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ASIAN OUTLOOK volume XXVI, issue 2

Vol. XXVI, Issue 2

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ASIAN

Volume XXVI, Issue 1

contents OUTLOOK 2

ASIAN OUTLOOK

featured 4 | Pursuing The American Dream | Her Min 6 | Eid al-Fitr | Rasheequr Rahman 8 | Tibet’s Struggle For Independence | Cyndi Chin 10 | Sandy In Chinatown | Dale Gao 18 | Xenophobic Responses To Red Dawn | Kayla Natrella 25 | Standard Taiwanese Mandarin | Cory Moy 29 | 香味 | Cory Moy

editorials 20 | It’s an American Remake | Claire Chang 22 | Orientalism in Iron Man 3 | Jonah Lang

arts & entertainment 12 | Exclusive Interview with Jason Chen

column 28 | Ways To Wear | Susi Ngo

conscience 32 | Kelly O’Rourke 34 | Jessica Russo 35 | Koloquium 36 | Ivan Yeung 37 | Eric Han 39 | Karen Tong

Cover image sources: - http://www.eicollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/international.jpg - http://www.idcwebs.com/images/dance-recital/film_frame_06.jpg


O

letter from the editor...

Asian Outlook together with the intention to open the eyes of our readers to the every-day racism which exists all around us. Someone once warned me before I took a women studies course: “Once you see it, you won’t be able to un-see it.” Sometimes racism is so obvious that you cannot ignore it, but more often, it is subtle enough that we dismiss it rather than risk being labeled as “over sensitive”. The subtle racism, however, can be more dangerous than that racism that we can easily recognize. The more subtle racism reinforces stereotypes that we may begin to unconsciously internalize; it can affect how people view members of other races, but it can also affect self-image. That stereotypical Asian guy with the ridiculous accent who knows math and martial arts, but nothing about how to get the girl may seem harmless and even humorous, but can be detrimental to the self-image of a young Asian American boy looking for a hero. From the article about the recently released movie, Red Dawn, we hope you will understand the harmful responses a simple action movie can illicit. And after reading “It’s an American Remake”, we hope you will begin to open your eyes to the white washing and race bending that is so common in Hollywood. With so many negative or unappealing portrayals of Asians and Asian Americans in the media, it is important that idols like Jason Chen or Jeremy Lin offer alternative and more heroic images. It’s easy to remain blissfully ignorant, but we hope you will hear the same warning that I did and accept the challenge. ur editors put this issue of

“There are bridges you cross You didn’t know you crossed Until you’ve crossed” - Wicked And I do believe you will be “changed for the better”.

asian outlook executive board Spring 2013 editor-in-chief conscience editors copy editors layout editors

secretary business manager publicity managers

Kayla Natrella Karen Tong Shenen Lee Jonah Lang William Mark Claire Chang Meng Zhu Susi Ngo Dale Gao Kitrena Young Farhan Hussain Her Min

editorial policy Asian Outlook is the art, literary and news magazine of the Asian Student Union of SUNY’s Binghamton University. Originally conceived and created to challenge, redefine, re-imagine and revolutionize images and perceptions associated with Asians and Asian-Americans, Asian Outlook also serves to protect the voice of those in the minority, whether by ethnicity, gender, and/or political orientation. All matter contained within these b`eautiful pages do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial board. Asian Outlook reserves the right to edit submissions and publish work as deemed appropriate. Prospective contributors are encouraged to discuss their work with the editors prior to submissions. Articles may be submitted as an e-mail attachment to ao.editor@gmail.com. All artistic and literary pieces may be submitted to aoconscience@gmail.com.

Kayla Natrella Editor-in-Chief, Spring 2013 contact policy Uninvited contact with writers and contributors is forbidden under punishment of pain. Please direct all questions, comments and complaints to ao.editor@gmail.com.

interested in contributing?

E-mail us at:

ao.editor@gmail.com

Or come to our weekly meetings held in the Asian Student Union office (UUW-329) every Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.

Vol. XXVI, Issue 2

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Pursuing The American Dream:

the sacrifices our

immigrant parents make to help us

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achieve our dreams

Binghamton are separated This is especially true in the case of international students. Some of these students might feel homesick because they cannot easily see or visit with their families. So, what is family to you? For me, family is the greatest source of strength and support. For a long time, people have asked me, “where do you gain your extreme self-confidence?” and, “what motivates you to continue pursuing your goals so tirelessly?” The answer is my family. When I was young, I was always bragged about my parents to my friends. “My father can buy 100 any students at

from their families.

ASIAN OUTLOOK 4Her Min and his family.

By Her Min

hamburgers right away if I ask him to!” “My mother is indeed strong enough to knock you down with one punch!” As I grew up, however, I saw my parents beg people for forgiveness on my behalf whenever I made trouble, as well as begging for themselves to people with the power to decide whether they lived or died. When I saw this, I realized that my heroes had lost their power. They were no longer invincible and allpowerful as I had thought. I had never thought my heroes would ever lose their power. The funny thing is that my family members are some of the most absurd people in the world because they still believe that I am a handsome, distinguished person who is


blessed with great talents. When I was young, I was not a model student. I was a troublemaker. I argued with friends, I fought, and I did not study hard. However, my mother and father always have believed in me. They were always proud of me regardless of whether I did poorly or well. Even though my grades were at the bottom of my class, they praised me to their friends like I was a famous person in my school. They supported me so much, and they were always willing to give up their own interests and desires if it meant I could pursue my goals. My family went bankrupt fifteen years ago and, as a result, my parents had to open a small store to support us. The store included one bedroom that had an area of about 33 meters, and four people had to live there. My parents wanted their children to get everything they wanted, but to do this my mother had to give up her career and her passion: painting. My mother put down her brush for ten years to take care of us by managing our store. Never has she once complained. Even with this great amount of support and opportunity, I became a fraud. I always boasted that I was a talented and extraordinary person even though I do not have any right to do so. I thought of myself as a great person just because I had a great GPA, which meant I could land any number of great jobs with good companies. I handled my own tuition and entertainment costs, which led me to believe that I was a strong independent person that did not need anyone’s help. However, since I got to the United States, I have realized that I am a nothing. I am not smart, I am not an independent person, and I am not a distinguished man. I was able to live a good life before because of the support of my family. My parents bought food for me, provided a house for me to live in, and helped me whenever I needed it. I took the things they did for me for granted, but now I see that they were great gifts. However, this isn’t to say that they have always been kind to me. When I was growing up, I thought

Whenever I have a hard time, I try to remember my mother’s smile, my father’s pride, and my family’s happiness, and I get the strength to go on.

my parents were too strict with my sister and I. When I was five years old, I was addicted to television. Once, my mother asked me to eat breakfast, but I refused because I had a video I wanted to watch. My mother warned me, “if you do not eat right away, I will never give you meals again.” I ignored this warning, and, as a result, I was not allowed to eat or drink anything that day, even water. Additionally, when I was seven years old, I ran a fever of over 104 degrees and my parents made me go to school anyway. My face was very pale, but my parents did not care. They wanted me to go, even if it was just to get the attendance credit. I had no choice but to listen to them and go. Even though my teacher sent me home after my first class, I felt like the experience helped build my character. My parents instilled in me a desire to make something of myself. When I was nine years old, there was a day when it was pouring rain. At the end of the day people’s parents crowded around the school’s front entrance with colorful umbrellas. It was indeed a beautiful sight. I thought, “my mother is so busy, but of course she will be there to pick me up. I should rush to meet her right after class.” However, when I finished classes and ran to find my mom, I saw that she was not there. I waited until everyone else’s family left, but nobody came for me. Eventually, after my clothes and body were soaked with rain, I went home. When I got back to my house, I saw that my mother was passed out on the counter, and her face was swollen with fatigue. My parents used to sleep for only two hours at a time because they had to keep the store open to earn money to support our family. When I saw my mother’s face, I cried and cried even if, at the time, I did not know why. When she woke up, my mother scolded me: “If you are a good man, you should not cry. You should be a strong man. Why are you crying?” That was when I decided that I must be as successful as I can so my mother could quit her job at that small, disgusting store and pursue her passion of painting. Sometimes, when things are bad, I forget why I am here and what I am doing in the United States. When this happens, I think back on my parents and am rejuvenated. Whenever I have a hard time, I try to remember my mother’s smile, my father’s pride, and my family’s happiness, and I get the strength to go on. Of course, many students have hectic schedules, trouble studying, and problematic romantic relationships, but when these things get you down, please think of your family and the things they have had to do to get you to where you are. Keep up your efforts and achieve your goals.

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Eid al-Fitr 6

ASIAN OUTLOOK

By Rasheequr Rahman

Families embrace during EID.


F

By Rasheequr Rahman

who do not know what it is all about, Eid is the biggest religious festival for all the Muslims around the world. There are two Eid festivals in a year: Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. The former, Eid al-Fitr, is the festival of breaking the fast. After a whole month of fasting during Ramadan, Muslims celebrate the day, with utter joy and happiness. It is a three-day holiday, but the first day is the most significant one. In Bangladesh, this is how Eid is usually spent: The day starts by bathing early in the morning and going to Eid prayers. These are commonly held in mosques but in many places they are organized in big open fields, in order to accommodate more people. Special Eid prayers are said, which are held in ‘Jamaats’ (congregation). After that, the fun starts. Muslims greet each other by hugging one another, and wishing each other a very happy “Eid Mubarak”. Then they go back to their homes, and enjoy the delicious food that is made the night before. In some cases, the food is also made in the morning. In South Asian nations, usually, they have delicious items such as Biryani, Pilaf, chicken, beef and mutton curry (known as ‘Rezalla’), and kebabs. All of these are cooked in a traditional way, with the use of different herbs and spices. And then there are a large variety of sweets: ‘Cham-cham’, ‘barfi’, ‘gulab-jamun’, ‘ras malai’, ‘shemai’, you name it. Even though they sound unfamiliar, let me tell you, they are YUMMY! In fact, the whole feast is just a blessing! After that, families and friends get together, and go out and enjoy. The streets are usually empty, as many people go back to their hometowns to celebrate this day, a national holiday in Muslim countries, with their close ones. The feeling on that particular day is just or those of you

inexplicably different. There is never a moment of sadness or boredom. People dress in their best attire. Men wear ‘Panjabi’ and women wear either ‘Shalwar Kameez’ or ‘Saree’. They hang out and go to ice-cream parlors, restaurants, Eid fairs that are held in parks and many other places. It is indeed one of the best days of the year for a Muslim. And that is not just it. Throughout the day, whenever a youth meets an adult and is greeted, they are usually given ‘Eidi’. This is the best part. ‘Eidi’ is money given to the young ones by their elders. Just imagine meeting all your relatives on Eid day, and receiving ‘Eidi’. You will be rich in no time! At night, most people have parties at their relative’s place or at their own place, where their relatives show up. This is when kids earn most of their ‘Eidi’. And, again, everyone has a delicious feast. Even though the day is passed with so much joy and enthusiasm, there are some duties that need to be fulfilled. One must remember that, as a good Muslim, it is his or her duty to help the unfortunate and the needy. Therefore, it is a must for them to give ‘Zakat’. ‘Zakat’ is when an individual or family is required to donate a small portion of their wealth to the poor. Apart from the ‘Zakat’, one must also offer clothes, food and anything else they can to the poor. It also feels better when you share your happiness with others in that time of the year. It shows how big-hearted you are. And that is how Eid al-Fitr is celebrated among most Muslims. It is a day where you eat good food, have a great time with your close ones, have fun, and also perform good deeds by helping the unfortunate. So if reading this article has made you excited about Eid, try celebrating it one year. You will remember it for the rest of your life.

“The feeling on that particular day is just inexplicably different. There is never a moment of sadness or boredom.”

Vol. XXVI, Issue 2

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Tibet’s

Tibetan students protesting in Rongwo, China.

Struggle By Cyndi Chin

O

November 9, 2012, thousands of Tibetan students gathered in a western Chinese town called Rongwo to bring attention to their struggle for independence from China. The protests had been taking place throughout Tibet and western China in anticipation of this transition of leadership following the announcement of the 18th Party Congress on November 15. Reports show that at least 28 Tibetans engaged in self-immolation protests in November in an effort to raise awareness to the n

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ASIAN OUTLOOK

cause, bringing the total number of Tibetan selfimmolations since March 2011 to 91. The Chineseappointed vice governor of Tibet blamed the Dalai Lama and his supporters for these uprisings, saying, "The external Tibetan forces and the Dalai clique are sacrificing other people's lives to attain their secret political motives". Tibetan unrest and self-immolation is not a recent phenomenon. The fourteenth Dalai Lama has said that China’s domination of Tibet is tantamount to “cultural genocide”, and blamed this genocide for


the protests which have consisted of numerous selfimmolations. Tibetans had lived autonomously, with their own unique language and culture, until the rise of the communist People’s Republic of China in the 1950s. When the Chinese government exerted control over the Buddhist region and exiled the Dalai Lama in 1959, the struggle for independence began in earnest. China justifies their refusal to grant the Tibetan people independence by arguing that Tibet has always been a Chinese territory. The government supports this claim by citing Mongol influence over Tibet as far back as the 13th century, however this argument is unfounded since, among the many regions and peoples conquered by the Mongol Empire, Tibet historically maintained the most autonomy. In addition, prior to Mongol rule, Tibet had closer ties to India than Han China as the propagation of Buddhism into Tibet led to the development of trade and a strong economic relationship with India. After the fall of the Mongols’ Yuan dynasty in 1368, Tibet regained independence and was not subsequently included in the Ming or Qing dynasties that followed. During a period of instability in the early 18th century, Qing China seized two Tibetan regions and then signed a treaty with Tibetans that established borders between the two nations, which remained in effect until 1910. This treaty is evidence of China’s historical admission of Tibet’s

for

hold on Tibet is that Tibet is a strategically-located buffer zone. If Tibet were to gain full independence, China would not only lose an important territory, but much of its authority and power in the region, as well. China and India have emerged as the two economic powerhouses in Asia. Tibet plays an important role in creating a China-controlled gap between itself and India, as well as existing as a boundary with Pakistan which gives China access to the Arabian Sea. Though the relationship between India and China is not hostile, it is definitely not friendly. Border disputes and skirmishes between the two countries keep each wary of the other. Furthermore, India’s protection of the Dalai Lama has been a major point of contention between the two nations. With the uncertain relation between China and India, Tibet’s strategic location and geography (Tibetan Plateau) is important for China’s national security. Tibet is also an important water source, with its rivers and lakes supplying about thirty percent of China’s water supply. This water supply produces about 20 million kilowatts of China’s electricity. For China, control of the water supply and access to Tibet’s vast mineral deposits are crucial to China’s expanding economy and global power. Aside from being strategically located and an important source of natural resources, China also fears that if Tibet gained independence, it would lead to a domino effect and China would lose many other

Independence independence from China. Later, in the first decade of the 20th century, both Great Britain and China claimed some level of control over Tibet, and the Dalai Lama spent periods in exile, but by 1912, Tibet had once again regained its independence. It was not until the rise of Mao’s China in the 1950s that China was able to take control of Tibet, despite its great efforts to do so up to that point. Tibetan sympathizers often naively wonder, “Why won’t China just give the Tibetans Independence?” To some, it may seem odd that China has been fighting so hard to control Tibetan territory when the country is already so large. What does Tibet have that China needs so badly? One of the primary reasons for China’s relentless

border provinces populated by ethnic minorities. Although ethnic minorities only make up about seven percent of China’s population, they hold sixty percent of China’s territory. If Tibet gained independence and disrupted China’s territorial integrity, China risks losing a lot of other important territories. But this does not change the fact that the Tibetans are fighting for their happiness and freedom. Even if it will cause China to lose a valuable territory, they are fighting to preserve their unique culture and defending against its extermination by Chinese policies. But most of all, they are fighting to protect their identity as Tibetans.

Vol. XXVI, Issue 2

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Sandy in Chinatown O

By Dale Gao

n October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy slammed into the eastern region of the United States. This “superstorm” impacted the lives of many as it devastated Mid-Atlantic states with hurricaneforce winds, storm surges, and massive flooding. Chinatown, a neighborhood of Lower Manhattan in New York City, was especially overwhelmed by Sandy. According to the publication, Our Chinatown, more than 230,000 residents in Lower Manhattan were left without power when Con Edison shut down services in parts of the area to protect their equipment. High rainfall and storm surges resulted in massive flooding, which made homes uninhabitable and forced small businesses to temporarily shut down. Although there were no fatalities in Chinatown as a result of the storm, the inconveniences were many. Much of Chinatown’s population lacks fluency in English, and the language barrier made it difficult for residents to ask for assistance from outside of their community. In addition, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) shut down subway and bus services in and out of the area, which left workers unable to travel to and from Chinatown to continue to make a living. Public schools were also temporarily closed, forcing parents to take care of their children in addition to dealing with the effects of the storm, but leaving students elated because they did not have to do schoolwork. Impact on the economy The storm also affected small business owners in a time when economic conditions already had small businesses struggling to stay afloat. Despite extensive damage and emergency conditions, shop owners were forced to keep their businesses open to make ends meet. Shops such as Success Trading, a dollar-store in Chinatown’s Two Bridge neighborhood was one such store. Success Trading sold supplies throughout the power outage, albeit at much higher prices in attempts to recover from damages accumulated from the storm. “DD batteries were $2.50 each; small flashlights were $10; candles were upwards of $4. Charging a phone from a sidewalk extension cord cost between $3 and $5.” Normally, price manipulation on this scale would have incited outrage from customers, but many residents were more than happy to buy the hard-to-find supplies at the higher prices to make up for the lack of electricity in their darkened homes. In addition to candles and batteries, other goods such as vegetables, fresh fish, baked goods, and drinking water were

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ASIAN OUTLOOK


sold. Many grocery stores, markets, and eateries continued to stay open, selling seafood, poultry and vegetables at lower prices. Restaurant owners took up the practice of opening up shop on the sidewalk outside of their own stores, working and selling whatever they could to continue making a living. For example, The New Wonton Garden set up portable stoves by their windows, according to food columnist, Chichi Wang. Relief For those residents unable to bounce back own their own, relief efforts have been administered to ensure that Chinatown and Lower Manhattan get a speedy recovery. Aid organizations like the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have helped small businesses impacted by Sandy with emergency business loans. Pan-Asian community-based organizations such as the Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence (CAAAV) have also made a big impact in relief efforts, reaching out for donations, volunteers, and contributions to expedite recovery on behalf of those affected. CAAAV has also been providing food and water, multilingual information, and a place to charge electronic devices for those with limited access to resources. Today In spite of the effect that the storm had on Chinatown, this community continues onward. Although workers were initially unable to commute to and from Chinatown after the storm due to the lack of MTA service, services have once again resumed as of Nov. 1. Electricity was restored to the area at around 5 p.m. on Nov. 2, “starting from Canal all the way north to 14/15th St, west to Broadway and east to the East River” according to OurChinatown. With the help of aid and community organizations, and the restoration of electricity and commuting services, Chinatown moves towards recovery. Editor’s note: Although things are slowly getting back to normal, there is still a lot of work to be done. Sandy left a huge mess that needs clean-up, and many are still homeless, and lack food, water, and warm clothing. If you would like to help, new or gently-used coats can be dropped off at any New York City Police Precinct 24 hours a day, or at any New York Public Libraries during open hours. $10 donations can be made to the United Way Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund by texting the word RECOVERY to 52000. To volunteer, visit newyorkcares. org/volunteer/disaster or www.nycservice.org. A more comprehensive list of donation sites, volunteer opportunities, and organizations needing help can be found at: http://www. ny1.com/content/top_stories/171662/ways-to-help-sandyrelief-efforts-in-nyc Sources: - http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/2012/al18/al182012.update.10300002. shtml - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/31/hurricane-sandy-chinatownblack-market_n_2050754.html#slide=1708158 - http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2012/11/chinatown-nyc-hurricane-sandyreport.html - http://www.ourchinatown.org/2012/10/30/residents-could-be-withoutpower-for-days-in-hurricane-sandy-aftermath/ - http://www.ourchinatown.org/2012/11/02/lights-in-chinatown/ - http://www.ourchinatown.org/2012/11/03/scenes-of-relief-efforts-in-ablacked-out-chinatown/ - http://www.ourchinatown.org/2012/11/15/post-sandy-pop-up-assistance-inchinatown/ - http://www.ourchinatown.org/2012/11/06/hurricane-sandy-volunteeringand-donations-update/

Chinatown feeling the after-effects of Sandy.

Vol. XXVI, Issue 2

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INTERVIEW/

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW:

Jason Chen J

Chen was invited to Binghamton as our guest performer for our annual Asian Night! Jason Chen is a 24 year old Taiwanese American YouTube artist; born and raised in Arcadia, California. He decided to pursue a career in music after he graduated from UCLA in 2010 with a degree in Business Economics. Jason is known for creating covers of songs with his mesmerizing voice. He has collaborated with many other well known YouTube stars. Currently, he has over 500,000 subscribers and over 140 million views. Recently he has found interest in creating his own original work. His most trending original is “Best Friend� having about 6 million views! He is truly an outstanding figure in the Asian American community and Asian Outlook has had the opportunity to ask him a few questions. ason

Interviewed by Kitrena Young & Ivan Yeung Transcribed by Dale Gao

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ASIAN OUTLOOK


IVAN: So you are definitely a very successful artist. You have a very large fan base. What has been the most accountable to your recent acclaim to fame? Also, do you feel that there is a disadvantage or a struggle being Asian American in this field? JASON CHEN: It is funny because I feel my advantage is also my struggle. In a sense that since I am Asian American you get a lot of support from other Asian Americans because there is no mainstream Asian American, which kind of goes hand in hand with why it is my biggest struggle. But I think a big part of it is because I am bilingual and I can sing it both languages, so I have a wider reach. IVAN: That’s awesome. You really are an inspiration to many Asian Americans. Do you like being a role model, or does it give you a lot of pressure especially when you get on stage or when you put up videos? JASON CHEN: It gives me a lot pressure but I do enjoy it. Yeah, I mean, I won’t say it is too far from who I am actually am. So that is always nice. No one really cuts that much anyway. Yeah, I don’t, so it’s nice. IVAN: (Laughs) So you’ve recently graduate from

UCLA with a Business Economics degree. (Chuckles) I have the same thing; it’s a good degree. JASON CHEN: Oh, awesome! IVAN: What made you choose this particular major? Has the major helped you with your career in the music industry? JASON CHEN: I’ve always been good with numbers, and good with concepts. Accounting came really easy to me. And I digested the information; like, I found ways that I can apply to real life. So I mean that is why I did it. It helps because just having general economic knowledgeand an accounting background helps you make better business decisions. IVAN: I see. JASON CHEN: Just that you make smarter decisions and everything like that. But it has not helped me in any way in music. (Ivan & Kitrena laugh) But I mean in my general branding and stuff. IVAN: Absolutely. JASON CHEN: The decisions I make have made a big difference. Backstage with Jason Chen.

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IVAN: So you have collaborated with many well known stars like Arden Cho, Sharon Kwan, Gerald Ko, Joseph Vincent, and there is a lot more that will take forever to talk about. So, who has been your favorite? And why? Who is in this kind of industry that you would want to collaborate with?

really, really fast. I don’t become really good friends with everyone I work with. Most of them stick with being acquaintances. But with him, we click really well. We have a very similar taste in music; our voices kind of complement each other very well. And yeah, he’s just a great person.

JASON CHEN: First of all, I like working with every that I’ve worked with because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t work with them. But my favorite person has to be Joseph Vincent. Why? Because I feel like we are very similar. We have a lot of fun. We became friends

IVAN: Is there a specific star not just within the YouTube realm, but within the music industry itself that you might want to collaborate with in the future?

OUTLOOK 14 PhotoASIAN by Jon Yee

JASON CHEN: Realistically or that I want to?


IVAN: Both. I mean, we would really like to hear both sides. JASON CHEN: Realistically, I have no idea. It is kind of hard to reach out to people now because you cannot really reach out to them at all unless they notice you, too. I mean, on the Asia end, I would love to work with Lee Hom, Khalil Fong. Here, I would love to work with Bruno Mars, [Justin] Bieber, Ryan Tedder. People like that, the general pop. IVAN: I mean it fits well with the genre you sing.

JASON CHEN: Yeah, yeah. IVAN: So you said in an interview before that you don’t want to be that guy that only does covers but you want to get into more writing and producing, right? JASON CHEN: Yeah. IVAN: Do you feel that you have reached that point where you are actually good enough to reach that realm?

Jason Chen (left) and Travis Graham (right) performing at Asian Night 2012.

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JASON CHEN: (Sigh) I mean writing is fun. Writing is tough. But at the end of the day, it just takes a lot of time. IVAN: Absolutely. JASON CHEN: And umm. . . it’s just kind of my thinking. That I feel like unless you are like a megastar like Bruno, where he hasn’t been around on the radio for like a year, but he is still so relevant when he comes out with like a new album. You got to be at, like, that level to kind of just disappear. Otherwise, you have to do something to keep your following entertained and relevant while you are working with original stuff. I mean a cover is a cover. At the end of the day, it is someone else’s song and it’s just kind of your edition of it. But when it is an original, you are kind of more picky; it takes a lot more time; there’s a lot more revisions. I scrapped a lot of songs that I spent forever writing. So it just takes a lot of time. Not sure where I am at a point where I can just disappear for a year to work solely on originals yet. IVAN: Absolutely. JASON CHEN: But hopefully someday. IVAN: We will look forward to it. KITRENA: Have you thought about becoming mainstream? And have you received any opportunities or contracts from music-producing companies?

JASON CHEN: I thought about going mainstream. Might not be realistic in the United States. I have received offers I am not really sure how legit they were. I’ve explored some and so far nothing has made sense yet. KITRENA: Okay. JASON CHEN: But yeah, I mean I am not against going mainstream. KITRENA: So, I saw some of your dance moves. . . JASON CHEN: Oh! (laughs) KITRENA: . . .in your “AutoTune” music video. How do you feel about dancing? Would you like to dance more in your future videos? Or dancing live? JASON CHEN: I thought about just quitting singing and becoming a professional dancer (everyone laughs). No, I’m just kidding. Umm… It’s definitely something I need to. . .you know get more into. Just like I need to get more into more instruments and stuff.Like I said, it is just a time issue. It’s yeah. If I do have the time, I am definitely tryingto get into dancing or just not being awkward. At least picking up keys or guitar or something like that. Definitely on my list! KITRENA: Okay (laughs). What was your inspiration with coming up with the music video “Best Friend?” Is it based on a personal story? Did you actually fall in love with your best friend?

AO at meet n’ greet after the show.

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ASIAN OUTLOOK


Asian Student Union E-board taking a picture with Asian Night 2012's star guests Jason Chen and Travis Graham. This picture was taken at the Meet & Greet after a largely successful show put on by ASU and all of its seven subgroups. Nearly 1,000 audience members showed up to watch one of the largest Asian Nights in Binghamton University's history, highlighted by Jason Chen.

JASON CHEN: Hmm? I wouldn’t say fall in love. But I was just thinking I was just like. . . ‘cause someone brought up an interesting point where guys and girls can’t just be friends. And I thought about it and I was just like. . .Well, growing up, whenever I spent a lot of time with a girl regardless whether or not they were just friends, inevitably, one person would start developing feelings for the other. So I was just like, oh yeah, it’s kind of cool. . . the hope that you can just fall in love with your best friend and then everything else just ends happily from there. So kind of from experience but it didn’t actually happen like that. I mean, obviously I didn’t end up with my best friend. It’s a fairytale kind of way; I want to be happy. KITRENA: Okay. Before we wrap this up, is there anything you would like to add? JASON CHEN: I just want to thank everyone for letting me do what I love to do: for living and not having to be an accountant (everyone laughs). Hopefully they’ll keep supporting me so I can release many more original albums.

To support and learn more about Jason Chen, go to www.jasondchen.com, and check out his latest music videos and song covers at www.youtube.com/miniachilles Image sources: - http://www.jasonchen.bigcartel.com/product/music-never-sleeps - http://www.JasonDChen.com_MusicNeverSleepsWallpaper_011

Vol. XXVI, Issue 2

17


Xenophobic Responses to

Red Dawn

By Kayla Natrella

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ASIAN OUTLOOK


{ T

On Nov. 21, 2012, Red Dawn, a remake of a 1984 film, premiered in theaters. The original Red Dawn played on Cold War tensions and widespread fear of communism and Soviets, while the remake plays on a more contemporary American xenophobia. Initially, the remake was filmed with Chinese invaders, rather than the original Soviets, but when producers realized that if they did so, they would not be able to release the movie to Chinese markets, they came up with a simple solution during post-production: By changing a few flags and making some slight edits, the Chinese invading army became North Korean.

China to North Korea revealed that the producers believe Asians to be interchangeable. As Jeff Yang puts it in his Wall Street Journal article, “Can’t offend these Asians? Well, let’s just say they’re those Asians instead.” And they were not entirely mistaken. In response to the movie, racist tweets referred to the villains as “Asians”, rather than specifically as North Koreans. Some of these tweets expressed that the movie gave them reason to hate Asians and a “patriotism”-fueled desire to kill Asians. Others expressed heightened suspicion and/or fear of Asians as a direct result of watching the movie. One telling tweet says, “That awkward moment when Asians sit down in front of you at Red Dawn. . .” That moment was more than awkward for Thanh Vu, a student at North Carolina State University. Vu is a 26-year-old Vietnamese American who served four years of active duty in the US Army, with a 15-month deployment in Iraq in 2007. After fulfilling his four years of active duty, Vu enlisted in the Army Reserve, where he currently serves as a Drill Sergeant. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, remembering the original movie from his childhood, Vu went to see Red Dawn at a local movie theater with his fiancé. When the movie ended, and the couple started towards the doors, members of the audience began to throw candy at them. Vu was upset by the offense, but stayed silent. His fiancé, however, stepped forward and called out, “Who threw candy at my fiancé? Is it because we are Asian-Americans? If you have the courage to do it then step forward and show yourself.” Nobody in the theater responded to his fiancé’s challenge. In our conversation, Vu told me, “After I realized nobody was coming forward, I just left because I didn’t want to get upset at something so childish.” he ease of the switch from

}

Vu calls the incident “childish”, and he is right in that the act of throwing candy at someone is immature. When I asked about his previous experiences with racism, he told me that he has faced racism many times in his childhood, as well as in the military. Perhaps the sheer frequency of these incidents made them into something mundane, something to ignore and not get upset about. Vu expressed his feelings about racism and how it affects him, saying, “I know racism will always be there and that I will never be accepted and seen as American in this country, but I am a patriot and I don’t need to prove it to anyone.” Although Vu refuses to prove his patriotism, he resignedly accepts that he will “never be accepted and seen as America in this country.” But is this acceptable? What makes a person more “American” than another? If a man who has been serving his country in the military for eight years still feels alienated as a foreigner by American society just because he does not look like the white majority, we really must begin to question how we form our national identities. Surely, risking one’s life in defense of one’s country is the ultimate display of national loyalty and patriotism. How ironic is it that the man pelted with candy because of his ethnic association with the “Asian” enemy is the one who would be fighting in defense of America if the premise of Red Dawn somehow became a reality (though a North Korean invasion, as spoken word artist Beau Sia puts it, is about as likely as a centaur invasion). @BeauSia: red dawn is a joke! / why not centaurs invade maine?/ just as probable Thank you to Thanh Vu for sharing his story with us.

Sources: http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2012/11/26/red-dawn-spurs-racist-tweets/ http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Hollywood/2012/11/27/wall-street-journal-red-dawn-xenophobic http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2012/11/24/how-red-dawn-could-have-been-remade-without-the-xenophobia/

Vol. XXVI, Issue 2

19


It’s

e k a m e R n ca

i r e an Am

By Claire Chang

the normalization of ‘white’ being the default for

‘american’, despite the amount of diversity present in the u.s. , has been, and still is, extremely problematic.

H

ollywood has been churning out plenty of

remakes, reboots, and adaptations from not only the many different facets of entertainment such as games, novels and comics, but from many different countries as well. Remaking well-acclaimed foreign films for American audiences has become increasingly popular over the past decade. As many of you may know, even movies that have been really successful internationally are generally unsuccessful in U.S. box offices. In general, American audiences do not like to read subtitles and are also drawn to A-list Hollywood stars, which explains all the remakes, despite unhappy fans of the originals. At the same time, Asian culture has been gaining popularity within the U.S. , resulting in more movie remakes and adaptations from countries such as Japan and South Korea. This brings us to the question of what makes an American remake “American”? Is it not enough to localize the setting and situations? Does it mean an all-white or majority white cast even in such a diverse nation? Judging from recent news about the future Hollywood remakes of Oldboy, All You Need is Kill and the long awaited Akira, this seems to be the case. As Asian culture and media continues to gain more visibility and popularity in the U.S. , it makes sense for Hollywood to finally move past just remaking Asian horror movies such as Japan’s Ringu and Thailand’s Shutter, and start remaking movies like Infernal Affairs (Oscar-award winning The Departed). Chun-Wook Park’s Oldboy, a 2003 South Korean thriller is now in production and slated to be released in October 2013. Since 2008, directors have changed from Justin Lin to Steven Spielberg, but Spike Lee was finally chosen to direct the popular film, with Josh Brolin playing

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ASIAN OUTLOOK

the lead. Another film to be looking out for in the future is an adaptation of a Japanese light novel titled All You Need is Kill. The remake, starring Tom Cruise, has been retitled We Mortals Are and will be coming out in March 2014. The Akira project has been in and out of production since Warner Bros. acquired the rights back in 2002. As of today, production for the film has been shut down once again. So, what do all of these American remakes have in common? Well, the majority of the characters of these films will be played by white actors. This isn’t anything new or shocking, but that doesn’t mean we should just look past it. The normalization of ‘white’ being the default for ‘American’, despite the amount of diversity present in the U.S. , has been, and still is, extremely problematic. It is concerning when directors, such as Doug Liman (We Mortals Are, The Bourne trilogy), make comments, such as: Coming Soon: I think “All You Need is Kill” is one of the ones you’ve been eyeing next, which is interesting because it’s based on a Japanese book, so are you going to go for Japanese lead actors?” Liman: No, it’s totally American. So what does “totally American” mean? I guess white, maybe black, but I doubt it. Perhaps he forgot that there are plenty of Asian American actors, despite the belief that there aren’t, who are born and raised here and rarely ever given a chance to land any sort of role except minor comedic ones that usually play on stereotypes. A mishap occurred recently when Oldboy’s team sent out a casting call in which 12 out of 17 of the offered roles called for Caucasian actors and the rest were stereotypical roles for actors of color. For example, the casting call descriptions


Tom Cruise stars as Lt. Col. Bill Cage in “All You Need Is Kill “(2014).

Can you imagine Robert Pattinson screaming as Tetsuo in “Akira”?

for white women were “sensitive, intelligent, beautiful but humble” and “pretty, yet shy and a bit awkward looking” but the one that calls for an African American woman read “a drug addicted nutcase in the Mobile Hospital”. There’s also another one that calls for an Asian woman and that one read “a mysterious exotic beauty” with an additional “martial arts experience a plus” in caps. After being contacted by Racebending, a grassroots organization founded on advocating against the whitewashing of M. Night Shyamalan’s Avatar: The Last Airbender, Spike Lee reassured them that his cast will be diverse and that the casting calls have been changed. In regards to whitewashing, usually films will anglicize the name of the protagonist in addition to casting a white actor, as Oldboy and We Mortals Are will be doing. Dae-su Oh of Oldboy has been changed to Joe Doucett and Keiji Kiriya of All You Need is Kill has been changed to Billy Cage. By changing the protagonist’s name to something that isn’t “ethnic”, it pretty much cements the fact that a white actor will be cast for the role, even though white people aren’t the only ones that could be named Billy and Joe. What really raises eyebrows is when they don’t anglicize the name and still cast white actors. There’s pretty much no winning in this, is there? Akira, even though production has been stopped, is a fine example of this, as well as the 2009 flop, Dragonball: Evolution. During the last attempt to bring Akira to the silver screen, the studios planned on keeping the two main leads’ names, Kaneda and Tetsuo. Who did they approach for these roles though? Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield, James McAvoy, Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake, and Joaquin Phoenix. Sure, these are big names to attach to a big project such as this, but I really do wonder what was going through their minds while making this list. Did they even take into consideration how ridiculous it would be to see any of these men of varying

ages shouting “Tetsuoooo!” and “Kanedaaaa!” at each other throughout the movie? (Chronicle did it, but they were young white boys without “ethnic” names). Either way, I am amongst the many that are relieved to hear that Akira will be spared for a few more years.

“If remakes and adaptations of stories about characters of color are also “adapted” to white male leads, then when will actors of color ever get a chance to star?” As Marissa Lee of Racebending puts it “There are already so many films with white male leads. If remakes and adaptations of stories about characters of color are also “adapted” to white male leads, then when will actors of color ever get a chance to star?” Can we really not afford to cast Asian Americans in more important roles, if not lead roles even in these remakes? Are Asian Americans not American enough to have a presence in U.S. media? With recent efforts from organizations such as Racebending and with the help of social networking sites, I’m hopeful that Hollywood’s serious case of whitewashing ebbs off in the near future. Maybe then we’ll get to see Asian American leads for the American remake of Akira. Sources: -http://blog.angryasianman.com/2011/07/spike-lee-in-talks-to-directoldboy.html -http://www.racebending.com/v4/history/spike-lee-tweets-diversityoldboy/ -http://www.racebending.com/v4/campaigns/all-you-need-is-kill/ -http://www.racebending.com/v4/featured/akira-adaptation-courtswhite-actors/ -http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/akira-production-shutdown-budget-warner-bros-278729

Vol. XXVI, Issue 2

21


Orientalism

N

By Jonah Lang

o one can be more excited for the new Iron Man movie than I am. As a lifelong comic fan and a die-hard Marvel Studios enthusiast, I have been waiting a long time for this collaboration between Shane Black and Robert Downey Jr. These two make up the team behind what is, in my opinion, one of the most clever movies of all time, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. I remember reading an interview with RDJ, months before the trailer even came out where he said the script for Iron Man 3 was the best script he had ever read. However, as an Asian American, I can say that there was some trepidation at the news that this film’s “big bad” villain would be the Mandarin, played by Sir Ben Kingsley. The Mandarin, for the uninitiated, is a 1960s-era Fu Manchu villain created by Stan Lee and Don Heck to be the arch-nemesis of Tony Stark, AKA Iron Man. In other words, he is the Lex Luthor to Tony Stark’s Superman, the Joker to

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ASIAN OUTLOOK

The Mandarin, Iron Man’s arch-nemesis.

his Batman. He is also an obvious embodiment of the Yellow Peril scare from the xenophobic America during the 1960s. Everything, from his name to his appearance, is a caricature. Despite this, Marvel has made it easy to enjoy seeing the Mandarin fight Tony Stark time and time again. Though his origins come from a place of ignorance, his character has somewhat grown from a generic Orientalist menace to a familiar but threatening foe that is more defined by his history with Iron Man than his ethnicity. The modern day incarnation of this character is a clean, well-groomed businessman with diabolical intent and a deadly, cunning mind. He is all but removed from the racial overtones that he was known for at his inception. However, the movie’s version of the character is quite a different story. From the brief images gleaned from the film’s teaser trailer, Ben Kingsley’s Mandarin adapts many of the iconic and stereotypical imagery of the original Mandarin,


Can Marvel Studios present a balanced portrayal of the Yellow Peril-era villain? from the middle-eastern beard to the Japanese top-knot and the East Asian robes. He is a far cry from the suave, modernized, realistic business person that Marvel Comics has worked so hard to create. This is disappointing, to say the least, as the Iron Man movie franchise owes much of its success to its ability to create a modern, believable hero with strong roots in reality. With a Chinese company providing major financial backing for this movie, the studio is under pressure to appease Chinese investors, which, hopefully, includes not portraying their culture in a way that is offensive and reductionist. Critics of the film have already noticed the race-bendy shift from half British, half Chinese original character into the half British, half Middle Eastern Ben Kingsley, indicating that the film might take a turn towards creating a Middle Eastern threat

iN

instead of a Far Eastern one. While this is in keeping with the dynamic of the first film, one could hardly call shifting fear and xenophobia from the Far East to the Middle East a victory for Asian American filmgoers. Marvel Studios’ head honcho, Kevin Feige released a statement which (sort of) qualifies the Mandarin’s appearance in the trailer: "It's less about his specific ethnicity than the symbolism of various cultures and iconography that he perverts for his own end." While this is somewhat comforting in the sense that Marvel is aware of its use of Asian imagery, it is also troubling in that we know that Marvel is intentionally appropriating Asian imagery, intentionally associating it with a character that will turn out to be pure evil. This is a figure that audiences are supposed to rise up against and feel hostility towards.

Vol. XXVI, Issue 2

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The fear coming out of the Asian American communities now is that this incarnation of the character will perpetuate the ignorance that comes from the Mandarin’s negative Asian stereotypes and offensive imagery. In the past, Asian figures that enter mainstream American culture often become closely tied to the identity of every Asian American in the eyes of non-Asians. After all, there are not that many Asians in mainstream American culture, so the few that appear become instantly and infamously memorable. I doubt any Asian living in America has fully escaped being associated with the Dragon Lady, or Fu Manchu, or Short Round from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, or Data from the Goonies, or the Me-Love-You-Long-Time lady from Full Metal Jacket, or even Mr. Miyagi. Even associations with seemingly-positive figures like Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, or more recently, Jeremy Lin, can be insulting when they are used to reduce an individual’s identity to the fact that their ancestors once shared a continent with someone famous. Still, I remain hopeful. For one thing, Marvel seems to be making an effort to increase diversity in these movies without drawing overt attention to this fact. From Idris Elba’s portrayal of an Aryan god in Thor to Samuel L. Jackson’s nowfamous portrayal of Colonel Nick Fury, a character that was originally Caucasian, in The Avengers. Even the Howling Commandos in Captain America: The First Avenger seemed

24

ASIAN OUTLOOK

to have a well-represented, diverse cast (which included an Asian American). In addition, director Shane Black has indicated that he is well-aware of the offensive nature of the Mandarin. At first, the celebrated director of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang dismissed the idea of including the character because he was what he called, “a racist caricature.” However, with the news that the Mandarin would be the movie’s villain, we can only hope that Black has found a way to include the character without making him offensive or reductionist. How many racially insensitive things happen in American popular culture and are then written off as unintentional? And how frustrating is it when the public is given a half-hearted apology with a plea of ignorance? At least with this scenario, we can know that if the inclusion of the character is racist, it was intentional and we can feel justified about our outrage. Additionally, we can still hope that great character actor Ben Kingsley’s performance will be so distinct and memorable that the Mandarin transcends his racial origins and becomes a character that can stand on its own without borrowing from the historical threat perceived from Orientalism.

Iron Man 3 opens on May 3, 2013. The trailer is available via Apple Trailers.


standard

Taiwanese Mandarin

By Cory Moy

I sincerely hope Taiwan can develop its own voice, not just linguistically, but in ways that will place them on the world stage.

O

ne of the many interesting aspects of

language is that it is highly political. For instance, Malaysia and Indonesia share a nearly identical language, but as separate and independent states, their languages are called “Malaysian” and “Indonesian.” Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin, and Serbian is also such an example. The list goes on, but it is important to remember, those who cannot forget the past or have a strong sense of nationality may be very adamant in telling you they are indeed different. And they would be correct. There is no such thing as a small difference when everything is put into perspective. Chinese is a language family with an incredible amount of internal diversity, therefore, even dialects that are nothing alike are both part of the language known as “Chinese.” So here we can see that the term “dialect” is also derived from politics. (Teaching Chinese here at Binghamton, it is always exciting for me to see my Korean students noticing the phonetic similarities between their language and Mandarin, whereas my Cantonese-speaking students are far less able to draw the same connections. Actually, they would find their dialect is more similar to Vietnamese had they chosen to study it.) Currently, as The People’s Republic of China would have it, the Republic of China, otherwise known as Taiwan, is just an island off of its

own coast. Politically and linguistically it is Chinese. Any attempt by the tiny island nation to say otherwise is just them trying to ‘stir up the water’ between the two coasts. However, from the Taiwanese perspective, one would consider the fact that they have their own government (democratic and not communist), their own army, currency, aboriginal cultures, and a strong sense of nationality. In Taiwan, one does not need to use the word “mainland” (大陸) to designate China. Simply “China” (中國) will do, because China is China and Taiwan is its own separate country. Referring back to languages, as a case in point, a Taiwanese friend of many years decided to live in Beijing and find a job. He ended up working at Beijing Baotec Records Management Company helping them develop voice command software. The Chinese company wanted to expand their market to Taiwanese customers, but this Taiwanese employee insisted it would not work. He explained that the products would all fail because the developers had calibrated all voice commands to mainland pronunciation and speech styles. Those with authority disregarded his warning, directly stating that he and all other Taiwanese people only wish they are different but certainly are not. Naturally, the product flopped. The major trends that distinguish Taiwanese Mandarin from mainland Mandarin are part of what Chinese linguists now call Standard

Vol. XXVI, Issue 2

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“As a written language, Taiwanese uses the traditional form of characters while mainland Chinese uses simplified.”

爱 “Love“ in simplified Chinese chracters. Taiwanese Mandarin (台灣標準). Professor ShihChang Hsin of National Taiwan Normal University points to the major difference in the demographic makeup of the two countries. Population and demographics are important elements of language use, and as of 2011, those of Southern Min ancestry (Fujian and Guangdong/閩南人) make up 65-73% of the Taiwanese population, Hakka (客家人) 12-15%, and those of various mainland background (外省 人) roughly 2%. This composition is very different from that of China, which greatly influences the use of Mandarin as a means of communication. Not only would there be an ever-present accent, but different populations will simply have different linguistic trends. To site more specific examples, there are the following: (1) As a written language, Taiwanese uses the traditional form of characters while mainland Chinese uses simplified. Also, the use of punctuation is quite different, especially regarding the forms of quotation, highlighting, and parenthesis. (Example:〝〞would be used in China whereas Taiwanese would use「」.) When typing, mainland China uses pinyin and Taiwan uses zhuyin fuhao (注音符號), or what American Chinese would call, bopomofo. (2) Concerning pronunciation, the Taiwanese standard hardly requires any degree of retroflex ( 捲舌音). The sounds written as zh, ch, sh in Hanyu pinyin are therefore pronounced as z, c, and s. Nasal sounds (鼻音) ang, eng, ing, ong are more similar to an, en, in, and on. And the retroflex-final r (兒化音) as well as the neutral tone (輕聲), which are strongly

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ASIAN OUTLOOK

愛 “Love“ in traditional Chinese chracters. associated with the more northern-sounding Mandarin accent, are virtually non-existent. These differences have become so apparent that many Taiwanese have difficulty hearing the differences, are incapable of pronouncing the r-final sound, have no knowledge of the neutral tone placements, and children have difficulty spelling out words when using the computer. (3) Perhaps one of the most stereotypical differences is the Taiwanese usage of modal particles (語氣詞), words that by themselves have no meaning, but reflect the mood of the speaker. Just to name a few, 啊、啦、吧、嘛、ㄟ、哩、 呢、吼、嘍、囉、嘔、喔、哦、ㄚ、喏 are all used excessively in Taiwanese Mandarin, and are confused by mainlanders at times. (4) The new use of 說, a word which formerly only meant “to speak,” now functions very much like the word “that” in English. For example, if one were to say, “我跟他講說 . . .” would translate to “I said talked to him . . .” in standard Mandarin, making no sense, but in Taiwanese Mandarin would clearly mean “I said to him that . . .” This new capability is now a very common part of spoken Taiwanese Mandarin and can be used extensively with other verbs as well. (5) The word 有, originally meaning “to have,” has now generated a present perfect tense in Taiwanese Mandarin. (Tenses are far less apparent in Chinese when compared to English.) Just as one would say “I have been there” in English, this could directly be translated word-for-word into “我有去 過那裡"a completely understandable and natural sentence in Taiwanese Mandarin. As a result of


the popularity of Taiwanese movies and dramas, this sentence structure has become popular in mainland China as well. (6) A particularly unique aspect of Taiwanese Mandarin is the currently popular use of loanwords from Taiwanese. Taiwanese (not Taiwanese Mandarin) is a dialect that has evolved over the years from the other Southern Min dialects, especially Fujianese. A basic understanding of these words would be necessary to keep up with today’s more fashionable phraseology. This is especially true for when these words appear in writing, as there is no original written form of Taiwanese, and Chinese characters are placed together as substitutes. (Example: 歹勢, “Excuse me,” is used several times each day in Taiwan, but would appear completely nonsensical and sound incomprehensible in the mainland.) (7) There are major differences in the use of vocabulary. This phenomenon is very much like the difference between British and American English. There are also numerous tonal differences as well, both of which can be a source of confusion between speakers of the two coasts, and clearly marks a speaker as being from one place or the other. (8) Lastly, one must point out the huge difference in speech-style. Any part of the Mandarin-speaking world would agree that the Taiwanese speech style

is intensely polite, marked by excessive praising and complimenting, and accented with a strange necessity for cuteness. There are both positive and negative effects that have resulted from this. The Taiwanese speech style is largely considered to be warm and kind, but also regarded as feminine, making Taiwanese males seem somewhat unmanly in the eyes and ears of mainlanders. Language is constantly evolving and slight changes certainly do not go unnoticed. It is important to recognize that language variety is a natural phenomenon, and does not happen as the result of one nation’s earnest attempt to separate itself from another socially and politically. This much is obvious even within mainland China, between provinces or even cities. Whatever the language or whatever the case may be, it is important to respect the beliefs and wishes of others. I sincerely hope Taiwan can develop its own voice, not just linguistically, but in ways that will place them on the world stage. Sources: Crystal, David (2003) English as a Global Language, Cambridge University Press; Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, Executive Yuan, R.O.C. (DGBAS); Various works of De-Ming Yeh, professor at National Taiwan Normal University.

Taipei 101 in Taipei city.

Sources:

Vol. XXVI, Issue 2

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FASHION COLUMN/

Ways to Wear

By Susi Ngo

Hello, mix-match lovers! After my last column, my friend, Châu, a student at Ithaca College, suggested that I do a mix-match with every student’s must-have-item: the HOODIE! I personally don’t wear hoodies that often, but I love hoodies simply because they keep me warm during the winter. The hoodie I chose for today’s post is a white one from Abercrombie & Fitch (kid’s size large). I hope you will find some valuable or useful tips from this. << OUT OF THE LINE I mix-matched this first look with the idea of being “free in creation”. Don’t hide yourself. This look shouts, “I may be crazy, but I am not stupid.” (Green zip-up hoodie from Urban Outfitters, green tights from Vietnam, floral shorts from Forever 21, sneaker platforms by ASOS, leather backpack from Coach)

GIRL’S UP >> With this second look, I wanted to add a bit of a girly taste by using the skirt and the cute handbag. The skirt I picked out has white flowers, which matched the hoodie’s color. This look proves that a hoodie doesn’t always have to go with jeans or pants. (Mini floral skirt from Bebe, handbag from Juicy Couture, handmade white scarf from a good friend, vintage leather belt from my mother, leather boat-style shoe from Cole Haan)

Out of the line.

<< MAXI-HOOD The maxi is always a top choice for short people like me. It adds some length to the wearer while keeping her warm during the winter. You can add tights underneath for a little bit of extra warmth. The maxi also adds a vintage quality to the outfit without being too “princess”. The jeans add strength to this vintage, very dynamic look. (Jean jacket from Levi’s, maxi from Forever 21, wedge from Ideeli.com, bag from JPK Paris 75)

Girl’s up.

ARMY-WAY >> This is my second favorite pick for sure; very tomboy and strong. You cannot go wrong pairing pants with a hoodie, but picking the right accessories will help you to define your style. Before creating your own style, it’s important to know what your characteristics are. (Military style pants from American Eagle, boots from Timberland, shoulder bag from Dooney&Bourke, knit hat) Army-way.

Maxi-hood.

Love fashion? Want to be featured in the next issue and win a gift card to ‘My Boutique’? Submit your mix-and-match ideas or even your own looks to Asian Outlook at aoeditor@gmail.com This fashion column is sponsored by m.y. boutique and CommuniKey. http://www.shopmyboutique.com/

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ASIAN OUTLOOK


味 香 如果可以 一輩子照顧她, 對我來說那真是 一件非常幸福的事。

獨自行走讓我想念與你分享的時光

By Cory Moy 梅偉強

還清楚地記得奶���的房間。當 時的我只有十二歲。但奶奶的 白色頭髮,溫柔的笑,小小的 手,和每個可愛的微笑都清清楚楚的在我 腦海中。大概十年前她去世了,可是我奶 奶的香味永遠鮮活地保存在我的記憶中。 我伸出雙臂擁抱她的時候,可以聞得到。 這特別的味道是否在我的印象中嗎?不 是,我就很容易認別。那香味聞起來像米 飯,羊毛衫,是我的最愛。 每當我陪她的時候,我總是用我的手 溫暖她的手,她的身材很嬌小,我需要彎 腰才能勾住她的雙手,每當我這麼做的時 候她會變得非常高興,眼睛像似彎彎的月 牙一樣。如果可以一輩子照顧她,對我來 說那真是一件非常幸福的事。 我每天進她的房間好多次,我們常一 起玩牌。她喜歡做飯給我吃,有時候她會 教我怎麼做。我奶奶像我第二個媽媽,她 常擔心,操心我身體,為我有沒有好好地 睡覺操心不已。我試試每分鐘和她在一 起,我們在一起的時間越來越多,我們就 變得越來越親近。雖然她只會說台山語, 我只會說英文,我們很少聊天,但我們卻 可以了解我們對彼此的愛。 她給我留下深刻的印象。我非常愛 Vol. XXVI, Issue 2

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她,可是我沒辦法表達,這種感覺讓我痛苦的受不了。為什麼爸爸不教我台山話?我怎 麼可以這麼愛一個人卻不告訴她?我慢慢地長大而她慢慢地變老。個子越來越小,動作 越來越慢,也更安靜了,可是唯一不變的是她和藹的微笑跟她的香味。 有時候我會用台山話跟她說:「我愛你」,然後她會可愛的笑笑,每當我看到那雙 彎彎的月牙眼睛,我就會頓時跑走, 我不希望讓她看到我傷心的樣子, 因為我不能好 好的跟她表達我對她的愛。 有一天她去世了。我掩面哭泣。我內心怎麼可以有那麼多傷痛?在我的生活裡這是 一段最難過的日子。那悲慘天讓我告訴我自己一定要學會中文。我學中文的時候,沒有 興奮的感覺,也不是快樂,其實好像愛情。我學中文為了我自己,還有為了她,我奶奶 不在我旁邊,但是學中文的時候卻讓我覺得我們變得更親近。 十年多過去了,然後這成為遙遠的記憶。儘管她的房間裡有新的床單,新家具,新 廁所,那香味還新鮮的甜甜的。 沒有人會聞得到奶奶的羊毛衫, 沒有人會聞得到奶奶 的飯菜, 她的香味像是鎖在牆裡。在地毯上留到處都是。雖然她已經過世了,只要深深 得呼吸,就好像仍能看到她一樣。我問聰明的爸爸。他也不會察覺。我問他為什麼別人 沒有發現,他告訴我應該是因為我對奶奶的愛跟別人不同,這是一種自我安慰的方式。 我覺得他說對的還有覺得興高采烈。這是我親情的香味。 大樹嚮往著大愛

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conscience

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Phot

o by K

elly O

’Rou

rke

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secondhand smoke

By Jessica Russo

I never buy cigarettes. I find it a waste of money. I walk out of a classroom. A deep feeling resonates between the very core organs of my body. Longing scrapes my ice-cream insides and feeds it to an invisible 4-year-old in the sky. If my vocal chords weren’t already consumed, they would be screaming much like Pink in The Wall when the slimy worms wriggle out of him and consume his living flesh. The apathetic sky is a dull blue, the trees are bare, and the cold air has begun to sting, as it should at this time of the year. I think about the phone call that I had with my father the other day, after I said that I was deciding on my schedule for my next college semester. “You could do whatever you want,” he said, but in the teeth-grinding silence that followed, I understood that what he meant to say was, “Stop! Do something honorable.” It was a slip of the tongue, I suppose, but I didn’t need him to correct his mistake in wording, when this had happened too many times before. I smell a cigarette. In front of me I find a guy smoking, the cigarette held with all four fingers of his nervous hand. He wears a salt and pepper coat and holds his dark-haired head down as he puts the lighter back in his left coat pocket. He buries his other hand in that same pocket, protecting it from exposure to the dry chapping air. I used to loathe the smell of cigarettes and despised people who dared to smoke in front of me. But here I was, taking each atom of carcinogen in, purposefully, breathing in deep, and letting the interior, voluntary Black Death consume my developing lungs, leaving scars where no one can see. We travel on gray square stone tiles this arid afternoon surrounded by brick buildings that seem older than my father. The smoker and I take turns marking the lining of our respiratory system with murky relief. I welcome the intimacy made between us, two breathers of the same ashen air. I never buy cigarettes. Why should I waste the money when there are so many smokers on campus? And they say in the commercials that second-hand smoke is more damaging. My smoker leaves. His walk stops and he answers a call for his Kitty. I have to find another smoker to travel behind.


asystole

By Koloquium

Ringing. One, two three. Breathe. “Hello?” Hi. It’s me. “Hello? Anyone there?” I said it’s me. “—who is it?" Another? "I don’t know. Whoever it is, they're not answering—” Why aren’t you listening? “Well then, hang up.” Wait, no— Dial tone. A gasp dies in my throat.

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Photo By Ivan Yeung


Comic Art By Eric Han

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Street art by Eddie Colla

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

- Aristotle

Photo by Karen Tong Vol. XXVI, Issue 2

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Tuesday, 7:00pm, UUW329


AO Fall 2012 Issue #2