I just came home from a BBQ where I met a French woman who is trying to raise her French/English (as in British) children bilingual in the Bay Area. She is aware of a private French bilingual school but it's too expensive. I told her that although I can speak Korean pretty well, having come to the States when I was in the fifth grade, I am not speaking Korean all the time to my son at the moment. Especially since my husband doesn't speak it that well and it's hard to make the effort myself.
A part of me knows that that was just an excuse. If I really wanted, I CAN speak only in Korean to my son... but I have passively come to a place where I am not doing that.
Am I a terrible mother? I have met/read some mamas to whom it is so important that their kids are bilingual. I mean, since I "can" teach Korean to my kids, I "should"... right?
I know that a lot of us have been watching the news since Euna Lee and Laura Ling were captured, wondering why there haven't been substantial news reports on their plight. Yes, we understood that it's a sensitive situation, that North Korea is unpredictable and that there were surely efforts going on behind the scenes. But as news reports about an American ship captain captured by pirates and then dramatically rescued and then more recently the flurry of news surrounding Roxana Saberi's trial, conviction, appeal and release, the silence around Euna and Laura weighed heavily on my mind.
They are, after all, not so different from us. But more brave. Certainly, I'm sure they knew there was some risk involved in the reporting they were doing, but like so many reporters who report in conflict zones and areas without free press, they did so because they felt compelled to report on the often desperate lives of North Korean defectors in the Chinese border region. They didn't work for big time news organizations and they weren't going to get famous or rich from their reporting, but they were trying to shine a light on stories that would otherwise go untold, unheard, unspoken.
My heart goes out to the Lee and Ling families and I'm sure I cannot imagine how difficult the decision to stay silent - and now to speak out - must be. We must do whatever we can to make sure that Euna and Laura are released! Their June 4 (June 3, in the US) trial is approaching and the Lings and Lees have decided that they can no longer afford to keep silent.
Whether you're grilling hamburgers and hot dogs or bulgogi and kalbi, let us all take the time to remember the fallen men and women who made it possible for us to sit by the pool, be among friends and have delicious meals on our day off.
It doesn't matter the reasons for the war, whether or not you agree or disagree . . . Let us remember those who have paid the ultimate price and the many more who are without their families, friends and homes because they are out there . . .
At the event at Stanford that I wrote about, Mr. Shin used Google Earth to show us where Camp No. 14 was... as well as another camp near the northern border where a friend of his was held. It was eye opening to say the least. Made his story so much more real.
In the slideshow in the article above, there is one aerial picture of mass graves... of the victims of the "Arduous March." That's how North Korea refers to the famine that reportedly killed between 1-3 million people.
The latest issue of Hyphen Magazine is all about families!! And, there's a nice feature on Asian American parenting blogs, featuring some of our very own bloggers!!
As I find my own way creating my own family, I find that the connections that I make with other parents out in the blogosphere are so important. Parenting can be an isolating experience; being a working parent leaves you very little time to get out there an do mommy-networking; being a single working parent leaves very very little time for anything except breathing and drinking coffee.
I enjoy Hyphen's take on families for presenting families as being more than just people who are related to you by blood. My own family doesn't look anything like a mom, a dad, 2.5 kids and a dog and a picket fence, and I appreciate seeing more examples of non-traditional families, especially within the Asian American community.
So, check us out in Hyphen and check out the rest of the issue too!! ~ eliaday, who is enjoying reading the latest issue of Hyphen and hopes that Asian American print media doesn't die.
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