Celebrating Family Day for Korean New Year

Saturday, January 22, 2011

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Today we went to celebrate Korean New Year’s Day (Solla) at The Korea Society. All races of children, parents, and grandparents were welcome to sample traditional rice cakes (Ttok), practice the New Year's bow (Sebae), and watch a short film screening on the traditional ancestral ceremony Ch'arye, the holding of an ancestor-memorial service on festive days, with food and wine offered in sacrifice to the ancestral tablet. The day was also filled with traditional games and activities.

Korean Family DayKorean Family Day


The first activity was hearing the story of the Master Calligrapher. Some children were dressed in their Hanbok's and looked so colorful. I tried sitting and hearing the whole story but my son was soon on to the next activity.
Korean Family DayKorean Family Day

We stopped by the food table to get rice cakes (Ttok) and Korean New Year drinks like Shik'e (rice punch) and Sujonggwa (cinnamon flavoured persimmon punch). Sadly all the race cakes were gone so my son had the Sujonggwa while I enjoyed the Shik'e.
Korean Family DayKorean Family Day

As we took a break to enjoy our drinks I looked around to see what other types of families came to celebrate. While I did see another black family and some white/asian families it was mostly asian families attending. It was nice to see all the Halmeoni's (Grandma's) sitting in the corner watching the kids run around.
Korean Family DayKorean Family Day

Our next stop was the Minhwa coloring table. Minhwa is a simple folk art style of painting on paper or canvas. Typical subjects include tigers (representing power) and cranes (representing long life). When asked to choose which animal he wanted to color my son chose the tiger, which is my Chinese zodiac sign. Smart boy!
Korean Family DayKorean Family Day

Korean Family DayKorean Family Day

From there we wandered over to the Sebae section where things got really interesting. When I asked what the pretty floor mats were about, the guy there explained that it was for bowing. He then asked if I wanted him to show my son how. I didn't think it would work since Daniel was busy trying to climb the stage instead of sitting on the mats. But the guy was patient and explained to Daniel what to do. When it seemed Daniel wanted to run away, he sat him down and gave him some sort of mini massage. I think he took a liking to Daniel and wanted to encourage him.

Meanwhile the women on the other side instructed me to take off my shoes and sit on the mat. Seems the guy taught the boys and the women taught the girls. But when I asked her to teach me she said, you don't bow. LOL. As I sat down I felt so weird but as I watched my son finally let the guy show him how to bow and show respect.   I was so proud of him.  He's a good son.
Korean Family DayKorean Family Day

Korean Family DayKorean Family Day

After that we went to play Yut nori, a Korean board game traditionally played on New Year’s Day. My son liked seeing the sticks being thrown but he's still to young to figure out how to move the token (Mals). Then we went to Yon Mandulgi (Kite making) but it was to crowded so we went to make a Chegi (sorta a hacky-sack) that suppose to be kicked.

One of the guys showed us how to kick a Chegi using the side of the feet. He was very good at it. Then it was time for the children to learn how to kick so they can enter the contest later. Daniel tried to kick his Chegi but he still needs to work on his kick ;)

We had a great day at the Korea Society and I'm glad they host events that are open to anyone who wants to learn more about Korean culture.

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Educating the Asian Male about Asian & Black Relationships

Monday, January 17, 2011

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So I've been catching up with what's being happening in the asian and black world both as separate and combined communities. What I've been seeing has made my head hurt. While in some areas there's been some improvement, in other areas I feel people are still stuck.  But I also discovered something else.  There's some spilling over of interest for the asian black community.  What interesting about this is it's from those who support asian/asian relationships or asian/white relationships. Could this type of interest be a good thing?

educate asians

Well, for me the jury is still out on this.   I'm not even sure what the interest is about. I do think that the increased awareness has something to do with the media coverage the asian black communities have been receiving.  In movies, TV shows, print and magazine ads, music videos, etc there's been an increase of images of  black and asian couples or families. Woot!

Still I think some people are at a loss on how to "process" this information after being "taught" that black women are not dating material and they should seek out women of other races, especially *ahem* white women. Case in point...let me introduce you to icysparks2007, who I discovered on youtube. I've been meaning to make a reply video to him about the "look" of a black and asian child.  He made a comment that blasian children would have dark complexion and fuzzy hair.  Umm, yeah.  Like I said I've been meaning to address that but ya know I've been busy people!

Anywhoo, he recently posted a video sharing some of his thoughts why asian men/black women relationship are so rare. His three main points where location, education and media portrayal. Ok folks, take a deep breathe while you watch this video.

So of course I have some issue with his points. We all know my thoughts on media portrayal of black women so I'll spare you a re-rant. But seriously with the no black people in the area point. Just because he doesn't know any black people doesn't mean we're not living in all parts of the world. But the irony is that he doesn't think a lot of Asians live in other parts of the world either.

Also what is he saying that there's NO movies that show a black women/asian male couple? Did he use Google? Cause I'm sure there's a list out there. Hell I have a list of movies. Which reminds me that I need to update cause there's been a bunch more movie, tv shows, etc since I first made that list.

As for education, where is he getting that info that black women aren't in the science fields? Did he really try and reference the Black in American documentary?!

As I watched his video I started to get upset but then I had to stop myself. I should not get upset with someone who clearly has not been educated. Clearly he doesn't know the reality. The fact that he's making these videos and commentary shows his need to connect and understand.

I also think it might be a little about getting more video views and interaction. Just saying. It's interesting to me that an asian guy who supports white and asian relationships is all of a sudden interested in asian and black relationships. Also dude is on youtube, where there's tons of videos that show asian black couples and families. But still he claims not to know many. Hmmmm

But moving on with my point. I started wondering how many other asian men need educating about the reality of a asian and back relationship? I'm thinking many. I think many asian men not connected to the black community thru living in the neighborhood, having coworkers or class mates don't know where to go with their questions and interests. Now they're seeing asian/black pairing and they're trying to figure what happening and why.

But the interesting thing is none of this asian and black combination is new. It's been happening since the dawn of time and from all the blasian babies I keep seeing within my community...it's going to keep happening. So when I hear people who are not educated about this community using terms like rare, it's shows me they didn't do their research.

Before taking the position of expert who will "explain" something about a certain group of people at least make contact with the community and learn. All dude needed to do was reach out to any of the many advocates of the asian and black community. Any of us would have been glad to educate him. There's no shame in being educated about others before speaking out of turn. It's a good lesson to learn.

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Lifetime Movie "Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story"

Friday, January 14, 2011

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When I learned that Lifetime was showing a movie based on the Tiffany Rubin story, I couldn't wait to blog about it. As a black mother with a blasian child, who just happens to also be half korean, it was exciting for me to see Tiffany's story being told on such a large network.

More exciting was that Taraji P. Henson was staring in the role. After being in the The Karate Kid remake, I think this is the 2nd time Taraji is playing a black women connected to the Asian community. Go on Taraji! Get down with ABC!

Tiffany Rubin MovieTiffany Rubin blasian son

Based on a true story, this film shows the determination of one mother to get her child back after being abducted and taken out of the country. Taraji P. Henson stars as Tiffany Rubin in Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story.

Immediately after premiering the movie, Lifetime will run a documentary titled Beyond the Headlines: The Tiffany Rubin Story in which the real Tiffany Rubin tells her story of the dangerous rescue of Kobe in March 2008 in Korea. In this documentary Tiffany explains about the custody battles with her son's father Jeffery and what it was like for her during the seven months Kobe was away.

Others interviewed on the documentary include Kobe, Bazzel Baz who is a former CIA agent who helped with the rescue, and the FBI special agent in charge of the case. In addition to the interviews, the documentary includes photos taken by Tiffany and Mark, documents relating to the case against Jeffrey Lee, and a location visit to Seoul, South Korea.

Upcoming Airdates: Mon Jan 31 at 9 PM, Sat Feb 5 at 9 PM

After I wrote my blog from a mothers point of view, I started thinking from a community advocate point of view. It's very interesting that the connection between blacks and asians are being featured more isn't it? From friends to couples and now to mothers with blasian kids a sorta awareness is slowly being introduced to main stream society.

While there's still a long way to go before we come out of the "rare, special, and unique" labeling shadow, I definitely see a trend towards showing the asian and black community as a REAL community. Wonder if this trend is here to stay. What do you think?

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Niecy Nash and the Asian Connection

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

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Over on my other blog I had the chance to meet with Niecy Nash not just once but twice. Being a celebrity I'm sure Niecy is asked to work with many brands promoting a product or idea. But I noticed something very interesting about these two specific campaigns I was asked to cover. Both campaigns meant that Niecy was connected to the Asian owned company.

Niecy Nash CloroxNiecy Nash Samsung


The first event was when she was promoting a campaign for Colorox. When Niecy teamed up with Clorox and the World Toilet Organization she connected with Jack Sim, Founder of World Toilet Organization (WTO), who I think is of Singapore decent. When I saw the photo of them together I nearly tripped over my feet. LOL.

The 2nd time was while Niecy was promoting a campaign for Samsung Home Appliances. Some of you might remember I worked for a division of the Samsung brand before I became pregnant with my son. The Samsung brand is huge company so there's no direct connection but I do know it's a Korean company. I've hard many times that Korean people don't like black people. So of course it was interesting to see the interaction between the Niecy and the Samsung representative at the event.

Now why is any of this important? Because it says something about how much they value Niecy's status and ability as a black women. By using her image of a black female they're sending a very powerful and modern message. In an industry where partnering with the right celebrity means the difference between thousands of dollars, most companies go with a standard of a 'white' celebrity. Very rarely...that I've seen...have large brands partnered with non white celebrities to send a message that wasn't hip hop or rap related.

So, for me, it was very nice to see a outspoken, colorful and curvy Niecy connecting with companies that had a asian background. It's a shame she's currently engaged. Would have been something to see her partner with an asian male. Just saying.

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