Search This Blog

Thursday, December 22, 2011

It Begins: Lost in Translation

The moment I stepped off the plane at the Manila airport, Tagalog was swarming around me and I found myself - yet again - lost in translation. It was expected, and shouldn't have been such a shock after growing up with my parents speaking the native tongue and attending the MAFA and FACT conferences in the past years. It was the mass of people, speaking so quickly and so loudly, moving around with no sense of organization or personal space - that's what got me. Welcome to the Philippines!

It's actually really refreshing. Although there was hardly any observable organization to the chaos at the arrival gate, I was overwhelmed by the lack of disdain. Without exaggeration, everyone was in all smiles! It may be the holidays that kept the spirit high, with fa,ily members of all ages finally arriving/returning home for Christmas and New Years. I was squished in a pod amongst at least five different families on the curbside with all our luggage, two families taking endless photos and the others laughing and joking around at a remarkably similar volume to that of my parents... loud. Yes, it could be the Christmas spirit and the pure joy of being reunited with loved ones that made the people cluster more light-hearted... But I think it's just the Filipino culture. Happy people. We'll see if that's right over the next few days.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Light Christmas Reading: Follow This Blog!

I'll be spending 18 days (including travel time) in the Philippines for the holidays! Follow this blog for photos and hopefully some multimedia peaks into life in Luzon. What's it like for my parents to 'come home' after immigrating to the U.S.? What are the local customs? Why are the Philippine Islands so often overlooked? What makes the country so humble? I'll try to tackle these and much more!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Cho: The Poster Child for the Asian Harry Potter Fan

Besides Thanksgiving Break, talk of anticipation and excitement over the premier of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows plagued the nation. Needless to say, hundreds viewers of every age and level of obsession flocked to the box offices for weeks in advance to purchase tickets to the midnight showing.

It was expected. Fans in the hundreds attended the midnight premier, myself included, dressed as various characters from the books. KBIA, The Missourian and KOMU were seen reporting on the crowds, showing the best outfits. I thought I was being somewhat original with my costume choice, playing up my ethnicity by dressing as Cho, the only Asian character in the series. I figured hardly anyone else in Columbia would choose Cho as their character of choice because you clearly need a certain look to pull it off, an ethnic look with only a small percentage of students and residents.

This got me thinking; Why would I put so much emphasis and pride in one character, not because of her character personality traits and strengths, but because of her ethnicity. Sure, her positivity, charm and sensitivity are relatable to me - maybe because they can be viewed as stereotypical characteristics of Asian-American or Asian girls. It's more clear, however, that such traits speak to me because we are similar in the ethnic level.

The Harry Potter saga, as cheesy as it sounds, is relatable to nearly everyone and gives us a sense of commonality. We all, individually, have something we are fighting for: a relationship, a job, a football team, identity, equality, clarity, what have you. J.K Rowling has made it clear that Harry is fighting for justice and love, among other things - both of which everyone can find a commonality in.