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So, I was home sick from work yesterday and ended up watching The Fabulous Life of Celebrity Weddings on VH1. I attended FOUR weddings this summer and am now well-versed in the intensity and craziness that is an Indian wedding. The term BLING was created for Indian nuptials. My boyfriend and I were joking about how these Hollywood types don’t have shit on Indians and how the real show would feature fabulous Indian weddings, complete with horses and elephants and a bride worth her weight in gold. And then – it happened! This show featuring Christina Aguilera’s engagement ring and Donald Trump’s wife’s $200,000 wedding dress, featured an Indian wedding held at Versailles this June – which was apparently the most expensive wedding ever. This wedding was held by Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, whose net worth is somewhere in the ballpark of $54 billion, for his 23-year-old daughter Vanisha. Apparently, the wedding of the universe was all over the British and Indian media. As excited as I get to see South Asian culture getting props on MTV and VHI, I have to admit that this opulence makes me feel pretty disgusted.
Esther Wong, the 'Godmother of Punk, died on Sunday at age 88. She showcased acts like Oingo Boingo, the Police, X, the Ramones, the Motels, 20/20, the Knack, the Know, the Textones, the Go-Gos, the Plimsouls, the Nu-Kats, the Bus Boys, Plane English, the Naughty Sweeties and others at her club, Madame Wong's. Obituary here in the L.A. Times
I never quite understood exactly how it works between the native Americans and our government --casinos, reservations, census data? But at any rate, some Native Hawaiians are fighting to get similar status. Listen the the NPR story here. The argument is that Hawaii was a sovereign nation, until the U.S. government came and took it over --just like they did the rest of the country. Some people think Akaka's bill doesn't go far enough, and Hawaii should be totally free from US rule.
Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth this weekend at the Nihonmachi Street Fair in J-town, especially those of you who supported us by buying an issue or subscription. It was not as sunny as we would have liked. In fact, it was kind of cold and foggy -- not great conditions for tabling outdoors. But we still had a good time talking to folks about Hyphen. We even sold one of our famous duct-tape wallets. Yes, I'm sad to announce that the "Heiress" wallet, featuring many windows & compartments, is no longer available and was snatched up by a passerby. But many other duct-tape wallets, lovingly made by Hyphen staff, remain. You can check them out at any of our events. Maybe we will get around to putting them up on the website one day soon.
Get used to it, Americans who weren't born in the US. (Come to think of it, that includes me.) This naturalized Indian American found out what "security" means in terms of getting his damn driver license renewed. Good for him for speaking up!
Within a month Hyphen's Body Issue (Issue #7) will be out and you'll be able to read about new research on a variety of diseases affecting Asian Americans, especially those associated with poor diet: cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Although all Asian Americans continue to be neglected by the medical research establishment, this article suggests that South Asian Americans may be disproportionately affected by the physical consequences of assimilation.
Have you guys seen this article in the New York Times from two days ago? The Syrian-born naturalized Canadian citizen who was snatched in Kennedy airport and deported to Syria to be tortured because the US gov't decided he was a member of Al Qaeda is suing. The government is now arguing in court that "Foreign citizens who change planes at airports in the United States can legally be seized, detained without charges, deprived of access to a lawyer or the courts, and even denied basic necessities like food." For some reason, it's the last item that gets to me. Denied food? Why would you want to do that?
Back when I was an idealist, living in the boondocks of Japan, I wanted to share the world with my students. Most of them lived in very small towns; the nearest movie theater was 1-2 hours away. McDonalds had yet to arrive. Life is surprisingly traditional there; gender roles are well-defined, formal rituals observed.
Chen Xianzhong is the owner of a Chinese restaurant in Baghdad, and, for some very compelling reasons, has recently made the decision to only offer takeout. After all, he can only afford so many bodyguards.