Why Democracy in the Middle East Could Be Doomed

Democracy, loosely defined as for the people by the people, has long been a fantasy of developed countries for the Middle-East and North Africa. Though it would be heart-warming to think that this goal is purely altruistic, this is not the case. There are economic motives to consider amongst many other variables which contribute to the pressing desire to spread democracy.… [Read more]

A Change Would Do You Good

Let’s face it…that’s what politics is really all about: change. We may not agree on what changes to make or how to get there but when positive energy is devoted to solving a problem for the greater good, we all benefit. This week’s Say It In Song pick is a Sheryl Crow oldie but goodie.… [Read more]

One Nation Under Funk

My mind is numb from two hours of George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic. The buzz in my ears may never stop and my body is finally coming to rest after one of the best shows I have seen in a long time. The Funkadelics are a band that plays a little rock, a little blues, a little rap and a lot of soul.… [Read more]

Today’s China: Don’t Believe the Hype

When people think about Chinese people, many things come to mind — and a lot of those thoughts are stereotypes. Some stereotypes are based in truth, however I am here to debunk those that are not and some of the ideals that people assume about the people of China. As an American living in China married to a local Chinese man, I classify myself as some sort of self-appointed expert on some of the things regarding the locals  here.… [Read more]

Travel to China You Say?

You have been thinking about it for years, ever since you saw those first poorly-dubbed martial arts movies. As a kid you even tried to imitate the moves and accidentally kicked your brother in the head. Oh, wait that was me. You love the dragons, the watercolor art, the Great Wall, the haunting but beautiful music and now you are going to do it.… [Read more]

Proper Etiquette of Japan

Oftentimes when travelers are asked what they think about Japan, the one word that comes up time and time again is “polite.” As a whole the people of Japan are known to be gracious and polite, yet they live and work in heavily populated areas which, in other countries, usually creates a recipe for contention and aggressiveness.… [Read more]

The Ancient Hawaiian Legacy of Kahiko Hula

In seclusion on an island in Hawaii, men move in strong succinct, yet graceful, motions guided by the rhythm of a polished gourd struck with purposeful motion of the chanter. The ocean rails against the shore competing with their calls, their chanting, and their hula.

Kahiko is the most ancient form of hula and it is never performed with a grass skirt nor accompanied by a ukulele and steel guitar.… [Read more]

Embracing the Peranakan Culture

Being a Peranakan (Malay term  which means “locally born”) I’m blessed to have an extremely rich heritage which draws from both Chinese traders from the 14th century to the 19th century… [Read more]