This post first appeared on The Roundup, but because most of you won’t be able to comment on there or won’t see it, I wanted to share it on here as well!
Earlier this month, as the Super Bowl went underway, one ad sparked more controversy than any other: Coca-Cola’s. Despite lasting only sixty seconds, a national conversation on the issue of multilingualism and diversity ensued. Disputes broke out on social media. Both conservative and liberal politicians and commentators argued over whether the ad was anti-American or pro-American. Against the will of detractors, Coca-Cola defiantly aired the ad again during the opening of the Sochi Winter Olympics, this time televising the ninety-second version and adding the phrase “E Pluribus Unum” (Latin for “out of many, one”) to the beginning.
So what was it that caused so much controversy? Singing “America the Beautiful” in other languages.
Nine languages were represented in the song: English, Spanish, Tagalog, Mandarin, Hindi, Hebrew, Keres, French and Arabic. All of these languages—with the sole exception of Keres, which is a language native to the Pueblo Indian peoples of New Mexico—were brought to the land we currently call the United States, English included. Really, unless you are one of the small percentage of Americans who claim Native American heritage, at some point your ancestors (or maybe even you or one or more of your parents) immigrated here by foot, boat, or plane.
Diversity has been a particularly important issue recently. The idea of “being American” is so widely debated and open to interpretation that no one can truly pinpoint what it means. How much of your “foreign” culture can you retain—whether it’s Irish, Indonesian, or Iranian—and still consider yourself a part of American culture? Does it mean anything if America’s most common last names go from Smith, Johnson, and Williams to Garcia, Rodriguez, and Martinez?
Gong xi fa cai! So while I know it’s about a week late, the Year of the Horse is officially upon us and the Year of the Snake is gone.
Kuya’s Notebook turned 2 this past week! This blog started back in the beginning of the Year of the Dragon, and every following New Year I celebrate its beginnings. Honestly, if you told me two years ago that I’d still have this blog, I’d be very surprised since I normally don’t keep things around for this long. But I guess that means this blog has to be a keeper!
This Year of the Horse will be a big year—I can just feel it. I want this to be a year of trying out new things and begging to figure out what I enjoy. And of course, I’m sure it’ll be a big year for you all too! Apparently, it’ll be kind of a crazy and unpredictable year but hey, that’s better than a really boring year, right?
Since I’m actually on the run (always busy!) I’ll have to cut this post short. Until next time, have a safe and wonderful Lunar New Year and Year of the Horse ahead of you. Happy New Year!
Whoa, can you believe 2013 is already gone? The new year came pretty quickly, but it didn’t take me by surprise.
Yesterday, my family and I spent hours cleaning the house, vacuuming, and getting our home ready for the new year to arrive so that luck could come in. I made sure my wallet was filled with money, because an empty wallet means no wealth or prosperity. After going to a friend’s house that night, we rushed home ten minutes before midnight because it’s bad luck to be outside the house when the clock strikes twelve—or so I’ve been told by my mom and grandma.
Within those last ten minutes, we turned on all the lights in the house so that 2014 will be a bright year. I scattered coins outside the door and around the house—on tables, on the ground, on the counters… all so that wealth would be attracted to my home. We turned on the TV and the radios and made a lot of noise to scare away evil spirits.
As the clock struck midnight, I jumped twelve times so that I would grow taller, and we all ate twelve grapes, one for every month of the year—a Spanish tradition that melted into Filipino culture that’s said to bring about prosperity and good fortune. I left the door to my room open, so that the good luck would flow into my room and fill me with good fortune, too.
As quickly as you may have come, 2014, I’m ready for you. Continue reading
It’s about noon here in Dallas, so I thought I’d just pop in and say a quick “Merry Christmas” to you all! For those of you in the Americas, I hope you enjoy the rest of your Christmas Day. And if you’re in Europe, Africa, Asia, or Australia, I hope you had a very merry Christmas!
I was planning on having some more posts up by today, but a little computer catastrophe occurred. Now I’m stuck a few operating systems behind while I wait for my new computer RAM to come into tomorrow so I can re-update to OS X Mavericks, so until then my photos are inaccessible. (They’re on a backup disk, but I need to update my operating system to use the new iPhoto so I can open my photos.) Moral of the story, always make sure you back up everything up!
My family and I just finished opening all of our gifts to each other, and now we have a bunch of gadgets, books, book gadgets, and more floating around the house. None of us really had anything we specifically wanted, so it was pretty interesting trying to get each other gifts this year. But the best part is how we all get to spend the holidays together, and hopefully many more to come!
Hopefully I’ll be back on track with the blogging soon—I can’t wait to share more photos and stories with all of you!
Until then, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
I’ve actually never been much of a Harry Potter kid. By the time I was really old enough to start reading the books, the Harry Potter movies were already in to the fourth or fifth one, so I felt like I missed the boat on that one. Plus, I’ve never been much of a “magic” kind of person—unless you’re talking about Disney magic—and my mom didn’t like the first movie because it was boring (the first movie is probably the worst).
In eighth grade, I decided to read the first Harry Potter book, just because. I secretly enjoyed it, even though the unicorn blood stuff at the end weirded me out. When my brother
was forced to wanted to read a new book series, I made him recommended for him to read the Harry Potter series in all its magical goodness.
Because my brother read 4 out of the 7 books, his prize was a trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (a.k.a. Harry Potter World), located in the Islands of Adventure—one of the parks at Universal Orlando. Continue reading
Last week, Nina Davuluri, an Indian-American, was crowned Miss America 2014. Hailing as Miss New York, she became the first Indian Miss America. She is the second Miss America to be of Asian descent, the first being Angela Baraquio—a Filipino-American from Hawaii.
As the demographics of the United States changes, it’s definitely not surprising to see more ethnicities being represented in different parts of American culture. The most noticeable is that we have our first African-American president in the White House. And one of the reasons he won was the changing demographics of the United States—there are more “minorities” in the United States now than in the past.
It didn’t take very long for racist, bigoted people to rear their ugly heads and say all sorts of nasty things. Am I surprised? No. But that doesn’t make it right. Here are some screenshots of what some frustratingly stupid and ignorant people tweeted: Continue reading
I’d like to mention that this post definitely goes over key parts of Columbia University, partly because I want to share what I learned with all of you AND so I can actually remember everything when college admissions season rolls around.
I’ll be honest, I think I fell in love with Columbia University.
And how can you not fall in love with this Ivy League school in New York City? When I was in New York in July, Columbia University was my second stop—after Times Square the night before. Since college is on the horizon (sort of) and most people my age aren’t thinking about it yet, I might as well get a jump on it, right? Most people don’t realize this, but I’m going into my sophomore year (Year 2) of high school in about one week.
So there I was, sitting in Low Library and listening to people from the admissions department talk about Columbia University—their different programs, their engineering school, stories, and anecdotes—while surrounded by people who were actually going to start the application process this year! Um, whoa, just whoa. Continue reading