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Archive for August, 2009

The Jane Park Files

It all started with a film. And a Facebook search. The quest to find the people who share my name.

In 2005, I screened The Grace Lee Project at the Los Angeles Korean International Film Festival. It’s a quirky documentary through which the filmmaker – her name is Grace Lee – enters the lives of several other Grace Lees. In so doing, she tries to debunk the myths that surround the name and its bearer as the stereotypical Asian-American model minority. Read the rest of this entry »

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Gay in America: When culture and sexuality collide

At some point, nearly everyone grapples with their identity – faith, family, sexual orientation. But it can be even more difficult for minorities or immigrants struggling to sort through their sexuality. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Ultimate List: All 30 Things You Should Do Before You Turn 30

You may have skimmed our lists of 30 things to do before you turn 30. See the complete list all at once and learn more about each item, with additional resources, links and photos. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why we serve

The U.S. military is zeroing in on young adults. But the double-front war in Iraq and Afghanistan is forcing many to think twice before signing up. Now eight years after its inception, the War on Terror has produced a new generation of recruits – and veterans.
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In the name of Dios: Mormon missionaries bring urban Hispanics, Catholics into the church

Traditional greetings—“buenos dias” and smacking kisses, one on each cheek—sound out over the organ music 22-year-old missionary Charisse Horn plays at a Sunday morning service in Logan Square.

A year ago, she’d never spoken a word of Spanish.  Now, as one of about 35 Spanish-speaking missionaries in Chicago, she worships, gives testimony and reads El Libro de Mormon, or the Book of Mormon, all in Spanish. Read the rest of this entry »

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Are you a part of ‘Generation Meh?’

You might expect a 28-year-old blogger who writes about issues of relationships, career, finance, happiness and misfortune for the younger crowd in today’s wired society to be pretty plugged in. True, Maureen Henderson is well read, articulate on issues of politics and policy, and well traveled. But completely wired? Nope.

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(http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/meh)

An alternate path: Community living experiments in the city

Cooperatives. Communes. Intentional communities. Utopian experiments.

Whenever the idea of “living in community” gets thrown out, at least one and (more likely) all of these terms will inevitably appear in the conversation. “Utopian” risks sounding naïve in the cynical, postmodern era, and “commune” is often flat-out wrong (properly, it’s only used to describe communities that pool all their finances, which most do not). Read the rest of this entry »

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For the Love: Six young adults get professional about their passions

What is the American dream today? A half-century ago it was a white picket fence, 2.5 kids and a secure job to support them. Today it encompasses the hopes of a constantly changing America, and what constitutes a successful life is a definition that’s just as volatile. Ask five young people what they hope to accomplish as adults, and you’ll likely get five very different answers.

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Options for health care and insurance vary across the U.S.

Most college graduates bid farewell to their insurance plans the same day they bid farewell to their alma mater. Most. But some states and private insurance companies are addressing the increasing numbers of uninsured  young adults with programs or laws to make the transition to the working world a little easier, and healthier. The question is whether these policies are enough. Read the rest of this entry »

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See our interactive map below to learn more about four different types of state laws related to health insurance.

Navigating the twists and turns of interfaith marriage

If dating someone of a different faith is tricky, then marrying someone of a different faith can be downright difficult and problematic.  Whether a couple about to enter into matrimony is Catholic and Jewish, or Muslim and Mormon, or Buddhist and Protestant, uniting the traditions, cultures and beliefs of two people, and two families, is undeniably complex.

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(Andrea_R/FLICKR)

This Muslim-American life: young adults’ activist, artistic voices

Follow through this six-story series on the lives of second-generation American Muslims. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Next Generation series: Sibling dynamics in immigrant families

One quarter, one dime and one nickel – times four.

Every morning my mom took out $1.60 in change from her floral-print cardboard box. Every morning she pressed 40 cents – three coins – into the little palms of her three kid brothers: James, Thomas and David. It was cafeteria lunch money. Read the rest of this entry »

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Bowing to one's elders on special occasions is a Korean tradition (Jane Park/Shift)

Ethnic or assimilated? Children of immigrants outline sibling differences

Before the days of the Park family minivan, I rode in the backseat of our Toyota Camry hatchback – between my sister and brother. I was nine; they were four and two, respectively.

One afternoon a stranger peered through the car’s back window – my parents had stopped for gas – and asked if we were triplets. Read the rest of this entry »

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Michelle, Jane and Andrew Park, circa 1995

New takes on old media

I previously discussed the burgeoning market of ethnic media, which got me thinking about different storytelling methods. Lo and behold, what I found were unique ways in which ethnic media and/or their audiences were taking steps to change news.

Take a look at the models I found: Read the rest of this entry »

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Short in stature, but not in reach: Bich Minh Nguyen’s novel will resonate with many

Short Girls, author Bich Minh Nguyen’s debut novel, is a tale of two sisters learning to reconcile their childhood with their present lives, which are starkly different from, yet strikingly parallel to, each other’s.

Raised in Michigan by Vietnamese immigrant parents, Van and Linny Luong are different in every visible way, apart from their height and physical Asian traits. Van is the diligent, studious daughter who marries her dream man and becomes an immigration lawyer. Linny is the trendy, arguably frivolous, Americanized younger sister who refuses to be confined by Vietnamese immigrant stereotypes. Read the rest of this entry »

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