Tag Archives: asian

Do We Really Need to Shop Below Ground?

Half the world’s fourteen self-made female billionaires have struck it rich on China’s mainland.  That’s according to Forbes Magazine.

(I love Hong Kong, but how about this street for sensory overload?)

They include the world’s richest self-made woman, Wu Yajun, who took her company, Longfor Properties, public. Real estate does it every time, in the business of fortune. Then there’s Hong Kong entrepreneur Chu Lam Yiu, who peddles ingredients to China’s tobacco companies.

Xiu Li Hawken, a U.K. citizen, is also on the list. She runs below ground shopping centers in China. Hawken is one of three women who debuts on this year’s billionaire’s list.

The last place in the world I’d want to be, if underground, is in a shopping center. As much as I love to shop, in all that over-stimulation of commerce, at least sunlight should enhance the experience. Continue reading

Got mutt?

Who’s a mutt?

Say it loud, you’re a mutt and …what?

Here’s a partial  list of well know multi-raced people. Source: web, library, and word-on-the-street research.

Drop a comment here to add what and whom you know.

Before we start: President Barack Obama, father  from Kenya, mother has Irish roots

1. Aleksandr Pushkin, Russian poet, 7/8 Russian, 1/8 Ethiopian

2. Alexander Hamilton, mixed-race mother, Scottish father

3. Alicia Keyssinger, biracial

4. Amerie Rogers, singer/actress Korean, African American

5. Ann Curry, newscaster Japanese, Irish

6. Apolo Anton Ohno, Olympic speed skater, Japanese, Caucasian

7. Ben Kingsley, actor, Russian, Jewish and Indian descent

8. Ben Leber, NFL player (Minnesota Vikings), Japanese, Caucasian

9. Brandon Lee, martial artist/actor, Chinese, German, Swedish

10. Brian Ching, MLS player (San Jose Earthquakes), Chinese, Caucasian

11. Bruce Lee, martial artist/actor/philosopher, Chinese, German

12. Chad Morton NFL player (NY Giants), Japanese, African-American

13. Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, part black Moorish through the Portuguese royal family

14. Chuck Norris, actor, Caucasian mother and Cherokee father.

15. Cindy Burbridge, Miss Thailand 1996 Thai, British, Indian

16. Cree Summer, voice actress, Cree mother and Canadian father

17. Danny Graves, MLB player, Vietnamese, Caucasian

18. Dave Bautista, wrestler, Filipino, Greek

19. Dave Roberts, MLB player, Japanese, African-American

20. Dean Cain, actor, Japanese, French and Welsh

21. Derek Jeterbaseball star, black father and white mother

22. Devon Aoki, actress/model, Japanese, British, German

23. Dorothy Dandridge, actress, Jamaican, Mexican, Native American, Black, Caucasian

24. Dwayne Johnson (aka “The Rock”) actorprofessional wrestlerSamoan mother, black father

25. Eartha Kitt, singer, black Cherokee mother and white father

26. Eddie Van Halen, musician, Dutch, Indonesian

27. Enrique Iglesias, singer, Filipino, Spanish

28. Essie Mae Washington-Williams, oldest daughter of the late United States Senator Strom Thurmond and Carrie Butler, an African-American household servant of the Thurmond family.

29. Françoise Yip, actress/model, Chinese, French-Canadian

30. Giancarlo Esposito, actor, black mother and Italian father

31. Gloria Reuben, actress, black mother and white father

32. Greg Louganis, athlete, Samoan biological father and Swedish biological mother

33. Halle Berry, actress, has a Caucasian Mother and a black Father.

34. Hines Ward, NFL player, Korean, African-American

35. Iain Duncan Smith, British politician, 7/8 European, 1/8 Japanese

36. Jaime Ong, actress/model Chinese, Australian

37. Jane March , actress/model Chinese, British, Spanish

38. Jasmine Guy, actress, black father and white mother

39. Jaye Davidson, actor, English mother and Ghanian father

40. Jennifer Bealsactress, black father and white mother

41. Jennifer Tilly and Meg Tilly, actresses, Chinese and Caucasian Canadian

42. Jerome Williams MLB player, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Hawaiian, Spanish, African-American, British

43. Jodie Ann Patterson, Playboy Playmate, Indonesian, British, Swiss

44. Johnny Damon, MLB player, Thai, British

45. Karen Mok, actress/singer, Chinese, German, Persian, Welsh

46. Kate Beckinsale, actress, BurmeseEnglish

47. Keanu Reeves, actor, Chinese, Hawaiian, British

48. Keisha Castle-HughesMaori and Pakeha

49. Kelly Hu, actress/model, Chinese, Hawaiian, British

50. Kiana Tom, fitness trainer/model, Chinese, Hawaiian, Irish

51. Kristen Kruek, actress, Indonesian-Chinese, Dutch

52. Lenny KravitzsingerJewish father, black mother

53. Lisa Bonet, actress, Half Jewish, half black

54. Lola Corwin, Playboy playmate/model, Korean, Irish

55. Lou Diamond Phillips, actor, Chinese, Filipino, Hawaiian, Cherokee, Scottish, Irish, Spanish

56. Maggie Quigley, actress/model, Vietnamese, Irish

57. Malcolm Gladwell, writer, Half English, half Jamaican

58. Marc Dasacos, martial artist/actor, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Spanish, Irish

59. Mariah Carey, singer, black Venezuelan father, Irish mother

60. Mario Van Peebles, actor, black father and German mother

61. Mark-Paul Gosselaar, actor, Dutch, Indonesian

62. Maya Rudolph, comedian, black mother and white father daughter of the soul singer Minnie Riperton and Jewish/American composer/songwriter Richard Rudolph

63. Michelle Branch, musician, IndonesianDutchFrench and Irish

64. Mike Shinoda, musician (Linkin Park), Japanese, Russian

65. Namie Amuro, singer, Japanese, Italian

66. Naomi Campbell, model, Chinese, Jamaican

67. Noel Jones, first British ambassador from an ethnic minority, Anglo-Indian

68. Norah Jones, musician, Indian father, white mother

69. Olivia Lufkin, singer, Japanese, Caucasian

70. Patrick JohnsonAustralian sprinter, white father, Australian Aborigine mother

71. Paul Kariyaice hockey star, Japanese, Caucasian Canadian

72. Phoebe Cates, actress, Filipina, Russian-Jewish

73. Rachael Yamagata, singer, Japanese, Italian, German

74. Rae Dawn Chong, actress, Chinese, Caucasian Canadian, black

75. Rain Pryor, actress, daughter of Richard Pryor and Jewish mother

76. Rashida Jones and Kidida Jones, daughters of Quincy Jones and Peggy Lipton

77. Rob Schneider, comedian/actor, Filipino, German

78. Ron Darling, baseball player, Chinese, Hawaiian, Caucasian

79. Rosario Dawson, actress, Puerto Rican, Black, Cuban, Irish and Native American

80. Russell Wong, actor, Chinese, Dutch

81. Sandrine Holt, actress/model, Chinese, French

82. Sean Lennon, musician, English, Japanese

83. Shannon Lee, martial artist/actress, Chinese, German, Swedish

84. Slash (aka Saul Hudson), Guns and Roses musician, Black American and white

85. Soledad O’Brien, television personality, Irish/Australian father, Black/Cuban mother

86. Suzanne Malveaux, news reporter, AfricanSpanish, and French descent

87. Tata Young, singer, Thai, Caucasian

88. Thandie Newton, actress, British father and Zimbabwean mother

89. Tia and Tamara Mowry, actresses, black mother and white father

90. Tia Carrere, actress, FilipinoChinese and Spanish

91. Tiger Woods, professional golferAfricanAsianNative American, and Caucasian (mother is Thai, father is Black American)

92. Tommy Chong, comedian, Chinese, Caucasian Canadian

93. Tyson Beckford, model, Chinese, Jamaican

94. Vin Diesel, actor, black, Italian

95. Yul Brenner, actor, Mongolian, Russian, Swiss

96. Christina Aguilera: singer, Ecuadorian and Irish

97. Jessica Alba: actress, French Canadian, Danish and Mexican American

98. Taylor Lautner: actor, French, Dutch, German,and Native American (specifically Odawa and Potawatomi)

99. Benjamin Bratt: actor, Peruvian, English and German


Jewish/Asian fusion . . . more questions than answers

My March 4th  post about the Jewish/Asian connection produced 100’s of inquiring emails and exploring minds. Or is it inquiring minds and exploring emails?

While some commented on my blog here, I received more emails and responses from other blogs. Most everyone pointed to several common themes:

  • No one seems to know the why and what about Jewish men and Asian women.
  • There’s no “proof” or “evidence” of the affinity, but many acknowledge it exists.
  • Some people are rankled by the topic. Some downright furious; not with my post, but with the relationship between Jews and Asians in general. I’ll leave this alone because these people always turned their fury into comments based on sexism, racism or anti-Semitism. They don’t deserve my attention, or your time.

But what does earn some interesting attention is the Asian/Jewish food fusion. I’d rather take the connection past the romantic links — since it is what it is, and just exists and who knows why — and elevate the union to something we all know about. Food! fortune-cookie

Specifically, Chinese food and Jews. Or the Chinese and Jewish foods. Now we’re talking “mutty” hybrid action!

This interesting Los Angeles Times article by Ching-Ching Ni shows us something that few know about: China is now the world’s fastest-growing producer of kosher-certified food. More than 500 Chinese factories produce the approved products. So the Chinese have gone Kosher!

My kids know some about that, though, Chinese girls in a Jewish day school. Mutty? Sort of, but then look who they have for a mother. It’s got to be challenging having a mutt for a mother.

You’d be surprised at how many of my daughters’ friends thought we knew Yao Ming when we first attended their school (not that I wouldn’t want to, but yikes…I’m just 5’3″; I’d need a megaphone to talk to the guy.) It was cute: the schoolmates were curious, we were wondering and juggling how to fit in, and in the end, it all worked out. In fact, we’re all the better for the mixities of this particular Asian/Jewish connection.

But knowing Yao Ming? All Chinese know each other, right? And every Jew is related? Yeah, right. Well, the way I look at it, when everything is stripped away, everyone is from one tribe anyway.

Back to the kosher, just to clarify, keeping kosher is following the Jewish dietary laws of kashrut, a way to elevate the act of eating from mundance to holy.

Even Jennifer 8. Lee, in her book The Fortune Cookie Chronicles attests to this intriguing phenomenon of Jews/Chinese and added to that, the food connection.

The Jewish Buddhist dialogue is interesting too. Sylvia Boorstein speaks to the spiritual ties in her book, That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Buddhist: On Being a Faithful Jew and a Passionate Buddhist.

But back to the dating and relationships. If food is really the way to a man’s … and a woman’s heart, then does that offer an answer to my original curiosity on my earlier post about Jewish men/Asian women? Is food the answer to, “What’s with the Jewish man/Asian woman thing?”

I think it’s much more complex. But for now, I like explaining it with the food connection. I’m not the only one thinking this. Genghis Cohen restaurant in New York and Los Angeles is proof that I’m not making this up. The name says it all.


Think . . .

  • Vegetable fried knish (skip pork fried)
  • Sweet and sour matzo ball soup
  • Chopped liver with bean sprouts
  • Teriyaki gefilte fish
  • Pan fried luxion kugel (with cherry sauce)

Not that these are necessarily on their menu, but they’re fun, and in my imagination.

Have any more mutty yummy Jewish Chinese food combos? What about Japanese Jewish food? Drop a comment here.

Thought for the day: If it feels like just when you’ve learned all the answers, someone changed all the questions…you’re right! The axiom, “the more we know, the more we know we don’t know” is true. Live in the question, and don’t get too stubborn about your answers. Sometimes questions are the answers.

A Good Case for Mutts Anonymous

Take this case of mutt anxiety. What do you do if one year the Chinese New Year, which lasts for several weeks and typically falls in February, occurs in the month of March. What are you going to do?

No big deal, you say. Well, it is if you also observe Passover and instead of April, that same year it’s in March and shares the same week with the Chinese New Year. What are you going to do? You have the whole first week of the Chinese New Year booked with festivities. And that’s precisely when the first night of Passover falls and your family gathers for their huge family meal, the Seder, and you’re the only family member with young children and your eight-year-old recites the traditional questions in Hebrew.

You can’t exactly record a CD of her, and have her Hebrew piped in at just the right moment. She’s been practicing for weeks, so what can you do? And she’s so bright, she’s even on her way to knowing her whole Torah portion for her Mutt Mitzvah.

No, what you do is resent the heck out of the situation, that your Jewish mother seduced her Chinese tutor (whose father was a Puerto Rican Swede) and they got married, and all your life both your parents insisted you honor your roots.


All of them.

Thanks a lot.3180426WC014_passover

Thought for the day: Grow to accept, and even like, the ways you are different from your friends and family.

Hands Off My Genetics

Obama aspired to a place which America is still striving to reach. In the 2004 Democractic Convention, he said, “there is not a black America and a white America…there’s the United States of America.”  In truth, there is a color coded America, as he acknowledged in his remarkable speech on race http://preview.tinyurl.com/nyt-obama-on-race.

We’re each a sum our parts, as Obama said, and so is this country. But can we choose which part we want to dominate, as a nation or as individuals? What’s with the controversy and chatter about which race biracial or multiracial persons choose to claim as race? Is it only about perception, what others see? What if Tiger wanted to say he’s Thai, why not? Would others “allow” that? What if Obama referred to himself as biracial instead of Black? Why does it matter to anyone but the “self?”

To those who have some stake in what others call themselves, I say, leave our genetic make-up alone! genesjpg

And meanwhile, though the U.S is still color coded, we’re on our way to a better day.

Thought for the day: The future comes in steps, and never all at once. But every step of the way, keep in mind that freedom ends when we take it from others.

Hybrids of all kinds…there’s even diversity in Muttdom.

Don’t dishearten if you’re white, though, and not a multiracial mutt. There’re all kinds of mutts beyond our multiracial category. What about professional mutts, political mutts, mother mutts, sexual identity mutts? Even more.

In the meantime, noodle about this. What about these hybrids? Did you know there’s coffee-flavored tea?coffeeteacup

Although I’ve never had it (I’m a tea drinker), coffee-flavored tea is a black tea, high in caffeine, and from the Fujian Province on the coast of southeastern China. I’ve seen it described as:

“Full of body with floral and light sweet flavor; the aroma of coffee with the health benefits of tea.”

So coffee/tea is another mutt in its own right. And speaking of the Fujian Province, this, too, is in the global mutt realm. Fujian has been split between two separate governments. The majority of Fujian province has been governed by the People’s Republic of China (PRC), while a number of offshore islands have been governed by the Republic of China (ROC) government in Taiwan. The PRC and ROC have each maintained its own respective Fujian provincial government to administer the portions that it controls (from wikipedia).

Two separate governments? That’s a mutt province if I ever heard of one. What if I committed one single crime in the Fujian Province, a horrendous one, and was given a life sentence. Would I have to serve my life (my this-life-on-earth) sentence in PRC, and then my after-life sentence in ROC?

Thought for the day: If you want to improve the world, it’s best to start with your own life. And when you jump into water, better make sure you can swim.

And furthermore…either avoid the crime, or get politically involved in the Fujian Province to help unite their governments, and…if you are in prison there, make sure you get a cup of their tea flavored with coffee.

While I’m on the scour for mutts beyond race and ethnicity, don’t forget the spork, or the car/boat. You can find more about the spork later, in my March 23 post.

coloredsporks chinese_boat_car1

Comment here on other mutt categories and ingredients and I’ll keep adding those to the list.

Back at the bar

sushibarBack to the sushi bar… you smile at the guy sitting at the end. It’s a new day, doesn’t matter that he’s white, doesn’t matter he might not take you to meet his mother. You always liked white boys anyway. Jewish boys, even though they never seem to notice you. But that inner voice pops up again. “Does he like me really? Or does he just want some mutt brown sugar mixed with my Asian and the rest?”

You’ll never know until you go for it, and he looks really nice. “Sure,” you say to him, “I’d love to join you for a kappa maki and some sake.”

kappamaki1Even though you quit drinking years ago, you can always let the sake just sit there. You quit shooting up, too, but does he really need to know that part of your mutt-hood?


Thought for the day: If you want your world to change, start with yourself. Drop the toxic intake — the wrong food, excessive drugs and alcohol, toxic friends and relationships.

P.S. Toxic assets come later in this blog.

What’s with the Jewish man/Asian woman connection, anyway?

You can seduce a man without taking anything off, without even touching him. — Rae Dawn Chong, actress. Daughter of 1970′s Eurasian comedian Tommy Chong. Her mother is Black and Cherokee Indian.

Huh? How does that work? Not even touching? I gotta learn that. Anyway, we all have those inner voices.

Sometimes, and you know you do this, too… Continue reading