This week we are announcing several exciting changes and additions to The Seattle Globalist team.
This week we are announcing several exciting changes and additions to The Seattle Globalist team.
Join The Seattle Globalist for the fourth annual Globie Awards on Friday October 14!
In just three years, the Globies has distinguished itself as the most energetic, quirky, feel-good fundraising event in Seattle. We’ll highlight the work of our best journalists and media makers and crown Seattle’s 2016 Globalist of the Year. We promise you won’t be bored!
Meet our 2016 Seattle Globalist Apprentices!
A local man in his 40s who had been in Colombia was diagnosed with the Zika infection, the first case in King County, according to the Public Health – Seattle & King County.
Officials say the case does not pose a risk to the general public in Washington, because the types of mosquitos that have been spreading the virus in South and Central American countries and the Caribbean are not the type typically found in the Pacific Northwest.
While the symptoms of Zika are very mild, the virus has been linked to a birth defect called microcephaly, which is an abnormally small head and brain. Scientists have also linked the virus to Guillian-Barré Syndrome, a nerve condition that results in muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis.
Public Health officials have tested about 180 people in King County for the virus. This most recent case is the third case of Zika found in Washington. All three cases were found in people who became infected while in countries that have current Zika outbreaks, according to the county.
Zika is spread through a specific species of mosquito common in Central and South America and in the Caribbean, and men can spread the virus through sexual contact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Mohamed Shidane spent most of his life in the Dagahaley refugee camp in Kenya, where he fled with his family after civil war broke out in Somalia.
“I remember one time, I think 1998, it rained and half of the refugee camp was underwater,” Shidane recalls. “One moment you’re crying for rain, the other moment you run for your life from the water.”
In the past week, diversity in the newsroom has become a huge conversation in Seattle and all over the country. Seattle’s amazing Hollis Wong-Wear (one of our 2015 Smartest Global Women) wrote this powerful account of her experience being “sidekicked” and then “sorry, not-sorried” when The Seattle Times profiled her in December.
4Culture, King County’s funding agency for arts and culture, kicks off every year by offering a project grant to support the cultural activities in our region that make life so vibrant and interesting. The grants support projects that have the arts, heritage and preservation as their core focus. If you (or someone you know) live in King County, is at least 18 years old, and working on a project in one of these program areas, then you are eligible to apply.
It’s the Seattle Globalist Lighting Like Drive! And it’s your chance to win a 7-night stay in Whistler, BC, starting Saturday January 23, 2016.
We are facing a crisis in media. U.S. newsrooms are less than 13 percent staffed by people of color. That hasn’t changed in more than 10 years.
The Seattle Globalist asked the Seattle City Council candidates five questions important to immigrant and minority communities in Seattle. This question on rent control is the first of the series of five.
Question: If the state allowed cities to take action on rent control, as the city of Seattle asked for in its recent resolution, what steps, if any, should the city take on controlling rents in Seattle?
In September the Globalist welcomed a new team member: Youth Program Coordinator DJ Martinez!
Button up shirts, wireless mikes and a puddle of spotlight. At first glance rehearsals for Fledge “Demo Day” look like any start up pitch event around town. But these entrepreneurs aren’t promoting apps and gadgets. They’re pitching businesses that will further development of their home countries — from Argentina to Zambia.
“Fledge is a business accelerator,” says Michael “Luni” Libes who founded Seattle-based Fledge three years ago to help support socially conscious start-ups, “We take applications from any entrepreneur anywhere in the world as long as they’re working on something important.”
Fledge wasn’t always as global. The first cohort was entirely American but the next had one team from Singapore and from there Libes says “It just grew.” This year Fledge had applicants from forty-five countries and all seven start-ups in this current cohort are international.
If you live in Seattle, or have ever made a donation to a Seattle nonprofit, you’ve probably heard about The Seattle Foundation’s GiveBIG campaign approximately 600,000 times in the past couple of weeks. (Just in case your inbox is not currently bursting with GiveBIG emails: it’s an annual, 24 hour, “day of giving” campaign in which the Seattle Foundation and its sponsors offer “stretch” funds and “golden tickets” to increase donations to close to 2,000 participating nonprofits).
This year, we’re asking you to Give SMALL to the Seattle Globalist – and become part of something big. We know there’s power in numbers, so today we want YOU more than we want your cash.
Spending hours on detailed costumes based on anime, movie or video game characters might seem foreign and nerdy to some, but the community of cosplay is where many who feel like outsiders find home.
Nothing is too weird in cosplay. An eighty-year-old lady can dress up as Pikachu, and that’s totally fine.
Martina Sun is a University of Washington student who studies pre-med and is a double-major in psychology and International Studies. She also works full-time in a computer gaming company. She is also a hard-core cosplayer.
Cosplay, or costume play, is a popular activity at many events and conventions in the U.S. throughout the year. Sakura-Con and Emerald City Comicon are two of the largest cosplay conventions in Seattle.
Sun designs and makes every costume she wears to a cosplay convention. The process starts half a year before a convention.
“You start planning half-a-year ago.” Sun said. “And you really don’t do anything until a week before. Then you cram everything in a day before.”
The last day before a convention is a lot of gluing and painting, and hoping that the costume dries in time. But costumes don’t dry in a day, so there’s a lot of hair dryers involved as well.
Sun got involved in cosplay a year after moving to the United States. She grew up with her grandparents in Weihai, China, until age 12, when she joined her parents in Bellevue.
Weihai, which is on the east coast of China, is heavily influenced by Japanese and Korean cultures because of its history and geographic location. But now living in a mostly white culture, Sun found anime and cosplay culture familiar. She fell in love with it right away when a friend of hers introduced it to her.
“After I joined the [anime] club, I saw how this group is completely ignored by the mainstream,” said Sun. “That’s why we need conventions to unite the small groups together. But when we were there, we feel like we were the majority.”
A cosplay convention is usually a 24-hour, three-day long event. There’s always something happening: karaoke, costume competitions, and comic book exchange. At night, participants drink and enjoy music, while in costume.
“It’s like a normal rave,” Sun said. “But when do you get to rave with anime characters like Goku?”
Sun said that people used to think anime is for losers who read comic books all day, and some might still think anime lovers live in their own world. But this is definitely not the case.
“It’s not like if you watch animation, you become a loser,” said Sun. “We all have our lives, and many are successful in their own fields.”
Three weeks ago, Sun went to a convention with four of her friends: one works at Microsoft, one is a primary care physician, and the other two are lawyers.
Cosplaying is just a hobby, like hiking, skydiving or cooking.
“If anything, gaming is a lot cooler than hiking!” Sun said, and paused for a second.
“I like hiking though,” she added, while laughing.
When she first started cosplay in high school, Sun used to feel the judgmental attitude from strangers when she walked on a street in her costume. But now she doesn’t care anymore, because she’s enjoying herself with friends.
“When you go to a convention, everyone is so accepting, and everybody feels like a family member to you,” Sun said.
A contract analyst and an amateur cosplay photographer Elmer Ma said seeing other people in costume makes it easier to mingle.
“Because right off the bat, from visual, you’ll notice they share something with you,” Ma said.
Gaming, cosplay and anime have definitely become more mainstream. There is even a reality show on Syfy Channel about cosplay called “Heroes of Cosplay.”
“I feel like the whole ‘nerdy thing’ has changed a lot in the past few years,” said a UW costume club member Vicki Lo. “It’s a little more mainstream now.”
Lo doesn’t care if people think it’s nerdy.
“But that doesn’t stop me, ever,” she said.
Cosplay is more than dressing up as anime characters; it’s also about creating a community where everyone is accepted and welcomed.
Ma knows many of his friends who didn’t speak any English, but make friends in a cosplay convention easily.
He or she “might be having trouble talking to them, but you don’t have to be able to communicate perfectly to enjoy a hobby together,” said Ma.
“When you go to a convention, race, gender, age are not really what you see,” Sun said. “ Those are not important. When you go there, you just hang out with people who celebrate the hobby. So you don’t really judge, or even notice, their ethnicity.”
It may seem contradictory that St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral hosts a yoga class — a practice that began from Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. But church rector Rev. Steve Thomason wouldn’t agree.
The Seattle Globalist is expanding its offices to The Collaboratory, a coworking space and “incubator for social change” in Hillman City (just south of Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood). The Globalist will now base its operations jointly from the Collaboratory and the University of Washington’s Department of Communication.
Your stories, artwork, music or poetry about immigrating to the United States could be part of an upcoming online exhibit commemorating the Immigration Act of 1965 at the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience.
The Wing is seeking submissions for an upcoming exhibition on the Immigration Act of 1965, which abolished the United States’ immigration national origin quota policies with a system that took into account an immigrant’s skills or family relationships with existing U.S. residents and citizens. The act expanded the number of people who could immigrate to this country.
Accepted submissions will be displayed in a digital exhibition as part of The Wing’s Immigration Exhibit, which will be online March 5, 2015, through January 2016.
According to the call for submissions from The Wing, the museum seeks:
“[S]ubmissions in a variety of media, including words, poetry, photographs, paintings, graphics, animation and other forms that are suitable for online display, according to a call for submissions. The submissions may range widely within the topic of immigration, such as the notion of belonging, transnational identity, green card marriages, histories of imperialism, incarceration, the model minority myth, queerness, the diaspora, technology, outsourcing, military service and mixed-status families and so much more.”
The deadline to submit is Feb. 15, 2015. Participants do not need to be of Asian Pacific American heritage. Collaborative submissions are welcome, but the Wing Luke can only accept one submission per person.
Submissions should include:
Submissions should be sent to Minh Nguyen at email@example.com or to
Wing Luke Museum
Attention: Minh Nguyen
719 S. King St.
Seattle, WA 98104
It’s not a coincidence that some of the most popular Chinese restaurants in the Seattle area are Taiwanese. Taiwan has a reputation as one of the best food destinations in Asia. Chinese-American foodies that I know say that Taiwanese restaurants are where to go to find their Chinese food fix.
A few months ago, before a crowd at Tsinghua University in Beijing, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke Mandarin out of nowhere, and headlines around the world hinted that he put the “rest of us to shame” by speaking fluent Chinese.
Well, did he really?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m no hater. Zuckerberg deserves praise for being able to conduct an entire interview in a language he picked up in his late 20s. That still shouldn’t overshadow the language abilities of many other Americans.
According to the American Community Survey, 22 percent of children aged 5 to 19 speak a language other than English at home. But that doesn’t equal literacy. For instance, I can speak Cantonese effortlessly and make my way around a tabloid magazine and a menu. But that’s as far as my fluency goes, even though I grew up in Hong Kong.
And by no means am I alone. This seems to be the case for many Chinese Americans. The two most spoken dialects in China are Cantonese and Putonghua, also known as Mandarin. The nuances of the languages are completely different. Cantonese has eight tones, while Putonghua has four. They also use different characters in the written language. Cantonese utilizes traditional Chinese characters, while Putonghua utilizes simplified.
While most Chinese immigrants come from places that speak Cantonese, Putonghua is more widely taught. Fluency in one dialect does not automatically transfer to another, which complicates being literate and fluent in Chinese for many Chinese Americans.
In my case, my family returned to Hong Kong from Montana when my grandpa became ill. We thought it would be a temporary move.
I enrolled in an international school, where three out of 20 students spoke Cantonese. The only kind of formal Chinese education I received was optional after-school Putonghua lessons.
By the time I transferred out of the international school system in favor of a local, all-girls Catholic high school, there was no way I would be able to catch up to the local Chinese curriculum. I took French instead.
As much as it pains me to admit this, I’m Chinese illiterate.
In a nutshell, I’m an “ABC” (American-born Chinese). There are worse terms for people who don’t speak the language. Some people use the term “jook-sing,” translated literally as “hollow bamboo.”
Sometimes, terms like these motivate Chinese Americans to pick up the language later in life, especially in college.
“I’ve never been called a ‘jook-sing’ by my family members or friends, but I’ve heard words like these thrown around a lot by others,” said Jessica Lin, a sophomore in the University of Washington Foster School of Business.
“Cantonese is the language I use to speak with my family, and they have always been supportive. I’ve never felt pressure to learn the language, but I always wanted to take lessons.”
Lin began taking CHIN 101. The Chinese Program, Department of Asian Languages and Literature at UW offers two separate tracks: heritage for students who speak the language at home but might not be able to read or write, and non-heritage for complete beginners.
Even though Lin speaks Cantonese at home with her parents, grandparents and brother, she was placed in the non-heritage Chinese class. She chalks this up to not being able to speak Putonghua and not being able to write or read in Simplified Chinese characters.
“I don’t feel that I’m learning Putonghua from scratch as my background in Cantonese helps me,” Lin said.
Still, Cantonese and Putonghua have slightly different structures, and words that sound similar can be misleading.
“There’s a girl in my class who speaks Cantonese too,” Lin said. “If we don’t understand something, like a term, we try to translate it into Cantonese to help each other out”.
Nyan-Ping Bi, a Chinese instructor at the UW, said many Chinese American students get formal training in the the language before college.
“They take classes at weekend schools, churches, K-12 levels in school etc. And of course, many Chinese Americans do speak the language at home without taking formal lessons,” Bi said.
That was the case for UW sophomores Julie Lu and Ray Hui. They speak Cantonese at their homes, and have had less than two years of informal Chinese lessons. Both Lu and Hui also spent the summer in Hong Kong as part of a study abroad program.
“I don’t plan to take Chinese at the UW, but that doesn’t mean I don’t actively seek out opportunities to speak the language,” Hui said.
“I didn’t have any problems in Hong Kong,” said Lu. “I understand everything that’s said in a Hong Kong TV drama, and I can have a full on conversation with someone who speaks Cantonese”.
Hui also can hold a conversation.
“I have an accent though, and can’t pronounce everything right,” Hui said. “It’s easy to see that I’m not from Hong Kong when I’m there.”
While Hui may brush off mistakes with ease, it’s not so easy for me. It sounds terribly silly now, but for a while I didn’t like speaking in Cantonese because I was too worried that I would stumble on my words.
Picking up Chinese was difficult as I only started speaking it seriously when I was 10, with a lot of trial and error. I learned how to read Chinese by paying attention to the subtitles on TV. Recognizing characters got a lot easier with time.
I’m a junior with two majors, and I doubt I will have time to pick up Chinese lessons at UW. I’m always going to be striving to strengthen my grasp of the language, but I’m happy where I am right now.
Ultimately, I hope to read a newspaper with ease in a few years, but until then, I won’t be giving up my ultimate guilty pleasure – reading Chinese tabloid magazines.