We were talking about what life was life back then, back home, during terrible times. Myself. Some Bosnians. A man whose parents survived the holocaust. Almost as if it happened yesterday, one of the Bosnians talked about being a teenager and running from the snipers. And that struck me. How much we carry memories that [...]
Written by Stephen on December 20, 2012
Of course, Thanksgiving (Eve or otherwise) is not really about the food. As I told the children in my most recent presentation on Asian harvest festivals, it really is about the people—all the family and friends we call home. And in this, all of our different cultures really are more alike than not.
Written by frances on November 22, 2012
So I am really puzzled by people like Abigail Fisher of the current US Supreme Court case Abigail Fisher v University of Texas. A mediocre student, the University of Texas insists that she simply was not good enough, but she is certain that the reason she was not accepted is because of affirmative action and less-qualified minorities. This case also pulls Asian Americans into the argument. Lots of folks have already written about the legal dimensions of this case, and it is complex, but I am curious about the sense of entitlement that makes her so certain that it is the fault of others that she did not get in.
Written by frances on November 11, 2012
Sometimes friends tease me for being so naïve and idealistic. But with the elections upon us, I am there once again. I cannot help it. As the child of immigrants, I was raised valuing freedom and democracy, knowing how lucky we all are to be here, knowing how fragile that luck can be. I am always shocked when I meet people who do not vote.
Written by frances on October 18, 2012
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!”
Written by frances on September 13, 2012
I thought I could go to services 9-10 and then cut out quickly to go to the reading from 10-11:30, but there is no escaping the Aunties at temple. The first time we ever went to this temple, they ran out after us into the parking lot and physically pulled the kids out of the car one by one, insisting we stay for lunch. Today, they take four-year-old Little Brother by the hand and lead him down to the Fellowship Hall where they load his plate full of blueberry cake, potato chips, lilikoi cookies, purple potato tempura, multi-layered jello, purple potato manju, and fresh lychee. One Auntie is concerned, “He has a cold.” I look at his face and wipe his nose, “No, that’s whipped cream.”
Written by frances on August 3, 2012
We went to an art exhibit opening and reception last night at Wailoa Art Center. Afterwards, my son, Little Brother, pouted all night because he saw me kissing the artist, “that man.” He cannot kiss me ever again, he says, and he rubs and rubs his skin with his shirt, to wipe off every last kiss that I give him. I try to explain that, actually, I was kissed BY the artist, that sometimes people kiss hello on the cheek just like others shake hands. But he will have none of it. This is not the first time we have had this conversation, but what am I supposed to do?
Written by frances on July 20, 2012
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