EDITED TO ADD: I did write to the museum (please see comment section to see what I said to the museum). In the past, the generic answers I received whenever I took action in subtle incidents have been, "Oh, so-and-so is NOT like that usually, must have been having a bad day." "I'm sure so-and-so did not behave that way because of your race." "We apologize - but that is SO surprising. It's unlike so-and-so to be like that." So we'll see...
For the second time this month, I took Little Nabi (per her request) to the Science Museum. The line for the box office was long, snaking at least 4 times along the long lobby. It seemed every grandparent thought this would be a wonderful family event after Thanksgiving feast couple days ago. Because the museum shares a parking lot with a convention center where Hmong New Year's festivities were being held, the lobby was doubly crowded with party-goers in their beautiful Hmong native dresses.
As LN and I stood in line, I noticed an older woman, in her late fifties or early sixties, coming down our row, handing out leaflets. I heard her say, as she pressed each sheet in everyone's hands, "It tells you the different pricing packages - just something to help you decide while you're in line." She handed one to the woman in front of me. She glanced at me oh-so-briefly, suddenly turned 180 degrees, and handed a few out to people in the next row over. As she took a step past me, with her back to me, she turned again and handed a sheet to the woman behind me!
The very nice people at Kane Miller Publishing sent me two books to review a while back, and I published a review of one of them, Yellow Umbrellahere. I loved the second book, New Clothes for New Year's Day
by Hyun-joo Bae as well, but sort of forget to post my review. I was
going through some of my son's books today, and came across this lovely
book, and thought that it would make a great holiday gift for a child
with a Korean heritage, or for any child or family interested in
This beautifully illustrated book from South Korea chronicles a
young girl's excitement over her family's Lunar New Year celebration.
As she dresses for the event, she shows each piece of her elaborate
clothing, from the "rainbow-striped jacket" of the hanbok to
the silk pouch on a string for luck. The drawings start out simply,
and build in their richness of design and detail as the little girl
adds a new piece of clothing. At the end, the author explains Korean
New Year celebrations, including the ceremonial soup that makes
everyone a year older. It is gorgeous book, and one I hope to pass
along to my grandchildren some day.
My family didn't celebrate Korean New Year in the traditional way,
so this was new to me. It's wonderful to find a book that explains
some of our cultural traditions in a way that both my son and I can
Interestingly, when my son interviewed my mother for a school
project, he asked her what her favorite holiday memory was, and she
said, "New Year's, because I got to wear pretty, new clothes." Now I
know what she was talking about. I think my mother would enjoy this
book just as much as I did.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book to review. Cross-posted at The Silent I.
I'm still in shock that it's already holiday season at the mall. And it's not like holiday season just started, it's been going strong for several weeks already. It made me a little sad that the transition went straight from scary ghosts and pumpkins to holiday present craziness. What happened to the holiday in the middle where we give thanks for the things we already have?
So, IF you decide that you need to buy things this coming Friday, I figured I'd send out a couple of suggestions to assuage your consumer guilt. If you're going to buy things, at least figure out how to buy things that support good causes and good people. Here some suggestions for rocking Asian American gifts this holiday season.
Another Calendar? Tired of giving that same Dilbert or Anne Geddes calendar? Try something with a little more bite, like Lela Lee's Angry Little Girls 2008 Calendar. People always crack up when see my 2007 calendar hanging in my office. (hint hint)
Something Sustainable I know that I have been trying to evaluate how my actions impact the earth. Disposable plasticware is such a waste, but I'm never organized enough to bring in my own. This resusable bamboo utensil set is the perfect solution, eco-friendly and produced by WEAVE, an organization which helps to provide opportunities for leadership and empowerment for women and children from Burma.
Something Sustainable and Angry And, if you want to be eco-friendly and angry at the same time, this bag, again from Angry Little Girls, just cracks me up. (hint hint)
If you feel the need to give underwear, try blacklava's "I Will Not Love You Long Time" briefs (only for girls, unfortuntaely). I tried, but I couldn't find any Asian American owned sock businesses.
For a first lesson in community activism, try Lakas and the Makibaka Hotel, another personal favorite. This book is written in both English and Tagolog!
Gifts that keep on giving Personally, come March, it's nice to get a gift that keeps on giving. Like a magazine subscription to Hyphen Magazine, the gift of music, or the gift of time spent with whatever local community organizations you feel connected to.
What about you? Do you have a favorite local business or artisan that you try to support through the holidays?
Evidently, Paris Hilton was not getting enough attention in the US, so she decided to invade visit Korea. According to Korea Times, she's currently in Seoul to pimp for Fila Korea Sportswear.
In this photo, she shows off the latest trends in ajummah-inspired tracksuits and puffy metallic vests. Seriously, can't you just see your mom or MIL in this get-up? I can. All she needs is a short, permed hairdo that I like to call the "Asiafro" to go with it and complete the ensemble.
I have to admit, I'm oddly attracted to the fuscia purse. I don't know why, I just am. Wonder if that's actually Fila?
Come on home, Paris. All you need to do is run a redlight like Britney Spears, and you're back in the celebrity spotlight again. Then again, that might violate her parole and land her back in the celebrity slammer.
As the holiday season approaches, I feel conflicted for many different reasons...
Thanksgiving never did much for me. I did not grow up in the U.S. so TG did not equal family traditions for me. I didn't much care for turkey although I've recently found that I do in fact like the dark meat. In college, friends would gasp at the thought of a lonely international student spending Thanksgiving alone - they would tell me I had to come 'home' with them: No one spends Thanksgiving without family! They meant well... but I would be looking forward to a quiet holiday without people and try in vain to get out of these pity-invitations. Inevitably, I would be the 'foreign' student - I would feel awkwardly out of place as they sat around in their comfortable clothes and took walks down the memory lanes. I was their audience of one. I was not family. And no one ever sent me a dress-code memo; without fail, I was either the most overdressed or most underdressed. It was painful...