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Naomi Osaka, a New Governor and Me

When we moved back to California two years later, I entered fourth grade and suddenly, I was the Asian kid. Ching chong chang chong ching! boys chanted on the playground, tugging at the corners of their eyes. Classmates scrunched their noses at the onigiri — rice balls wrapped in dried seaweed — that my mother packed in my lunch bag. When our teacher mentioned Japan during a social studies lesson, every head in the class swiveled to stare at me.

Here we are known as hafu, which comes from the English word half, and our existence challenges the strain in Japanese society that conflates national identity with pure-blooded ethnicity.

Ms. Osaka delivered the best possible reply: I’m just me.

When I have been reserved or less assertive than people think a situation calls for, they have attributed it to my Japanese side.

when colleagues have mistaken me for another Asian employee in the newsroom, I realize some people still instinctively want to pigeonhole me as one, but not both.
japan  japanese  identity  gaijin  anecdote  society  self  conflict  from instapaper
8 weeks ago by aries1988
The Korean Health Club: A Cultural Trial by Fire, Ice, and Nakedness – BLARB
When I brought up the hot tub conversation later with Garam’s family, they laughed and assured me that he must have said “mo-shid-da” (멋있다) , meaning “handsome,” a difference of just one vowel, easy to mishear without context. A whole lot better than “delicious,” I thought, but still a weird thing to say in the hot tub.

I reflected in disbelief on the fact I had survived, and to a degree enjoyed, this wonderful and completely embarrassing experience, and left the helseu with my body clean — and my privacy violated as never before.
fun  korea  gym  gaijin  bath  bain 
9 weeks ago by aries1988
Korean 101 (or, How to Win Over Your Girlfriend in a Semester or Less) – BLARB
Like many Asian women in their homelands or abroad, Garam spoke to her mother on the phone daily, which let me learn about her family by osmosis.
learn  korean  usa  gaijin  family 
9 weeks ago by aries1988
Meeting Her Parents, Meeting Her Country: an American's Taste of Korea
Garam returned with a triangle-shaped, seaweed-wrapped rice ball, and a short, rotund beverage container full of banana-flavored milk. She handed me the ball and explained how to open it: you were supposed to pull the tab marked “1” on the the back of the plastic wrapper which bisected the triangle, then you gently tugged on the corner marked “2” to remove half of the plastic wrapper, pulling next on the corner marked “3” to remove the rest of the wrapper.

Pleased with my triangular snack, I tried the banana milk, which made me question why it had taken me until the age of 24 to discover such a taste halfway around the world from my native country.
gaijin  korea  anecdote  food  plane  from instapaper
10 weeks ago by aries1988
History of Japan : Episode 248 - Family Matters
This week we take on the history of the von Siebold family -- father Philip Franz, son Alexander, and daughter Kusumoto Ine. How does the story of this unusual family fit in to the story of 19th century Japan?
family  japanese  japan  netherlands  history  medicine  study  gaijin 
10 weeks ago by aries1988
French windows: an expat’s view of Paris

The most striking thing about the city, of course, is the people who live here. After almost two years here I’ve concluded that three terms sum up the Parisian experience like no other: la terrasse, faire le pont and la rentrée.

If in London you’re defined by where you work and in New York you’re defined by how much you earn, in Paris you’re defined by your ability to converse on books, philosophy or art. The French can discuss ideas for hours but equally can respond to almost any question — how was Saint-Tropez? Will Macron manage to reform France? How will the feud over [late rock star] Johnny Hallyday’s inheritance conclude? — with a shrug of their shoulders and two words: c’est compliqué.

in France there are 11 jours fériés or public holidays each year. If a férié falls on a Tuesday, you skip work on Monday as well, and make a bridge from the weekend. This is such a national pastime that there is even a section dedicated to le pont on the French public administration website.

€1m A four-bedroom duplex apartment in the loft of a recent building in the 20th arrondissement near Père Lachaise

€2m A three-bedroom apartment in the 2nd arrondissement overlooking the Places des Victoires

€5.9m A four-bedroom 294 square metre apartment at Trocadéro in the 16th arrondissement, south-facing with views of the Seine and the Eiffel Tower
temoignage  paris  british  français  life  gaijin  from instapaper
10 weeks ago by aries1988
马里兰没有北京烤鸭店_易速利_新浪博客
不管小说中或者实际生活中,华人仍然基本自成体系。我们的生活戏剧中不太需要白人、黑人、印度人、犹太人、拉丁人扮演重要角色,我们只是上下班经过美国。我们的生存状态或许就跟《纽约时报》本周发表的书评标题一样,“Neither Here Nor There”。他乡难成故乡,故乡已成他乡。
usa  gaijin  chinese  sigh 
july 2018 by aries1988
Bill Callahan
Bill Callahan teaches identity politics and politics of culture at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). His recent work explores the hopes…
documentary  china  gaijin  1960s 
may 2018 by aries1988
Ecarts segmentaux les plus fréquents - Enseignement/Apprentissage de la Prononciation du Français
Les consonnes
[p], [t], [k], [b], [d], [g]
Les sourdes ne sont pas distinguées des sonores (chinois, allemands,…)
list  français  gaijin  pronunciation 
may 2018 by aries1988
Kazuo Ishiguro - Nobel Lecture: My Twentieth Century Evening – and Other Small Breakthroughs
As the only foreign boy in the neighbourhood, a kind of local fame followed me around. Other children knew who I was before I met them. Adults who were total strangers to me sometimes addressed me by name in the street or in the local store.

When I look back to this period, and remember it was less than twenty years from the end of a world war in which the Japanese had been their bitter enemies, I'm amazed by the openness and instinctive generosity with which our family was accepted by this ordinary English community. The affection, respect and curiosity I retain to this day for that generation of Britons who came through the Second World War, and built a remarkable new welfare state in its aftermath, derive significantly from my personal experiences from those years.
japan  immigration  gaijin  story  childhood  children  uk  literature  writer  memory  politics  today  world  human  future  manifesto 
february 2018 by aries1988
异乡人——雷立柏:东西方的对话不只有手机和高铁,还有孔子和柏拉图|一周精选|深度|异乡人|端传媒 Initium Media
“中国古代的理性文明都遇到了天花板,他们的科学研究没有连续起来,”雷立柏说,“反倒是黑暗的欧洲中世纪里,天文学、物理学、数学、逻辑学和工程学都和神学一起发展起来了,产生了哥白尼和伽利略这样的人。宗教的强大并没有阻碍科学的发展,它不是科学的敌人,反倒是朋友。”
gaijin  beijing  latin  language  study  greek  science  history 
february 2018 by aries1988
異鄉人——馬立安:在深圳住了二十多年的美國人類學家,為什麼執迷城中村?|端傳媒 Initium Media
「沒有城中村就沒有深圳。」二十餘年來,她看到「深圳奇蹟」背後的歷史,亦發起對命運選擇的追問。
shenzhen  story  gaijin  american 
january 2018 by aries1988
Memories of Thanksgivings Abroad and In Between

I remember tweeting into the void about Brussels sprouts and cranberry sauce on the morning of my first Thanksgiving abroad. Nobody who might have cared was up yet.

In it, she writes about realizing, after becoming a foreign correspondent, that the picture she had of America hadn’t been complete—that one hadn’t seen the whole picture of America until one had left the national borders, because the whole picture included foreign interventions, cultural exports, and various modes of thought that were invisible at home.

The agonizing particulars of the Presidential race, which were doubly nerve-wracking to watch from afar, had been hard to explain to inquisitive Spaniards. I craved American company—to be able to dish and spar with some compatriots in the know. So when a group of expats invited me to dinner, I accepted, bringing a bottle of Rioja.

All of these celebrations offered, and birds ritually consumed, have led me to a single, significant conclusion: If it’s true, as my colleague Calvin Trillin long ago suggested, that everything exotic that isn’t chicken tastes like chicken—rattlesnake, ostrich, etc.—the one thing that can be said for certain, on Thanksgiving, is that no matter what you do to it, a turkey will always taste like a turkey.
gaijin  expat  home  festival  nostalgia  work  paris  ukraine  stans  turkey  food  eating  story  from instapaper
november 2017 by aries1988
异乡人—胡清心:香港,我和你,在最美好的时间点相遇|异乡人|深度|端传媒 Initium Media
这是我第一次直观地明白了何为一国,在中央集权大一统的秩序之下,竟可以将地理的自然分布与地域之间的文化差异几近抹杀,统统都打造成一个模样。北方城市与南方城市、沿海城市与内陆城市、平原城市与高原城市……国家教育我们为中国的地大物博、文化源远流长与丰富而自豪,确实无论是祖源、语言还是风俗之多样性,一直是国人津津乐道的。然而,却少有人意识到,这些多样性在党国深入基层的控制与集体主义思想这个大背景下,就像蛋糕上的裱花,主菜旁的配菜,不过是用来装点门面的细枝末节。只有经过比较,我才体会到,当你踏入大多数中国城市,首先感到的并不是本地的文化特色,而是社会主义中国的无处不在。
story  gaijin  hongkong  student  city  china 
november 2017 by aries1988
异乡人——三浦研一:在中国演了十八年“日本鬼子”的日本人|一周精选|异乡人|深度|端传媒 Initium Media
有一位陕西农村的老人家让他很意外。那是2006年他拍电影《围剿》的时候,三浦研一出演日本军官河野队长,没想到村子里一位近80岁的老人突然对他说出了日语。“好几十年没说了,村里人都不知道他会说日语。他知道我是日本人,就告诉我说这边有个山,上面原来有砲台,有炮兵。炮兵是只针对天上飞机的,陆地上和村民交情都非常好,一起玩。村子里有婚礼,日军都会来参加,还一起喝酒,他就是这么学的日语。”

如果有孩子,他还是会让孩子在日本,“要让他有自由的空间,独立思考”。
gaijin  story 
november 2017 by aries1988

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