Read More

Written by on September 13, 2012

From Virtual to IRL at the V3 Asian American and Pacific Islander Digital Media Conference

I love writing about AAPI issues for the AAPI community because we do not have to stop and explain every last detail, but we can discuss issues at a much higher level and actually move forward. I am able to thrive within the community of AAPI writers, bloggers, activists, artists, and friends that I have found here. They are my safe place to fall. They are my wealth of resources and connections. They are the people who understand what it means to dream in html, who defend me from trolls, and who get my jokes. With this community behind me, I am able to be a much more effective writer and advocate for the wider AAPI community.

Read More

Written by on August 20, 2012

The Aunties at Temple

The Aunties at Temple Comments Off on The Aunties at Temple

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.”

Read More

Written by on August 3, 2012

Culture on the Volcano

Culture on the Volcano Comments Off on Culture on the Volcano

Sometimes I find myself categorizing our lives into “School,” “Sports,” “Music,” “Science,” “Arts,” and “Culture.” I want to make sure that we are living balanced lives, that I am exposing the children to a little of everything, so that they will grow up to be well-rounded, like the old Renaissance ideal. It is refreshing to be reminded that life is not always so easily categorized.

Read More

Written by on July 26, 2012

Culture of a Kiss

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?

Read More

Written by on July 20, 2012

The Teahouse

The Teahouse Comments Off on The Teahouse

Spent the morning with Linus Chao, renowned international artist and official “Living Legend of Hawaii,” at his home halfway up the volcano. My daughter Mango is taking art classes with him and his wife this summer. Four hours of Chinese art in the morning with Mrs. Chao, a little lunch, then four hours of western art in the afternoon with Professor Chao. All Mango needs, Professor Chao says, is a little formal instruction, and she will be on her way. The Chaos must be in their 80s. He is Shandong, she is Dongbei, their voices full of the old accents that I love. He is so warmly effusive, shows me everything, never lets me leave. I cannot believe my luck, and I want to soak in every word.

Read More

Written by on July 12, 2012

Crossing boundaries and standing up for justice together. NoH8. Remembering Vincent Chin

Crossing boundaries and standing up for justice together. NoH8. Remembering Vincent Chin Comments Off on Crossing boundaries and standing up for justice together. NoH8. Remembering Vincent Chin

Such a diverse group of the folks participated in the walk—many races, many ages, many religions, many orientations. Some of the older people actually remembered Vincent Chin from when he was waiting tables at the Golden Star Restaurant. To them, he was a guy from the neighborhood, a guy they knew. The younger people were shocked that such a thing could happen, that a man could kill another man because of the way he looked and never spend a day in jail. As I told the story of the Vincent Chin case, I encouraged folks to see past differences and recognize that we all have a lot more in common than not. We cannot always afford the luxury of dividing down various lines, keeping in our separate groups. Rather, there is power in coalitions and alliances. We are all in this together.

Read More

Written by on June 18, 2012

« Older Entries   Newer Entries »