Dreams, Hopes, and Changing the WorldNavigation
In most countries, a man getting killed by a bus would be a tragedy, but quickly forgotten after a few days. In Singapore, this exact event resulted in a riot in Singapore’s vibrant, crowded Little India neighborhood, where low-wage South Asian migrant workers gather on...Read More
The following is a letter I sent to my close friends on New Years and I wanted to share it with the world as well. Happy 2014 everyone!
To my friends, scattered all around the world.
New Year’s is supposed to be a time of joy, festivity. But here I am, in Bangkok, Thailand, alone in a hotel room, looking over the city as a new year enters, into the third decade of my life.
For those who know me well, this isn’t a strange scene. I’m a vagabond, a vagrant, someone who doesn’t know my home anymore because, for most of my life, I’ve been moving. As a child, this type of life pained me incredibly, each move a burden as I struggled to make new friends in new cities and lamented as the old ones from across the country never kept in touch. But then, I kept my anger, fears, and pain inside, locked away from the outside world.Read More
“The undignified mania of trying to adapt and assimilate, which happens among many of my social standing, has always been very repulsive to me.” Albert Einstein
Einstein – a celebrity among Asians – is the most famous scientist in modern history, who used his splendid mind to destroy preconceptions. Among his many contributions to science are the discovery of the photoelectric effect, proof the existence of the atom, and the development of the special and general theories of relativity in early 1900′s Germany. He was also Jewish, a minority in an increasingly intolerant society.Read More
As a incoming Freshmen at UC-Irvine, I was amazed to see that more than half the tables at the student activities fair were ethnic, not interest, organizations. There were three Chinese groups, a Korean students association and a Korean Christian association, and tables for nearly every Asian country, along with a few token groups for the 40% non-Asian student population (Hispanic Students Association, Young Baptists). Upperclassman sitting at each booth were scanning the crowd, looking for their ethnic kin, ready to pounce. They didn’t seem to want to have me join.Read More
Let me start on a lighter note – an anecdote from my Freshman year of College, more than 10 years ago. I was at the In-N-Out across the street from the dorms, in bar-seating facing a window towards the campus, with two Asian-Americans dorm-mates I’d just met. It was orientation week at UC-Irvine, so school hadn’t yet started, but I was excited. Finally, after six years living in the Midwest, I was in California, and, happily, already making friends.
“She definitely Chinese,” said the guy sitting next to me, pointing at a short Asian girl with an oversized backpack, on the sidewalk in front of us.Read More
A genuine choice never feels like a sacrifice. If you act from your heart, instead of feeling constrained, following your values is liberating. When your actions match your morals, the strength you gain inside is, I believe, the most powerful force in the world.
That is why, a few months ago, after years of learning, debating, and struggling, I decided to follow my heart and do what I felt was right. I became a Vegetarian.Read More
Schools across Indonesia are preparing for a huge shift; beginning this next term, English will no longer be a required subject in Government primary schools. The outrage is, justifiably, large and there are fears that this will hurt the ability of Indonesian students to succeed in a globalized world.
This debate reminded me of my original interest in Indonesia. On one hand, there were the environmental riches of the country, the biodiversity, but I was also drawn to the human side. This was the country with the second most languages in the world, with so many religions, ethnicities, and beliefs scattered across its countless islands. I imagined, naturally, that Jakarta was a cultural mixing pot, and wondered if I would be able to tell the difference between Javanese, Sundanese, Madurese if I heard it on the streets.Read More