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 veritĂ© 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 CafĂ©: “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
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