Thursday, December 30, 2010

NAM Ethnoblog: "Did you eat means I love you" Deciphering our families at Christmas - NAM EthnoBlog

A few days before Christmas last year, I cheekily signed off an email to family and friends, “I’ve got a date with Robert Downey, Jr. on Christmas day.”

My mother was pleased to hear that I was going to be with friends on Christmas day since I could not go home, and she asked my brother if he knew anything about my new friend, Robert Downey, Jr.

My brother told her that Robert Downey, Jr. was an actor.

My mother worried about the low income and job insecurity of actors.


My brother explained that Robert Downey, Jr. was not that kind of actor, and that his movie, Sherlock Holmes, was opening Christmas Day.

Oh.

click on link for more: "Did you eat means I love you" Deciphering our families at Christmas - NAM EthnoBlog

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

AML: Silly Stories with Laura Pershin Raynor at Ann Arbor District Library Pittsfield branch - AnnArbor.com

Posted: Dec 29, 2010 at 6:12 AM [Today]

Children getting restless yet? Parents getting tired yet? There is no better way to revitalize one’s humor in preparation for the new year than to spend the morning with Laura Pershin Raynor, one of my favorite storytellers ever.

On Wednesday, Dec. 29, from 10 to 10:30 a.m,, at the Ann Arbor District Library Pittsfield Branch Program Room, storyteller Laura Pershin Raynor will tell some ridiculous stories, and musician Betsy Beckerman will lead some goofy songs. Together, the group will put together the notes and narration for Pete Seeger’s classic Abiyoyo, based on a South African lullaby and folktale about a boy and his father who, once banished as mischief-makers, become heroes when they find a way to make the dreaded giant, Abiyoyo, disappear.

click on link for more: Silly Stories with Laura Pershin Raynor at Ann Arbor District Library Pittsfield branch - AnnArbor.com

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

AML: Happy New Year Crafts at Ann Arbor District Library Traverwood branch Tuesday - AnnArbor.com

Posted: Dec 28, 2010 at 6:12 AM

Prepare to ring in the new year with the Ann Arbor District Library program, “Happy New Year Crafts,” Tuesday, Dec. 28 from 2 to 3 p.m., at the Traverwood Branch Program Room. Library staff will have materials ready for children preschool through fifth grade to make silly hats and noisemakers for New Year’s Eve celebrations.

click on link for more: Happy New Year Crafts at Ann Arbor District Library Traverwood branch Tuesday - AnnArbor.com

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Adventures in Multicultural Living: "Did you eat means I love you" Deciphering our families at Christmas - AnnArbor.com

A few days before Christmas last year, I cheekily signed off an email to family and friends, “I’ve got a date with Robert Downey, Jr. on Christmas day.”

My mother was pleased to hear that I was going to be with friends on Christmas day since I could not go home, and she asked my brother if he knew anything about my new friend, Robert Downey, Jr.

My brother told her that Robert Downey, Jr. was an actor.

My mother worried about the low income and job insecurity of actors.

My brother explained that Robert Downey, Jr. was not that kind of actor, and that his movie, Sherlock Holmes, was opening Christmas Day.

Oh.

Gotta love our parents.

click on link for more: "Did you eat means I love you" Deciphering our families at Christmas - AnnArbor.com

Thursday, December 23, 2010

AML: "Chinese and a Movie Day" with Temple Beth Emeth - AnnArbor.com

Posted: Dec 23, 2010 at 6:12 AM [Yesterday]

I was raised Catholic, so my family celebrates Christmas on Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day itself is a quiet one since we are pretty much done as soon as the stockings are opened.

In the spirit of the season, I braved the snow and went to the movies last year on Christmas Day. I was surprised to discover how completely packed the movie theaters were. I could not even get into Sherlock Holmes and had to go home and come back later. I had no idea so many people went to the movies on Christmas Day.

I wondered how many of those people had also gone out for Chinese Food first.

click on link for more: "Chinese and a Movie Day" with Temple Beth Emeth - AnnArbor.com

Plaque honoring murdered Asian man, Vincent Chin, unveiled in Ferndale

From WXYZ News:



Plaque honoring murdered Asian man, Vincent Chin, unveiled in Ferndale

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Vincent Chin case Legal Milestone Plaque Installation and all media coverage

UPDATED Jan 3, 2011

Vincent Chin Case State Bar of Michigan Legal Milestone installation is today, Wednesday, December 22, at Noon at the Post Bar (formerly Golden Star Restaurant where Vincent Chin once worked) in Ferndale, Michigan. The first meeting about the case was held at that location in March 1983.

Today's program is hosted by the City of Ferndale. Everyone is invited to attend. Ferndale Mayor Covey indicates that the place can hold 140 people. The Post Bar is located at 22828 Woodward, east side of Woodward, just north of 9 Mile Road in Ferndale.

The event is covered on page 1 of the Detroit Free Press today.

link to the Free Press article: http://www.freep.com/article/20101222/NEWS05/12220383/1001/NLETTER09/82-beating-death-spurred-changes-in-Michigan-law?source=nletter-news

link to Ferndale Mayor Craig Covey's press release:
http://coveys-corner.blogspot.com/2010/12/why-we-are-proud-to-host-vincent-chin.html


Media coverage of installation of Vincent Chin case 34th Legal Milestone Plaque by State Bar of Michigan on December 22, 2010, Ferndale, Michigan

Channel 7 WXYZ tv: a great video story here, with interviews with two of Vincent Chin's friends and part of Frances' speech:
Plaque honoring murdered Asian man, Vincent Chin, unveiled in Ferndale

Detroit News article with video (with summary of case) by AAJA member Ankur Dholakia:
Vincent Chin memorial unveiled in Ferndale | detnews.com | The Detroit News

The AP! Fabulous photos:
Ferndale memorial unveiled to honor Vincent Chin - Times Union

Michigan Radio print article:
MICHIGAN RADIO: Michigan Asian Americans, lawyers honor Chin (2010-12-22)

Great summary with key quotes from Oakland County Daily Tribune and Macomb Daily:
Legal milestone in Ferndale marks Vincent Chin fatal beating case - dailytribune.com
same article as above:
Legal milestone in Ferndale marks Vincent Chin fatal beating case - macombdaily.com

Observer Eccentric Newspapers:
Ferndale roadside plaque honors memory of hate-crime victim | hometownlife.com | the Observer & Eccentric Newspapers and Hometown Weeklies

great thorough article that begins with quotes from Van Ong the nurse on duty that night and six photos:
A Rallying Cry: Vincent Chin's Death and the Birth of A Movement - Ferndale, MI Patch

AngryAsianMan.com!
http://blog.angryasianman.com/2010/12/new-plaque-commemorates-vincent-chin.html

Chicago Tribune (AP)
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-mi-chinmemorial,0,581915.story

Legal News
www.legalnews.com/oakland/1004154/

8Asians.com Michigan Remembers Vincent Chin
http://www.8asians.com/2010/12/23/michigan-remembers-vincent-chin/


Frances Kai-Hwa Wang's articles in Adventures in Multicultural Living columns:
Jan 2, 2011: ADVENTURES IN MULTICULTURAL LIVING: The legacy of the Vincent Chin case for the Asian American civil rights movement and all of ushttp://annarbor.com/passions-pursuits/the-legacy-of-the-vincent-chin-case-for-the-asian-american-civil-rights-movement-and-all-of-us/
June 20, 2010: ADVENTURES IN MULTICULTURAL LIVING: Remembering Vincent Chin 28 years laterhttp://www.annarbor.com/passions-pursuits/remember-vincent-chin-28-years-later/

Articles that ran before the ceremony:
Great Detroit Free Press article with quotes from Roland Hwang, Jim Shimoura, Mayor Craig Covey, and Van Ong who was the emergency room nurse-on-duty at the hospital when they brought in Vincent Chin that night, as well as a summary of the legal changes the occured:
Vincent Chin's beating death spurred changes in Michigan law | freep.com | Detroit Free Press

Patch.com article with photo of workers installing the plaque:
Ferndale To Honor Vincent Chin, Asian Pacific American Movement - Ferndale, MI Patch

June 20, 2010: ADVENTURES IN MULTICULTURAL LIVING: Remembering Vincent Chin 28 years later http://www.annarbor.com/passions-pursuits/remember-vincent-chin-28-years-later/

more links to other articles coming soon.

Links to the speeches and content at the Vincent Chin case 34th Michigan Legal Milestone Plaque Installation Ceremony, December 22, 2010, Ferndale, Michigan

Covey's Corner: Full Text of the Mayor's Remarks, Vincent Chin Memorial:
Covey's Corner: Full Text of the Mayor's Remarks, Vincent Chin Memorial

Full Text of Frances Kai-Hwa Wang's Remarks: The facts of the Vincent Chin case and the activism that followed

link to content of Roland Hwang's remarks:
The legal changes that occured because of the Vincent Chin case

link to content of State Bar Association of Michigan Janet Welch's remarks: Michigan Legal Milestones

Full text of both plaques:
Milestone Plaque Wording

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

AML: Winter solstice crafts at Ann Arbor District Library Mallett's Creek branch Tuesday - AnnArbor.com

Posted: Dec 21, 2010 at 6:12 AM [Today]

Can you believe that it is not winter yet?

Welcome the arrival of winter with the Ann Arbor District Library program, “Winter Solstice Crafts,” Tuesday, Dec. 21 from 2 to 3 p.m. at the Malletts Creek Branch in Program Room AB. Library staff will have materials ready for children preschool through fifth grade to make beautiful winter crafts and decorations.

The Library website also suggests these books about the winter solstice.

click on link for more: Winter solstice crafts at Ann Arbor District Library Mallett's Creek branch Tuesday - AnnArbor.com

Monday, December 20, 2010

New America Media Ethnoblog: The difference a cool voice of authority (like Santa) can make beyond Christmas - NAM EthnoBlog

Dec 20, 2010 10:30 AM, New America Media Ethnoblog

Last week, I went on a first grade field trip to Kensington Metropark. The naturalist assigned to our small group, Manfred Schmidt, took a few extra moments to learn to pronounce the beautiful names emblazoned on the children’s nametags (Indian names, Korean names, Chinese names, Greek names). He said by way of explanation that he was from Germany.

click on link for more: The difference a cool voice of authority (like Santa) can make beyond Christmas - NAM EthnoBlog

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Adventures in Multicultural Living: The difference a cool voice of authority (like Santa) can make beyond Christmas - AnnArbor.com

Posted: Dec 19, 2010 at 6:12 AM

Last week, I went on a first grade field trip to Kensington Metropark. The naturalist assigned to our small group, Manfred Schmidt, took a few extra moments to learn to pronounce the beautiful names emblazoned on the children’s nametags (Indian names, Korean names, Chinese names, Greek names). He said by way of explanation that he was from Germany.

When he showed us the bat house, he told the children that bats look like flying mice and were called fledermaus in German. He also told them about an opera of the same name. My six-year-old son, Little Brother, actually remembered that song from the University of Michigan Halloween concert.

As our little group marched back towards the nature center at the end of our hike, the naturalist taught the children how to count in German, and the children taught him how to count in all of their languages, too. Eine, zwei, drei, vier. Yi, er, san, si.

Not only did the children have chickadees eating out of their hands, they also got an inadvertent lesson in language, culture, and music. Nothing heavy-handed, it was just small talk; but it was small talk that made those cultural differences okay. Never mind that mom and dad probably say all those same things every day, but the naturalist was a teacher and a person in authority.

click on link for more: The difference a cool voice of authority (like Santa) can make beyond Christmas - AnnArbor.com

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Voices of Adoption RainbowKids.com: AML: Will you have a Kung Pao kosher Christmas? - The importance of your child's Chinese heritage at Christmas

December 19, 2010/ Frances Kai-Hwa Wang/ Voices of Adoption RainbowKids.com: AML

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.

click on link for more: Adventures in Multicultural Living: Will you have a Kung Pao kosher Christmas? - The importance of your child's Chinese heritage at Christmas

Thursday, December 16, 2010

"Mai-Thu Perret: An Ideal for Living" exhibit opening at U of M Museum of Art (UMMA) - AnnArbor.com

Posted: Dec 16, 2010 at 1:39 PM [Dec 16, 2010]

Contempory Swiss artist Mai-Thu Perret’s exhibition, “Mai-Thu Perret: An Ideal for Living,” opens at the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) this weekend, Saturday, Dec. 18, and runs through March 13, 2011. This is the first large scale North American survey exhibition of Mai-Thu Perret's work. It includes many works never before shown in North America, as well as new work created specifically for this exhibition.

There will be a docent-led tour Sunday, Dec. 19, at 2 p.m., and the artist will be coming to Ann Arbor for an artist's talk on Jan. 19, 2011.

click on link for more: "Mai-Thu Perret: An Ideal for Living" exhibit opening at U of M Museum of Art (UMMA) - AnnArbor.com

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

AML: Detroit blues diva Alberta Adams coming to Ann Arbor District Library Thursday - AnnArbor.com

Posted: Dec 14, 2010 at 6:12 AM [Dec 14, 2010]

This Thursday, Dec. 16, 7-8:00 p.m., the Downtown Ann Arbor District Library will host an amazing blues and jazz concert with Detroit blues diva Alberta Adams and the RJ Spangler Trio.

From an Ann Arbor District Library statement:

Alberta Adams has long been the undisputed Queen of the Blues in Detroit. She was born on July 26, 1917 and celebrated her 93rd birthday this year. She started as a dancer in the late 1930s and has been doing it ever since. Along the way she toured with T-Bone Walker, Louis Jordan, Cleanhead Vinson and even played the Apollo Theater with Dizzy Gillespie.

It is amazing that a woman born in 1917 is still out there still performing with such power. She continues to represent the real old school and is still touring. She returned to the Apollo last spring! Alberta received two historical awards from the State of Michigan this summer and has more Detroit Music Awards than she can count. She is a Lifetime Achievement Award winner from the Detroit Blues Society.


click on link for more: Detroit blues diva Alberta Adams coming to Ann Arbor District Library Thursday - AnnArbor.com

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Reading Rosa Parks and Pearl Harbor with others - AnnArbor.com

Posted: Dec 12, 2010 at 6:12 AM [Dec 12, 2010]

When I was in elementary school, I was taught that at the end of a long day in 1955, an old and tired seamstress with aching feet sat down on a public bus in Montgomery, Alabama, and was just too tired to get up and give up her seat to a Caucasian passenger. I always imagined thick white orthopedic shoes, and I felt the heaviness of her exhaustion weighing her down in her seat, and I thought that it was an accident or coincidence that she started the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the civil rights movement in America.

That story lived undisturbed in my mind until almost 30 years later, when I heard Reverend Jesse Jackson proclaim at her funeral in Detroit that she was not tired that day at all, she was a freedom fighter. I was surprised to then see photographs of how young she was at the time, only 42, and how elegantly she was dressed. I discovered that she was not the first person to be arrested for refusing to give up her seat, but she was chosen to be the test case because she was the one with the character and social status and personality deemed necessary to stand up to the challenge. It took moving to Michigan, where she later made her home, for me to learn how very political and intentional her action was that day.

click on link for more: Reading Rosa Parks and Pearl Harbor with others - AnnArbor.com

Friday, December 10, 2010

AML: "Fourteenth Annual Evening of Sacred Song" vocal concert on Saturday - AnnArbor.com

Posted: Dec 10, 2010 at 2:37 PM [Dec 10, 2010]

The Fourteenth Annual Evening of Sacred Song will take place this Saturday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m. at Temple Beth Emeth/St. Clare Episcopal Church (also known as Genesis of Ann Arbor), 2309 Packard Road, Ann Arbor.

Sacred Song is a multi-ethnic choral group singing a capella and accompanied songs from around the world. Members of the ensemble include LaRon Williams, D. Yarrow Halstead, Robin Wilson, Gae Winn, Laura Machida, AT Miller, Barbara Stahler-Sholk, Edie Lewis, Mary Anne Perrone, Craig Kukuk, Cassandra Compton-Montgomery and Nancy Harknett.

Since 1995, proceeds from this December concert have been donated to local nonprofit organizations that affirm the values of social justice and spiritual inclusiveness. This year, proceeds will be donated to the Women's Center of Southeastern Michigan, which serves the needs of men, women, children and families of our community.

click on link for more: "Fourteenth Annual Evening of Sacred Song" vocal concert on Saturday - AnnArbor.com

AML: Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra's annual Sing-along-with-Santa Saturday - AnnArbor.com

Posted: Dec 10, 2010 at 2:24 PM [Dec 10, 2010]

What better way to get ready for Christmas than a good old fashioned caroling party with Santa and steel drums? Only at the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra’s annual Sing-along with Santa, which will be taking place this Saturday, Dec. 11, 4 p.m. at Bethlehem United Church of Christ, 423 S. Fourth Ave., Ann Arbor.

Every year, the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra fills the church with cute little girls in red velvet dresses and journeys around the world alongside Santa to explore different global musical themes. Past years have featured “Feliz Navidad” on the Chinese erhu, Puerto Rican singers and Indonesian angklung.

This year will feature the Rudolf Steiner Steel Drum Band and Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra members Barbara Sturgiss-Everett and Lori Zupan.

click on link for more: Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra's annual Sing-along-with-Santa Saturday - AnnArbor.com

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

AML: 'What it means to me to be Arab American' art exhibit at U of M Duderstadt Center Gallery - AnnArbor.com

Posted: Dec 7, 2010 at 9:59 AM [Dec 7, 2010]

The “What it means to me to be Arab American” art exhibit continues through Wednesday, Dec. 8 at the Duderstadt Center Gallery on the North Campus of the University of Michigan. Organized by a student group within the course, "Introduction to Arab American Studies" with Professor Nadine Naber, the exhibit features photographs and artwork by young Arab Americans including Laya Charara, Mohanad Mohammed, Derek Fawaz and more.

click on link for more: 'What it means to me to be Arab American' art exhibit at U of M Duderstadt Center Gallery - AnnArbor.com

AML: 'Terrorists, Harems, and Veils? — Breaking Stereotypes of Muslim Women' with Najah Bazzy at U of M Tuesday - AnnArbor.com

Posted: Dec 7, 2010 at 1:32 PM [Dec 7, 2010]

“Terrorists, Harems, and Veils?—Breaking Sterotypes of Muslim Women” featuring Najah Bazzy promises discussion, film clips and food on Tuesday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m., 3512 Haven Hall, Ann Arbor.

From an email announcement from the University of Michigan Center for Middle Eastern and Near Eastern Studies: “Najah Bazzy is a transcultural Nurse Clinical Specialist with extensive background in critical care nursing and special expertise in Arab and Muslim health care, beliefs and practices. She is CEO of Diversity Specialists and Transcultural Health Care Solutions. She is also the Executive Director and Founder of Zaman International, a nonprofit humanitarian organization which provides ‘hope for humanity.’”

click on link for more: 'Terrorists, Harems, and Veils? — Breaking Stereotypes of Muslim Women' with Najah Bazzy at U of M Tuesday - AnnArbor.com

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

InCultureParent: Is Christmas any less Christian if you put up a Bodhi Day tree?

November 30, 2010, InCultureParent.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. Is Christmas any less Christian if you put up a Bodhi Day tree?

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.”

You can imagine their response, “NOOOOO!!!!”

click on link for more: Is Christmas any less Christian if you put up a Bodhi Day tree? | InCultureParent

AML: Remembering Rosa Parks and Dec. 1, 1955 - AnnArbor.com

Posted: Dec 1, 2010 at 7:55 AM [Dec 1, 2010]

Today is the 55th anniversary of the day Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery public bus (which can be seen at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn). She was not the first person to refuse, but her refusal and subsequent arrest is the one that set off the Montgomery Bus Boycott and all that followed.

There are some interesting thoughts for today at TeachingTolerance.com.

click on link for more: Remembering Rosa Parks and Dec. 1, 1955 - AnnArbor.com

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Sharing lunches, friendships, and leftovers after Thanksgiving - AnnArbor.com

Six-year-old Little Brother and I have been reading “Sandwich Swap” over and over again these past few weeks. Ten-year-old Niu Niu leans over to read with us after discovering that this book is written by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan. They are amazed that this true story told by a real queen is one they have lived as well.

From the book jacket:

"Lily and Salma are best friends. They like doing all the same things — jumping rope, drawing pictures, playing on swings. And they always eat lunch together.

Sure, they don’t eat the same lunch, Lily eats peanut butter and Salma eats hummus—but what’s that between friends?

It turns out, a lot. And before they know it, it’s a food fight."

Of course, the friends in the picture book eventually make up and become best friends again once they stop feeling hurt and angry and actually taste each other’s sandwiches — together on the count of three. They discover that what each had thought looked so gross and disgusting, “that icky chickpea paste” and “that gooey peanut paste” that each feels so sorry her friend “had to eat,” actually tastes delicious, heavenly. However, first they have to trust the other’s point of view and risk trying it themselves.

click on link for more Sharing lunches, friendships, and leftovers after Thanksgiving - AnnArbor.com

Thursday, November 25, 2010

AML: Chinese Documentary Film "Last Train Home" opens at Michigan Theater Friday

If you have any complaints about traveling over Thanksgiving weekend, check out “Last Train Home,” which opens this Friday, November 26, and runs to December 2, at the Michigan Theater. This award-winning documentary film, made by Chinese-Canadian filmmaker Lixin Fan, looks at the epic phenomenon of 130 million workers going home for Chinese New Year’s, as well as the intimate cost to one poor rural family of leaving the children behind to be raised by grandparents in order to work those distant and demanding factory jobs.

From the Michigan Theater’s website:

“Beautifully shot, haunting and haunted.” - Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

Working over several years in classic verité style Chinese-Canadian filmmaker Lixin Fan (with the producers of the award-winning hit documentary Up the Yangtze) travels with one couple who have embarked on this annual trek for almost two decades. Like so many of China’s rural poor, Changhua and Sugin Zhang left behind their two infant children for grueling factory jobs. Their daughter Qin—now a restless and rebellious teenager—both bitterly resents their absence and longs for her own freedom away from school, much to the utter devastation of her parents. Emotionally engaging and starkly beautiful, Last Train Home’s intimate observation of one fractured family sheds light on the human cost of China’s ascendance as an economic superpower.


(click on link for more) http://www.annarbor.com/passions-pursuits/chinese_documentary_film_last_train_home_opens_at_michigan_theater_friday

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

AML: Gemini's multicultural Thanksgiving children's music concert to benefit Mott Children's Hospital Sunday

Our family loves Ann Arbor’s multicultural children’s music duo Gemini so much that we used to delay our summer vacation plans until after their concert at Top of the Park. Another annual favorite worth returning from Thanksgiving early for is Gemini’s annual Ark Thanksgiving benefit concert for Mott Children’s Hospital on Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend, November 28, 2010, 1:00 pm, at The Ark Coffeehouse, 316 S. Main Street, Ann Arbor.

This year, San Slomovits will be unable to perform due to a recent surgery (but the Ark’s website reassures, “don't worry, San is doing great and will be back on his feet in no time - see the Gemini website here for more info”). Nevertheless, the show will go on with Laz Slomovits, San’s daughter Emily, and the Good Mischief Band (Brian Brill on piano, Aron Kaufman on drums, Eric Fithian on bass).

(Afterwards, let's go get a Gemini Rocks the House sandwich at the deli…)

(click on link for more) http://www.annarbor.com/passions-pursuits/geminis-multicultural-thanksgiving-childrens-music-concert-to-benefit-mott-childrens-hospital-sunday-1/

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Distant relatives versus nearby friends on Thanksgiving - AnnArbor.com

My parents say that there is a Chinese saying (there is always a Chinese saying) about how distant relatives are not as good as nearby friends. To illustrate, they recall the time our car broke down on the winding and treacherous Pacheco Pass after midnight and how our neighbor, Mr. Shigematsu, came to rescue us and did not get home until after 2 am. Our relatives in distant Los Angeles or San Francisco could not have done anything to help because they were too far away.

Thanksgiving is a time of feasting and family, and people are traveling, cooking, and cleaning like mad, trying to get to their families for four brief days. Because many of my children’s friends are from international families and do not have extended family close by, I like to gather up all our friends and celebrate “Thanksgiving Eve” the night before with a big potluck of what turns out to be the most amazing spread of foods from around the world—teriyaki turkey, sticky rice stuffing, butternut squash Thai curry, chicken biriyani, babaganoush, tabbouli, lasagna, shrimp and broccoli, mangoes and black sticky rice, Thai pumpkin custard, and more.

So although everyone typically writes and thinks about family this time of year, I have been thinking about friends and connection—meeting someone with whom you click, who understands your humor, who appreciates your meager talents and suspect beauty, who sees you and accepts you, who challenges you to become more yourself. It is always such a relief to finally find someone who gets you, such a loss when they slip away. (click on link for more)

Distant relatives versus nearby friends on Thanksgiving - AnnArbor.com

Thursday, November 18, 2010

AML: Raising a bilingual child at Traverwood Library Saturday - AnnArbor.com

On Saturday, Nov. 20, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., the Ann Arbor District Library will sponsor a talk by Su-Fen Lin on “Raising a Bilingual Child” at its Traverwood branch. Lin will discuss language acquisition in children whose native language is not English — the advantages of raising a child to speak multiple languages, what to expect and how to support your child through this process.

Lin is the Early Childhood Program Specialist for Saline Area Schools, an instructor at Washtenaw Community College Behavioral Sciences Department, Bilingual Parent Educator for First Steps Washtenaw Intermediate School District and former principal of Ann Arbor Chinese Center of Michigan. She will be joined by a speech and language specialist from the Hanen Speech and Language program. (click on link for more)

Raising a bilingual child at Traverwood Library Saturday - AnnArbor.com

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

AML: Science Cafe Wednesday: Different Perspectives on Happiness from around the World - AnnArbor.com

When we think about happiness, academics are not generally the first people who spring to mind. But this is an academic town, what else are we to do? Where else are we to go?

Check out the University of Michigan Exhibit Museum of Natural History’s Science Café: “Happiness is Different Things to Different People: Perspectives from Around the World,” Wednesday, Nov. 17, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m,, at Conor O’Neill’s Traditional Irish Pub, 318 S. Main St., Ann Arbor, with MacArthur “genius” and professor anthropology and women’s studies Ruth Behar and political science professor Ron Inglehart. (click on link for more)

Science Cafe Wednesday: Different Perspectives on Happiness from around the World - AnnArbor.com

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Viva! Hallelujah! Access to the Arts bringing cultures in and Culture out - AnnArbor.com

The wonderful University Musical Society (UMS) people, walkie-talkies in hand, meet us as we step off our yellow school bus outside Hill Auditorium on a beautifully crisp Friday morning. We feel like honored VIPs as they lead our four busloads of elementary students, teachers, and parent chaperones in through the side door, down and around a long and winding handicapped ramp, and onto the main floor of the auditorium. I do not know how they do it, 3500 children from busses to seats in twenty minutes flat.

I gasp as I spy our usher’s seating chart. Across the very front section of the auditorium, in four big letters, is written the name of our school. They are giving us the whole front section, the orchestra section, on the main floor. As we snake into our seats, row by row, grade by grade, I feel like I have won at musical chairs to finally take my seat in the very center of the sixth row, and next to a very handsome (six year old) boy.

I could never afford such good seats for my family.

These UMS youth performances offer amazing access. Plus no one will shush us. (click on link for more)

Viva! Hallelujah! Access to the Arts bringing cultures in and Culture out - AnnArbor.com

Thursday, November 11, 2010

AML: "Untold Triumph" documentary film about WWII 1st & 2nd Filipino Infantry Regiments of U.S. Army at library - AnnArbor.com

This Veterans Day, Thursday, Nov. 11,from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., the Ann Arbor District Library, the University of Michigan Michigan Community Scholars Program, the University of Michigan Program in Asian/Pacific Islander Affairs Program in the Department of American Culture and the Filipino American National Historical Society Michigan Chapter will be sponsoring a film and discussion, “An Untold Triumph: The Story of the 1st & 2nd Filipino Infantry Regiments, U.S. Army,” the acclaimed documentary film which documents and honors the 7,000 men of the 1st and 2nd Filipino Infantry Regiments of the U.S. Army who fought in WWII. Panelists include Jason Gavilan, Josephine Sirineo , Joseph Galura , Adelwisa Weller and Quirico Samonte.

More information about the film is available at the California State University Sacramento Asian American Studies website, including a Viewers Guide, a timeline of Filipino American History, and lesson plans and handouts for educators. (click on link for more)

"Untold Triumph" documentary film about WWII 1st & 2nd Filipino Infantry Regiments of U.S. Army at library - AnnArbor.com

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

AML: "American Sons" panel discussion on being Muslim in America at library and U of M cultural exchange - AnnArbor.com

This Wednesday, Nov. 10, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., the Ann Arbor District Library, the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice and the U of M Muslim Students Association will be co-sponsoring a panel discussion “American Sons: Reflections on Being Muslim in America” at the downtown branch of the Ann Arbor District Library.

Dr. Sherman Jackson, the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Visiting Professor of Law and Professor of Afro-American Studies at the University of Michigan, will moderate the discussion with four Michigan Muslim men who will discuss being Muslim in America from their own experiences and local perspectives. The panelists include Ann Arbor resident, teacher and administrator Khidr Naeem; UM graduate and film producer Chris Abdur-Rahman Blauvelt; local attorney Haaris Ahmad; and local doctor Hasan Shanawani. (click on link for more)

"American Sons" panel discussion on being Muslim in America at library and U of M cultural exchange - AnnArbor.com

Monday, November 8, 2010

NAM EthnoBlog: Sharing the Light of Diwali

Nov 8, 2010 3:10 PM New America Media Ethnoblog

My neighbor Leah is amazing with her leaves. Every Tuesday morning, she fills up her two big brown compost bins with leaves, then she fills two other big brown compost bins she has borrowed from her neighbors, then she stands on the sidewalk with her rake to wait for the city compost truck to come. As soon as they take her leaves, she quickly refills the four containers and pushes them across the street for when the truck comes back down the other side of the street. She is utterly amazing, she is so on top of her leaves.

click on link for more: Sharing the Light of Diwali - NAM EthnoBlog

Sharing the Light of Diwali - NAM EthnoBlog

My neighbor Leah is amazing with her leaves. Every Tuesday morning, she fills up her two big brown compost bins with leaves, then she fills two other big brown compost bins she has borrowed from her neighbors, then she stands on the sidewalk with her rake to wait for the city compost truck to come. As soon as they take her leaves, she quickly refills the four containers and pushes them across the street for when the truck comes back down the other side of the street. She is utterly amazing, she is so on top of her leaves.

I do not get leaves. (click on link for more)

Sharing the Light of Diwali - NAM EthnoBlog

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Sharing the Light of Diwali - AnnArbor.com

My neighbor Leah is amazing with her leaves. Every Tuesday morning, she fills up her two big brown compost bins with leaves, then she fills two other big brown compost bins she has borrowed from her neighbors, then she stands on the sidewalk with her rake to wait for the city compost truck to come. As soon as they take her leaves, she quickly refills the four containers and pushes them across the street for when the truck comes back down the other side of the street. She is utterly amazing, she is so on top of her leaves.

I do not get leaves.

This year, I am even more confused about what to do with my leaves. The city will not pick them up. I cannot afford a compost bin. I see people mulching their leaves with their lawn mowers, but I only have a push mower. (click on link for more)

Sharing the Light of Diwali - AnnArbor.com

Thursday, November 4, 2010

NAM EthnoBlog: Learning about the world through the humility and idealism of the Peace Corps

Nov 4, 2010 1:00 PM New America Media Ethnoblog

The nice people who were hosting whatever party or reception I had crashed would invariably ask: “Honey, are you Peace Corps? You must have just come in from the field. Here, have another piece of pizza.”

I was embarrassed, of course, to be caught hovering, and I worried about how hungry and dirty I must look, but since my mouth was invariably full, I could not stop them from loading up my plate.

Today, I am still not sophisticated and I still hover chronically around buffet tables, however, with all the Peace Corps’ 50th anniversary celebrations at the University of Michigan last week, I cannot help but be moved by the idealism that inspired it.

click on link for more: Learning about the world through the humility and idealism of the Peace Corps - NAM EthnoBlog

AML: Indian classical Odissi and Javanese dance performances Saturday at U of M - AnnArbor.com

This Saturday, Nov. 6, 8 p.m. at the University of Michigan Keene Theater, Ann Arbor-based Srishti Dances of India will be performing “Angika—A Unique Evening of Dance from Asia.”

They will present an Indian classical Odissi Dance Performance featuring Sreyashi Dey, Ishika and Kritika Rajan, Debnita Talapatra, and Ananya Kar, with theatrical narration by Martin Walsh of the University of Michigan Residential College, and scripted by poet Zilka Joseph.

There will also be a special guest performance of Javanese dance entitled “Sekar Sumawur,” by University of Michigan artist in residence and master dancer and choreographer F. X. Widaryanto. He will demonstrate several types of Javanese dance in both female and male styles. The choreography will show strong as well as refined characters. (click on link for more)

Indian classical Odissi and Javanese dance performances Saturday at U of M - AnnArbor.com

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

AML: U of M Kurosawa film festival finale: "Yojimbo" and "Sanjuro" - AnnArbor.com

Do not miss the last two films in The University of Michigan Center for Japanese Studies’ fall film series, Re-Viewing Kurosawa.

From the Center for Japanese Studies website: “In the 1950s, Akira Kurosawa (1910-1998) led Japanese cinema onto the world stage, astonishing viewers with the emotional depth and the technical adroitness of his films. On the centennial of his birth, this series provides a once-in-a-generation chance to see Kurosawa’s classics again—including his incomparable early samurai films—in fresh, new 35mm prints.”

This Friday, Nov. 5, from 7 to 9 p.m., the 1961 “Yojimbo,” starring Toshiro Mifune, will be shown. The film is a dark comedy about a masterless samurai or ronin who is hired as a yojimbo or strong-arm man but who has a mind of his own. With his wit and with his sword, he clears the town of all gangsters, “including those with the temerity to hire him.” (click on link for more)

U of M Kurosawa film festival finale: "Yojimbo" and "Sanjuro" - AnnArbor.com

Introduction to Adventures in Multicultural Living: The Project Explained | InCultureParent

November 2, 2010, InCultureParent.com

It all started when my husband first asked me to marry him.

I said, “Under one condition, that we never live in the Midwest.”

I knew from experience how hard it can be to grow up as a minority, and I knew I wanted my children to grow up on the West coast or in Asia so that they would not have to grow up as minorities, and so that they would not always be “the only one.” I hoped to spare them the angst of wrestling, as I did, with who they are, what they are, and how they fit in, and make sure that they develop a strong sense of identity, culture, and pride.

He agreed, we got married in my parents’ backyard in California in front of 200 relatives and friends, and off we went on a four-year adventure doing anthropology and international development in Kathmandu, Nepal. Upon our return, I thought we would be heading for Berkeley, California, as planned. Imagine my surprise when he insisted that we return to Michigan “for only two, at most, three years,” while he wrote up his dissertation.

We have now been living in Michigan for 19 years.

click on link for more: Introduction to Adventures in Multicultural Living: The Project Explained | InCultureParent

Monday, November 1, 2010

Voices of Adoption RainbowKids: AML: Minorities pummeled by stereotypes at Halloween and election time

November 01, 2010/ Frances Kai-Hwa Wang/ Voices of Adoption RainbowKids.com Adventures in Multicultural Living

My neighbor was cleaning out her college-aged daughter’s room and gave me a large sombrero for the kids. Maybe for Halloween, she suggested, if they do not already have a costume.

Six-year-old Little Brother already had a costume, but he was thrilled to discover his new sombrero when he came home from school, so stately and grand, with its sweeping green brim, pink accents, and fancy blue stitching, that he immediately put it on and ran outside to “show the guys.”

The older neighbor boys good-naturedly teased him: “Where’s your horse? Where’s your guitar?”

He came home puzzled and embarrassed that he had thought it was a cool sombrero when, by their comments, it must have been some sort of cowboy hat. But it did not look like what he thought a cowboy hat looked like. So what did they mean exactly?
How to explain this? How to protect him? Little Brother knows some (real) Hispanic Americans, but none who wear that kind of garb. (Hey NPR’s Juan Williams! Check out Muslims Wearing Things at Tumblr.com.)

click on link for more: Adventures in Multicultural Living--Minorities pummeled by stereotypes at Halloween and election time - ethnic stereotypes at Halloween and election time

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Minorities pummeled by ethnic stereotypes at Halloween and election time - AnnArbor.com

My neighbor was cleaning out her college-aged daughter’s room and gave me a large sombrero for the kids. Maybe for Halloween, she suggested, if they do not already have a costume.

Six-year-old Little Brother already had a costume, but he was thrilled to discover his new sombrero when he came home from school, so stately and grand, with its sweeping green brim, pink accents, and fancy blue stitching, that he immediately put it on and ran outside to “show the guys.”

The older neighbor boys good-naturedly teased him: “Where’s your horse? Where’s your guitar?”

He came home puzzled and embarrassed that he had thought it was a cool sombrero when, by their comments, it must have been some sort of cowboy hat. But it did not look like what he thought a cowboy hat looked like. So what did they mean exactly?

How to explain this? How to protect him? Little Brother knows some (real) Hispanic Americans, but none who wear that kind of garb. (Hey NPR’s Juan Williams! Check out Muslims Wearing Things at Tumblr.com.) (click on link for more)

Minorities pummeled by ethnic stereotypes at Halloween and election time - AnnArbor.com

Thursday, October 28, 2010

AML: Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) celebration at downtown library Monday - AnnArbor.com

From 7-8:30 p.m. Nov. 1, the Downtown branch of the Ann Arbor District Library will have a celebration of the Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, for adults and teens (grade 6 and up) with local artists Gabrielle and Juan Javier Pescador and a performance by a traditional Aztec Dance Group directed by Estrella Torrez.

From an Ann Arbor District Library announcement:

Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) celebrations in Mexico date back almost 3,000 years! The festival that became the modern Day of the Dead fell in the ninth month of the Aztec calendar, about the beginning of August, and was celebrated for an entire month. (click on link for more)

Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) celebration at downtown library Monday - AnnArbor.com

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

AML: 'Indivisible' South Asian American poets to have reading at U-M on Monday - AnnArbor.com

I once read back ten years’ worth of "The Best American Poetry," cover to cover, volume after volume, systematically going back in time, not understanding why

I was not “getting” this poetry that was supposed to be the best, wondering if I just was not smart enough. The last poem I read, the one that made me finally stop, took place in a Thai restaurant, with a Chinese gang scheming in a back room and the restaurant owner’s son dressed as a (Japanese) samurai warrior, snarling. Snarling! It was a strange juxtaposition of tired old stereotypes, but I did not get the sense that the writer knew they were tired old stereotypes. I think the scene made sense to him.

Then I realized one of the reasons the poetry was not resonating with me was that I had such a different experience of the world. I then started reading Asian American poetry and although not all the experiences were the same as mine, finally, I could see the images and feel the emotions and hear the music in the words. The best American poetry comes from a wide range of Americans.

At 4 p.m. on Nov. 1 at 3222 Angell Hall, we have an opportunity to hear the South Asian American poets featured in "Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry". There will be a discussion facilitated by Ph.D. candidate Manan Desai at 4 p.m., and a poetry reading at 5 p.m. by "Indivisible" authors Neelanjana Banerjee (editor), Faisal Mohyuddin, and Sejal Shah. (click on link for more)

'Indivisible' South Asian American poets to have reading at U-M on Monday - AnnArbor.com

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Learning about the world through the humility and idealism of the Peace Corps - AnnArbor.com

When I was living in Kathmandu, Nepal, many years ago, working for various international development agencies, I was often mistaken for a Peace Corps volunteer, usually as I was hovering around a buffet table.

The nice people who were hosting whatever party or reception I had crashed would invariably ask: “Honey, are you Peace Corps? You must have just come in from the field. Here, have another piece of pizza.”

I was embarrassed, of course, to be caught hovering, and I worried about how hungry and dirty I must look, but since my mouth was invariably full, I could not stop them from loading up my plate.

Today, I am still not sophisticated and I still hover chronically around buffet tables, however, with all the Peace Corps’ 50th anniversary celebrations at the University of Michigan last week, I cannot help but be moved by the idealism that inspired it. (click on link for more)

Learning about the world through the humility and idealism of the Peace Corps - AnnArbor.com

Friday, October 22, 2010

NAM EthnoBlog Adventures in Multicultural Living Unwittingly changing the world around us

Oct 22, 2010 10:40 AM New America Media Ethnoblog

A Palestinan American friend, upon learning where I lived, recalled that while growing up in Ann Arbor, his best friend’s family used to live at the end of my street. It was like his second home, and he and his friends used to go back and forth between the two houses all the time, especially during the summer. He said that even though the other family has long since moved away, his mom still goes there to pick grape leaves that now grow through the back fence into the park. Unwittingly touching and changing the world and people around us.

click on link for more: Adventures in Multicultural Living - NAM EthnoBlog

Thursday, October 21, 2010

AML: Wu Wenguang's 'At Home in the World' documentary film being shown Saturday - AnnArbor.com

During the University of Michigan’s LSA ChinaNow Theme Year, 2007-2008, Wu Wenguang’s film "Bumming in Beijing: The Last Dreamers" was shown to great applause at the Michigan Theater. It was followed by a conversation with the filmmaker, who is considered to be one of the founding figures of Chinese independent documentary. The film examines the lives and art of five Beijing artists who reject their state-assigned jobs and housing security to pursue their artistic vision.

At 7 p.m. Oct. 23 at Angell Hall Auditorium A, the University of Michigan Center for Chinese Studies Chinese Film Series will be showing "At Home in the World", another Wenguang film which follows up on the five Beijing artists featured in "Bumming in Beijing" to see where they are years later. The film is in Mandarin with English subtitles. (click on link for more)

Wu Wenguang's 'At Home in the World' documentary film being shown Saturday - AnnArbor.com

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

AML: Congress designates October as Filipino American History Month - AnnArbor.com

Congress has designated October as Filipino American History Month.

On Oct. 18, 1587, the first Filipinos ("Luzones Indios") set foot on what would one day be American soil at Morro Bay, Calif. They were explorers, Filipino sailors working on the Manila-built Spanish galleon Nuestra Señora de Buena Esperanza under the command of Captain Pedro de Unamuno.

In 1763, the first permanent Filipino American settlement in the United States was established in St. Malo, La., by Filipino sailors who abandoned the Spanish galleons on which they served because of chronic mistreatment. They became known in Louisiana as “The Manilamen” and pioneered shrimp harvesting techniques.

Today, the Filipino American community is the second-largest Asian American ethnic group in the United States. Filipino Americans are recognized for their contributions in the American armed services, the medical professions, the arts, business, government, sports, technology, and more. (click on link for more)

Congress designates October as Filipino American History Month - AnnArbor.com

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Unwittingly touching and changing the world and people around us - AnnArbor.com

A Palestinan American friend, upon learning where I lived, recalled that while growing up in Ann Arbor, his best friend’s family used to live at the end of my street. It was like his second home, and he and his friends used to go back and forth between the two houses all the time, especially during the summer. He said that even though the other family has long since moved away, his mom still goes there to pick the grape leaves that now grow through the back fence into the park.

Hey, I know that house.

My Lebanese American neighbor also goes to the same secret spot to pick grape leaves with which to make dolmas.

That night as I ran my dog around the block, I found an errant grape plant that had migrated and planted itself in the front yard of that house and had begun to trellis itself up a utility pole. I touched its leaves and thought about the immigrants that have come before and how no one knows all the small ways one touches and changes the world and people around us. (click on link for more)

Unwittingly touching and changing the world and people around us - AnnArbor.com

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

AML: University of Michigan kicks off Peace Corps 50th anniversary celebrations with national symposium and more - AnnArbor.com

Posted: Oct 12, 2010 at 6:12 AM [Oct 12, 2010]

This week marks the fiftieth anniversary of the night then-presidential candidate John F. Kennedy stood on the steps of the Michigan Union at 2 a.m. and asked University of Michigan students if they would be willing to help promote peace by taking their skills to work in developing countries around the world, saying:

How many of you who are going to be doctors, are willing to spend your days in Ghana? Technicians or engineers, how many of you are willing to work in the Foreign Service and spend your lives traveling around the world? On your willingness to do that, not merely to serve one year or two years in the service, but on your willingness to contribute part of your life to this country, I think will depend the answer whether a free society can compete. I think it can!


Out of that call was born the Peace Corps.

The University of Michigan is kicking off a year of national celebrations by hosting a series of events this week, including a national symposium on the future of international service, lectures, art exhibits, films, and a commemoration of Kennedy’s middle-of-the-night speech.

click on link for more: University of Michigan kicks off Peace Corps 50th anniversary celebrations with national symposijavascript:void(0)um and more - AnnArbor.com

Sunday, October 10, 2010

ADVENTURES IN MULTICULTURAL LIVING--Welcome to Lake Wobegon—Gateway to Southeastern Michigan???

Principal Karr noticed the words on my sweatshirt peeking out from under my jacket and smiled wryly, “I like your Lake Wobegon shirt.”

Instantly embarrassed, I hurriedly zipped up my jacket a little further to hide the words. A vestige of younger days, I only wear this sweatshirt when I am biking or running so that no one can see it (because I am speeding by too fast). Yet I cannot bring myself to simply throw or give it away because, as the child of immigrants, I cannot waste a perfectly good shirt. I have to “use it up” first. (This is a problem I have, I know.)

In college, my best friend Martin and I used to listen to A Prairie Home Companion together every Sunday afternoon—he in his apartment, I in mine two blocks away, and then we would call each other afterwards to discuss. (I don’t know; it made sense at the time.) When A Prairie Home Companion was going off the air in 1987, we entered the lottery for two free tickets to see the last show—with nary a thought of how we would get there if we actually won.

click on link for more: Welcome to Lake Wobegon—Gateway to Southeastern Michigan??? - AnnArbor.com

Voices of Adoption RainbowKids.com--AML: Rhythms of the Season - getting grounded at our local chinese grocery store after a long summer away

October 10, 2010/ Frances Kai-Hwa Wang/ Voices of Adoption RainbowKids.com

After a long trip away from home, one of the first things I always do upon our return is take all the kids to buy groceries at our favorite Chinese grocery store. I love watching them zip around, squealing as they load up our basket, “Ooooh! It’s been so long since we’ve had cong you bing!” “Xiao long bao! I want xiao long bao!” and “I haven’t seen this kind of zhu rou gan in soooooo long!”

At Tsai Grocery, the kids and I all know what and where everything is. There is none of the uncertainty that comes with travel and being in new and unfamiliar environs. Our tested and favorite brands are there where they always are. We recall our favorite dishes that we have missed all summer. We find comfort and grounding here among the steamed buns. We have not really come home until we replenish our pantry and cook our first meal together.

click on link for more: Adventures in Multicultural Living--Rhythms of the Season - getting grounded at our local chinese grocery store after a long summer away

Friday, October 8, 2010

Adventures in Multicultural Living: 'Living Dreams' recalls youth during the 80s; play to premiere to Saturday - AnnArbor.com

A set of two plays, together called “Living Dreams: Memories of the 1980s Generation,” will premiere 7 p.m. Saturday, October 9 at Stamps Auditorium in the Walgreen Drama Center on the University of Michigan North Campus. Entirely written, directed and acted by students in the University of Michigan Chinese Student Drama Club, Zhen Shi Yin, the plays recall the youth and education of this generation of students born in China during the 1980s.

The first play is performed in English and tells, with humor, about the culture in which these students grew up, went to school and began dating. It is a light and easy cultural exchange with singing and dancing and martial arts and hopes to introduce American audiences to the students’ background so that both groups will better understand each other as they study and work together now.

The second play is performed in Mandarin Chinese with English subtitles and engages more sentimentally in the memories and longings and identities of these students recalling their favorite music, books, school traditions and pop culture while growing up in China before setting off for study in America. Again, the hope is cultural exchange, to recall and share the details of youth, including fun things like radio gymnastics.

click on link for more: 'Living Dreams' recalls youth during the 80s; play to premiere to Saturday - AnnArbor.com

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Dia de la Familia celebration planned at Ann Arbor District Library on Sunday - AnnArbor.com

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, the Ann Arbor District Library will be celebrating with Dia de la Familia, or Day of the Family, on Sunday, Oct. 10 from 1-4 p.m. at the downtown library branch.

Dia de la Familia will feature Latino-focused entertainment, games, crafts, food, face painting, health screenings and resources that address mental, physical and social health issues in the Hispanic American community.

click on link for more: Dia de la Familia celebration planned at Ann Arbor District Library on Sunday - AnnArbor.com

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Advenures in Multicultural Living: Only in the Midwest: Trying to line up stereotypes, cultural background, intuition and reality - AnnArbor.com

Starting a new season, cycle 3 for Adventures in Multicultural Living, and what a way to begin! (lots of interesting comments on what i thought was a completely innocent article about the Midwest)


My son and I were biking on our cool blue and gold Trail-a-Bike down Green Road on our way to soccer practice Thursday evening, when a tall, trim, gray-haired, nicely dressed, 50-ish gentleman in a shiny black BMW pulled over in front of us and waved at us to stop.

My first reaction came out of my old big city training, “Who is this crazy old white guy and what is he trying to do to us? Kidnap us? Dismember us?”

(I have been reading Maya Angelou and she cannot help worrying about what crazy thing white people might do next, her experience finds them completely unpredictable.)

click on link for more: Only in the Midwest: Trying to line up stereotypes, cultural background, intuition and reality - AnnArbor.com

Friday, October 1, 2010

Adventures in Multicultural Living: "Getting Home" kicks off UM Chinese Film Series Saturday - AnnArbor.com

Starting a new season, cycle 3 for Adventures in Multicultural Living

The University of Michigan Center for Chinese Studies kicks off this semester’s (free) Chinese Film Series in Angell Hall Auditorium A with a showing of Zhang Yang’s Getting Home (Luo Yu Gui Gen), a “soulful and humane comedy,” in which a middle-aged migrant construction worker struggles to fulfill his best friend’s dying wish to be buried in his hometown, China’s Three Gorges region, hundreds of miles away—by carrying him there.

Based on a true story, the filmography promises to be stunning (filmed in Yunnan), with interesting food for thought about the lives of migrant workers and the stratification of society. It has also been described by BeyondHollywood.com as “a road film in the purest sense.”

click on link for more: "Getting Home" kicks off UM Chinese Film Series Saturday - AnnArbor.com

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Vincent Who at MAPABA conference

Showing the movie Vincent Who today at MAPABA conference in Detroit with Curtis Chin and Roland Hwang.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Friday, August 6, 2010

Spam Musubi class

taught 19 Japanese foreign exchange students and 1 haoli to make spam musubi at the University of Hawaii Hilo today--talk about cultural exchange! fun

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Frances speaking at showing of Vincent Who?

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang, American Citizens for Justice former Executive Director and current Advisory Board Member, will be introducing the documentary film, "Vincent Who?" during the US Social Forum in Detroit.

Vincent Who?
Wed, Jun 23, 2010
10:00 am | AFSCME Building, Detroit

A Documentary film directed by Tony Lam and Karin Wang, Asian Pacific American Legal Center, Producer Curtis Chin
New website: http://vincentwhofilm.com/

for more info http://organize.ussf2010.org/film-festival

Monday, June 21, 2010

Frances speaking at Center for Japanese Studies Workshop in Cultural Competence

Frances Wang will be a speaker at a University of Michigan Center for Japanese Studies Workshop in Cultural Competence on Monday-Tuesday, June 21-22.

The Center for Japanese Studies in collaboration with the Centers for Chinese, Korean, and Latin American & Caribbean Studies, and the Program on Intergroup Relations present:

Understanding your Students: A Workshop in Cultural Competence

Michigan is home to a diversity of families from around the world, some of whom are here temporarily and whose children are enrolled in American schools with little or no knowledge of English language and American culture. This workshop will introduce the various cultures of these children, the challenges faced by these students—challenges that are distinct from their American counterparts— recommendations for accommodating such students in a typical school classroom, and resources available within the community for teachers and their students. The first day will focus on the culture of the Japanese and the differences that can create misunderstanding. The second day will introduce other cultures, topics applicable to all immigrant and expatriate groups, and allow participants the opportunity to listen to international voices. Participants may register for both sessions, or each session separately. International foods will be provided for lunch. (click on link for more)

Center for Japanese Studies

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Remembering Vincent Chin 28 years later - AnnArbor.com

Posted: Jun 20, 2010 at 12:51 PM AnnArbor.com
by Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

Before I came to Michigan for graduate school, the only thing I knew about Michigan was that it was where Vincent Chin was killed. My parents’ Japanese-American neighbors warned me to sell my father’s Toyota 4-Runner and buy a Ford Bronco. I asked about safety as much as I did about academics before I decided to come.

Saturday was the 28th anniversary of the baseball bat beating that caused the death of Vincent Chin. Unfortunately, with the recession and rise in anti-immigrant sentiment, the case is even more relevant than ever. (click on link for more)

Remembering Vincent Chin 28 years later - AnnArbor.com

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Adventures in Multicultural Living: U of M Center for Japanese Studies hosts cultural competence workshop for teachers - AnnArbor.com

June 21-22, an interesting workshop for teachers entitled “Understanding your Students: A Workshop on Cultural Competence” will be sponsored by the University of Michigan Center for Japanese Studies, in collaboration with the Centers for Chinese, Korean, and Latin American & Caribbean Studies and the Program on Intergroup Relations, and held at the University of Michigan. This workshop seeks to help teachers, school administrators, school counselors, and families celebrate diversity while seeking to better understand the international students that have become an increasing part of the classroom. (click on link for more)

U of M Center for Japanese Studies hosts cultural competence workshop for teachers - AnnArbor.com

Adventures in Multicultural Living: NAACP Juneteenth Celebration at Wheeler Park Saturday - AnnArbor.com

I always thought that slavery ended after Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation until a transplanted Texan first told me about Juneteenth, the celebration commemorating the day that news of freedom finally reached the slaves in Texas on June 19, 1865—more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. The celebration started in Galveston, Texas but has now become a sort of African American Fourth of July celebration, spreading to communities across the country.

The Ann Arbor Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) will be celebrating Juneteenth this Saturday, June 19, at Wheeler Park from noon to 6 p.m. with music, poetry, storytelling, games, children’s activities, vendors and food.(click on link for more)

NAACP Juneteenth Celebration at Wheeler Park Saturday - AnnArbor.com

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Graduation Season--coming home, heading out, and the Chinese School community - AnnArbor.com

At the Ann Arbor Chinese School graduation ceremony this year, all the students gathered together in the multipurpose room at Northside School to honor this year’s graduating seniors. The high school class told funny stories about them, their parents shared fat baby pictures, the school presented them with framed diplomas to mark the 15 years they have spent here (preschool to grade 12), and the two graduates took a moment to share their wise, old insights with all the little brothers and sisters about why they should study Chinese. Kevin talked about how he is going to continue to study Chinese this summer and in college. Daniel talked about how he will not know what to do with himself on Friday nights.

I was surprised to see several graduates from previous years who had gone off to college and then come home for the summer sitting at the back of the room. What were they doing at Chinese School again? The ones who used to teach the younger kids stepped right back into their old classes. Others visited their teachers and friends. Some had just come from their Chinese School class reunion for more Chinese School memories.

How important this place and this community and these friends must be to them that they gave up a Friday night to visit. (click on link for more)

Graduation Season--coming home, heading out, and the Chinese School community - AnnArbor.com

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Wear Maize and Blue to the King School Ice Cream Social - AnnArbor.com

At Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School’s Leslie Science and Nature Center assembly Friday, Francie called on a boy to answer a question, then hesitated, “I was about to say the boy in the Michigan shirt, but that seems to be almost everyone today.”

King School was a sea of maize and blue Friday. It started long ago, at King School’s Silent Auction, but more recently, families received an email, phone call, and blog post from King School Principal Kevin Karr reminding families about the King School Ice Cream Social on Friday:

WEAR MAIZE AND BLUE!
As a result of the money donated at the silent auction fundraiser, please remember everyone must wear wear maize and blue at the ice cream social. This includes fans who root for Ohio State, Michigan State, and similar lesser universities.


I had a confused conversation with an earnest new parent and recent immigrant last week about “the requirement to wear blue and what color?”

I tried to explain that maize means yellow and what happened at the Silent Auction (see Up Front Section of the June Ann Arbor Observer), but quickly realized that I had to start at the beginning. (click on link for more)

Wear Maize and Blue to the King School Ice Cream Social - AnnArbor.com

Friday, June 11, 2010

Bidding War at King School - arborweb.com

Appears in June print edition of Ann Arbor Observer, also posted online at ArborWeb.com on 6/11/2010

At King School's ice cream social on June 11, principal Kevin Karr will be triumphantly wearing maize and blue. This may not seem out of the ordinary for a U-M alum who special-ordered a big block M on his parking space sign, except that this year, Item #325 at the King School Silent Auction to support student enrichment was "The Karr Jersey"--the chance to make Principal Karr wear another team's colors. A proud, well-organized OSU contingent pooled their resources, even going viral to fund-raise at an elementary school in Columbus. Karr was getting nervous about a possible scarlet and gray fate. In the end, though, U-M fans prevailed with a combined winning bid of $520, beating out Duke, Stanford, Michigan State, Purdue, Yale, Columbia, the University of Phoenix, in Karr's words, "last and least, the Ohio State University!" Now Karr is rallying everyone to join him in wearing the colors of Michigan at the social, even--no, especially--the OSU families.

Bidding War at King School - arborweb.com

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Khaled Mattawa poetry reading at Nicola's Books Wednesday - AnnArbor.com

Assistant Professor Khaled Mattawa, of the University of Michigan Masters in Fine Arts Creative Writing program, will be reading at 7 p.m. today at Nicola’s Books. Although last week’s Radius of Arab American Writers conference is over, we are fortunate to still be able to hear its writers. There is a short accessible article about his work in the Kalamazoo Gazette. (click on link for more)

Khaled Mattawa poetjavascript:void(0)ry reading at Nicola's Books Wednesday - AnnArbor.com

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Learning across ethnic lines from my Greek-American brother and Miss USA Rima Fakih - AnnArbor.com

I was once walking down South University with a tall, dark and handsome friend who remarked what it must look like, what would people say, what if my family found out.

We were just walking, but after we parted ways on the corner of South University and Forest, I realized that danger was much closer than he realized. My Greek American brother Evan worked right there, two doors down. (Of course, I confessed instantly the next time I saw my Greek American brother Evan, who guessed the restaurant we had had lunch and then explained in brotherly fashion what my friend’s real intentions had been. “Really?”)

My children are one-eighth Greek, and when I first met Evan and his family, I had a lot of questions about Greek culture and language. I was also trying to decide whether to enroll the children in Greek School in addition to Chinese School. Evan told me stories about how empowering it was to learn Greek dance at Greek School, and I told him stories about what a bad student I was at Chinese School. We quickly realized that our experiences at Greek School and Chinese School were basically the same, just a different language. We started joking that we were family, and it was always a good feeling when Evan would defend me anytime he caught anyone giving me grief, “Hey, that’s my sister.”

When I inadvertently gave my son the same name as Evan’s father, “You named him after my dad?” the bond was complete. (click on link for more)

Learning across ethnic lines from my Greek-American brother and Miss USA Rima Fakih - AnnArbor.com

Friday, June 4, 2010

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Ya'ssoo Greek Festival this weekend at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church - AnnArbor.com

My children and I attend a lot of cultural festivals, so my children are cultural festival connoisseurs the way other more normal people might be connoisseurs of gourmet food or fine art. It is a rare festival that holds the children’s attention year after year, even as they get older and begin to outgrow some of the things they used to love when they were younger.

The Ya’ssoo Greek Festival of Ann Arbor is one of those events that the children continue to cherish, in part because it is our chance to learn a little more about the children’s Greek heritage, in part to see their friends and classmates dance, and in part (ok, in large part) because of the food! As the blue and white signs have been popping up all over town these past few weeks, the anticipation (and salivation) has been steadily building, especially as we drive past St. Nick’s beautiful copper dome on Scio Church Road. (click on link for more)

Ya'ssoo Greek Festival this weekend at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church - AnnArbor.com

Ya'ssoo Greek Festival - arborweb.com

Originally appeared in June print edition of Ann Arbor Observer. Also posted online 6/4/2010

I always smile when I drive down Scio Church Road and see the big copper dome topping St. Nick's Greek Orthodox Church. I remember when they built it and moved from their former Main Street location, how proud the children and I were to honor their Greek heritage by sending in our tiny little donation check to do our part. It feels like we have "always" gone to the Ya'ssoo Greek Festival, so I am surprised to discover that it was revived only in 2007 after a twenty-three-year hiatus.

As we enter the gate, we stop and ponder the directions: fourteen brightly painted arrows nailed to a post. To the east: Athens 5273 miles and Constantinople 5328 miles. To the west: Tijuana 1936 miles and Kathmandu 7566 miles. The Kouzina and Taverna are also to the east, so we head east first. (click on link for more)

Ya'ssoo Greek Festival - arborweb.com

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Indian classical music concert featuring Sugata Marjit Friday at University of Michigan - AnnArbor.com

The University of Michigan Center for South Asian Studies will present an Indian classical music concert titled, Sangeet Sandhya--An evening of enchanting Indian classical Raga music and spiritual bhajan compositions, at 8 p.m. Friday at Britton Recital Hall on North Campus.

The concert features Sugata Marjit, a renowned vocalist from India, who will be accompanied by John Churchville on tabla and Mandar Phadke on harmonium. (click on link for more)

Indian classical music concert featuring Sugata Marjit Friday at University of Michigan - AnnArbor.com

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Why are people not more upset about the achievement gap than the field trip? - AnnArbor.com

When Dr. Franklin Chang-Diaz, Costa Rican-American astronaut, came to the University of Michigan for Space Day many years ago, I took my children to hear him speak.

With a name like Chang-Diaz, I was pretty sure he must be part Chinese, and I wanted my children to meet a multiracial Chinese-American astronaut so that they could see with their own eyes that it was possible.

A little embarrassed to be asking something so personal, we waited until after the Q&A, but he smiled when we asked, and he told us the story of how his grandfather had come to Costa Rica from China. There was something very sweet and intimate about that moment and, not surprisingly, his message to my children—third-generation, multiracial, bilingual, and part-Chinese like himself—was different than his message to everyone else. He emphasized the importance of understanding different cultures and languages when one is in space working with astronauts from other countries.

When Dr. Sally Ride came to town for her great Sally Ride Science Festival for Girls, we also went to meet her. Again, simply to let the children see with their own eyes that women could be astronauts if they wished, to hear a woman talk about the importance of math and science—and then let their imaginations take it from there.

I have been slow to respond to the Dicken Elementary School field trip controversy because I have been so perplexed by the anger in people’s reactions. Reading through the comments after every article about it has been so painful, so personal, that I can only read a few at a time. (click on link for more)

Why are people not more upset about the achievement gap than the field trip? - AnnArbor.com

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Avant-garde postwar public art in Japan on display at University of Michigan Museum of Art - AnnArbor.com

Our last opportunity to go on a docent guided tour of the Art, Anti-Art, Non-Art: Experimentations in the Public Sphere in Postwar Japan, 1950-1970 exhibit at the University of Michigan Museum of Art is at 2 p.m. Sunday. The exhibit is only up until June 6, so we do not have much time left to see this fascinating exhibit of avant-garde postwar public art in Japan. (click on link for more)

Avant-garde postwar public art in Japan on display at University of Michigan Museum of Art - AnnArbor.com

Adventures in Multicultural Living: "Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think" documentary film Thursday at Michigan Theater - AnnArbor.com

"Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think", the last film of The University of Michigan’s Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies’ (CMENAS) weeklong Global Islam Film Series, will be shown from 7-8 p.m. tonight, at the Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor.

The week started with the hysterical Muslim-American stand-up comic concert film, "Allah Made Me Funny", then delved into American perceptions of Muslims with "The Letter: An American Town and “The Somali Invasion,” and Professor Akbar Ahmed’s cross-country ethnographic study, "Journey into America."

Tonight’s film is a documentary by Gallup researchers investigating how Muslims around the world view Americans. (click on link for more)

"Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think" documentary film Thursday at Michigan Theater - AnnArbor.com

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Creating music and community together at Picnic Pops - AnnArbor.com

What is it about Picnic Pops that makes it so much fun?

I thought it was the sunshine, but even in pouring rain, it was still fun. I thought it was the carnival games, but the kids are now old enough to play the games by themselves, and it was still fun. It obviously must be the music, but I have heard all these bands play before, and this concert is a lot more fun.

The children and I have been going to Picnic Pops since my oldest were 1 and 2. My friend Susan’s daughter was playing in the Pioneer High School band that year. I remember pushing a big blue double stroller through the mud (some things do not change), not knowing anyone, yet enjoying the sunshine and feeling of community while being enveloped by the cheerful marches and big band sound.

This year, M not only had her first solo—which floated beautifully over the melody line—she also worked a shift in one of the game booths. She is growing up. H milled about with all her friends, and according to Facebook, bought $5 of cotton candy for them. She also is growing up. I sat with a friend whose high school daughter was so happy to be invited back to sit in with her old middle school band, the green Huron High shirts punctuating the white-clad Clague Middle School ranks. It was also neat to see the Huron High Schoolers all rush over to check out the Tappan Middle School band (and then mutter indignantly) when they recognized the music as a piece they were also playing. (click on link for more)

Creating music and community together at Picnic Pops - AnnArbor.com

Saturday, May 22, 2010

AML: Buddah's Birthday celebration at Ann Arbor Zen Buddhist Temple - AnnArbor.com

One of my fondest memories is singing songs all night with friends along the banks of the Bagmati River in southern Nepal on Buddah Jayanti (Buddah’s birthday) and sending small clay oil lamps with whispered prayers down the river to join the holiest river Ganges. I can still see the tiny flickering lights floating slowly down the wide dark river, then going around the bend and disappearing from sight.

Buddah’s birthday is celebrated in many ways by many different types of Buddhists. One long standing Ann Arbor tradition is the Buddah’s Birthday celebration at the Ann Arbor Zen Buddhist Temple on 1214 Packard Street, which takes place this weekend. Celebrations include a children's service, bathing the baby Buddah, poetry, a peace parade, talks, chanting, meditation, song (Joe Reilly!), and a beautiful Korean lotus lantern lighting service. Drop in for part or all of the weekend. (click on link for more)

Buddah's Birthday celebration at Ann Arbor Zen Buddhist Temple - AnnArbor.com

Friday, May 21, 2010

Speaking today at Ann Arbor Chinese Center of Michigan

I will be speaking today at Ann Arbor Chinese Center of Michigan's high school class, talking about Asian Pacific American History--Resistance and Heroes. With a side of pop culture. Will be showing the Falling for Grace trailer and the Soy Sauce clip from Joy Luck Club. Fun!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Speaking today at US Army Corps of Engineers in Detroit

I'll be speaking today on diversity in the workplace with Roland Hwang at an Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Luncheon at the US Army Corps of Engineers in Detroit.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

AML: Explore tradition, history of Shigaraki at ceramics demonstration at University of Michigan Museum of Art - AnnArbor.com

A few years ago, I helped a Shigaraki potter set up for a short demonstration at the University of Michigan, but all I could think about that day were tables and tarps. I did not notice the connection between Shigaraki and Shiga Prefecture, Michigan’s sister state in Japan, nor did I remember that Ann Arbor’s sister city, Hikone, is also in Shiga Prefecture. Shigaraki is renowned for its long, 1,250-year history of ceramics, and Shigaraki ware has been designated one of Japan’s traditional handicrafts.

This weekend, we have an opportunity to explore this art, history and tradition more deeply at the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA), in conjunction with the new exhibition, Turning Point: Japanese Studio Ceramics in the Mid-20th Century. From the UMMA: (click on link for more)

Explore tradition, history of Shigaraki at ceramics demonstration at University of Michigan Museum of Art - AnnArbor.com

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Dexter High School student wins Michigan Japanese Speech Contest, heading to nationals - AnnArbor.com

The Japanese teachers were all abuzz at last month’s Michigan 2010 Japanese Language Speech Contest because two of the nine finalists were from Dexter High School.

When did Dexter High School start a Japanese Language Program? The truth is that Dexter does not have a Japanese Language Program, but two of its determined students have found a way to pursue Japanese as their foreign language anyways—one studies with Kaori Ohara of Ohara Language Institute and one studies with Kayo Nakamura at Emerson School. Both schools are in Ann Arbor.

The really funny thing is that the two students did not even know each other. They met at the competition in Novi. (click on link for more)

Dexter High School student wins Michigan Japanese Speech Contest, heading to nationals - AnnArbor.com

Voices of Adoption RainbowKids.com: AML: A different kind of Mother's Day gift: watching kids compete at Chinese speech tournament

May 16, 2010/ Frances Kai-Hwa Wang/ Voices of Adoption RainbowKids.com/ Adventures in Multicultural Living

My daughter Hao Hao was once a timid child who cried at every little thing. She even got kicked out of sports camp because she dissolved into a flood of tears every time she got "out" in softball or tag. Once when she was at Leslie Science Center, she cried on a hike through the woods because she was afraid of the spider webs on the trail. Instead of giving in to her tears as the teachers and moms at Chinese School tended to do, the Leslie Science Center instructor simply handed her a butterfly net to empower her to wave away the spider webs as she marched down the trail, head and butterfly net held up high.

In that transformative moment, I realized that I had to figure out how to select the best from each of the many cultures we had before us, rather than all of one or the other, and that I had to prepare my children for their future lives as adults in America, sometimes even mainstream America.

click on link for more: Adventures in Multicultural Living: A different kind of Mother's Day gift: watching kids compete at Chinese speech tournament

Thursday, May 13, 2010

AML: Asian Pacific American Heritage Month event showcases richness of cultures - AnnArbor.com

Asian Pacific American performing arts groups from across the state will be coming together Friday night to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month at the Council of Asian Pacific Americans’ (CAPA’s) annual cultural show, Splendor of the East, at the Ford Community Center for the Performing Arts in Dearborn.

This year’s theme, Tales of the Enchanted Lands - Myths & Legends, showcases the richness of Chinese, Filipino, Hmong, Indian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, and other Asian and non-Asian cultures in America while exploring the diversity of myths, legends, fairy tales and folklore that bring us all together in a spirit of unity. Tickets are available for purchase online and at the door. The event starts at 7 p.m. (click on link for more)

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month event showcases richness of cultures - AnnArbor.com

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Speaking today at Brighton District Library

I will be speaking today at Brighton District Library on Asian Pacific American Identity in the Midwest--Identity, Culture, Community, and Food. Part of their Comfort Food Series. I'll be showing that clip from "Eat Drink Man Woman." Yum. There will be food.

AML: Learn about kimonos at University of Michigan Museum of Art demonstration, exhibit - AnnArbor.com

Every summer when the children and I attend the Japanese Obon Festival—where the little girls are so adorable in their curled and beribboned ringlets and seersucker Hello Kitty kimonos tied with big fluffy red bows, the older ladies so elegant in their matching dance school kimonos and elaborate obis and clacking getta, and the young men so funny with cool shades and many pagers and cell phones clipped to their kimono pockets while they dance—there are always three or four people who attend wearing bathrobes, with chopsticks in their hair.

I know that bathrobes are not kimonos, and that chopsticks are for eating, but it was not until I had the opportunity to watch a King School mom actually dress two second-grade girls in kimonos (a 20-minute process, and she was going fast) that I realized how complicated it was, with many unseen layers and conventions, and that I had no way to “read” the kimono because I did not understand the language of what the details meant. (click on link for more)

Learn about kimonos at University of Michigan Museum of Art demonstration, exhibit - AnnArbor.com

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Adventures in Multicultural Living: A different kind of Mother's Day gift: watching kids compete at Chinese speech tournament - AnnArbor.com

My daughter Hao Hao was once a timid child who cried at every little thing. She even got kicked out of sports camp because she dissolved into a flood of tears every time she got "out" in softball or tag. Once when she was at Leslie Science Center, she cried on a hike through the woods because she was afraid of the spider webs on the trail. Instead of giving in to her tears as the teachers and moms at Chinese School tended to do, the Leslie Science Center instructor simply handed her a butterfly net to empower her to wave away the spider webs as she marched down the trail, head and butterfly net held up high.

In that transformative moment, I realized that I had to figure out how to select the best from each of the many cultures we had before us, rather than all of one or the other, and that I had to prepare my children for their future lives as adults in America, sometimes even mainstream America.

Many cultures, not just Asian ones, reward the “good girl” who is nice and quiet and obedient. As a parent, it can be a huge pain to have intelligent, articulate girls who question everything you say (I know, I have three), but in the long run, I know those are characteristics that are critical to their success in America. They need to be able to think independently, speak their mind, articulate their reasoning, and back it all up with research and evidence. So they are not really “talking back” (for which I used to be scolded), they are “practicing” or developing their public speaking skills. (When I cannot take it anymore, I try to get them to speak up more in school rather than home—just kidding, teachers!) (click on link for more)

A different kind of Mother's Day gift: watching kids compete at Chinese speech tournament - AnnArbor.com

Thursday, May 6, 2010

AML: The Genesis of Chinese Writing and the Art of Chinese Calligraphy at UMMA Saturday - AnnArbor.com

On Valentine’s Day a year and a half ago, I heard Michigan State University (MSU) Emeritus Professor SuiWah Chan enchant a group of teachers by talking about the Chinese character for the word, ai or “love.” Most people who talk about how Chinese characters have meaning built into them will point out that the word “heart” is at the center of the word “love,” and leave it at that. However, Professor Chan went on to show how on either side of the word “heart” was a “hand”—one hand offering one’s heart and another hand receiving that gift. So in Chinese, the word “love” has the notion of relationship physically built into the word. Since it was Valentine’s Day, all the teachers swooned, of course.

All I could think was that this was so unlike Aristotle’s notion of love, which is strictly one way—with the lover who adores the beloved. Both words are translated into English as “love,” but the thinking behind each one is so radically different. I wonder how much of that background affects how we in the modern age think about these things? How much is transmitted when many of us no longer know the historical background to these words and concepts? What about those of us who are bilingual? (click on link for more)

The Genesis of Chinese Writing and the Art of Chinese Calligraphy at UMMA Saturday - AnnArbor.com

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

AML: Taiwanese artisans coming for MiTAI Taiwanese American Heritage Week Cultural Fair - AnnArbor.com

Michigan Taiwanese American Organization bringing Taiwanese artisans for Taiwanese American Heritage Week
The Michigan Taiwanese American Organization’s (MiTAI’s) amazing Tzywen Gong has once again brought an incredible cultural gift to our community. She and the folks at MiTAI have arranged for a team of renowned Taiwanese artisans to come to Michigan to share and teach traditional Taiwanese art forms. Many of these art forms are not commonly seen in Taiwan anymore, let alone America. Many of these artisans are starting to get a little bit older, too. The Taiwanese American community is really excited to meet and learn from these artisans. What a great opportunity for all of us in the community to join. Hands-on activities available for children and adults. A rare opportunity not to be missed. From MiTAI.org: (click on link for more)

Taiwanese artisans coming for MiTAI Taiwanese American Heritage Week Cultural Fair - AnnArbor.com

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Believing in the election of President Obama and hope lost and found - AnnArbor.com

My parents always emphasized that although I was ethnically Chinese, my citizenship was American because I was born in America, “You can even be president someday—unlike us—because you are a natural-born citizen.”

In school, we learned the three requirements to become president of the United States were to be a natural-born citizen, at least thirty-five years old, and have resided in the United States for the past fourteen years. Although thirty-five seemed sooooo old, my friends Gregory, Tony, and I—dreamers and idealists—began to make plans for the 2000 presidential elections before we even graduated from high school. (click on link for more)

Believing in the election of President Obama and hope lost and found - AnnArbor.com
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