes.

My children and I discovered this cute tea shop on Fourth Avenue one sunny afternoon, where they have a selection of 200 loose teas (including several different varieties of my favorite, Earl Grey) and a monthly English high tea. From TeaHaus’ website: (click on link for more)

English High Tea at TeaHaus Sunday - AnnArbor.com

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Emily Hsiao: a role model for my children, an inspiration for me - AnnArbor.com


My first memory of Emily Hsiao is from 11 years ago, when she and a bunch of her little 7-year-old girlfriends were sitting in a tree yelling “Kiss! Kiss!” at my daughter and Emily’s little brother, who, since they were both 3 years old at the time, would oblige, much to the giggles of the 7-year-old girls sitting in the tree.

As she grew older, I often asked Emily to babysit so my girls could develop a relationship with an older sister who could later lead the way for them and talk to them about teenage girl stuff should the need ever arise. I wanted to surround my children with positive role models, both famous (poor Tiger) and local, so I was always looking for cool Asian American and multiracial teenagers and young adults who could lead and inspire my children (and occasionally babysit too). However, I never thought that some of these kids might become role models for me, too. (click on link for more)

Emily Hsiao: a role model for my children, an inspiration for me - AnnArbor.com

Photo courtesy of Andrew Fang at www.photasa.com.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

AML: A2SO's Sing Along with Santa goes global Saturday - AnnArbor.com

Figuring that Santa must get tired of only milk and cookies during the American leg of his annual journey, our family always leaves Santa mango mochi, sometimes a few potstickers, too. Last year, then 4-year-old Little Brother wanted to leave chocolate chip cookies, too, “like everyone else” because he was worried that Santa might not know what mochi was. So I told him to ask Santa directly.

At the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra’s annual Sing Along with Santa, Santa not only knew what mochi was, he told Little Brother that he loves mochi! They had a great conversation comparing all their favorite kinds: kinako, strawberry, an.

Since Santa travels around the world on Christmas Eve, delivering toys to all good boys and girls, it follows that he speaks all the languages and is well-versed in all the cultures of the world. Of course Santa can speak Indonesian, how could he not? Of course he knows the intricacies of Cambodian dance and the story of the Ramayana. He’s Santa!

And he sings, too. (click on link for more)

A2SO's Sing Along with Santa goes global Saturday - AnnArbor.com

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

AML: Monkey King Films, Chinese opera face painting, and Chinese papercutting at AADL Sunday - AnnArbor.com

Growing up, I did not know very many Chinese folktales or legends. My parents were modern and educated, without a lot of patience for all that old stuff. The summer I was in fifth grade, however, I went to visit my grandparents in Niagra Falls. Sitting in the den of my grandparents’ house, my grandfather told me the story of Sun Wu Kong, The Monkey King, the valiant and mischievous and invincible monkey born out of a stone who is sent to protect the Buddhist monk Tripitaka on an epic journey to India to bring Buddhist scriptures back to China. This was the one Chinese story I knew growing up, and although I have since learned many more, it has become a story my children love as well, whether in book form, cartoon, play, movie, manga, action figures, or Chinese opera.

One Halloween, Little Brother, then 3 years old, dressed up as the Monkey King and came face to face with a 3-year-old Superman at Chinese School. The two superheroes eyed each other suspiciously. I wondered, who is the greater superhero? Superman or The Monkey King? Super speed and super strength and tights? Or 72 transformations and cloud-soaring and a tiger pelt? (click on link for more)

Monkey King Films, Chinese opera face painting, and Chinese papercutting at AADL Sunday - AnnArbor.com

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sing Along with Santa goes Global - arborweb.com

The excitement starts to build from several blocks away when we see family after family with little girls in red velvet dresses, white tights, shiny black shoes, and red ribbons in their hair. The sidewalks are slippery as everyone streams towards Bethlehem United Church of Christ on Fourth Avenue near William for the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra's annual "Sing Along with Santa," which returns on Saturday, December 12.

There is nothing in this world that I love better than singing Christmas carols with a beautiful man--even if that man is wearing a big red suit! All pretenses of secular Ann Arbor-ness fall away as we walk into the warm and glittering church, all decorated with lights and bows, the tree gorgeous and reaching towards the ceiling. The pews are packed with families and cute, cute children. (click on link for more)

Sing Along with Santa - arborweb.com

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Wanting 'one right way' - resisting multiculturalism, diversity, tolerance - AnnArbor.com


Years ago, a friend from Chicago was visiting right around dinnertime, when we decided to make noodles or pasta for dinner. I started boiling the water and rummaging around for some vegetables when he declared, “That’s not how you make pasta!”

I was surprised because my family is northern Chinese and so I have been eating and making noodles all my life. I was speechless when he pushed me aside in my own kitchen and instructed me on How To Make Noodles—by peeling and mincing the garlic just so and drizzling the noodles with olive oil. Years later, I learned that this recipe is called pasta aioli, and is certainly one way of making noodles, but in his mind, it was the only way to make noodles, and I was wrong for wanting to make them any other way. (He thought I was wrong for crushing the garlic with my grandmother’s cleaver, too.)

Soon thereafter, I was at an Italian couple’s home with a group of friends when dinnertime overtook us. Our hosts started making pasta with a simple marinara sauce to feed everybody. All the women gathered around the kitchen, ooohing and ahhhing and watching and learning until someone commented, “You’re such a good cook.” Cici with her long white hair and throaty accent was completely unimpressed, “I am not a good cook, I am just Italian.” (click on link for more)

Wanting 'one right way' - resisting multiculturalism, diversity, tolerance - AnnArbor.com

Thursday, December 3, 2009

AML: 13th Annual Evening of Sacred Song to benefit Washtenaw Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights (WICIR) - AnnArbor.com

Last year around this time, my neighbor Laurie organized a good old-fashioned caroling party (a medieval English tradition) for all the neighbors and kids to go tromping through the snow and sing Christmas carols around the neighborhood.

I was so excited. It had been years since I had gone caroling, one of my favorite things in the world to do. In college, I used to go caroling every year all around downtown San Francisco with the UC Berkeley Glee Club - singing in hospitals, restaurants, street corners, underground BART stations, alumni functions, Ghiradelli Square. I know all the words (but weirdly, only the harmonies) to all the standard (and a few not-so-standard) Christmas songs.

One of the things I love about Christmas caroling is the opportunity to stand in the sacred for just a few moments in this secular world of ours to sing praise and glory without having to play it cool. It really does not matter if the words swelling and circling around us are “Baruch Adonai” or “He shall purify” or “Sweet little holy chile’, we didn’t know who you wuz,” it is not often that we have opportunities in polite society to express feelings of passion or adoration.

Plus I have a certain weakness for men who sing. (click on link for more)

13th Annual Evening of Sacred Song to benefit Washtenaw Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights (WICIR) - AnnArbor.com

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

AML: U of M Center for Chinese Studies Talk: "China as a Eurasian Subcontinent: Perspectives on the Past and Future" - AnnArbor.com

This summer, I discovered a fabulous seventeenth-century Persian bowl at the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) that features Persian script and Chinese floral design that captures the interconnectedness of all our cultures—through the Silk Road in those days, through the internet today. Some people think that the crossing of cultures is a new phenomenon, facilitated by airplanes and telephones. However, globalization is not new, and a lot can be learned from how we all fit together in time and place. (click on link for more)

U of M Center for Chinese Studies Talk: "China as a Eurasian Subcontinent: Perspectives on the Past and Future" - AnnArbor.com

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living: The Sunday after Thanksgiving: The post-holiday debriefing - AnnArbor.com


The Sunday after Thanksgiving: The day we pack up, gratefully drive back to our own home in our own town with our own way of doing things, and are stuck in the car together for hours and have no choice but to talk to each other. It is a time to reflect on the (peculiar) people we met and the (wacky) things that happened, and it is a chance to talk to the kids about what is really important to us as a family. I call it the post-holiday debriefing (and I recommend this in my Multicultural Toolbox workshops as one strategy for combating racism and intolerance in the extended family).

Let me preface this by saying my children attend a school named Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary. They know about racism and they know about resistance. Three of the four children are strong and tough girls, so much so that Little Brother once put his head down and cried, “I don’t have any Girl Power.” Add on that their mother is a writer on multicultural issues and a civil rights activist who speaks out on behalf of others. We are not easy people to have over for dinner. (click on link for more)

The Sunday after Thanksgiving: The post-holiday debriefing - AnnArbor.com

Saturday, November 28, 2009

AML: Children's folk music duo Gemini's multicultural perspective in song coming to The Ark on Sunday - AnnArbor.com

For years, my children have started their day in different classes with different teachers at the University of Michigan Children’s Center singing the Gemini song, “Hello Hello Hello, Hi Hi Hi, Hello Hello Hello, Hi!” The song goes on to introduce different ways of saying hello in French, Chinese, Hebrew, Russian, Japanese, Hindi, more. The neatest thing about this song is that there are always children in the class who actually speak those languages at home, so they are not learning a foreign language so much as they are sharing their family languages with their friends. This becomes a source of pride every morning. And I can always tell when Gemini has visited the school because the children come home singing new songs in new languages—Hebrew, Swahili, Russian...

Children’s folk music duo Gemini is an Ann Arbor treasure. Twin brothers Sandor and Laszlo Slomovits perform catchy sing-along songs, interactive hand-motion songs, funny stories, cool instruments and hearty folk songs from around the world. Children and parents alike cannot help but stand up and dance. They introduce their family culture as well as a unique international (and very Ann Arbor) outlook in their witty original songs. (click on link for more)

Children's folk music duo Gemini's multicultural perspective in song coming to The Ark on Sunday - AnnArbor.com

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living under attack for un-American and anti-Thanksgiving activities!

Who knew eating Thai butternut squash curry at Thanksgiving would be so controversial? I am surprised by the hostility this article engendered. I thought it was so innocent, just talking about food and how clueless I was as a child. I know these fellows are in the minority, but who knew people could feel so threatened by sticky rice stuffing? Read down to the comments.

Creating our own multicultural Thanksgiving traditions - AnnArbor.com


But in various conversations that follow, one reader writes ironically on Facebook about the sanctity of traditions: "I say we should all eat jello, green been casserole with Campbell's soup and marshmallows like the Pilgrims did, and celebrate wiping out the Wampanoag and the Pequot."

Another surprising but similar eruption of hostility after the very first article of the series, almost a year ago:

The Ann Arbor Chronicle » Column: Adventures in Multicultural Living

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Diversity at Huron High, in everyday life, at U-M Hospital - AnnArbor.com

I am standing under the arch when the bell rings dismissal time at Huron High School, and I am swept up by a sea of young faces—Hispanic American, African American, Arab American, Asian American, Caucasian American, multiracial, more. What an incredible environment in which to grow up. I see young adults of every hue, every size, every background, every religion, every culture. I hear different accents, different languages, different slang. I knew Huron High was diverse, I have studied the school’s statistics on paper, but to stand in the middle of it and let it wash over me…

I am struck, however, by the thought: Where are all these children’s parents in my life? Why do I not see them every day as I walk through this same city? Why do I not swim in a similar sea of colors and cultures? How have we segregated or stratified our adult lives through work or socio-economics or class or neighborhoods or churches so that diversity can even be an afterthought or relegated to a once-a-year show-and-tell for MLK Day? Clearly the people are here. Where are they in my life? (click on link for more)

Diversity at Huron High, in everyday life, at U-M Hospital - AnnArbor.com

AML: Creating Our Own Multicultural Thanksgiving Traditions - NAM EthnoBlog

at New America Media's Ethnoblog:

My neighbor Lisa always celebrated two Thanksgivings while growing up in Ohio, a tradition she and her siblings continue every year. First, they have a traditional “American Thanksgiving” on Thanksgiving Day with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie. Then, on Friday, they have “Lebanese Thanksgiving” with hummus, kibbe, fattoush, grape leaves, hashwe rice pilaf, and meat and spinach pies. That makes for a lot of cooking and a lot of food, but with five six siblings and a ton of cousins, nobody misses a beat.

At Thanksgiving time, many families are caught wondering how to celebrate this quintessential American holiday — a holiday that is as much about the food as it is about family and giving thanks. Family is easy, everyone has family, as is the idea of giving thanks — especially for families that may have come to America because of war, oppression, poverty or lack of opportunity. However, celebrating a tradition that is not your own is more complicated than it looks. (click on link for more)

Creating Our Own Multicultural Thanksgiving Traditions - NAM EthnoBlog

Monday, November 23, 2009

Slant Eye For The Round Eye: Frances Kai-Hwa Wang And Multicultural Thanksgivings

I really like the name of this blog! And that they like cute Little Brother too.

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang And Multicultural Thanksgivings
Monday, November 23, 2009

There's just a nice read I wanted to post up from Frances Kai-Hwa - who's also editor at IMDiversity.com Asian American Village - down at the AnnArbor who talks about Thanksgiving and the different ways people are celebrating, and I just thought as this is the week of the Turkey (no no, not me - although thanks for the thought) it was apropos (and the picture of the cute kid hovering over a plate of Thai butternut squash curry is worth the click too).

Slant Eye For The Round Eye: Frances Kai-Hwa Wang And Multicultural Thanksgivings

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Creating our own multicultural Thanksgiving traditions - AnnArbor.com


My neighbor Lisa always celebrated two Thanksgivings while growing up in Ohio, a tradition she and her siblings continue every year. First, they have a traditional “American Thanksgiving” on Thanksgiving Day with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie. Then, on Friday, they have “Lebanese Thanksgiving” with hummus, kibbe, fattoush, grape leaves, hashwe rice pilaf, and meat and spinach pies. That makes for a lot of cooking and a lot of food, but with five siblings and a ton of cousins, nobody misses a beat.

At Thanksgiving time, many families are caught wondering how to celebrate this quintessential American holiday — a holiday that is as much about the food as it is about family and giving thanks. Family is easy, everyone has family, as is the idea of giving thanks — especially for families that may have come to America because of war, oppression, poverty or lack of opportunity. However, celebrating a tradition that is not your own is more complicated than it looks. (click on link for more)

Creating our own multicultural Thanksgiving traditions - AnnArbor.com

Friday, November 20, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Ann Arbor's Ultimate Cultural Divide: University of Michigan vs Ohio State - AnnArbor.com


There are many types of cultural differences—racial, ethnic, gender, sexual preference, religious, socio-economic, education, class—and many types of minorities struggling to have their voices heard, but there is no cultural divide in Ann Arbor so marked as that fueled by the University of Michigan vs. Ohio State rivalry.

Upon arriving at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School this morning, Principal Kevin Karr was dismayed to discover this act of resistance/sabotage in the school parking lot, which prompted a blog post in which he writes: (click on link for more)

Ann Arbor's Ultimate Cultural Divide: University of Michigan vs Ohio State - AnnArbor.com

Thursday, November 19, 2009

AML: Chinese American Society of Ann Arbor (CASAA) Thanksgiving Dinner Sunday - AnnArbor.com

This is an over-simplification, but generally speaking, Chinese and Taiwanese people do not bake. There are no ovens in Chinese and Taiwanese homes. It is not their tradition. If they want a cake or pastry, they go to a bakery. If they want a roast duck or roast pork, they go to a barbequed meat store. Otherwise foods are generally steamed or boiled or fried. So here in America, every time there is a bake sale at school, someone I know comes and asks me in a panic, “What do I do?” And if you cannot find a certain pot or pan, look in the oven because that is where they are stored.

Enter Thanksgiving.

Now, I have grown up here in the States, and I have taught myself how to bake (badly) and roast (vegetables), but the thought of roasting a whole turkey is simply beyond me. Things like cranberry sauce I can manage by reading recipes, but there is something about the whole bird thing that I just cannot get my mind around. It is too foreign. (click on link for more)

Chinese American Society of Ann Arbor (CASAA) Thanksgiving Dinner Sunday - AnnArbor.com

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

AML: Learning from The Nuances of Tea - NAM EthnoBlog

Editor's note: Frances Kai-Hwa Wang's column "Adventures in Multicultural Living" appears every week on the EthnoBlog. This post originally appeared here, on annarbor.com.

My neighbor and I were having a quiet cup of jasmine tea in my kitchen when I noticed that she was burning her fingertips repeatedly trying to fish the floating tea leaves out of the boiling hot water in her cup. Without thinking, I gave her a spoon so she would not burn her fingers. Then I looked down at my cup and realized that I did not have a similar pile of tea leaves sitting on the side of my saucer, nor did I have any tea leaves floating on top, nor did I ever.

Then it occurred to me, “Oh, if you blow on the tea leaves while you are drinking, they will sink down to the bottom by themselves.” (click on link for more)

Learning from The Nuances of Tea - NAM EthnoBlog

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

AML: The Root Beer Summits: Conversations on Race and Ethnic Diversity Across Michigan Today - AnnArbor.com

Earlier this year, President Barack Obama invited African American Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Caucasian police Sergeant James Crowley to sit down at a picnic table and have a beer with him and talk casually in what has become known as the historic “Beer Summit” at the White House.

Inspired, the Michigan Department of Civil Rights is hosting a series of "Root Beer Summits" today, Tuesday, November 17, 2009, across the state to also get people to sit down together in a relaxed setting with cool refreshments and talk. Times and locations available here. (click on link for more)

The Root Beer Summits: Conversations on Race and Ethnic Diversity Across Michigan Today - AnnArbor.com

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Learning from the Nuances of Tea - AnnArbor.com


My neighbor and I were having a quiet cup of jasmine tea in my kitchen when I noticed that she was burning her fingertips repeatedly trying to fish the floating tea leaves out of the boiling hot water in her cup. Without thinking, I gave her a spoon so she would not burn her fingers. Then I looked down at my cup and realized that I did not have a similar pile of tea leaves sitting on the side of my saucer, nor did I have any tea leaves floating on top, nor did I ever.

Then it occurred to me, “Oh, if you blow on the tea leaves while you are drinking, they will sink down to the bottom by themselves.” (click on link for more)

Learning from the Nuances of Tea - AnnArbor.com

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Vistaara: UM IASA Indian American Cultural Show this Friday - AnnArbor.com


I was walking past the Michigan Theater in the evening once, years ago, trying to decide where to get a cup of tea, when I was suddenly swept up in a bustling crowd full of beautiful dark-haired women in glittering saris, handsome graying men in suits. Only a moment ago, the street had been empty, quiet, nothing but mist. Now the street and sidewalks are bursting with Indian American families—grandmas, grandpas, aunties, uncles, little cousins boys and girls—rushing (late) from all directions. Everyone is dressed up, talking excitedly, headed for the show. And as suddenly as everyone appeared, they all disappear, and it is quiet; just me again, standing alone in the mist.

“Oh! It’s the Indian American Cultural Show!” I remember too late once again to actually get tickets. It is well known in the Asian American community that UM’s Indian American Students Association (IASA) Cultural Show is one of our great cultural treasures and that this show always sells out. For years I have wanted to go. For years my Indian American friends have laughed at me for trying to find tickets only two weeks in advance. This year I discover that this 22-year-old show has moved to Hill Auditorium and tickets are still available! Tickets will even be available at the door (but will sell out the day of the show so they recommend getting tickets through the Michigan Union Ticket Office or Ticketmaster beforehand).

Check out the trailer. This is not your average student production. (click on link for more)

Vistaara: UM IASA Indian American Cultural Show this Friday - AnnArbor.com

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

AML: Sharing day and the meaning of autumn across cultures - NAM EthnoBlog


Every Friday is Little Brother’s “Sharing Day” (Show and Tell) at school. Sharing Day is very serious business in Kindergarten, and he spends the entire week thinking about what to bring. This week, he is supposed to bring something that reminds him of autumn. He asks his sisters, who give him all the regular ideas: a leaf, a pumpkin, his sister M dressed up like the Ottoman Empire (Turkey). However, because his turn is on Friday, they are pretty sure that other kids will have already brought in all those things, so he will have to be especially creative.

Because of the work that I do, our family does not always see the world the same way as the mainstream or “normal people.” There is often a multicultural twist.

When Little Brother was supposed to bring a circle, he brought a package of Korean Nong Shim ramen noodles. When he was supposed to bring a square, he brought a package of Indian masala ramens. When he was supposed to bring a triangle, he brought musubi (Japanese rice balls made into triangle shapes).

So what does autumn mean to us? (click on link for more)

Sharing day and the meaning of autumn across cultures - NAM EthnoBlog

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living: comedy documentary 'Allah Made Me Funny' - AnnArbor.com

After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, community activists and the ethnic media braced for an avalanche of anti-Muslim, anti-Arab American, anti-South Asian American, anti-immigrant hate crimes, discrimination, stereotyping, racial profiling, fear-mongering, and more. Across the country, anyone with slightly darker hair and skin became suspect, those with beards and turbans were really suspect, neighbors reported neighbors to the FBI, the Bush administration threatened concentration camps for Arab Americans, and “Flying While Arab” became a new crime. It was a grim and frightening time for minorities and civil rights.

One surprising thing that was also born of that time was the coming of age of Muslim-American stand-up comedians.

The documentary/concert film, Allah Made Me Funny, features three Muslim stand-up comics — one Arab American, one Asian American, one African American — who talk about their lives as Muslims and people of color in America in order to break down stereotypes and build bridges with both Muslims and non-Muslims. The film is coming Wednesday to Temple Beth Emeth/St. Clare Episcopal Church, thanks to the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice. (click on link for more)

Ann Arbor hosts showing of comedy documentary 'Allah Made Me Funny' - AnnArbor.com

Reader Letter re Language Learning

Question:

"I read an article on the Internet that you had written. My children are turning 1 this week. My life goal for them is to have them speak 3 languages from the time they can speak. I speak English and Spanish. We speak both in our home. I want to know if you know anyone in Dallas area that has a Chinese daycare or language school. Thank you, C.D."


Good for you! What a great gift you are giving your children!

I would suggest that you contact your local Organization of Chinese Americans (which i know is active in your area), other Chinese American associations, your local university, your local Chinese grocery store (check the bulletin board), your local Chinese newspaper, and your local Chinese restaurant to ask about Chinese schools, Chinese daycare, Chinese babysitters, Chinese tutors. It may take some detective work to track down the right person and right situation for you, but you are starting early so that is good. Just keep asking. And start taking classes yourself.

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

Sunday, November 8, 2009

AML: Sharing Day and the Meaning of Autumn across Cultures - AnnArbor.com


Every Friday is Little Brother’s “Sharing Day” (Show and Tell) at school. Sharing Day is very serious business in Kindergarten, and he spends the entire week thinking about what to bring. This week, he is supposed to bring something that reminds him of autumn. He asks his sisters, who give him all the regular ideas: a leaf, a pumpkin, his sister M dressed up like the Ottoman Empire (Turkey). However, because his turn is on Friday, they are pretty sure that other kids will have already brought in all those things, so he will have to be especially creative.

Because of the work that I do, our family does not always see the world the same way as the mainstream or “normal people.” There is often a multicultural twist. When Little Brother was supposed to bring a circle, he brought a package of Korean Nong Shim ramen noodles. When he was supposed to bring a square, he brought a package of Indian masala ramens. When he was supposed to bring a triangle, he brought musubi (Japanese rice balls made into triangle shapes). So what does autumn mean to us? (click on link for more)

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Sharing Day and the Meaning of Autumn across Cultures - AnnArbor.com

Friday, November 6, 2009

UM Center for Chinese Studies link and compliment

The University of Michigan's Center for Chinese Studies called me a prominent Chinese-American community activist--neat!

"Prominent Chinese-American community activist and friend of CCS Frances Wang discusses upcoming Chinese music concert and art talks on annarbor.com."

http://mblog.lib.umich.edu/CCS/

Thursday, November 5, 2009

AML: International Adoption Documentary at AADL with "the professor of adoption films" - AnnArbor.com

I often work with organizations like Mam Non and Families with Children from China to help families who have adopted children transracially and internationally figure out strategies for raising their children with cultures and language and pride. Raising children is not easy. Adding in differences of race, country, politics, socio-economics, history, language, culture, memory, and it becomes exponentially more complicated. There is always more to learn with both the head and the heart, not just for adoptive families, but for all of us.

From the Ann Arbor District Library:

Acclaimed Documentary On International Adoption, 'Long Wait For Home' With Discussion Led By The Director, Dr. Changfu Chang, Sunday November 8, 2009: 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room (click on link for more)

International Adoption Documentary at AADL this weekend - AnnArbor.com

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Pipa Virtuoso Yang Wei and Chinese Art Talks this week - AnnArbor.com


Two years ago, when pipa virtuoso Yang Wei came to Ann Arbor for a week as a visiting artist in residence, he visited Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School for an all-school assembly. He talked about the history and evolution of the pipa, and how it is related to both the (European) lute and the (Middle Eastern) oud. He also told funny stories about cultural misunderstandings and how hard English was for him to learn when he first came to America. The kids—many of whom have immigrant parents for whom English is a second language—laughed and laughed when he described how confused he felt when people would ask him, “What’s up?” Not understanding the question, he would look up and answer,“Clouds? Sky?”

And then he played.

From Oh Susanna ("with a pipa on my knee") to classical Chinese songs filled with the sounds of canons firing, the clash of swords, galloping hooves, and the screams of horses, the kids got it. They heard it all. One man sitting alone on a bare stage with a simple musical instrument held the attention of 450 elementary students, from kindergarten to fifth grade. (click on link for more)

Pipa Virtuoso Yang Wei and Chinese Art Talks this week - AnnArbor.com

Monday, November 2, 2009

AML- Relishing Real World Halloween Costumes - NAM EthnoBlog

Today Adventures in Multicultural Living takes that six-foot battle axe to New America Media's cool new Ethnoblog!

After spending the weeks leading up to Halloween researching horrific racist and sexist costumes, and commiserating with other Asian American activists, it was a pleasure to attend the University of Michigan Halloween Concert and see that all is still well in the real world. Those online commercial costume Web sites may be glitzy and gross, but they are for the uninspired minority.

The children and I sit in the mezzanine of Hill Auditorium in front of about three or four rows of giant bumblebees. The closest one is a big stout bumblebee with a beard, long black arms folded across his yellow-striped chest, stern expression on his face, sparkly silver antennae dangling in the air in time with the music. (click on link for more)

Relishing Real World Halloween Costumes - NAM EthnoBlog

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Relishing Real World Halloween Costumes - AnnArbor.com



After spending the weeks leading up to Halloween researching horrific racist and sexist costumes, and commiserating with other Asian American activists, it is a pleasure to attend the University of Michigan Halloween Concert and see that all is still well in the real world. Those online commercial costume websites may be glitzy and gross, but they are for the uninspired minority.

The children and I sit in the mezzanine of Hill Auditorium in front of about three or four rows of giant bumblebees. The closest one is a big stout bumblebee with a beard, long black arms folded across his yellow-striped chest, stern expression on his face, sparkly silver antennae dangling in the air in time with the music. (click on link for more)

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Relishing Real World Halloween Costumes - AnnArbor.com

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Halloween with the Stearns Collection of Musical Instruments - AnnArbor.com

Trick or Treat this Halloween with the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance and the Stearns Collection of Musical Instruments…in the belfry of Burton Tower?

From the Stearns website:

“Holding over 2500 pieces of historical and contemporary musical instruments from all over the world, the Stearns Collection of Musical Instruments is one of the largest accumulations of such artifacts housed in a North American university. Known internationally as a unique collection, it is not only a precious heritage from the past, but also a rich resource for musical, educational, and cultural needs of the present and future.” (click on link for more)

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Halloween with the Stearns Collection of Musical Instruments - AnnArbor.com

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Zombies! Brandywine Cemetary - Arborweb.com

Four-year-old Little Brother starts to get nervous when his older sister Hao Hao reads the fluorescent green sign: "Chicken Exit" (left arrow) and "Certain Doom" (right arrow). But he is riding on my back, so there is no getting off this ride. (click on link for more)

Zombies! - arborweb.com

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Ode to Halloween Costumes, Plus Warning - NAM EthnoBlog

Here is Adventures in Multicultural Living Ode to Halloween costumes again, but this time in the New America Media Ethnoblog--i am sooo excited to be a part of New America Media! Check out the coolest voices in new ethnic media! Click on link to see article.

Ode to Halloween Costumes, Plus Warning - NAM EthnoBlog

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Body Music - AnnArbor.com

I received an email from the University of Michigan Arts on Earth program about Keith Terry and the Body Music Residency as part of their Arts and Bodies programming this fall. Executive Director Theresa Reid writes: “I thought you might be interested, because body music is a universal form - practiced in every culture from the dawn of humanity - which has distinct cultural variations… I’d love for more families in Ann Arbor to know about body music as well, because it’s so joyful and accessible, and it links us all.”

The Arts on Earth website explains more:

“Body music has emerged all over the world, from Inuit vocal games to Balinese kecak (or monkey) chant and dance, from Flamenco Palmas to Sumatran Saman and Ethiopian armpit music. ‘Gumboot’ was developed in the gold mines of South Africa by enslaved workers who were forbidden to speak. ‘Hambone’ was developed by African slaves in America when their owners confiscated their drums.” (click on link for more)

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Body Music - AnnArbor.com

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living--Ode to Halloween Costumes, Plus Warning - AnnArbor.com


As I child, observing the world as it was presented to me by the mainstream, I often decided to shut doors myself before anyone actually told me to. Growing up in the age of Farrah Fawcett, I knew that one had to be blond in order to be beautiful, by definition. My horseback riding friends and I knew from statistics that at ten years old we were already too tall to ever become jockeys. Common sense told me that I could never become a country-western singer, no matter how many pairs of cowboy boots I owned. Even school assignments like, “If you could live anywhere in time, where would it be?” were problematic because I knew that as a girl, and as a Chinese girl, I would not be able to just “drop in” anywhere in history.

However, once a year, I could be whatever I wanted to be, construct whatever image or story I wanted for myself, travel backwards and forwards in history and literature, creatively cross over any social barriers. It was also a chance to pretend to be pretty and show off how smart I could be.

One night a year—Halloween. (click on link for more)

Adventures in Multicultural Living--Ode to Halloween Costumes, Plus Warning - AnnArbor.com

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living - UN Day, International Hetalia Day and a Korean folk music performance - AnnArbor.com

Did you catch the Hikone kids when they were here a few weeks ago? Their hurly-burly energy as they poured into Sweetwaters Café that Sunday afternoon was invigorating. Any language barrier between the middle schoolers was crossed when one Ann Arbor girl dragged a skinny, sullen, ginger-haired boy over to the Japanese group and pointed, “Boyfriend.” “AH!!! BOYFRIENDO!” Screams, gasps, half a dozen camera flashes. The international interests of middle schoolers.

Speaking of which, Saturday is United Nations Day, the birthday of the United Nations, which was founded at the end of World War II on Oct. 24, 1945. It is usually observed around the world by serious meetings, discussions, and exhibits on the goals and achievements of the United Nations.

Area teens, however, will be marking the occasion by celebrating International Hetalia Day, cosplaying as their favorite characters from the popular manga and anime series, Hetalia: Axis Powers by Hidekaz Himaruya, which depicts historic events of the World War II era as satiric social and romantic interactions between comic characters who are personifications of the countries of the world. From www.hetalia-day.com: (click on link for more)

UN javascript:void(0)Day, International Hetalia Day and a Korean folk music performance - AnnArbor.com

Harvey's Back - Latest hijinks - arborweb.com

The swarms of maize-clad football fans weren't the only ones stopping traffic around Michigan Stadium after the U-M's win over Western Michigan in September. Ann Arbor's most notorious photographer, Harvey Drouillard, was at it again--photographing nude models for his new book, Mission Skinpossible. (click on link for more)

Harvey's Back - arborweb.com

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living--Nigerian Gele Headwrapping Workshop at AADL Traverwood - AnnArbor.com

I have one good winter hat that I picked up in a Wisconsin hat shop in 1991. This is the one hat that I have worn every day of every winter ever since. I love this hat, but how safe. How dull. My daughter is currently trying to figure out how to re-create a traditional Turkish turban/hat to cosplay as a character from the manga, Hetalia. I keep telling her that it is more complicated than it looks, that there is a technique to it, that you have to have a certain touch, and I find myself quietly eyeing the many patkas and dastaars I see in town and wondering, "How is it done?" Here is an opportunity to put our hands on the fabric and make the motions and develop the touch...and adorn ourselves in a beautiful new way. The Ann Arbor District Library is hosting a Nigerian Gele Headwrapping Workshop this Saturday: (click on link for more)

Nigerian Gele headwrapping workshop at AADL Traverwood - AnnArbor.com

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living--Ganesha, Diwali, and Ravi Shankar too - AnnArbor.com

I was at the University of Michigan Art Museum (UMMA) a few weeks ago when a museum staff member perched up high on the fourth floor where she could monitor many levels of the museum barked out at a family on the second floor not to touch. I turn to see a South Asian family showing their two young daughters, about 3 and 5 years old, an 11th century Ganesha carved out of volcanic rock.

Chastened, they back away. Curious, I go take a closer look.

The face is almost completely worn away from centuries of people touching and anointing the deity's forehead with tikka powder and oil, but he is still unmistakably Ganesha, with his elephant's head and round belly... (click on link for more)

Ganesha, Diwali, and Ravi Shankar too - AnnArbor.com

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living--MiTAI Taiwanese Music Festival Honors Concert - AnnArbor.com

This Saturday, a rare opportunity to hear contemporary Taiwanese compositions performed by some of Ann Arbor's most promising young musicians on piano and strings, solo and ensembles. One young musician was warned that although the notes might look easy on the page, to not underestimate the challenge of interpreting music from such a different tradition--and by the way the composer is coming to hear you play his work.

Every year, the Michigan Taiwanese American Association (MiTAI) Taiwanese Music Festival Honors Concert celebrates contemporary Taiwanese music by giving young musicians--who have to qualify through two rounds of competition over several months--the opportunity to learn and then perform contemporary Taiwanese compositions....

More information available on the MiTAI website: (click on link for more)

MiTAI Taiwanese Music Festival Honors Concert - AnnArbor.com

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Adventures in Multicultural Living--Ravi Shankar and daughter Anoushka coming to Ann Arbor - AnnArbor.com

An email from my girlfriend, Sujata: Diwali is coming, and Ravi Shankar and daughter Anoushka, too.

What else is there to say? Even 9-year-old Niu Niu knows she wants to go.

University Musical Society (UMS) has all the details, including additional performances of Indian music and dance, classical and fusion, in the community. This Thursday, October 15: (click on link for more)

Ravi Shankar and daughter Anoushka coming to Ann Arbor - AnnArbor.com

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Reader Letter--Hawaiian Kisses

Rescued from the SPAM Folder: Fri, Oct 9, 2009 at 3:37 AM

Aloha Frances,

I saw an article you wrote on line back in March of this year. I was wondering if I could ask you about this Hawaiian kiss. I just moved to Oahu the end of September. I am a women who's currently working on a construction job site at the marine base in Kaneohe Bay, HI. I really love being here but a lot of men when I go to shake their hand also kiss me on the cheek. Growing up in the mainland, I'm completely not used to this. Could you tell me what I'm supposed to be doing while they kiss my cheek? Am I supposed to be kissing their cheek too? It feels so awkward and I don't want to make the people I meet feel awkward. Any advice you give me will be helpful. Much Muhalo.

Sincerely,
KS

ANSWER:
Yes, you kiss back! :) if not the cheek, then at least the air next to the cheek. Don't worry, you get used to it, and then it becomes fun!
Frances

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living--Mooncakes and Yo-Yos - AnnArbor.com

We were going to have an moonlit picnic at the park--teriyaki chicken musubi, steamed little dragon buns, a thermos of hot jasmine tea, and of course, plenty of mooncakes. Thirteen-year-old Hao Hao had already written up a grocery list (which suspiciously includes "Pocky--1,000,000 boxes"). We had four pink and green paper lanterns and candles from Vietnam, one for each of the kids. It was going to be a rare Saturday night with everyone together, just to sit and eat as a family and look at the beautiful full moon, the Harvest Moon, while composing a poem or two for the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival (basically, Chinese/Vietnamese/Korean Thanksgiving or Oktoberfest...but without the beer).

But then rain was forecast.... (click on link for more)

Mooncakes and Yo-Yos - AnnArbor.com

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Friday, October 9, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living--Persian Family Culture Celebration at Downtown Library Sunday October 11 - AnnArbor.com

At the GenAPA cultural show, put on by the Asian Pacific American student groups at the University of Michigan last spring at Power Center, I was completely blown away by the dancing of the Persian Students Association. It was sleek, stylish, sexy, and thoroughly thoroughly modern. It reminded me how little I really know about other cultures, how I really only pick up snippets from here and there, and how it is so easy to forget that cultures do not stay the same as they were two thousand years ago, but continue to change with time. When I told my Persian friend, Siamak, about the dance, he said, "Oh, was it like this?" and made a few bobbing dance gestures indicating some (dorky) "traditional dance" he probably had to learn as a boy. No. It was not. It was amazing. To see it and feel it and get a sense of it... (click on link for more)

Persian Family Culture Celebration at Downtown Library Sunday October 11 - AnnArbor.com

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Adventures in Multicultural Living--Washtenaw Community College hosts World Cultural Celebration Saturday - AnnArbor.com

When my daughters were learning Chinese dance at the Ann Arbor Chinese Center of Michigan, they participated in all the "International Night" type events in the area. It was a great opportunity for them to perform and educate others about their culture, to develop a sense of pride in their heritage as they were rewarded with gifts and applause (and thereby realized that others also valued it), and to learn about other cultures by watching other performances and participating in activities from other cultures... (click on link for more)

Washtenaw Community College hosts World Cultural Celebration Saturday - AnnArbor.com


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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living Launch at AnnArbor.com

My column, Adventures in Multicultural Living, has just celebrated its one-year anniversary, shifted to a weekly format, and moved to AnnArbor.com (formerly The Ann Arbor News). I’ll also be blogging twice a week about upcoming multicultural activities in the community. They may also reprint these columns in the Sunday paper—on paper—so look for it! Thanks for posting your comments and forwarding the link on to your friends.

Join me as I explore Ann Arbor through a cross-cultural lens - AnnArbor.com

When I first came to Ann Arbor from California for graduate school oh so many years ago, I felt out of place, conspicuous, like a foreigner, like I was not wanted and I did not belong. Without a feeling of safety and understanding, it was difficult for me to maintain my footing, and I planned to graduate and run away as soon as possible.

But on my way out of town, I met a handsome man who laughed at my jokes and convinced me to stay just a little longer. Slowly, I managed to find a place for myself and my young family, to create the kind of community in which I wanted to raise my children, strong and proud in their own skin. Without any sort of multicultural What to Expect book, I had to write my own...


http://www.annarbor.com/passions-pursuits/adventures-in-multicultural-living-introduction-20/

Thursday, October 1, 2009

"Adventures in Multicultural Living" one year anniversary today

I just realized that today is the one year anniversary of "Adventures in Multicultural Living," so I'm celebrating with huge writers block as it moves to a weekly format and moves to www.AnnArbor.com. See how it all started at annarborchronicle.com. Think where we can go. Writing the first new column today.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A New Column at AnnArbor.com

I am now officially a lead contributor and blogger on all things multicultural (issues, events, stuff) for AnnArbor.com. Shall I keep the name, "Adventures in Multicultural Living"? Send me your (local) press releases! Invite me to your events! Help me syndicate!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Brandywine Cemetary and Harvey...

The new October Ann Arbor Observer is out--in your mailbox now (and online later in the month at www.arborweb.com)--a review of Brandywine Cemetary in the calendar section and a short piece in the "Up Front" section about a day with our notorious Harvey...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Bug Fest at Leslie Science and Nature Center

We accidentally ran into Leslie Science and Nature Center's annual Bug Fest yesterday. Thought it was supposed to be Sunday, but there were all the bug games already set out on Saturday when we hiked in for our picnic brunch of chocolate chip bagels and cream... cheese around the campfire. Also fun to get an email from Leslie Science Center, sending out this old article to all their folks.

http://arborweb.com/articles/bug_fest.html

Friday, September 11, 2009

Apples and Honey at the Jewish Community Center

Apples and Honey at the Jewish Community Center is this Sunday, and the article, "A Sweet New Year" is up now at Arborweb.com or in print in the September Ann Arbor Observer.

http://arborweb.com/articles/a_sweet_new_year.html

Friday, September 4, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living--Boon, Michigan

Pacific Citizen has published an "Adventures in Multicultural Living" column about Huron High School's Band Camp, what I learned about western music from my children, and the odd associations only I can make about a place called "Boon, Michigan." New at PacificCitizen.org.

http://pacificcitizen.org/site/details/tabid/55/selectmoduleid/373/ArticleID/412/reftab/84/Default.aspx?title=Boon,_Michigan

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Voices of Adoption RainbowKids.com: AML: Culture on the Volcano

A new "Adventures in Multicultural Living" column is up at VoicesofAdoption.rainbowkids.com, perfect for the last days of summer...Culture on the Volcano..

http://voicesofadoption.rainbowkids.com/ExpertArticleDetails.aspx?id=333&title=Adventures%20in%20Multicultural%20Living--Culture%20on%20the%20Volcano

Monday, August 31, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living--Shopping Cart Races

Pacific Citizen has published my new "Adventures in Multicultural Living" column about the midnight shopping cart races in downtown Ann Arbor--which should be any day now...

http://pacificcitizen.org/site/details/tabid/55/selectmoduleid/373/ArticleID/378/reftab/74/title/Shopping_Cart_Races/Default.aspx

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Michigan Government Television

Who do you supposes watches Michigan Government TV? Frances Kai-Hwa Wang will be on Michigan Government Television with Roland Hwang, Frank Wu, and more. View the Michigan State Bar's Vincent Chin 34th Legal Milestone program on at 11:24 am on Monday August 24 on Michigan Government TV. Check out www.mgtv.org for live streaming.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Voices of Adoption RainbowKids.com: AML: Sitting in the Sunshine in VoicesofAdoption.RainbowKids.com

A new "Adventures in Multicultural Living" column at VoicesofAdoption.RainbowKids.com about How the sunshine throws light on our cultural differences

Called my girlfriend Nina to see if she would play hooky with me one recent Sunday afternoon. Alas, she’s off with her latest beau somewhere, no time for me. So I sit on the sidewalk outside Sweetwaters café downtown, soaking in the sunshine on this glorious spring day. My laptop sits unopened at my side...

http://voicesofadoption.rainbowkids.com/ExpertArticleDetails.aspx?id=325

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Beginning the Frances Kai-Hwa Wang Blog

Ok Ok, I have put this off long enough. Time to start a blog for my work. This is really embarrassing. But I have already set up blogs for American Citizens for Justice and King International Night. And all too much Facebook. So here we go...Thanks in advance for reading my writing and attending my talks! Frances/Kai-Hwa
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