Archive for June, 2009|Monthly archive page

Pacific Ties “Asian Heroes” T-shirt!

In PacTies News on June 5, 2009 at 6:03 pm

ptshirtPacific Ties now has t-shirts!

Our “Asian Heroes” t-shirt features eight men and women who are our great inspirations and who are some of the most influential figures of our time….for more information on each individual, click on the links below!

The Dalai Lama, Aung Suu Kyi, Amy Tan, Bruce Lee, Hayao Miyazaki, Yuri Kochiyama, Larry Itliong, and Somaly Mam.

If you would like to request a t-shirt, send an email to pacties@media.ucla.edu! Shirts are $10 + $5 shipping and handling if you aren’t in the UCLA area to pick it up.  American Apparel, Standard sizes or Classic Girl sizes available.


20th anniversary of Tiananmen Square Massacre

In NEWSPRINT on June 4, 2009 at 5:14 pm
Hong Kong held a vigil last night to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the government-sanctioned massacre at the 1989 pro-democracy demonstration at Tiananmen Square, Beijing.  Image source: http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/blogs/olympics/HK533.jpg

Thursday's gathering saw the biggest turnout for a Tiananmen anniversary ever recorded in Hong Kong. Image source: http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/blogs/olympics/HK533.jpg

Hong Kong held a vigil last night to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the government-sanctioned massacre at the 1989 pro-democracy demonstration at Tiananmen Square, Beijing.

Excerpt from BBC News article:

When the UK returned Hong Kong to China in 1997, the territory retained its own legal system, including the right to protest.

Thursday’s gathering saw the biggest turnout for a Tiananmen anniversary ever recorded in Hong Kong, the BBC’s John Simpson reports…

Thursday’s star attraction was Xiong Yan, now an exile based in the US.

“Our hearts are hurting but we have a dream that in the not too distant future China’s one party, authoritarian leadership will leave the stage,” he told the rally.

Our correspondent says the scene in Hong Kong seems very reminiscent of Tiananmen Square itself 20 years ago, with the same sort of idealism, the same sort of youthful feeling.

The success of the Hong Kong rally means that China’s hopes of sweeping the memory of the Tiananmen massacre under the carpet have come to nothing, he adds.

— posted by Debbie Chong

Journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee to be tried in North Korea

In NEWSPRINT on June 4, 2009 at 4:54 pm

Excerpt from today’s Los Angeles Times article:

North Korea put two American television journalists on trial today for allegedly entering the country illegally after vigils calling for their release were held in at least nine cities across the United States, including Los Angeles.

Laura Ling and Euna Lee, journalists working for San Francisco-based Current TV, were arrested after they allegedly crossed the border from China on March 17 while reporting a story on North Korean refugees…

In a terse, one sentence statement, the sate-run Korean Central News Agency said today that the trial of the two reporters would begin at 3 p.m. at the Central Court, the country’s top court in Pyongyang. North Korea rarely gives updates of ongoing events inside the country.

Please keep Ling and Lee in your thoughts and prayers.

— posted by Debbie Chong

Asian American women and body image

In Health on June 1, 2009 at 5:09 pm
Eating disorder

Asian American women face both Asian and American pressure to meet certain beauty ideals.

Last Friday I watched UCLA’s 2009 Chinese American Culture Night.  It brought up a number of themes of relevance to Asian Pacific Islander (API) Americans today, one of which was eating disorders and poor body image.

A 2007 feature article in Audrey magazine goes into depth about the multiple issues that API women struggle with today: the Asian beauty standard of slenderness; the American beauty standard of slenderness and Western facial features; and cultural beliefs and practices that discourage API women from seeking or receiving help.

Below is an excerpt from the article that discusses the cultural factors in API eating disorders.

During her sophomore year of high school, Marilla began a six-month battle with bulimia. Looking back, she says the lack of emotional openness with her parents may have also contributed to her disease. “There aren’t many displays of affection in a lot of Chinese families,” she says. “Having an eating disorder gives you more ground to work with — the chance to have a release that you don’t get from your parents.”

Experts say Marilla’s experience isn’t atypical. “Most Asian Americans feel they have to fill the model minority stereotype,” says Ahn, who points out that many Asian Americans put a premium on academic success. She also notes that some Asian Americans lack the tools to handle intense emotion, because “culturally, there is less emphasis on emotional expression.”

Although Marilla, Aretha and Jin insist that eating disorders are widespread among their Asian American peers, there’s little data to back their assertion. None of the girls are surprised by this, however, and each offers the same reason why the phenomenon goes unnoticed. “It’s just hush, hush — one of those Asian things,” says Aretha. And experts agree that shame plays a role in discouraging Asian American women from discussing their eating disorders. “Asian Americans in general avoid mental health services,” says Yoshikawa. “Going to an outsider can seem like you’re disrespecting the family.”

There may be another reason why the phenomenon goes undetected. A 2002 Florida State University study found that undergraduate survey participants were more likely to diagnose Caucasian women with eating disorders than minorities, even when the minority women exhibited the same symptoms. If the same is true for physicians, the data could have troubling implications for Asian American women, a segment of the population that is often believed to be naturally thin. “There’s an assumption that Asian Americans are happy with their bodies,” says Ahn. “Most people think they’re all petite, so even if someone is underweight because they are restricting food and engaging in other unhealthy behaviors, they might think, ‘oh, that’s just genetic.’”

Although researchers are divided on whether the experiences of Marilla, Aretha and Jin should be seen as individual cases or parts of an overall trend, most agree more studies need to be done. “There’s a lack of research; the field is still developing,” Yoshikawa explains. “And it’s not a field that Asian Americans go into. Culturally, going into psychology is not promoted.”

— posted by Debbie Chong