Sunday, October 25, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living--Ode to Halloween Costumes, Plus Warning -

From Asian American Village editor Frances Kai-Hwa Wang:

As I child, observing the world as it was presented to me by the mainstream, I often decided to shut doors myself before anyone actually told me to. Growing up in the age of Farrah Fawcett, I knew that one had to be blond in order to be beautiful, by definition. My horseback riding friends and I knew from statistics that at ten years old we were already too tall to ever become jockeys. Common sense told me that I could never become a country-western singer, no matter how many pairs of cowboy boots I owned. Even school assignments like, “If you could live anywhere in time, where would it be?” were problematic because I knew that as a girl, and as a Chinese girl, I would not be able to just “drop in” anywhere in history.

However, once a year, I could be whatever I wanted to be, construct whatever image or story I wanted for myself, travel backwards and forwards in history and literature, creatively cross over any social barriers. It was also a chance to pretend to be pretty and show off how smart I could be.

One night a year—Halloween. (click on link for more)

Adventures in Multicultural Living--Ode to Halloween Costumes, Plus Warning -

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Yul Kwon (!) Named Deputy Chief of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at FCC

October 21, 2009


Washington, DC -- Today, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski announced the appointment of Mindel De La Torre as Chief of the International Bureau and Yul Kwon as Deputy Chief of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau.

"The FCC has an important role to play in empowering and protecting consumers and ensuring that they have access to world-leading communications networks and technologies," said Chairman Genachowski. "These talented individuals have vast public and private sector experience in communications policy and I am delighted to have their expertise at the agency."

Chief, International Bureau, Mindel De La Torre.
Since 1998, Ms. De La Torre has been the president of the consulting firm Telecommunications Management Group, Inc. (TMG). Prior to joining TMG, Ms. De La Torre was the deputy chief of the Telecommunications Division at the International Bureau, which she joined in December 1994. Ms. De La Torre also worked at the Department of Commerce -- for over four years at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and for three years in the General Counsel's office. She has been a member of various U.S. delegations to International Telecommunication Union conferences, such as World Radiocommunication Conferences, World Telecommunication Development Conferences, and Plenipotentiary C onferences. Ms. De La Torre has a B.A. from Vanderbilt University and a J.D. from the University of Texas. Having lived overseas most of her life, she speaks fluent Portuguese, French, and Spanish, and is proficient in Italian.

Deputy Chief, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Yul Kwon.
Mr. Kwon's diverse career spans across law, technology, business, and media. His government experience includes lecturing at the FBI Academy, drafting science and technology legislation as an aide to Senator Joseph Lieberman, and clerking for Judge Barrington D. Parker on the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. In the business and technology sector, Mr. Kwon has held positions at McKinsey & Company, Google, and the Trium Group. He also practiced law as an attorney at Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis and at Venture Law Group. In 2006, Mr. Kwon became the first Asian American to win the CBS reality show, Survivor. His subsequent media activities include working as a special correspondent for CNN and as a co-host for the Discovery Channel. Mr. Kwon obtained his B.S. degree in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University and his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he served on the editorial board of the Yale Law Journal.

News and other information about the FCC is available at

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living--Ganesha, Diwali, and Ravi Shankar too -

From Asian American Village Editor Frances Kai-Hwa Wang:

I was at the University of Michigan Art Museum (UMMA) a few weeks ago when a museum staff member perched up high on the fourth floor where she could monitor many levels of the museum barked out at a family on the second floor not to touch. I turn to see a South Asian family showing their two young daughters, about 3 and 5 years old, an 11th century Ganesha carved out of volcanic rock.

Chastened, they back away. Curious, I go take a closer look.

The face is almost completely worn away from centuries of people touching and anointing the deity's forehead with tikka powder and oil, but he is still unmistakably Ganesha, with his elephant's head and round belly... (click on link for more)

Ganesha, Diwali, and Ravi Shankar too -

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living--MiTAI Taiwanese Music Festival Honors Concert -

This Saturday, a rare opportunity to hear contemporary Taiwanese compositions performed by some of Ann Arbor's most promising young musicians on piano and strings, solo and ensembles. One young musician was warned that although the notes might look easy on the page, to not underestimate the challenge of interpreting music from such a different tradition--and by the way the composer is coming to hear you play his work.

Every year, the Michigan Taiwanese American Association (MiTAI) Taiwanese Music Festival Honors Concert celebrates contemporary Taiwanese music by giving young musicians--who have to qualify through two rounds of competition over several months--the opportunity to learn and then perform contemporary Taiwanese compositions....

More information available on the MiTAI website: (click on link for more)

MiTAI Taiwanese Music Festival Honors Concert -

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living--Ravi Shankar and Daughter Too -

An email from my girlfriend, Sujata: Diwali is coming, and Ravi Shankar and daughter Anoushka, too.

What else is there to say? Even nine-year-old Niu Niu knows she wants to go.

University Musical Society (UMS)
has all the details, including additional performances in the community of Indian music and dance, classical and fusion. This Thursday, October 15, at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor... (click on link for more)

Ravi Shankar and Daughter Too -

Shared by Frances Kai-Hwa Wang via AddThis

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living--Mooncakes and Yo-Yos -

From Asian American Village editor Frances Kai-Hwa Wang:

We were going to have an moonlit picnic at the park--teriyaki chicken musubi, steamed little dragon buns, a thermos of hot jasmine tea, and of course, plenty of mooncakes. Thirteen-year-old Hao Hao had already written up a grocery list (which suspiciously includes "Pocky--1,000,000 boxes"). We had four pink and green paper lanterns and candles from Vietnam, one for each of the kids. It was going to be a rare Saturday night with everyone together, just to sit and eat as a family and look at the beautiful full moon, the Harvest Moon, while composing a poem or two for the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival (basically, Chinese/Vietnamese/Korean Thanksgiving or Oktoberfest...but without the beer).

But then rain was forecast.... (click on link for more)

Adventures in Multicultural Living--Mooncakes and Yo-Yos -

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Friday, October 09, 2009

Screenwriter Pitches: API Artists Fest - 10/22

OCTOBER 7, 2009
CONTACT: Ken Choy;; 866-841-9139x4123

It s time for screenwriters to get their Pitches on as the innovative Battle of the Pitches gets underway Thursday, October 22, 2009 as part of BREAKING THE BOW: The 1st Annual Independent Asian Pacific Islander Performing Artists and Writers Festival at the Miles Memorial Playhouse at 1130 Lincoln Blvd; Santa Monica, CA 90403.

Competing in front of an audience and a panel of esteemed judges, screenwriters will battle each other with their one-minute pitches for the opportunity to have a pitch meeting with executives at FOX 2000 and FOX Searchlight as well as have lunch with a FOX executive. Much like American Idol, the screenwriters will be judged on performance and persuasive techniques, quality and originality of writing, and presentation.

Any writer can enter Battle of the Pitches which promotes Asian Pacific Islander writers and scripts that have prominent, non-stereotypical, and strong Asian Pacific Islander characters and themes. Complete entrant information can be found at Battle of the Pitches contestants enter for $5 plus the $10 ticket admission. Contestant reservations and audience reservations are strongly suggested.

Just released are the identities of the judges:
API film icon Kelvin Han Yee
Writer, actress, and comedienne Amy Hill
Academy Award winner Chris Tashima

Programs assist in the promotion and education of undiscovered, unattached, and unknown talent. Breaking the Bow is sponsored by Fox Diversity, East West Magazine, Visual Communications, JBC Images, Brian Raimondi Photography, and Lago Santa Monica.

For more information and reservations, contact;

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living Launch at

Adventures in Multicultural Living, the column written by longtime Asian American Village editor, Frances Kai-Hwa Wang, has just celebrated its one-year anniversary, shifted to a weekly format, and moved to (formerly The Ann Arbor News). She will also be blogging twice a week about upcoming multicultural activities in the community. Although the details will be local, the vision is national and international, and will be of interest to readers. The column continues to run at the Japanese American Citizens League's, Voices of Adoption at, and (pending). Thanks for your continued support, comments, and forwards to your friends and organizations.

Join me as I explore Ann Arbor through a cross-cultural lens -
When I first came to Ann Arbor from California for graduate school oh so many years ago, I felt out of place, conspicuous, like a foreigner, like I was not wanted and I did not belong. Without a feeling of safety and understanding, it was difficult for me to maintain my footing, and I planned to graduate and run away as soon as possible. But on my way out of town...

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Reminder: SAALT Be the Change National Day of Service - this Weekend

A reminder about the exciting Be the Change National Day of Service project by SAALT: South Asian Leading Together, coming up this Saturday, October 3 (Sunday October 3 in some locations).

If you would like to register and volunteer for a local event, click here. Major events are being held in Boston, Washington DC, New York City, San Francisco, Austin, East Brunswick NJ, Bloomington IN, Raleigh NC, Athens GA, and Richmond VA (Oct. 3). More locations may be added at the last minute.

This initiative is a great way for you personally or your campus, family or other groups to help make a positive difference in your community. Asian American Village is proud to be a supporter of this year's initiative, and encourage you to consider volunteering today.