Posts tagged with "culture"

CUNY Thomas Tam Scholarship Applications Due June 30

The CUNY Thomas Tam Scholarship is funded by an endowment established by the City University of New York in recognition of Dr. Thomas Tam’s contributions as a former member of the CUNY Board of Trustees, founding Executive Director of the Asian American / Asian Research Institute, and leadership in the Asian American community. The Scholarship awards $1,000 to an individual qualified undergraduate student that is currently enrolled at any of the twenty-one colleges within CUNY, Asian or non-Asian, who has demonstrated creativity in the communication of the concerns of the Asian American community in areas such as Health, Education and Culture.

For full application guidelines and to view past winning projects, please visit www.aaari.info/tomtamscholar.htm

The Link Between Japan and Dancehall: Mighty Crown

To read more, click the link!


MARRIAGE CHINESE STYLE“Tony ’n’ Tina’s Wedding” might not be playing in New York anymore,but you can relive the nuptial good times—Chinese-style—at the LuckyRice Festival tonight. The cabaret dinner will include musicalperformances by Broadway stars Dina Morishita and Welly Yang as thebride and groom (the duo is an actual couple who met while performingin Ang Lee’s musical adaptation of the “Wedding Banquet”), whilesuperstar chef Susur Lee and master chefs at Shun Lee will serve up awedding feast featuring eight auspicious courses selected to inspire along life together and prosperity. Sounds like a delicious appetizerto wedding season!The Lucky Rice Chinese Wedding Banquet
photo via


“Tony ’n’ Tina’s Wedding” might not be playing in New York anymore,
but you can relive the nuptial good times—Chinese-style—at the Lucky
Rice Festival tonight. The cabaret dinner will include musical
performances by Broadway stars Dina Morishita and Welly Yang as the
bride and groom (the duo is an actual couple who met while performing
in Ang Lee’s musical adaptation of the “Wedding Banquet”), while
superstar chef Susur Lee and master chefs at Shun Lee will serve up a
wedding feast featuring eight auspicious courses selected to inspire a
long life together and prosperity. Sounds like a delicious appetizer
to wedding season!
The Lucky Rice Chinese Wedding Banquet

photo via

The Startling Plight of China's Leftover Ladies


“Why do sheng nu happen now in China?” Wu asked. After a dramatic pause, she answered her own question: “It is a result of high GDP growth.” At this point, several women in the audience fidgeted, wary of an economics sermon, but Wu continued. “In the past, there was no such word as sheng nu. But today women have more wealth and education — they have better jobs, and higher requirements for men.” She reflected: “Now you want to find a man you have deep feelings for who also has a house and a car. You won’t all find that.”

She wasn’t telling the women they should want less, exactly. What she was really pointing out was just how much better today’s Chinese women have it. Thirty years ago, a marriage certificate was a passport into adulthood. “Until you married, there were no basic human rights. No right to have sex before marriage. No house allocated by your danwei [government work unit] before marriage.” Today those barriers have crumbled, with rising sexual freedom and a booming private real estate market. Why marry unless you find someone just right? “The future is different,” Wu predicted, waving her arms for emphasis. China’s big cities will be filled with sheng nu. “Those who can bear the shortcomings and sufferings of men will get married,” she concluded. “Those not, single.”

All this grand theorizing was not remotely what Sabrina, a slender 26-year-old with sexy librarian glasses, wanted to hear. “I wish she had given more practical advice about how to enlarge my social circle,” she whispered to me. Sabrina was there because she truly wanted to get married, and by her own anxious calculation, she feared she had about one year left. She had a graduate degree from a good university, held a respectable job in marketing, and was reasonably attractive. It had never occurred to her that finding an appropriate partner would be a struggle. Did I know any unmarried men? she asked. And if so, I should probably tell them she is just 24.

sheng nu- literally, “leftover woman”; derogatory term used to refer to women “past their prime” who are still single… over the age of 27/30.

I honestly have mixed feelings about the article. One is utter annoyance at the almost condescending way it is written- that the author (a white woman) would compare a speaker giving a presentation in this article to another famous white woman at all: why can’t women of color just be who they are?

Second, this line:

The singletons I interviewed in Beijing were anything but dowdy. At 5 feet, 9 inches, the slim woman who slipped into a seat at the table at trendy Opposite House cafe was, in fact, an utter knockout. Annie Xu has a strikingly angular face, large wide-set eyes, shoulder-length hair, and flawless skin.

there’s something in the wording that smacks of cultural assumptions—like why wouldn’t anyone want these women? THEY’RE GORGEOUS ORIENTAL FLOWERS!!!!

thirdly I feel as though she takes the problem to the women, instead of more deeply examining this patriarchal power structure that contributes to these derogatory terms in the first place.

A generation ago, when Chinese society was simpler, there were fewer choices. But today, with colossal economic upheaval — and a yawning chasm between China’s winners and losers — your spouse may be the largest single factor determining whether, in the words of one infamous female contestant on Fei Cheng Wu Rao, you ride home on the back of a bicycle or in a BMW. And that just crystallizes the problem: China’s educated women increasingly know what they want out of life. But it’s getting harder and harder to find Mr. Right.

excuse me, “simpler”? Simpler to who? To you? Take your attitude and shove it up your lily white ass because you clearly don’t understand the substructures that exist within the family dynamic of “pre-liberated and Westernized” China.

Feb 1

Learning and Unlearning Ethnicity


A Dance Crew surprises passengers after boarding of a Finnair flight to Delhi to celebrate India’s Republic Day on January 26th 2012.

Jan 5

San Francisco's Sakai Market is Closing After 105 Years

Fascinasians: misseevee replied to your post: My Experience in the Interracial...



misseevee replied to your postMy Experience in the Interracial Dating World

One interesting thing that I have encountered: when I reveal that I am currently in a relationship, someone will ask, “Is he Chinese/Asian?” There is a degree of raciality from non-Asians, but the same can be said of Asian-Americans as well.

I agree completely. When I used to be extremely involved with the Asian community at my school and when I was immersed in the Asian community in my hometown, the first question out of their mouths if I mentioned I was seeing someone was if he was Asian. I apologize for that horrible run-on sentence. 

There was also another reply to my original post about how race plays into physical attraction, which is the foundation of any relationship. My argument for that is WHY ARE PEOPLE SEXUALLY ATTRACTED/NOT ATTRACTED TO PARTICULAR RACES?

Why does my aesthetic value lie on a “different scale” than other people? Why is there a difference between being good looking and good looking for an Asian?

And again, the main point of that was that an “Asian fetish” goes beyond primary physical attraction. It lies in the stereotype that is chained to a particular race and gender. 


I imagine African-Americans used to get this sort of thing a lot, where the expectation for relationships in general was that they would stay between the same race. There are still conscious attempts by creative media to normalize the idea of a white woman and a black man being together, for example. 

In the same way, it’s more common to find white men with Asian women, rather than Asian men with white women. Perceptions of sexual attractiveness, mixed in with the traditional power status of white men in the world in general, has a lasting effect. 

Like it or not, there is a difference between attractive for white people, for black people, for Asians, and so on. It’s affected by a whole slew of things: mainstream media, cultural norms, what we pick up as children that stay in our subconscious. 

But it does change. It’s increasingly normal to see a black and white couple in media, and with that it’s increasingly normal in day to day life. 

Regarding “Yellow fever” or the “Asian fetish” you can say that this sort of “fetish” happens everywhere. There’s a reputation that French men are great in the sack, that black men are hugely endowed, that Italian men are great lovers. Russian men love Turkish women and Turkish men love Russian women. Europeans love Thais more than other Asians, all over Asia there’s a preference among many Asian women for white men, even if only for a walking ATM. 

It’s not great, not necessarily accurate, and can be outright harmful, but a lot of human biology comes with trying to figure out what makes a good mate. What makes humanity special in comparison to other animal species is our ability to create culture, ideas, history, and pass it on in collective knowledge. With that comes perceptions of other peoples. One way or another, we pass on what we think we’ve figured out for the benefit (or ill) of other people, and we store that information for when we might need it. 

So when you, as a woman, meet a Frenchman, or an Italian, or a black man, or whoever, what flies through your mind are cultural perceptions of what society says about them, in addition to your own personal experience, your own skepticism, hopes, and biological attractiveness. You can consciously suppress those cultural perceptions, but they’re still there and have an effect in either direction on your decision to pursue them or not. 

Fantastic commentary from Uncdan. 

(Source: fascinasians)

Response 1: Invisibility of violence in Korean culture.



[Part of 4 posts responding to responses to this post.]

This was brought up by dagSeoul and fleetingbeat – the fact that there is domestic abuse in Korea and that it goes unreported. I’m extremely hesitant to make any statements about this issue simply because I know very little about it.

Here’s a UNHCR document on the progression of domestic abuse prosecution in Korea, which predictably shows that prosecution is hard but has come a long way. There’s not much about comparative rates of reported abuse or anything. And I doubt that a good comparison could be done, given how different attitudes towards the manhandling of other people in general is here vs. home.

I have nothing but very general anecdotes to say about this one. I’ve been making an effort at reading more novels and shorts stories by Korean feminist authors, and the repeated themes are inequality and double standards, abandonment, faithlessness and betrayal, dismissal and condescension… but I haven’t seen wife-beating so far. Of the two Korean people that I’ve discussed domestic violence and aggression with, both were of the opinion that a woman being hit even once warranted divorce proceedings (and for one of their families, it did). But that’s only two people. And both are quite young and quite progressive. So I really just don’t know.

The “silent domestic abuse” point is something I’ve heard quite more than a few times from both expats and gyopo classmates, though, so it must be rooted in something. What? Does anyone have any information?

Actually, unreported domestic violence isn’t silent nor is it invisible. And I didn’t write silent, I wrote invisible—having to do with mediated images and discourse that go uncritically examined in Korea. But sure, unreported rape, sexual abuse, incest, “date” rape. (I hate that term date rape. Rape is rape.) 

This is not only a Korean problem. I wouldn’t say Korean violence. I wrote invisible violence in Korea. It’s late, and again, I’m not at all trying to insert my interests into your discussion, which I was very happy to see posted. But it’s an important distinction, and one I’d hope you’d consider. If you want me to explain a little more, I can, but tomorrow. Cheers.

Young Professionals Expo

Thursday, November 03, 7 – 11pm
Studio XXI, 59 West 21st Street

Last year, YPX 2010 brought nearly 300 of New York City’s young professionals together to celebrate Asian American culture, creativity and couture.

This year, YPX 2011 celebrates cultural and community connections. The event will pose some big questions: what connects me to you? What connects us to the past? What connects the past to the future?

The heart of the celebration will be the inauguration of the second class of M88 honorees: young Chinese Americans who have transcended boundaries, convention and stereotype on their way to achieving extraordinary success.

Confirmed YPX 2011 honorees thus far:

  • Rachael Chong – founder & CEO of www.catchafire.org, a network connecting non-profits with skilled volunteers
  • Chieh Huang, William Fong, and Chris Cheung – founders of Astro Apes, a mobile gaming company recently purchased by Zynga
  • Sean Leow – founder of neocha.com, an online community for artists in China

YPX 2011 also marks the kick-off of Digital MOCA: an extension of the MOCA experience onto the immersive, always-on web. Spearheaded by MOCA Trustee – and cofounder and CEO of TheKnot.com (now XO Group) – David Liu, Digital MOCA aspires to be the virtual fabric for the community, connecting us all in our increasingly digital lives.

And featuring:

  • DJ, musical performances, and more
  • open bar & dim sum 7-9pm
  • cash bar from 9-11pm

Tickets purchased before 10/24: $50 for MOCA members, $60 for non-members
Tickets purchased after 10/24: $60 for MOCA members, $70 for non-members
Tickets purchased at the door: $88