A couple weeks ago, I took my baby to Shanghai to meet my family for the first time. For those of you who don't know, I grew up in China and left home for college when I was 16. Since then, I travel back every year to see my parents and the extended family. Going home has always been an interesting experience for me. Just as I have grown and matured, China has also been going through dramatic changes every year. Despite my fluent Chinese and 16 years of memories growing up there, I often feel lost at home.
When my husband and I were planning our honeymoon to Australia, we decided to spend an entire week in a small beach city called Cairns. We booked a 4-day live aboard there and dived 12 different diving sites cross the Great Barrier. We spent the rest of the week roaming around the town, eating fresh caught prawns and hiking up the rain forest. Even though we have heard great things about Melbourne and Sydney, we were quite content to immerse ourselves in Cairns.
May 17th marks an important milestone for the Asian community. Taiwan became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage in Asia. When Tsai Ing-wen was running for president in 2016, marriage equality was the center of her campaign. Taiwan was already known as the progressive forerunner on many issues - gender equality, animal rights, just to name a few; but she had a more ambitious goal. She believed in same-sex marriage and wanted to demonstrate how progressive values can take root in an East Asian society. After all, Taipei is home to East Asia's largest gay pride parade – an event that regularly draws tens of thousands of participants.
Did you check the Facebook group Subtle Asian Traits we shared last week? With 1.2 million active members, Subtle Asian Traits (SAT) is becoming a significant part of the Asian American pop culture. Tagging each other in SAT is now an indication of tight relationship among friends. Getting a submission published in SAT is now a bragging right of one's authentic Asianess. Inspired by its booming popularity, a handful of other projects are also taking over the community: Subtle Asian Dating, Subtle Curry Traits, Subtle Christian Traits, etc.
Gong Xi Fa Cai! In Chinese that means “May you attain greater wealth.” This is a common greeting that over 2.1 Billion people around the world will wish each other in celebration of the Lunar New Year (LNY) on February 5th. Growing up in South East Asia, I have been very privileged to have celebrated LNY in other countries around the world. I always remembered receiving red envelopes from relatives, family, and friends which contained “lucky money,” a traditional gift during the new year, and stuffing my face full of dumplings and celebratory foods. LNY celebrations last up to two weeks in some countries. Although these are my fond childhood memories, I should probably explain what LNY is.