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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Your Sebae Honors Me - Dear Daniel Saturday

It's Saturday! Time for a Dear Daniel letter

Korean Family Day

Dear Daniel

Words can't describe how I felt today when I saw you Sebae (Korean New Year's bow to parents). When I planned on celebrating family day for the Korean New Year, I just wanted to share one more thing about Korean culture with you. It's my love for you that inspired me to start attending events at the Korea Society. It's my love for you that helps me ignore the drama I get from friends and family for sharing your culture with you. It's my love for you that strengthens me when I have to be the only black mother in a room of Asian moms. It's always about my love for you....

Korean Family Day

Little did I know that today I would get that love back in an unexpected way. When we went to the Sebae section it was just about taking a photo and learning about the tradition. When the man sitting there offered to teach you how to bow, I was surprised. Honestly I didn't think you'd let him teach you. Then when you tried to get away by squirming around I figure that was the end of it. But for some reason that only you know, you changed your mind.

Korean Family DayKorean Family Day

As the women, also sitting there, instructed me to take off my shoes and sit down, the man moved you into position. As I watched you kneel down and figure out what to do, my heart ache with the joy of it. As your little body bowed down I nearly cried. I chose to cheer and praise you instead for being such a good son. In a room filled with Korean's my blasian son gave me honor as his black mother.

I'm not sure what the people in the room thought about us and to be honest I dont really care. Because in that one moment all the stress, fears, and tears that I've had to deal with from the moment I saw those two pink lines didn't matter. All that mattered is a mothers love for her son was being returned and honored with that one simple gesture of bowing. Happy Korean New Year my son.

Love you always,
Your Umma

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Celebrating Family Day for Korean New Year

[tweetmeme source="euphorialuv" only_single=false]

Today we went to celebrate Korean New Year’s Day (Solla) at The Korea Society. All races of children, parents, and grandparents were welcome to sample traditional rice cakes (Ttok), practice the New Year's bow (Sebae), and watch a short film screening on the traditional ancestral ceremony Ch'arye, the holding of an ancestor-memorial service on festive days, with food and wine offered in sacrifice to the ancestral tablet. The day was also filled with traditional games and activities.
Korean Family DayKorean Family Day

The first activity was hearing the story of the Master Calligrapher. Some children were dressed in their Hanbok's and looked so colorful. I tried sitting and hearing the whole story but my son was soon on to the next activity.
Korean Family DayKorean Family Day

We stopped by the food table to get rice cakes (Ttok) and Korean New Year drinks like Shik'e (rice punch) and Sujonggwa (cinnamon flavoured persimmon punch). Sadly all the race cakes were gone so my son had the Sujonggwa while I enjoyed the Shik'e.
Korean Family DayKorean Family Day

As we took a break to enjoy our drinks I looked around to see what other types of families came to celebrate. While I did see another black family and some white/asian families it was mostly asian families attending. It was nice to see all the Halmeoni's (Grandma's) sitting in the corner watching the kids run around.
Korean Family DayKorean Family Day

Our next stop was the Minhwa coloring table. Minhwa is a simple folk art style of painting on paper or canvas. Typical subjects include tigers (representing power) and cranes (representing long life). When asked to choose which animal he wanted to color my son chose the tiger, which is my Chinese zodiac sign. Smart boy!
Korean Family DayKorean Family Day

Korean Family DayKorean Family Day

From there we wandered over to the Sebae section where things got really interesting. When I asked what the pretty floor mats were about, the guy there explained that it was for bowing. He then asked if I wanted him to show my son how. I didn't think it would work since Daniel was busy trying to climb the stage instead of sitting on the mats. But the guy was patient and explained to Daniel what to do. When it seemed Daniel wanted to run away, he sat him down and gave him some sort of mini massage. I think he took a liking to Daniel and wanted to encourage him.

Meanwhile the women on the other side instructed me to take off my shoes and sit on the mat. Seems the guy taught the boys and the women taught the girls. But when I asked her to teach me she said, you don't bow. LOL. As I sat down I felt so weird but as I watched my son finally let the guy show him how to bow and show respect.   I was so proud of him.  He's a good son.
Korean Family DayKorean Family Day

Korean Family DayKorean Family Day

After that we went to play Yut nori, a Korean board game traditionally played on New Year’s Day. My son liked seeing the sticks being thrown but he's still to young to figure out how to move the token (Mals). Then we went to Yon Mandulgi (Kite making) but it was to crowded so we went to make a Chegi (sorta a hacky-sack) that suppose to be kicked.

One of the guys showed us how to kick a Chegi using the side of the feet. He was very good at it. Then it was time for the children to learn how to kick so they can enter the contest later. Daniel tried to kick his Chegi but he still needs to work on his kick ;)

We had a great day at the Korea Society and I'm glad they host events that are open to anyone who wants to learn more about Korean culture.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New York Stock Exchange - Wordless Wednesday

New York Stock Exchange

Sightseeing by the New York Stock Exchange.

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story of a Black Mother of a Blasian Son

I remember when I first heard about Tiffany Rubin, a black women who went to Korean to get back her kidnapped blasian son. I was floored on so many levels. Since I had just become a new mother, hearing that a mother had to kidnap back her son was just astonishing to me. But as I looked at my own son, I understood Tiffany's determination to get her son back no matter what it took.

Tiffany Rubin MovieTiffany Rubin blasian son

Then I started thinking on the other details of the story. Did the father really kidnap his son into Korean? And the Korean government was allowing it? Umm, didn't anyone think it was a bit strange this blasian kid was walking around without his mother? Clearly this wasn't an issue from the news articles I read.

While we all know the story ends on a happy note with Tiffany getting her son back to USA, I always wondered how things really went down...well now I don't have to wonder anymore. The Tiffany Rubin story has been made into a MOVIE with all the cloak and dagger details! Major thanks to Maria Holt for the 411

Taraji P. Henson stars as Tiffany Rubin in Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story on Lifetime. Based on a true story, this film shows the determination of one mother to get her child back after being abducted and taken out of the country.
Upcoming Airdates: Mon Jan 31 at 9 PM, Sat Feb 5 at 9 PM
Oh, you have no idea how excited I am *fans myself to keep from fainting* FINALLY! A black mother with a blasian child will have her story broadcasting to thousands. This is a major step in the ongoing struggle to get awareness for my asian and black community. More important it's a major step is showing a black mothers love for her child and the lengths she will go to protect and keep him safe.

The image of black mother isn't always shown as powerful on a positive, enduring, loving and nurturing slant so I'm excited that someone somewhere was touched by Tiffany's story and found a way to share it on a major network to a broader audience. *grabs a box tissue*

I have to send a special thanks for Taraji P. Henson for once again doing her thing and giving an image of a black mother connected to the asian community. Loved her in The Karate Kid remake. I wonder if she's willing to play me in a movie version of Euphoria Luv : building a blasian community while trying to take over the world. Just putting it out there :)

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

NYC #snOMG 2011 - Wordless Wednesday

harlem snowpocalypse

My son is happy we survived the latest snow storm to hit our Harlem neighborhood.

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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Moms of Blasians playdate for the 2011 New Year

blasian playdate Our first 2011 New Year activity was to go on a play date. But this was a special play date since it would be with other blasian children. A few months back I meet Nicky who's a Japanese mom with 2 blasian boys. Our meeting was interesting because we both noticed the kids before we each other. LOL. Her son was rocking cornrows in his hair and my son was just...well...just being his usual friendly self. After confirming that we both had kids that were half asian and black, we chatted a bit, exchange numbers and made plans for a play date.

We texted and planned but for different reasons didn't get together. Recently we bummed into each other again last week and we promised to have that play date for sure this time. After some more texting we settled on a new year play date. She mentioned inviting the other moms with blasian kids in the area she knew. I thought that was funny since I've seen these moms and their kids but reaching out to them hasn't worked out so far. I think they don't trust that I'm really my son mom. LOL

blasian playdateblasian playdate

After meeting Nicky, the other moms and their kids at the playground I let my son run wild and free. Daniel soon became another little boy running around in the snow with his friends. It was amazing to see him blend in. The other boys looked just like him with caramel skin tones, asian eyes, and semi curly blasian hair that didn't know which race to follow. Some hair were braided, some curly while others were wavy.

There was no weirdness about him looking asian, or that his mom looked different or any of that other stuff I have to deal with when he plays with monracial kids at the playground. They played with him as one of their own *tear*

blasian playdateblasian playdate

It's important to me that Daniel sees other families and children like himself. From the start I want him to know and understand that he's not alone. That he is part of a larger community with others that look just like he does and it's normal and beautiful.

While the other moms weren't black, nor knew any other black women with blasian children in our area ( you know I asked them), they were accepting of me and Daniel. Well in truth the other two Japanese moms were still wary but not in a offensive way. One mom shared her sugar snap peas snacks with us. This has to be a Japanese thing. The other mom offered to babysit Daniel any time I needed break.

But it was Nicky who was most out going. We talked about daycare's, how to get our kids into the Harlem little league and general moms stuff like teaching our kids to speak an asian language. Nicky's eldest son understands Japanese but doesn't show an interest in speaking it like the other moms children. Of the three I'd say her and I had a better chance for forming a deeper bond beyond our kids.

blasian playdateblasian playdate
blasian playdateblasian playdate

As I stood with the mothers watching our kids make a mess in the snow, I felt and thought many things. The first thought was that this was the way it should be. That feeling of having a place to "fitt in" is why I started building the Euphoria Luv community. While there are tons of mixed race and interracial websites, groups, etc I find their not always as inclusive or racially educated as I hoped.

Since I continue to build my own community connections online and in real life, today Daniel and I had a chance to started the new year surrounded by acceptance and fun. What a great way to start our 2011 New Year.

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