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CNN Reports on Asian American women and Suicide Rates May 21, 2007

Posted by peterong in Asian American, Uncategorized.

CNN (did you know it stands for Cable News Network?) did a report on suicide rates for Asian American women (was this to coincide with Asian Pacific American Heritage month?). The report ties in that it has to do with Asian American culture and our pursuit of the “model minority” dream for Asian Americans to succeed.

This made me think that part of the issue is our failure of community…how socially awkward we are when we discuss issues of brokenness. How we despair in isolation or even offer language or space to voice our despair. I was at a church a few weeks ago where the pastor wept discussing his mother’s cancer, and I sat there thinking how brave it was to expose himself and yet, if this happened in an Asian church, people would be so disgusted that this is being shared on a pulpit. The pulpit is used for power (not authenticity), Community is for service (not healing), Discussions are for information (not revelation) and we create this muted version of the gospel, that denies the complexities of our emotions. So, we continue to breed a generation of fragility. Safe and unheard Christians who value comfort and function…not dangerous and transforming… (more…)

UC BERKELEY, Evangelicals build flock on campus May 21, 2007

Posted by peterong in Asian American Campus.
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Received this article from Tommy Dyo, National Director for EPIC Movement…great insight and brings a balanced view of Asian American campus ministry. You can find the direct link to the San Fran Chronicle article here.

Monday, May 21, 2007

The end-of-the-year mood in a classroom at UC Berkeley’s Warren Hall was giddy as a crowd of mostly Asian American students watched a slide show of good times and candid shots and shared stories of intense pressure from their parents.

They weren’t celebrating their culture, though. They were celebrating Christ. (more…)

Beau Sia (APA Heritage Month PSA) May 12, 2007

Posted by peterong in Uncategorized.
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Asian Pacific American Heritage Month May 12, 2007

Posted by peterong in Asian American.
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Yes, the month of May is in full bloom and we get our own month to celebrate our achievements and history in America. May is Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month—a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States.  APA Heritage Month originated in a congressional bill.  In June 1977, Representatives Frank Horton of New York and Norman Y. Mineta of California introduced a House resolution that called upon the president to proclaim the first ten days of May as Asian/Pacific Heritage Week. The following month, senators Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga introduced a similar bill in the Senate. Both were passed. On October 5, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a Joint Resolution designating the annual celebration. In May 1990, the holiday was expanded further when President George H. W. Bush designated May to be Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants. Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is celebrated with community festivals, government-sponsored activities, and educational activities for students. This year’s theme is “Lighting the Past, Present, and Future.” (information from  infoplease.co- they have more chow fun facts)

CNN has a special section dedicated to this month that was quite interesting. They have some articles: Asian American Diverse Voices, Notable Asian Americans, Pioneers, and an audio story about Korean American rappers.

Here is a great KQED site that chronicles Asian American Activism. Asian Nation has “guidelines” on how to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Scholastic has a cute primer for kids to learn about immigration and Asian American History. Smithsonian has a teaching guide that is chock full of goodies. Here is a chronology that from a weird site.

Beau Sia is featured in this youtube PSA  

George W. Bush made a proclamation that is drenched in model minority lingo…man, can this man ever get it right? or at least a little right?

Overall, it is a great month that hints at warmth from a brutal Suracuse Winter and it is nice to reflect on the community in which I have been part of…stories and more stories of our experiences, the legacy and the wonderful intersections of culture and faith.

Perspective (post VT thought) May 9, 2007

Posted by peterong in Reflections.
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This is something that I wanted to say for sometime and didn’t know how to articulate it.. But in an segment of Bill Moyers Journal where he interviews Jon Stewart of the Daily Show. You can see the full transcript here or watch the video here. They talked about Stewart’s interview with Ali Allawi:
JON STEWART: On a more personal note …I don’t even know ifit’s appropriate to broach it … but we in this country we have a verytragic situation occur at one of our universities and, it really hastaken the country aback and there’s a real grieving process that we’regoing through, And going through it mourning and learning about thevictims and-learning about it and showing our support, you know, Ihesitate to say, how does your country handle what is that type ofcarnage on a daily basis? Is there a way to grieve? Is there a numbnessthat sets in? How is that?

ALI ALLAWI: Well, I think the scale of violence in Iraq is really inconceivable in your terms…


ALI ALLAWI: We have, on a daily basis, what you had the otherday in Virginia Tech. I mean massacres of that scale. Practically on adaily basis and it’s very hard to grieve. Most of the-most of the waythat people do treat this is just to leave the country. We now have avery large external refugee problem. Nearly two million Iraqis haveleft the country and internal refugee problem also, too many peopledisplaced.

But the scale of violence and its continuity is such that it reallynumbs you. And in my case for example I had 6 people whom I hadappointed at various positions in the government killed, including myoffice manager. We had this suicide bomber walk in to my contingent ofguards. It’s quite a-quite a serious psychological problem that’s goingto be one of the legacies of this terrible crisis.

JON STEWART: Yes, and I truly, I cannot fathom it and Ijust recall, you know, there’s been so much information and I wasbecoming wrapped up in our grief and then I saw the headline today ofliterally 150 people killed and–it just sends an awful dagger to yourheart … like I can’t imagine how they deal with it.

Jon Stewart later states: JON STEWART: With him. Well, it– I thought it was relevantto the conversation I was having with him. Which was a the reason that it– sort of occurred to me was you know, I was I was obviouslyfollowing the Internet headlines all day. And there was you know, thisenormous amount of space and coverage to Virginia Tech, as there should have been. And I happened to catch, sort of a headline lower down,which was 200 people killed in four bomb attacks in Iraq. And I think my focus on what was happening here versus sort of this peripheral vision thing that caught my eye about, “Oh, right, there are lives–” I think it was a moment of– I felt guilty.BILL MOYERS: Guilty?

JON STEWART: For not having the empathy for their suffering on a daily basis that I feel sometimes that I should.

It stirred in me, that I have not had the empathy for those who are suffering in Iraq…there are lives who have been so forgotten…

 I pray for my conscience to awake and weep…they are having Virginia Tech every day…every hour…and yet, I am becoming so callous to it.