Sunday, February 28, 2010

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Winter Olympians of color - American like us - AnnArbor.com

During the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, my daughter M and her friend C, the only two Chinese-American girls in Mrs. Schroeder’s first-grade class, were excited about watching Michelle Kwan compete for the gold.

C was planning to invite Michelle to her upcoming 7th birthday party, an ice skating party at Buhr Park. M loved the video clip of Michelle eating dinner with her family—using the same bowls and chopsticks that we did. For them, Michelle was an admired “older sister” that they looked up to. None of the other first-grade girls really knew who Michelle Kwan even was, but after two weeks of hearing about Michelle Kwan every day in class and at soccer, every girl in that class stayed up late that final night of the Olympics to watch Michelle Kwan’s bittersweet final performance. (click on link for more)

Winter Olympians of color - American like us AnnArbor.com

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Adventures in Multicultural Living: A Star Trek to Purim, Black and White Purim Masquerade, and more - AnnArbor.com

“The Star Ship Enterprise, with Captain Kirk, has been marooned in the past over Planet Earth, circling above the Persian Empire. A plot to kill the king is revealed, and then a plot to destroy an entire people is uncovered. Did Captain Kirk violate the non interference prime directive and interfere in history? Attend his Court Martial and find out. Exhibit A - The Reading of the Entire Scroll of Esther.”

What? Did I read that correctly? A Star Trek to Purim?

In one episode of the television show, Big Bang Theory, a group of nerds are playing Klingon Boggle, when Howard suggests the word, “Kreplach.” Raj stops him, “That isn’t Kingon, it’s Yiddish for a meat-filled dumpling!” I wonder if there is a deeper Klingon-Kreplach connection. Hmmm, now that I think about it, hamentaschen are shaped strikingly similar to Star Fleet badges. (click on link for more)

A Star Trek to Purim, Black and White Purim Masquerade, and more - AnnArbor.com

Friday, February 26, 2010

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Our Own Thing Chorale spirituals at Ann Arbor District Library Sunday - AnnArbor.com

King School’s International Night was launched in grand style this year by its Gospel Choir singing “This Little Light of Mine.” Somebody’s little sister snuck onto stage with them and — with pacifier in mouth — clapped and cheered and danced right along with the older elementary school students. Sometimes she faced forward, sometimes she faced backwards, she got most of the hand motions right, and then she shoutedout “Yay!” before the song was even done. Gospel is infectious like that. (click on link for more)

Our Own Thing Chorale spirituals at Ann Arbor District Library Sunday - AnnArbor.com

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Watermelon Sushi World interviews Frances

Interview by Yayoi Lena Winfrey, on her Watermelon Sushi World Blog for her Hip Hapa Homeez:

Speaking of info, Your Hip Hapa can think of few people who are more informative than Frances Kai-Hwa Wang. We originally met many moons ago as Contributing Editors at IMDiversity.com, Asian American Village. These days, Frances is still with the site, but now she’s an Asian American Village Editor. Frances also writes for numerous other publications. Check out the links below that appear in her standard email signature. Above is Frances smiling despite dozens of deadlines piling up on her. (click on link for more)

Watermelon Sushi World

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

"Feeling out of Place" and APA Identity in the Midwest

Speaking tonight Tuesday February 23, 2010, 6-8pm, UM Ecumenical Center International Residence's (ECIR's) Global Village Dinner, 921 Church St., Ann Arbor, MI, on "Feeling out of Place" and APA Identity in the Midwest

Monday, February 22, 2010

AML: Chinese Lunar New Year Feasting and Family - NAM EthnoBlog

The focal point of Chinese Lunar New Year celebration is gathering the whole extended family together for a big feast on New Year’s Eve. (click here for more)

Chinese Lunar New Year Feasting and Family - NAM EthnoBlog

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Chinese Lunar New Year feasting and family - AnnArbor.com

The focal point of Chinese Lunar New Year celebration is gathering the whole extended family together for a big feast on New Year’s Eve.

Just as Thanksgiving has certain special foods that must be eaten like turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes with marshmallows, Chinese Lunar New Year’s Eve also features special food that must be eaten, each dish imbued with meaning and good wishes for the new year. A whole fish is served because the Chinese word for fish sounds like “more than enough” (and one must leave leftovers so there will be “plenty” “left over” in the new year). (click on link for more)

Chinese Lunar New Year feasting and family - AnnArbor.com

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Celebrating the Chinese New Year - AnnArbor.com

Photos from the Ann Arbor Chinese Center of Michigan's Chinese Lunar New Year's Celebration by Mark Bialek at AnnArbor.com. (click on link for photos)

Celebrating the Chinese New Year - AnnArbor.com

Thursday, February 18, 2010

AML: 'Vertical Speech' African American art exhibit at Kerrytown Concert House - AnnArbor.com

In honor of African American History Month, there is a wonderful African American art exhibit up at Kerrytown Concert House called “Vertical Speech.” Curated by Darnell Ishmel, the exhibition features the work of local and international African American artists Alonzo Edwards, Christopher Batten, Malcolm Rowry, Marcus Wilson, Mario Moore and Rod Gailes. This is a great opportunity to see and better understand the African American experience through the eyes of the community’s own artists.

Darnell Ishmel emails:

“Why buy Black Art? Seven reasons why...
(1) Investment in community
(2) Preserve cultural legacy
(3) Support local African American artist
(4) Contribute to a worthy cause will make a difference
(5) 'Black IS beautiful'
(6) February only comes once a year
(7) If you don't....who will?”

click on link for more: 'Vertical Speech' African American art exhibit at Kerrytown Concert House - AnnArbor.com

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

AML: Huaren Chinese Culture Show Saturday at Power Center - AnnArbor.com

Huaren means people of Chinese ethnicity or descent, irrespective of language, politics, or geography. It is a word that speaks to the Chinese diaspora, that links Chinese people regardless of whether they were born in Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, Singapore, Germany, Australia, America, etc. and where they might live.

The annual Huaren Culture Show, put on by University of Michigan students, celebrates the Chinese New Year with a cultural show that traverses Chinese culture old and new. Performances include traditional Chinese dance, contemporary dance, traditional Chinese music on the pipa (Chinese lute), contemporary Chinese American music, Chinese wu shu martial arts, Chinese Yo-Yo, hip-hop and more! (click on link for more)

Huaren Chinese Culture Show Saturday at Power Center - AnnArbor.com

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

AML: "Of Civil Wrongs and Rights: The Fred Korematsu Story" at AADL - AnnArbor.com

During World War II, 120,000 Japanese Americans, almost two-thirds of whom were American citizens, were forcibly relocated and interned in concentration camps by the United States government. The official reason was military necessity, but in reality it was a combination of racism, xenophobia, economic competition, frenzied public opinion, and fear. Fred Korematsu challenged the constitutionality of Executive Order 9066. He lost his case at the time, but the US Supreme Court decision was later reversed when it was discovered that the US government deliberately suppressed information and misled the US Supreme Court in 1944. This second decision paved the way to eventual apology and reparations for all internees. Fred Korematsu later won the US Congressional Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor.

After 65 years, the Korematsu case and the experience of the Japanese American internment is still relevant today because after 9/11, many people called for interning Arab Americans, again out of fear, racism, and xenophobia. The Japanese American community was the first to stand up for Arab Americans and say never again. (click on link for more)

"Of Civil Wrongs and Rights: The Fred Korematsu Story" at AADL - AnnArbor.com

Monday, February 15, 2010

AML: Discovering the meaning in Chinese New Year's celebrations - NAM EthnoBlog

I never even heard of Chinese New Year until I was already 12 years old. We had recently moved from Los Angeles to San Jose, and I had just started attending Saturday morning Chinese School for the first time. One of our lessons was about Chinese New Year stories and customs. Of course, being only 12, I was most interested in the tradition of red envelopes, which contain gifts of money. I went home demanding to know why my brother and I had never before received red envelopes, and insisted on years of back pay. (click on link for more)

Discovering the meaning in Chinese New Year's celebrations - NAM EthnoBlog

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Discovering the meaning in Chinese New Year's celebrations - AnnArbor.com


I never even heard of Chinese New Year until I was already 12 years old. We had recently moved from Los Angeles to San Jose, and I had just started attending Saturday morning Chinese School for the first time. One of our lessons was about Chinese New Year stories and customs. Of course, being only 12, I was most interested in the tradition of red envelopes, which contain gifts of money. I went home demanding to know why my brother and I had never before received red envelopes, and insisted on years of back pay.

My brother and I forced our parents to celebrate Chinese New Year that year. We invited all our relatives over for a big dinner of Mongolian hot pot and we made a special trip to the really far Chinese butcher’s for the extra-thin cuts of meat needed. Aunts No. 3 and 6 came with all our cousins, and we had so much fun with the house full of relatives, warm with gossip and food, that we did not even notice until everyone had left that we still did not get any red envelopes.

Every year after that, I would ask my parents what they were planning for Chinese New Year, and the usual response was, "Oh, I don’t even know when it is. I’ll have to check the Chinese calendar." If I was home, and insistent, then they would cook a meal and invite some relatives over; if not, then they would forget. They were modern Chinese who did not need these old world superstitions. But I did. (click on link for more)

Discovering the meaning in Chinese New Year's celebrations - AnnArbor.com

photo courtesy of Andrew Fang photasa.com

Thursday, February 11, 2010

AML: Losar Services at Jewel Heart this Sunday - AnnArbor.com

The first time I took my daughter to Losar services, she was very little and very cute, and she caught the eye of Rimpoche, who leaned over and whispered something in someone’s ear. Suddenly, a handful of chocolate appeared before us. Awhile later, she caught his eye again, and another lean, another whisper, another handful of chocolate.

When we offered Rimpoche a white kata scarf at the end of services, he gave us yet another handful of chocolate. She loved Tibetan New Year. She thought it had something to do with getting lots and lots of chocolate. She also remembered the bread that we took home as prasad. Now that she is older, she will better understand the meanings behind the offerings and the gratitude, but there is something to be said for being able to feel it directly, as a child.

Losar is Tibetan New Year. Jewel Heart will be having special Losar services on Sunday, February 14, 10am.

Losar Services at Jewel Heart this Sunday - AnnArbor.com

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

AML: Wild Swan Theater celebrates African American History Month - AnnArbor.com

When Gwen Ifill was here as the keynote speaker for the University of Michigan’s MLK Day Symposium, she joked that anyone who missed the “I Have a Dream” speech on MLK Day would have another chance in February during African American History Month, a slightly cynical reminder that for some, these are the only two times of the year many suddenly remember to cursorily think about African American history.

Luckily, not everyone is like that. (click on link for more)

Wild Swan Theater celebrates African American History Month - AnnArbor.com

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

AML: Ann Arbor Chinese Center of Michigan's Chinese New Year's celebration - AnnArbor.com

The Ann Arbor Chinese Center of Michigan’s Chinese Lunar New Year’s Celebration will be held Feb. 13 at Washtenaw Community College, Morris Lawrence Building, 4800 E. Huron River Drive, Ann Arbor. There will be Children’s Performances (1-3 p.m.) including a colorful lion dance; traditional Chinese orchestra; dangerous kung fu (martial arts) demonstration; graceful Chinese dancers; spectacular Chinese Yo-Yo stunts; and Chinese New Year’s stories, songs, rhymes, skits and films. There will also be a “Market Festival” with children’s games and crafts and delicious Taiwanese snacks (3-5 p.m.).

Tickets will be available in advance and at the door, $5 for 25 tokens. Tokens may be exchanged for games and snacks at the Market Festival. For more information check out www.aaccom.org.

Chinese Lunar New Year’s Day will be Feb. 14 this year. It signifies the beginning of spring and is celebrated by ethnic Chinese in many countries around the world. It is also celebrated by ethnic Taiwanese, Koreans (Sol), Vietnamese (Tet), Tibetans (Losar) and others; and after being celebrated in America for over 150 years, it has become woven into the fabric of American culture. Every year is represented by one of 12 animal zodiac signs, and this will be the Year of the Tiger. (click on link for more)

Ann Arbor Chinese Center of Michigan's Chinese New Year's celebration - AnnArbor.com

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang keynote at Eastern Michigan University

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang will be speaking on (Raising) Women in the 21st Century at Eastern Michigan University for Chinese Week 2010 on Monday, February 8, 2010, 1:00 pm, 300 Halle Library.

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Raising confident daughters of color while not forgetting Obama is black - AnnArbor.com

Years ago, I took a seminar called, "Raising Strong and Confident Daughters." My husband laughed at me, "Could our daughters be any stronger or more confident?"

The class was an eye-opener, not just in how to raise my girls, but also in understanding my own Chinese American childhood. I had no memory of dealing with a lot of the issues the instructor talked about as being so important to preadolescent girls, such as friendships and physical appearances.

At first I thought that I must have been just so low on the social totem pole, because of race and nerdiness, that I had given up hope of competing in those arenas. Then I found a Wellesley study of Boston middle-school girls’ self-esteem along racial and ethnic lines and discovered that girls of different ethnic backgrounds based their sense of self-esteem on different factors. It made perfect sense once somebody said it out loud. (click on link for more)

Raising confident daughters of color while not forgetting Obama is black - AnnArbor.com
There was an error in this gadget