Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Crime Without Punishment: Why the Death of Vincent Chin Resonates Today | InCultureParent

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 4Runner and buy a Ford Bronco. I asked about safety as much as I did about academics before I decided to come.

This year marks the 29th 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: Crime Without Punishment: Why the Death of Vincent Chin Resonates Today | InCultureParent

Sunday, May 29, 2011

AML: The importance of ethnic new media for filling out the conversation

As my children scurry around excitedly before our neighborhood’s annual Memorial Day Parade—decorating their bikes, finding bags for the candy the Girl Scouts will throw, thinking about doughnuts in the park, planning to barbeque with friends afterwards — I remind them to be respectful, that Memorial Day is not just about the parade, that it is actually a very somber occasion, one that honors the brave men and women who have given their lives to protect our freedom in America, and that although we do not glorify war, their great-grandfathers and grandfathers were all in the military.

Yet, every year when parade organizers ask if I want to bring a group of Chinese School kids to march or lion dance in the parade, I hesitate. I worry. I agree only if I can get a big group of parents to walk with the kids, as security, just in case someone thinks people who look like us do not belong.

Of course, I know that people who look like us do belong. My grandfather trained in Texas (with Connie Chung’s dad!) and flew alongside General Chennault’s Flying Tigers during the Sino-Japanese War. Another friend’s father was a South Vietnamese medic during the Vietnam War who took care of wounded U.S. servicemen.

click on link for more The importance of ethnic new media for filling out the conversation

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sunday, May 22, 2011

AML Explore the richness of the Asian Pacific American experience with literature and the arts

Asian American writer Lisa Yee, author of Millicent Min Girl Genius, recently wrote an article for parentdish.com about how her mother instilled in her a love of reading. She opened by recollecting the books she and her mother read together:

“When I was little, my mother and I had a nighttime ritual. After my bath, when I was zipped into my pink footie pajamas, she'd sit on the bed and read to me. Mom's voice wrapped me up in fairy tales about princesses beset by trolls, a monkey named George and the adventures of Madeline who resided in an "old house in Paris that was covered in vines.”


When my daughter Hao Hao read the introduction (over my shoulder, as always), she said, "I know all those books." Then we joked that if she wrote a similar article someday, it would read, "My mom read me Ed Young, Allen Say, Laurence Yep, Grace Lin, Lisa Yee, Linda Sue Park..."

click on link for more Explore the richness of the Asian Pacific American experience with literature and the arts

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Challenging stereotypes and defensiveness regarding the Geronimo codename and the Paper Tiger

Seven-year-old Little Brother came home recently wearing a spiffy new Cleveland Indians baseball cap with a bright red Chief Wahoo embroidered on it. A gift.
He was so happy to have this special gift from special friends.

But Chief Wahoo? Seriously? Still?

I did not want to criticize the friends who gave it to him — nice, well-meaning folks who know nothing about the controversy surrounding the use of Native American caricatures as mascots.

Caught between the conflicting desires to honor this friendship and not perpetuate harmful stereotypes, I let Little Brother wear the cap around the house for a few days until the newness wore off and then let nature take its course — the cap got swallowed up and disappeared somewhere in the mess that is our house.

Then we went to the library and read about real Native Americans to gently supplant that stereotype in his young mind.

A week later, the message that Osama bin Laden had been killed came across the news, “Geronimo E-KIA” (“Enemy-Killed in Action”).

Again. Disbelief. Geronimo? Seriously? Today?

click on link for more Challenging stereotypes and defensiveness regarding the Geronimo codename and the Paper Tiger

Monday, May 9, 2011

AML: Citizenship questions on Mother's Day for President Obama, Wong Kim Ark, Superman and the 'birthers' - NAM EthnoBlog

My oldest daughter was almost born in Thailand. I was living in Kathmandu, Nepal, at the time, and the closest western hospitals were a day’s flight away in Bangkok. I loved cruising Bangkok Chinatown, and I thought that would be a fun way to spend a month, hanging out, waiting for the blessed event.
My mother said absolutely not. I had to go home to deliver the baby so that the child would be a U.S. citizen.

click on link for more Citizenship questions on Mother's Day for President Obama, Wong Kim Ark, Superman and the 'birthers' - NAM EthnoBlog

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Citizenship questions on Mother's Day for President Obama, Wong Kim Ark, Superman and the 'birthers'

My oldest daughter was almost born in Thailand. I was living in Kathmandu, Nepal, at the time, and the closest western hospitals were a day’s flight away in Bangkok. I loved cruising Bangkok Chinatown, and I thought that would be a fun way to spend a month, hanging out, waiting for the blessed event.

My mother said absolutely not. I had to go home to deliver the baby so that the child would be a U.S. citizen.

I tried to explain to my mother that the child of two U.S. citizens is automatically a U.S. citizen, no matter where she is born. Even the child of one U.S. citizen is a citizen. I had already checked with the U.S. Embassy.

“What do they know?” was my mother’s response.

And the kicker, “What if your child wants to be president of the United States one day?”

I thought my mother was needlessly worried, but since it was the Christmas season, it was just as easy to go home to California and have the baby among family and friends (and presents). Of course my mother was right.

Now, after President Barack Obama has released his long-form birth certificate to prove yet again that he is a natural-born citizen — which is still not enough to assuage the "birthers" — I see, once again, that my mother is always right. (Happy Mother’s Day!)

click on link for more Citizenship questions on Mother's Day for President Obama, Wong Kim Ark, Superman and the 'birthers'

Thursday, May 5, 2011

AML Mother’s Day in Mandarin at the Chinese Speech Tournament | InCultureParent

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 Mother’s Day in Mandarin at the Chinese Speech Tournament | InCultureParent

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Speaking at the EPA today May 4

Speaking at the EPA today for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month on The Multiethnic Nature of Hawaii. Funny, when we picked the topic a few weeks ago, I was worried about being relevant. Today, I will start with the opening video from President Obama's speech at the White House Correspondent's Dinner. Talk about relevant! With some comments along the way about the Geronimo code name...

Can't find the embed codes, but here's the url to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9mzJhvC-8E

My article about the birth certificate "controversy?" coming this Sunday at annarbor.com.

Thanks to friends at the EPA!

Monday, May 2, 2011

AML The power of pancit: Try something new during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month - NAM EthnoBlog

My children recently had steamed broccoli for the first time. Confronted with an entire head of soft green mush, they did not really know what to do with it, so they smiled politely and pushed it around on their plates. One of my daughters confided in me later, “Now I know why other kids don’t like broccoli.”

click on link for more The power of pancit: Try something new during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month - NAM EthnoBlog

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Adventures of Multicultural Living: The power of pancit: Try something new during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

My children recently had steamed broccoli for the first time.

Confronted with an entire head of soft green mush, they did not really know what to do with it, so they smiled politely and pushed it around on their plates.

One of my daughters confided in me later, “Now I know why other kids don’t like broccoli.”

As a child, I never understood why other kids did not like broccoli either. Or spinach. The first time I had spinach that had been cooked to death, I remember grieving, “What did that poor spinach ever do to anybody?”

I was embarrassed and felt like such an oddball for being the only kid in the world who wished her mother would make broccoli or spinach more often — crisp and bright, stir-fried quickly in just a shimmer of oil and a splash of salt.

Those other kids had no idea how lucky they were to have mere broccoli and spinach as their foes, when I knew the real dishes to face down were suen (bamboo shoots) and xue li hong (red in the snow preserved vegetable), which my mother once cooked every night for a month until I learned to love them (or at least swallow without grimacing).

click on link for more: The power of pancit: Try something new during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
There was an error in this gadget