6 results for month: 04/2013


Are we all Amy Chua?

We all know Amy Chua’s type. We all know the children of the Tiger Mother. Some children do well with such mothers. Look at Olympians, look at champions, look at musicians, athletes, and academics. This is not to defend Amy Chua, or offend Amy Chua. Chinese parents as a people are very strict as to how their children perform academically. In China, it is so extreme that children frequently commit suicide because they cannot achieve standards of academics. They believe that failure is so shameful that it is unbearable. My childhood was different. I was the oldest daughter and I honestly don’t ever remember my parents expecting anything ...

If you are near red, do you turn red?

If you are near red, do you turn red? If you are near white, do you turn white? If you are near black, do you turn black? The perceptions and expectations of your peers, (and whoever surrounds you) color your judgment, expectations, and beliefs far more than you might realize. As a first daughter in China and then Hong Kong, I was raised to be a wife. I was raised to be a good wife and a good mother. I was raised to find a husband and cater to his every need, to take care of our home and our children. But we moved. We moved from Hong Kong to San Francisco and I attended Lowell High School. I shined at Lowell in art and in math. But I felt ...

How to break tradition

A break with tradition As a child in Hong Kong, my expectation was simple: by the time I turned eighteen, I was going to marry a rich old man, he would take care of me, and love me, and I was be safe and secure. That was the way of the world. But I turned eighteen in America. A new world. And I knew that that expectation was ridiculous. That was not the way the world worked. My old world was entirely different. I remember seeing my mother going out with her friends in Hong Kong. They would talk about other ladies and say that someone was someone else’s’ mistress. The mistress had her hair in a bun, wore Chinese dresses and black rim ...

It was a different time.

A different time My father bought me that beautiful green party dress because of a dance in China Town. It was organized as a student dance, primarily for Berkeley and Stanford men, in a huge theatre. My father took me to the dance, and sat in the last row of seats. He sat for nearly three hours. I remember dancing with dozens of college men and being too shy to really speak to them. One of them asked for my phone number, and I remember whispering it to him. Needless to say, we left early. In the meantime, my mother had been teaching me to do housework. My parents were raising me to be a good housewife, a good mother, a good wife. I wasn’t ...

The most important thing is not to win…

To quote Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Movement, " The most important thing is not to win, but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not triumph , but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well."

Fashioning a life

Fashion. Am I dating myself if I reminisce about mohair suits? I have a distinct memory of a particular white mohair suit. But I have many memories of clothing and aesthetic. Since I studied art in college, artistry has always played a significant role in my life. I live for the beauty, the color, and the light. I notice what people wear, and how they wear it. When I was 13, my father brought home a sewing machine. I spent my allowance on fabric and I learned to sew. No one had any money at the time and we all worked together: a friend taught me how to do zippers, another friend showed me where to buy cheap fabrics. And soon enough, I was ...