Blog (Index)

Before I started blogging, I thought it was a silly concept. Why would anyone want to write … for free?! Now, I get it. I just wish I had more time to devote to it. Here are some of my favorite pieces. By me. Ahem.

Newsflash: K-pop bands sing in Korean

Let me start this post by saying that I’m pleased that non Koreans like K-pop. When I was growing up in Chicago, few people knew that Korea even existed as a country. None of my American friends were interested in Korean music and they certainly didn’t idolize any Korean stars.

한글

My son had his first day of Korean school today. You know. The dreaded Saturday spent in a classroom learning a language that none of your friends speak. I’m proud to say that he did great.

On what defines a “good Korean daughter”

A reader sent me this message: “No offense but you don’t seem like you are a good Korean daughter. From what I’ve read of you, you are not a Christian, you married a white man, you are not in a honourable field that makes a good salary, and you don’t speak Korean. You have a Korean child and you aren’t going be able to raise him with his own birth culture. You should be ashamed of yourself, don’t you think? I don’t think you are a bad person. I just don’t think you are a good role model for Koreans children.”

Boyfriend: “Let’s Get It Started” (K-pop)

My toddler likes this K-pop boy band called Boyfriend. He insists on watching the video for the group’s signature song, “Boyfriend,” at least a zillion times a day and is getting pretty good at imitating the dance moves.

Go Away With … Gbenga Akinnagbe

“Some people are surprised that I speak English and assume that I must be a foreigner,” says Gbenga Akinnagbe, 32, a Brooklyn resident. “When I was younger, my mother wanted me to change it because she worried that I wouldn’t be able to find employment. There was a time I wanted to change my name and I was ashamed of it and I’d have people call me DJ. But I do love it now.”

Go Away With … Hines Ward

Born in Seoul, South Korea, to an African-American father and a Korean mother, Pittsburgh Steelers’ wide receiver Hines Ward was raised in Atlanta by his mother after his parents divorced. Because he looked “different,” it was challenging to make friends. But football became the great equalizer and suddenly no one cared what color the young phenom was. Now 35, Ward is the first Korean-American to have won the Super Bowl MVP Award. He’s hoping that his agility on the gridiron carries over to the ballroom. Ward is one of the contestants competing on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” this season.

My son

A few months after he had been with us, Kyle began losing his Korean and speaking predominantly English. It became most apparent when he cried for me one night, but he didn’t cry out for umma (which means mommy). He said, “Mom!” I don’t know how I feel about that. It is so hard to learn a new language when you are older, but it is so easy to forget it. Being fluent in a second language often is something you don’t appreciate until you’re no longer bilingual.

Go Away With … Grace Park

Born in the United States to Korean parents and raised in Canada — where she calls Vancouver home — Grace Park got the travel bug early. Though concurrent roles on “The Cleaner” and “Battlestar Galactica” — as well as the Canadian series “The Border” — preclude her from taking as many vacations as she’d like, Park says visiting new countries is one of the joys in life she shares with her husband, Phil Kim. India and Brazil hold special places in Park’s heart, but her favorite destination thus far is Italy’s quaint Vernazza.

Min Jin Lee: Former attorney takes on class distinction in ‘Free Food’

With her first novel, “Free Food for Millionaires,” Min Jin Lee has won the praise of literary critics. Though 562 pages, the book is a true page-turner, with a Korean-American protagonist and a compelling plot involving the universal clash of cultures, adultery and class distinction.

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