Saturday, May 22, 2010

Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival

Visual Communications is a non-profit organization that prides itself in being the first in “the nation dedicated to the honest and accurate portrayals of the Asian Pacific American peoples, communities and heritage through the media arts.” (Mission & History)

Their mission is:
Our mission is to promote intercultural understanding through the creation, presentation and support of media works by and about Asian Pacific Americans.

Visual Communications programming include the annual Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. The hit movie Better Luck Tomorrow originally played at the festival when it came out and due to the great results; it ended up being played in the theaters. I went to this years’ Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and watched the movie God is D_ad. After I watched the movie, I stuck around and talked to one of the main actors and producers. But the person I interviewed was director of Visual Communications, Anderson. I paraphrased his answers and I hope you enjoy!

1. What are the goals with the Asian Pacific Film Festival?

Promote the Asian American media and to provide a venue for them.

2. What are some of the struggles?

It is a nonprofit organization so money is an issue a lot of times. There are challenges to raising money; for instance, the filmmakers are in need of money. Access can be limiting.

3. What do you think about the types of roles Asian Pacific Islander Americans play in movies/films?

It is getting better. Although they are still behind, due to technology getting more and more advanced, such as the internet, they are catching up. The Asian audience is different; they are hungry which empowers them to search more. The internet has been a great way to expose the Asian American media.

4. How do you advertise for this festival?

Social media, street teams, flyers, committee organization, and word of mouth.

5. How do you pick which films are going to play?

There is a screening committee, people submit their films, and by building relationships with previous filmmakers.

6. What is some advice you would give to fellow Asian Pacific Islander Americans wanting to work in this area?

Have a creative content for filmmaking. It is different than what it was 10 years ago, so have hope. The industry is more visually oriented. There are new ways to message your company. Be successful. Globalization does exist in this fast pace world.

I really recommend everyone to go out to the film festival!!!

"Mission & History - Default." Home - Default. Web. 29 Apr. 2010. .

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Frozen yogurt has gotten really popular very recently. Although some people think it might just be a fad, I have a feeling it might stick around for a little while.

Yogurtland is Korean owned and it is one of the many yogurt shops that opened up. But Yogurtland stands out than the rest because it has been doing the best (my opinion). Yogurtland is self-serve and offers a variety of different flavors. Although they change their flavors, the most popular ones seem to stick around longer.

Their mission statement is “to bring people together for the most flavorful, natural, and fun frozen yogurt experience while promoting a healthy lifestyle.” (Yogurtland)

Yogurtland is not only busy during the summer, but every season. I interviewed one of the managers in one of the stores in the city of Irvine and paraphrased his answers. Enjoy! =)

Why do you think Yogurtland is doing so well?

It is a new hit like boba.

How do you choose the different flavors?

They see whatever is new and order it. They also pay attention to what sells well and continue ordering the popular flavors. But it is different for every store.

Yogurtland started off really well and was constantly busy with lines out the door,
is it still just as busy?

It is not as busy as when they first started, but again every store is different especially due to location. For their store, it does fluctuate depending on the season.

Compared to other frozen yogurt stores, why do you think Yogurtland does so well?

They were the first ones to come up with the idea of being self-serve.

Although location plays a key factor on the customers, how diverse are the customers of Yogurtland?

It is very diverse. Their customers are predominately Asians; the ratio is 60% Asians and 40% Caucasians.

What is the age range of customers?

All ages

What do you think might be the next “fad”?

Possibly the Gogi Trucks because it is already popular is Los Angeles, but slowly, little by little it might get popular in Orange County.

If you have not tried Yogurtland,I highly recommend it!

Work Cited

Yogurtland The Top Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt Store! Web. 20 Apr. 2010. .

Chinatown in LA

An enclave is “an enclosed territory that is culturally distinct from the foreign territory that surrounds it” (Enclave). Chinatown in Los Angeles is one of the many enclaves that exist. I had to do a project on an enclave and it was on Chinatown in LA.

Chinatown is full of businesses, many that are small family owned businesses. Although from an outside view, it seems very successful due to its busyness with a constant flow of customers, it’s not as it seems. After interviewing the only person that seemed to speak English fluently, I learned a lot about the common challenges they face.

The types of the businesses I focused on were the herb markets, little shops and the little cart full of merchandise. It seemed that those types of business were the most prominent. It was clear that the business is catered towards immigrants and tourist, which is great for them, but limits the different variety of customers. Even though incoming tourists will always stay consistent, Chinatowns is one of many places for tourism.

Chinatown is a place for immigrants to feel at home away from home, so to take that away would eventually take them away as customers. Although catering to immigrants limits their customers, it keeps their customers to stay loyal.

I interviewed a couple different store owners/employees and paraphrased their responses. They wanted to keep their names anonymous, but I hope you enjoy!

At the herb market I asked about their advantages and their challenges.
The market consists of a variety of types of herbs.

They benefit because their local customers buy their products consistently. Their customers benefit by these markets because other markets do not sell a lot of the same products.

Unfortunately they had a couple of challenges, such as: customers hesitate on buying the herbs, language barrier, and their biggest challenge is that the herbs are not FDA approved. Due to Prop 65, they have to put up signage informing their customers that their herbs are not FDA approved causing more hesitation.

The little shops mostly consisted of toys, counterfeit products, plants, jewelry, products for good luck, and tourist types of merchandise. I asked them about their advantages and their challenges.

They also benefit because they have a consistent flow of local customers. Due to Chinatown being a tourist place, they do get a lot of tourists and they are the ones that bring in most of their business.

Their challenges are the language barrier and all the other neighboring stores sell similar if not same products which cause competition within one another.

I also interviewed the small businesses that were frequent were the little carts full of merchandise. It’s just like the small stores but in a cart. The carts usually consisted of plants, jewelry, baby pets, products of good luck, and tourist types of merchandise. I also asked them their advantages and challenges.

They benefit also by having the consistent flow of local and tourist customers.

Their challenges were the language barrier, people always tried to bargain the prices, and the competition with neighboring little shops and the other carts that sold similar merchandise.

Chinatown is a great place to go to shop, eat, and walk around. I recommend people stepping out and visiting different enclaves. It not only is a good reason to go out but a great way to be a little more aware of others’ cultures and heritage.

Work Cited
"Enclave - Definition of Enclave - Synonyms, Pronunciation, Spelling from." Free Dictionary.
Web. 01 May 2010. .

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Rosemary Tran

I would like to present my beautiful friend inside and out, Rosemary Tran! She is one of my girlfriends that I met a couple years ago through mutual friends. One thing we had in common was the blonde hair we both had and still kind of have. Anyways, she is an undergraduate student at UCLA and soon to be alumni!!! She was part of the Miss Vietnam of Southern California. I wanted to interview her because Asian Pacific Islander American pageants have gotten pretty popular. It takes a lot of confidence, intellect, and beauty inside and out. I asked a couple questions and I paraphrased her answers, so I hope you enjoy!!!

1. How do you identify yourself?

“Young Vietnamese woman”, not necessarily Vietnamese American, very recently she has been in touch with her Vietnamese culture and is proud to be a young Vietnamese woman.
She took a couple Asian American Studies classes at UCLA and learned a lot and related to a lot as well. One class that struck out to her was her Vietnamese American Experience class. She learned a lot and it opened her eyes about her parent’s experiences and her own experiences. She started to have a different perspective on her own experience and realized that she grew up with racial profiling and that it had occurred to other people too.

2. How/why did you get involved with the Vietnamese beauty pageant?

It is a scholarship pageant and because her vice president from her high school was involved and only had great things to say about it. She also was at a place in her life where she wanted to do something that she thought she would never do something out of the ordinary.
Although she did not win, she was in the top ten. She wanted to win, not just to win but for the scholarship and to get a chance to go visit Vietnam. By going to Vietnam, she would have been able to meet her relatives and learn more about her culture.

3. What is the goal of the beauty pageant?

In general it is to showcase your confidence and showcase how well you can carry yourself. It is not just about beauty, it is about being a woman and showcasing that confidence. It is also about how well you speak and present yourself with confidence.
The pageant helps portray how comfortable and confident you are. She learned to be more confident about herself. The beauty pageant is not just about being beautiful on the outside, in fact there are requirements before joining.

4. What are some of the requirements?

There is a GPA requirement of a minimum of 2.5
Could not be pregnant or have any children
Between the ages of 16 – 26
Currently enrolled in school or recently graduated within one year
There is a time commitment

5. Did you enjoy it? Would you do it again?

She had a lot of fun and made some best friends.
The experience alone was unforgettable and she said that she would do it all over again, but not another one.

6. What are some advices you can give to fellow young Asian Pacific Islander American

To take an Asian American studies class, pertaining to their particular culture. By taking a class, it allows you to respect your culture that much more and appreciate it.
Growing up she did not feel “cool” being Asian, and she wanted to be like “everybody else”, but then she got to the stage where she’s happy to be different and likes to be set apart from everybody else because that alone is a positive thing.
Another advice is to embrace yourself and your features, your most powerful features and find your most positive features about yourself and love what you got.

I want to thank Rosemary Tran!! <3

Monday, April 26, 2010


Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance, OCAPICA

OCAPICA was established in 1997, it is a nonprofit organization that provides programs for people to get involved in to help the community of Asian Pacific Islanders out through volunteer or internship.

I heard about this program through my school (CSUF) and it grabbed my attention because I know there are not a lot of programs that primarily focus on the Asian Pacific Islander community and I thought it was great that OCAPICA did that.

OCAPICA’s mission statement is:
The Orange County Asian & Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA) was established in 1997 with the mission to build a healthier and stronger community by enhancing the well-being of Asians and Pacific Islanders through inclusive partnerships in the areas of service, education, advocacy, organizing, and research.

The programs that OCAPICA has presently are:


AANCART/Asian American Network for Cancer Awareness, Research and Training

WINCART/Weaving an Islander Network for Cancer Awareness, Research and Training

PATH for Women/Promoting Access to Health for Pacific Islander and Southeast Asian Women




PROJECT FOCUS/For Our Children’s Ultimate Success










I was surprised to see so many programs OCAPICA offers and how they hit important topics for the Asian Pacific Islander community. I love OCAPICA because their goal is to help out the Asian Pacific Islander community. If anyone is interested in expanding their knowledge and experience and want to help out, please get involved with OCAPICA. For more information their website is you can also call them at (714) 636-9095 or email them at their address is 12900 Garden Grove Blvd., Suite 214A Garden Grove, CA 92843

Since I love what OCAPICA does, I talked to one of the workers and asked her some questions about the program and I paraphrased her responses as best as I can.

1. How did OCAPICA get started?

In 1997 the current executive director used to work in the Los Angeles area working with nonprofit organizations and wanted to start one in Orange County focusing on public health and Asian Pacific Islander Americans. So it originally started off with health organizations and then stemmed off to other important issues as well.

2. What are OCAPICA’s goals?

The mission statement (above)

3. Why did you get involved with OCAPICA?

She wanted exposure to a nonprofit organization because her friends were involved in a lot of nonprofit organizations and liked it. She started off with a position in voting in a different field that she saw was open then landed her position with OCAPICA.

4. Why do other people get involved?

She felt that other people got involved because they really do want to help out the community. She feels that everyone is truly passionate about what they do. They see that there still are stereotypes about the Asian Pacific Islanders and how the Model Minority effects people differently. But ultimately, they are just passionate about what they do and want to help out the community.

5. Do you feel that OCAPICA’s goals are being met?

Yes definitely! OCAPICA works with other partnerships (as it states in the mission statement). There is a lot of research involved and data crunching as well that plays an important role.

6. What advice do you have for the young Asian Pacific Islander American generation?

It is important that the younger generation cease opportunities. There is always something they can do to help and to look at the big picture. They can contribute so don’t be closed off to opportunities that arise. By being involved in nonprofit organizations, a lot of different elements come into play and can get good exposure, good networking, and experience. Also by volunteering, they can learn a lot about themselves as well. Stay open-minded and take advantage of opportunities that come.

Those were just some of the questions that I was curious about. OCAPICA is a wonderful nonprofit organization! I hope you enjoyed learning more about them and please get involved and help out!

100 word poem

One of my Asian American Studies class! This is one of the classes that inspired me to start up this blog!

Last semester (Fall 2009, in one of my Asian American Studies class, my professor had everyone write a 100 word poem as a final reflection. The picture of my class is where I had to write this poem. This is my 100 word poem (I went a little over 100 words),I decided to post this in my blog because this is how I felt at the time and I can proudly say this is how I still feel.

Asian American woman is what I consider myself to be
There are many stereotypes about me

But I just laugh and know that all of it isn’t true
People just try to throw me in some category never thinking it’s cruel

This class had taught me to not just sit back
Instead if anything I will come and attack

Not violently of course
That would just make me remorse

My goal in the future is to be a leader
My type of personality is to be a fighter

This class pushes me to fight for my goal
Even if it’s like climbing an impossible pole

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Mayor Sukhee Kang

I got to interview the mayor of Irvine, Mayor Sukhee Kang! He was first elected to the Irvine City Council in 2004 and then reelected in 2006. He is the first Korean-American to serve as a mayor of a major U.S. city. I chose to interview him because I live in Irvine and knew that our mayor was a Korean-American. I feel that he is a great role model and someone to look up to. Although he was born in Korea and came to America in his young adult years, he was still able to work his way up to where he is today. He is an inspiration not only to the Asians in America, but to everyone. The interview responses are paraphrased. I hope you enjoy and find some inspiration, because I sure got inspired.

1. How do you identify yourself?

As a Korean American, Asian American, but more so as a coalition builder. He felt as his job as a mayor was to bring everybody to the table. He is a mayor, a public figure and his job is to make Irvine a better community. He is a well rounded person and feels that his job is to look at the global point of view, the overall picture. Although he is technically in "ethnic terms", Korean American, Asian American, he felt that he can and needs to relate with everyone, no matter what race.

2. In America did you feel limited in any way because you are an Asian American? If so, how and how did you overcome those obstacles?

The limitation is up to the individual. He felt that although there are obstacles, ways to overcome them are by building self-confidence and by working harder than anyone else. This country gives ample opportunities. He did feel that he got treated differently, but respect came from how he presented himself. He feels that respect comes from outside, what you do.

3. Why did you decide to come to America?

His brother lived in San Francisco in 1962 and since the early days, as a youth, he thought about coming to America. He especially wanted to reunite with his brother. Due to coming to America without his other family members, it took a while because he had to finish some obligations. He finished his military duty and also finished college. He got married to his wife Joanne and at the age of 24 came to America.

4. What made you decide to enter public life?

He felt that everyone has an inspiration and his inspiration was the 1992 LA Riot. Watching tv about the LA Riot and learning more about what happened gave him an inspiration due to the lack of community power, that was what got him thinking. So when an opportunity came, he grabbed it and ran with it. He wanted to work behalf on the community. He feels political empowerment and exercising you rights, such as voting is important. In 2002 he had the opportunity to work with the mayor at the time, Ben and built relationships. He worked from the bottom up.

5. Do you feel more pressure to excel because you are a minority in a public position?

"Of course, as a first generation immigrant, I do have a handicap in some ways." He feels that his language isn't perfect so he had to read more and work harder. It's not what you do, but how you do it. He has an internal skill, engaging and connecting with people. He finds a vehicle with others to have a connection, and it's the delivery of the message that is important. Also the sincerity and genuineness is important. He thinks spiritual power is important, and being more sincere because people can respect that and see that. Connecting and adapting to different cultures is a way to communicate with others. Positive leadership and perceiving everything in a positive way is an important factor as well.

6. What future aspirations do you have after you finish your term as a mayor?

Running for reelection, but ultimately it is up to God. He thinks it is important to work hard and prepare himself. He tries not to put a goal, rather see himself grow to prepare himself for the next step. Opportunity will come naturally.

7. Do you have any advice for my generation of young Asian Americans?

A lot! Set goals high, maintain confidence, be proud of your heritage and always try your best. His advice were just simple things such as, maximize potential and identify your special skills. It is important to try to identify your special skills at an early age. Get involved in activities such as working with the community, that way you can find skill sets that you didn't know before. It is important to be a well rounded person and the early stages in life are critical.

That was what I got from the interview. I paraphrased it the best that I can. I hope you enjoyed and find inspirtation to achieve your goals!

I want to say thank you to Mayor Sukhee Kang and Michelle Grettenberg for meeting with me and helping me do this interview.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I would like to introduce to you, Charles Chon, a police officer for University of California Irvine.

I met Officer Charles when I used to work at a Starbucks close to campus. I chose to interview him because I feel that what he does as a living is very respectable and admirable. Also due to him being Asian American, I was curious about some are the questions that were asked with his answers. Enjoy!

How do you identify yourself?
As a Korean born American

Did you ever deal with racism growing up?
I can't recall any specific event of racism toward me personally.

When did you realize you wanted to become a police officer?
In my late teens.

Why did you want to pursue your career?
Curiosity as to what police officers do and also I enjoy watching cop shows/movies.

Do you feel that there are challenges being an Asian American? If so, what are they?
In this day and age, I don't believe that there are challenges of being an Asian American.

Do you feel that there are advantages being an Asian American? If so, what are they?
Being bilingual.

Do you feel that racism still exists?

What kinds of changes do you feel still needs to be done?
I think that we need to change as individuals, meaning that we shouldn't look at people with colored lenses. We need to treat people as we would want to be treated.

What advice would you give to young Asians growing up in here in America?

Keep your culture and heritage alive. Give it your best at everything you do.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Have any you ever felt silenced? Well one of my Asian American Studies professor wrote this poem when she was younger about her experiences growing up. It is very relatable and powerful. Enjoy!

by Tu-Uyen Nguyen

When I was a little girl,
I never said,
I want to grow up and be

What?! Speak up!
I can't hear a word
Of what you're saying
Speak up!

For some,
Speaking comes so easily
Just open their mouths
And words come streaming out

For me,
Voice is like a lonely wanderer
Who rarely ever comes by
You see, to come, my wanderer
Must come through many miles

Miles of silent longing
Miles of silent struggling
Miles of silent tears
Miles of silent years...

So you tell me to speak up
Speak up! You say
You, not knowing the miles
I must trod everyday

How do I speak up?
When I don't even know how to speak down
Speak left or speak right
Speak even a sound

I've known only silent travels
All kinds of silent fears
I am so very tired
Of silence all these years

I don't mean the silence
Of dew drops, fragile
In the glistening dawn
Nor of a slowly falling leaf
Cradled as a boat
By gentle waves of wind
For these things speak of what they are
In their graceful natural beauty

No, I mean the silence
Of a child being told
Not to say how she feels
Why do you always talk so much?
Be quiet! Silence!

The silence of asking for a glass
And not getting one
Because the waitress didn't hear you
And telling yourself it's O.K.
Drinking your soda from the can

The silence of being invisible
In the eyes of those
Who only want to see
Their ready-made image of the Other

The silence of having others name you
Internalizing the wrong pronunciation
Of what you want your name
To be.
Nujen? Ne gyen?
The silence of feeling trapped
In darkness
Between two worlds
Vietnamese hyphen American
American hyphen Vietnamese
Opposite ends of the alphabet
Outer edges of two cultures

The silence of emptiness
A hollow more vast than nothing
A void within history
Of the voices of women unheard

The silence of Lotus Blossoms
And Dragon Ladies
Of virgins and whores
Of battered women

I mean the silence
Of my own voice
Of the stories that are locked
In unspoken words

Of the pains and triumphs of women warriors
My mother, my grandmother, my great–grandmother and her mothers
Yes, I mean the silence of
Not Existing

I've known only silent travels
All kinds of silent fears
My mind angry, disgusted
Of silence all these years

So you tell me to speak up
Speak up! You say
You think I haven't tried?
Day after aching day?

Breaking my silence,
Can't you see?
Not like you break an egg
It's not that easy

Takes more than dew drops
And falling leaves
Takes lots of heartache
With no reprieve

Takes many dreams
And remembering too
Takes my whole being
Takes also you

So open your ears
And listen, take heed
You can begin to hear my voices emerge
In chorus, with others no longer silent
Saying, we will be heard, we will be heard!

Tu-Uyen Nguyen is a doctoral student in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

California State University of Fullerton

A Global Community

Cal State Fullerton Welcomes New International Students