Asian American Association
Newsletter Volume 2, Issue 4
AAA Executive Board 2008-2009
Greetings From Your AAA Prez
President Sarah Wong
External VP Alex Lin Internal VP Jeff Lin Treasurer Charles Qiao
Happy Holidays everyone! I hope that you all had a restful Thanksgiving break and were able to reflect on things we are grateful for.
Secretary Alice Gu PR Yena Kwon PR Marina Cheung Historian Andrew Shaw Fresh. Rep Amy Lam Fresh. Rep Brandon Lee Fresh. Rep Patrick Ng
Upcoming Events: Fri. Dec. 5th Secret Asian Man Tak Toyoshima! Wilson 214 6:30-8:00pm Free “Ray-Ban” Secret Agent Shades!
This past month we held our annual AAA Week with brand spanking new events and also some old favorites. Congrats to Lawrence Lin and Charles Shyng for becoming our first ever Badminton Tourney Champions. Also, thanks to our Charity Auction auctionees and bidders. We were able to raise $390 for “Not For Sale Campaign” against human trafficking. It was a fun week of dumplings, film, arts & crafts, music, sport and charity!
African American president. This is a monumental step for race equality in the U.S. and a promising hope that Americans are able to look beyond skin color but instead look at credentials and character in voting. With Obama’s close ties to the Asian American population, I hope that we will be able to see more antidiscrimination policy as well as action on other policies affecting the Asian American population. We are very excited about bringing speaker Tak Toyoshima to Wash U on Dec. 5th. You will not want to miss him! He is the creator behind the
On Nov. 4, history was made when Barack Obama was elected as the first
Secret Asian Man comic strip which has been featured in our monthly newsletters as well as the art director of Boston’s Weekly Dig. He will speak about his use of graphic art to address race relations in the U.S. as well as about breaking into the mainstream as an Asian American and graphic artist. Plus, we will be giving away a limited number of “Ray -Ban” Secret Agent Shades. As the semester draws to a close, we want to thank all our members for supporting our events. We have many plans in the works for next semester so keep your eye out for them. If you have any suggestions or ideas, we would love to hear them so send me an email. Good luck on exams and Happy Holidays!
World AIDS Day is Dec. 1st! Alice Gu Don't ignore it; it is a big deal….still. Sure we've heard in the news how there's a cure, a miracle vaccine, for HIV now, but in actuality, there really isn't. According to the most recent Time magazine, Merck claimed they had the vaccine in 2007, but "initial results showed that not
only did it fail to protect against HIV, but in some cases it actually increased the risk of infection. The approach of this vaccine was to activate the body's cell-based immunity, in which killer immune cells take a more dominant role than antibodies in attacking HIV" (p. 63). It is not just the people
who have the virus that are affected, but also those that are affected by the virus indirectly, whether it be a family member having the virus or living in a high-risk community with the virus. We know that USA and parts of Africa have an HIV/AIDS problem, Cont. on pg 2
Asian Americans and Interracial Marriage Patrick Ng Although interracial relationships involving Asian Americans have existed for several generations, from Asian American laborers taking American wives as they made new lives in the States to the “war brides” brought over the Pacific Ocean by World War II veterans, statistics compiled in a 2007 study by C.N. Le suggests that as the pro-
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portion of Asian Americans born in or raised in America grows, so will the proportion of Asian American interracial marriages. An overwhelming majority of total Asian American marriages still occur between two Asian Americans, but the percentages increase dramatically when one or both spouses is American raised. Most Asian Ameri-
can interracial marriages include a spouse of Caucasian descent, but for complete data including African American, Hispanic, and Multiracial spouses as well as more in depth observations in Le's study you can visit http://www.asiannation.org/ interracial.shtml.
etc. Second of all, and most importantly, the reason I say to get tested is because we as Americans need to get rid of the stigma of getting tested for HIV. Many problems with the spread of HIV stems from the simple yet true fact that "oh, if I get a test for HIV, people will judge me and think I've been doing sketchy things" or "If I get tested, my partner will never trust me again", etc. If everyone gets tested, however, people will be more comfortable to talk about it more; more people will be tested; and more people will be treated. Don't worry if you're scared of needles; HIV tests these days don't require any blood. I know that Project ARK does free and confidential testing by
appointment or just by walk-in. I believe Planned Parenthood does something similar.
Cont. on pg 4
AIDS from pg. 1 but China does too. In fact, the HIV/AIDS pandemic scene in East Asia is largely predominated by China. Infection rates for all 3 countries have risen sharply over the few years. So what is the problem exactly? Well, obviously the virus itself, but there is one thing we, as the public and as Asian Americans, can do to help prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS: get tested. Simple as that. You might say: wait, I don't need to get tested; I've never had sex before or been exposed to people who have HIV or I've always used a condom or there's no way I could have gotten this virus. First of all, HIV does not discriminate. It can affect any one of you no matter what race, social class, ethnicity, gender,
Also as part of the WashU community, WashU HOPE through Campus Y will be in DUC all week of Dec. 1stDec. 5th selling beads, distributing condoms, candy, and ribbons, and providing info on STIs and HIV/ AIDS. Stop by and commemorate world AIDS day!
Volume 2, Issue 4
Restaurant Review: Miss Saigon Marina Cheung On a recent girls’ night out, my friends and I decided to go to the Vietnamese restaurant Miss Saigon on the Loop before catching the film Half Life at the Tivoli. This was my first time there and once I stepped through the door, I noticed the laid back and friendly atmosphere right away. We were sat down at a table promptly, but there were enough customers there already to know that it was not for lack of patronage. The décor was simple yet sweet, not overdone at all, and I also appreciated the bright lighting of the place. The menus were quite overwhelming and after my friends chose their food, I enlisted their help to pick something out after narrowing it down to either a noodle or rice dish, and either chicken or seafood; obviously I suffer from acute indecision when it comes to eating out, but it was also not helpful that there were so many awesome-sounding options. Our first dish was tofu fries,
which we all shared for an appetizer. It sounded interesting and we were looking for a little gastronomic adventure. But when the dish arrived we were surprised to find ourselves with short fat tofu chunks rather than long slender french-fry shaped pieces. It was basically normal fried tofu with a sweet dipping sauce that really brought all the flavor to the dish. Although they weren’t as exciting as we expected them to be, the tofu fries were tasty and a great item for sharing within a small group. Our individual dishes were served very soon after, and we were pleased with the prompt service. We all got different items: one friend ordered a beef noodle soup bowl which looked absolutely heavenly; another friend got this cool pork dish that came with an egg over easy served with vegetables and rice—I tried the pork and oh my goodness, yum; and then another friend and I had rice noodle
dishes with chicken and shrimp, respectively. None of the food was greasy and we found the taste and preparation to be authentic. I also thought the portion sizes were just enough, and we definitely got our money’s worth. After dinner, one friend ordered an iced coffee with sweetened condensed milk, which entertained us for a solid ten minutes while we waited for the coffee to drip. We had a great time chatting and would have stayed longer had we not been rushing to the movie. I also should mention the attractive wait staff and clean bathrooms (although I can’t speak for the men’s bathroom). Miss Saigon was definitely a great choice for our girls’ night and I can’t believe I hadn’t tried it out before this year. Whether you bring a date or go with friends, you will not be disappointed by the food or service. Overall, I give the place an A and I can’t wait to go there again for my next Vietnamese food fix!
“I also should mention the attractive wait staff and clean bathrooms “
Music Review: Thao Nguyen, We Brave Bee Stings and All In November’s issue, I wrote about the Hotel Café Tour which was stopping by the Loop’s Blueberry Hill on Nov 8. One of the performers on the tour was Thao Nguyen. After the concert, my friends and I were unanimous about Thao stealing the show that night, so I had to check out her music and her newest album, We Brave Bee Stings and All. On the album, Thao is backed by her band, The Get Down Stay Down. Her sound is reminiscent of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Rilo Kiley (an easy comparison since both have strong female leads in a male dominated industry) but Thao’s sound is distinct. Her music is fun, carefree, and upbeat but the
lyrics often touch on more serious topics such as love lost. She has a unique voice, raspy and youthful which people will either appreciate or may find annoying. But there is a rawness to her tracks that is a sign of not being overly produced. The highlight track is “Beat” which combines strong instrumentals and abstract lyrics that make you want to sway to the beat. The other tracks that stand out are the calmer yet catchy “Fear and Convenience” and “Travel”. Overall, it’s a strong album and my new favorite find. You will find Thao on heavy rotation on my iTunes this holiday season.
Meet Tak at Wash U Dec. 5th!
INTERRACIAL from pg. 2 Asian Indians
91.9 73.3 56.7
0.9 2.7 2.8
5.5 18.5 31.3
63.9 55.0 53.7 9.9 12.4 9.4 19.7 24.0 27.2
Women Asian Indian
93.6 77.5 54.2
0.7 1.7 2.0
4.3 18.9 36.3
47.4 51.3 50.9 6.4 8.0 7.7 38.2 32.1 32.8 Filipinos
89.5 64.6 53.1 Filipino
82.4 50.1 35.6
4.5 11.5 11.6 Other Asian
5.3 20.2 29.7 White
9.2 27.1 36.0
81.5 54.0 44.6 Filipino
Other Asian White
7.8 Other Asian
13.9 32.8 40.4 White ASIAN
92.3 76.9 71.0
2.9 7.0 5.8
2.9 10.5 15.0
83.3 66.8 58.2
3.5 8.2 7.8
11.3 20.8 28.3
immigrant to natural born citizens)
USR = U.S.-Raised (14 years old or younger
FR = Foreign-Raised (1st generation) 1* = All couples including an Asian American 2* = Spouse 1 is USR while Spouse 2 can be USR or FR
61.1 37.6 28.4 2.8
27.2 40.0 46.2
3* = Both spouses are USR
Volume 2, Issue 4
Funny Asians Draw Funnies By Megan Kung, Asian Week laugh. The series is based on Toyoshima‟s life and regularly deals with Asian American issues in a hip, refined manga style.
I grew up all Westernized,” Yu said.
The strip doesn‟t usually address politics or champion any noble Asian American causes, but the fact that he is a Before it became syndicated and read by a mainstream published Asian American comic strip artist challenges a audience, the strip dealt mainly with Asian American stereotype. “It‟s something different, especially growing issues. Early strips were angrier in tone, but as time went up Asian American and not being expected to do things on and Toyoshima matured as an artist, the tone lightened. like art, especially cartooning, which is kind of a frownedHe raised questions in his strips for readers to ponder upon art,” Yu said. rather than merely venting. But he‟s not afraid to still Liu‟s goal is to have a strip that young people can enjoy tackle heavy subjects like Vincent Chin, the Chinese and that offers a more well-rounded portrayal of Asian American who was beaten to death in 1982 by two white Americans than what‟s offered in mainstream media. And autoworkers who believed they had lost their jobs to the he makes an effort to not offend — according to Liu, if a Japanese. strip deals with a political or controversial topic, usually Liu‟s Asian Americana, on the other hand, tends to keep by the last panel the tone is considerably lighter. “I‟m not things lighthearted and subtle. The series, first published an angry Asian man,” Liu said. “Let‟s just say I‟m a in AsianWeek in 2006, features several distinctively reasonable Asian man.” drawn talking heads — and an occasional panda bear — Toyoshima‟s SAM is also pretty civil, for now anyway. In discussing Asian American issues. “An Open Letter to „Secret Asian Man‟ Fans” on IMDiLiu started his strip because he wanted to do something versity.com, Toyoshima wrote: “SAM needs to be on his that related to his experience growing up as an immigrant best behavior, at least for now. It‟s like meeting your from Taiwan; Liu‟s main character, Justin, is based on girlfriend‟s parents for the first time. You‟ll want to be himself, and supporting characters are based on friends nice and polite to make a good first impression. Then AsianWeek - 3/28/08 and family. He originally wanted to do a Pokemon-type later, when they get used to you, you can start swearing children‟s strip, but it proved too taxing. “I was thinking and farting in the den with your future in-laws.” Asian American comic artists are on the rise. Last year, to myself, „I‟m thinking too hard trying to come up with American Born Chinese by Fremont artist Gene Yang storylines regarding something that isn‟t related to myself Liu and Yu hope to eventually become nationally syndibecame the first graphic novel to win the Michael J. Printz cated like Toyoshima. Asian Americana ran for a short Award for young-adult literature. Other artists like Derek as an Asian American,‟” Liu recalled. period in an Asian supplement in the Houston Chronicle, Kirk Kim and Adrian Tomine have also been gaining Toyoshima agreed it was more difficult to create combut “it‟s hard to get syndicated when people are thinking recognition and winning awards for portrayals of the pletely fictional storylines and characters. “More talented it‟s relevant to only a minority of the readership,” said Asian American experience. people than myself can create scenarios and develop Liu, who just put out a book of Asian Americana strips on attributes out of thin air, but I prefer to take from life‟s AsianAmericana.com. AsianWeek has long promoted Asian American artists and has featured the work of three in particular each week: the experiences and observations,” he said. As one can imagine, being a comic strip artist is no way to comic strips Secret Asian Man by Tak Toyoshima, Asian Yu‟s Droodles, however, is on the opposite end of the make a decent living. Toyoshima, 37, is an art director at a Americana by Ian Liu and Droodles by Alex Yu. spectrum. Running in AsianWeek since February 2007, Boston alternative weekly, Boston‟s Weekly Dig, and the the comic‟s main character is an adorable monkey who creative director of BeerAdvocate, the world‟s largest Mainstream newspaper comics have always been black exists in an artsy, surreal world that changes to Yu‟s online beer community. Liu, 37, is an IT professional in and white, both in ink color and in characters. Besides the South San Francisco, and Yu, 26, is a medical student at whim. And sometimes there‟s a duck, also very cute. discontinued Boondocks by Aaron McGruder and Curtis Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. Yu said that if by Ray Billingsley, the main characters in syndicated For Yu, Droodles is more of an artistic exercise rather he were to make a choice between becoming a doctor and comics have all been white. than a comedic portrayal of his life. The strip is a blend of a full-time cartoonist, it would be a very difficult decision. Asian and Western influences that reflects himself as an Secret Asian Man has appeared in AsianWeek since 2002, Asian American. “It‟s a lot more subtle than Western “It‟s such a powerful tool,” he said of his art. “I think I and since July 2007, the mouthless, bushy-eyebrowed cartoons are. And it‟s a lot more about visual backcould do more with that than as a doctor. I mean, not Asian American cartoon has been syndicated in daily grounds, not just characters and text. I feel that‟s more of necessarily, but at least on some level, you know?” newspapers nationwide, challenging stereotypes and an Asian style of cartoons, but it‟s still extremely Western. provoking thoughts about race while making readers
“Secret Asian Man” Tak Toyoshima I was born and raised in New York City on the borders of Chinatown, Little Italy, Soho and Tribeca. I now live just south of Boston in an old converted refrigerator box where I scavenge wild berries from my neighbors' yards. During the day, I am the creative director at the ground breaking postalternative newsweekly Boston's Weeky Dig. Ground breaking in that the Dig is a hybrid of the traditional alternative newsweekly that our hippie forefathers started and new school magazine pub-
lishing blending award winning design and cutting edge content. I'm also the creative director for BeerAdvocate Magazine, the print supplement to the world's largest online beer community. Secret Asian Man is a daily comic strip that is syndicated through United Media. The comic strip is an often brutally honest commentary on the state of race relations in America. Tak spends the rest of his time with his loving family.
AAA in November!
Dumplings and Film
Badminton Tourney Badminton Tourney
Happy Holidays Love, AAA
AAA Newsletter Edited By Sarah Wong
Dumplings and Film