Archive for March, 2009|Monthly archive page

LA Int’l Curry Fest: Sun, Apr 5, 10 am – 7 pm

In Culture on March 30, 2009 at 3:17 am
The 2nd annual International Curry Festival will take place in Thai Town, Los Angeles on Sunday, April 5 from 10 am to 7 pm.  Image from http://thaicdchome.org/cms/festival.

The 2nd annual International Curry Festival will take place in Thai Town, Los Angeles on Sunday, April 5 from 10 am to 7 pm. Image from http://thaicdchome.org/cms/festival.

Mark your calendars!


-SUNDAY, APRIL 5, 2009 from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM


Thai Town: Hollywood Blvd from Western Ave to Vermont Ave
-International Curry, Curry King Contest, Raffle Drawing, and Cooking Demonstration
-The 6th Annual Thai New Year’s Day Songkran Festival
-Thai Town 5K Run Walk

1) Hollywood/Western Metro Red Line
2) Free parking at Kaiser Permanente (accessible on Vermont Ave. via Barnsdall Drive) and take free shuttle to our event site

FREE ADMISSION to the public!

— posted by Debbie Chong


The battle over Carpinteria High’s mascot

In Monologue/Dialogue, NEWSPRINT on March 26, 2009 at 8:13 pm
Eli Cordero, a junior at Carpinteria High School of Chumash descent, protests the use of Native American imagery for school logos and emblems.

Eli Cordero, a junior at Carpinteria High School of Chumash descent, protests the use of Native American imagery for school logos. Image from http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-carpinteria-warriors15-2009mar15,0,5716759.story?page=1.

The LA Times and Santa Barbara Independent, among other newspapers, recently covered a local debate involving cultural stereotypes, school pride, and history.  Eli Cordero, a junior of Chumash descent, has pushed to remove Native American imagery at Carpinteria High.
The LA Times reports:
Eli sees “Warriors” as an ethnically neutral name, but he said the images have irked him ever since he was a child.

“There’s the big head in the parking lot,” he said, referring to a concrete bust of a headdress-clad Plains Indian chief that was a gift to the school from the Class of 1970. “That’s prejudice right there, looking you in the face.”

According to the SB Independent:
The election did prove pivotal. It was the newly-seated Panizzon who made the motion to remove only two images when the Native American Imagery Committee had recommended removing four, modifying two, and keeping four. Three other images were discussed by the committee, but no agreement could be reached on their fate.
It was a partial victory, but it is not over.  Cordero and his supporters plan to lobby the California legislature to pass a law banning Native American sports symbols.
I think that it’s easy for non-Native Americans to think, “What’s the big deal?” and not find the Native American imagery offensive.  But we should put ourselves in Cordero’s shoes.  What if your high school used Asian Pacific Islander imagery for its mascot and logos?  There is a very fine line between honoring history and perpetuating stereotypes.
— posted by Debbie Chong

Colors and culture

In Culture on March 20, 2009 at 4:26 pm
A rainbow of umbrellas in Hong Kong.

A rainbow of umbrellas in Hong Kong.

If you live in Los Angeles, the next time you’re on the freeway or at a busy intersection, take a look at the cars.

How many colors do you see?

I can count them on one hand: white, gray/silver, black, and red.

Sure, occasionally you’ll see a blue or green car (wow!), but it’s really weird how little variation there is in vehicle colors.

When I was in Hong Kong, I noticed that locals were quite colorful in their fashion choices.  Even their umbrellas come in every shade of the rainbow.

People there have no need for cars (public transportation is excellent!), but I imagine that if Hong Kongers had private cars, their roadways would look a lot more vibrant than LA’s.

— posted by Debbie Chong

Nancy-Ann Min DeParle joins Obama administration

In NEWSPRINT, Politics on March 14, 2009 at 5:35 pm
Nancy-Ann Min DeParle.  Photo from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/02/nancy-ann-deparle-white-h_n_171131.html

Nancy-Ann Min DeParle, who was recently appointed to head the White House Office of Health Reform. Photo from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/02/nancy-ann-deparle-white-h_n_171131.html

Thanks, my fellow Pac Ties bloggers, for commenting on my “Remember the (API) Ladies” post and bringing to my attention that a third woman has been appointed a prominent role in Obama’s administration.

On March 2, President Obama appointed Nancy-Ann Min DeParle to lead the White House Office of Health Reform.  She is only 36 (relatively young for such a high-ranking position) but already has a lot of relevant experience.

Read more about her in this article in The Huffington Post.

— posted by Debbie Chong

Studying for finals? Add oil!

In Culture on March 14, 2009 at 2:01 am

As we UCLA students slog through final exams, we like to commiserate about our exams, projects, and papers and then reassure each other that it’ll all be over soon.

In Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China, people often use the expression “add oil (加油)” to encourage each other, especially during final exams season.

Yesterday I said “加油!” to my Chinese American friend and then started wondering where this phrase came from.  How does “add oil” relate to “keep it up!” or “you can do it!”?

Journalist Ben Moger-Williams translated a folktale about the origins of the phrase.  It’s an amusing story, although I think it is more likely that 加油 is the Chinese equivalent of “burning the midnight oil.”

Well, maybe I’ll never know the definite origin of the phrase, but I’ll use it anyway.  To all my fellow students, ADD OIL!

— posted by Debbie Chong

Old But Cool – 60 Years of Asian Heroes

In Monologue/Dialogue, NEWSPRINT on March 11, 2009 at 8:02 am

I tend to bookmark things on the intention of going back to read them … but sometimes I forget.  But back in 2006, TIME Magazine published this really cool feature on “60 Years of Asian Heroes” which I argue is a timeless piece.

From TIME.com, illustrated by Michelle Chang

How can we talk about APAs now without knowing all the history that came before us?

Education starts… here.

Addicted to the Internet?

In Health on March 10, 2009 at 3:47 am

If you browse the Internet for more than 6 hours a day for three straight months, then congratulations, you have been diagnosed with Internet Addiction, an official disorder as defined China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

Don’t worry, though, you can be cured!

As reported in Times Magazine, parents in China are sending their kids to the Internet Addiction Center, a sort of rehab/military boot camp for anybody defined with the disorder. Over 3,000 young adult/adolescents have been sent to the Center for treatment.

When I read the article, I was astonished. Possibly a majority of college students could be classified under the PLA’s definition. With my Internet behavior, I would be sent to the camp in a jippy, especially considering I not only go to college, but work for a Web-based company. With the Internet and computers dominating our lives more and more everyday, who wouldn’t be considered “abnormal” in the PLA’s eye?

And to be subjected to military-styled boot camp sounds a little extreme. It sounds more like the parents are temporarily curing the problem, instead of solving the problem. What are these kids going to do with their lives after coming out of rehab?

–Posted by Evelina Giang

“You’re American? You don’t look like one…”

In Culture, Monologue/Dialogue on March 7, 2009 at 9:55 pm

When I was an exchange student in Hong Kong two years ago, I learned that in Asia, some people (usually the older generation) assume that to be “American” is to be white.

In Hong Kong, I chatted with some elderly Chinese and told them I was an exchange student from the U.S.   “But you don’t look American,” they protested.  I explained that my parents were ethnic Chinese and I was born in America.  “You’re Chinese, then,” they corrected me.  “Not American.”

I encountered similar responses on the subway in Seoul, Korea.  A few elderly Koreans viewed my Chinese American friend and me with curiosity because we were chatting in English.  “Where are you from?” they asked. 

For the first few inquiries, we said we were from America.  But like in Hong Kong, we got puzzled looks and “No, you couldn’t be” responses.   Finally we gave up and simply said, “We’re from Hong Kong.”  The  confusion ceased.

We felt a tad guilty about taking the easy way out.  We were American, after all.  Isn’t it worth the extra time and effort to let folks know that people of Asian descent live (and are born) in the U.S.?

Check out this blog post by Tony Shen on ModelMinority.com.  Shen, a Chinese American, was denied an English teacher position in Taiwan because he didn’t look “white” or “Western” enough.  Looks like Asian Americans face job discrimination on both sides of the Pacific Ocean.

— posted by Debbie Chong

Newsprint: Study Brings to Light the Obama Effect

In NEWSPRINT on March 7, 2009 at 7:44 am

Two university professors at Florida State University and University of Wisconsin-Madison have discovered a decrease in racial prejudice that occurred during the Nov. 4 election. They call this the Obama Effect.

A series of studies and experiments done with 300 non-black (white, Asian or Hispanic) students, designed to measure stereotyping and implicit prejudice, has found that there is an unprecedented drop in implicit racial bias across college campuses in Wisconsin and Florida. Researchers have found that 51 percent of the participants demonstrated automatic preferences for white people compared with the earlier 80 percent of white people that demonstrate an automatic preference for whites.

The researchers also asked the students what came to mind when they thought of African-Americans and close to a quarter of them listed Obama. In another experiment, participants were exposed to the word “black” on a computer screen for 55 milliseconds. The exposure was brief, intending to generate subconscious responses. Participants quickly selected words such as president, election or senator rather than neutral words.

Researchers have suggested that the success of Obama’s presidency may have implications for his future role in reducing racial stereotypes and prejudices.

“If his presidency is highly successful, he would activate positive traits, thoughts, and feelings for most people,” the researchers said. “However, the result may be less positive should his presidency prove to be less successful.”

– written by Shirley Mak

Kimchi + Tacos, Qué!?

In Culture, Monologue/Dialogue on March 6, 2009 at 5:30 am
From Kogis flickr page - their signature taco.

From Kogi's flickr page - their signature taco.

So I’ve been following the Kogi taco truck around for the past few weeks. On Twitter.

Kogi is the brainchild of Mark Manguera, whose fusion of Korean BBQ and the ubiquitous taco truck has created a Los Angeles food sensation.  People keep talking about it – in class, at work, in my apartment, in the LA Times, in the New York Times, and this Newsweek Video which was part of our Communication Studies 156 lecture today.

The catch? You gotta follow Kogi on Twitter to find out where it’ll be next.  Marketing genius? Perhaps. Effective at creating a whole new grassroots food movement in LA? Definitely.  Only in Los Angeles can you find something like this – 14 million people, from diverse ethnicities and backgrounds, and who love the hottest trends. First hand testimonials have got me salivating for this new food venture.  Next time Kogi hits up UCLA (it was on the corner of Midvale and Ophir last Tuesday!) I’m chasing it down.

For more info:



Posted by Maria Iu