half enough

"Half Enough" is Victoria's first regular column series. Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of Discover Nikkei.

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Royal Milk Tea Boba and Globalization

Boba in the United States is a result of globalization (or vice versa). It is becoming as popular and trendy as sushi and sake in the realm of food and drink culture in the U.S. My favorite boba drink is the Royal Milk Tea with less boba from Lollicup—a fast-growing Taiwanese-based franchise now in the U.S.

My understanding of globalization, of course, is limited to that of a privileged person whose worries include oil changes for her car and the calorie intake of a regular size Royal Milk Tea with less boba. Globalization to me, as an ...

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Japan in Spain

My host mother is going to get on my nerves. This was one of my early thoughts during the first week of my five-month stay in Sevilla, Spain. The thought didn’t last long, interestingly, after I realized how similar Spain and Japan were.

I traveled to Sevilla, the capital city in Andalucia (southern region of Spain) in the spring of 2004 for a semester-long study abroad program. After taking my first shower at my host mother’s house, I thought my living situation would be an austere experience for the duration of my stay. I knew I would experience ...

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The East L.A. Gardeners Association sign on First Street

The East L.A. Gardeners Association sign is one of four written in Japanese characters on East First Street in Boyle Heights. (The other signs are for Otomisan Restaurant, the Rissho Kosei-kai and Tenrikyo temples.) I looked at the sign everyday on my way to school while I was a student at Roosevelt Senior High School. Seeing Japanese characters in the middle of a 99.99% Hispanic neighborhood made me feel special, as I was one of few in the neighborhood that could read the sign. The sign was recently painted over in white, though the words underneath the paint ...

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When multiethnic and multicultural identity started mattering to me

“Multiracial identity” didn’t become a part of my regularly accessed vocabulary until college. The phrase floated through conversations in junior high and high school, mainly during statewide and national standardized testing seasons (i.e. Stanford 9 during the Spring semester). “Multiracial identity”, as an idea that oftentimes provokes steamed discussion and a topic of particular interest to me, became a concept that I seriously probed when I took a course called “The American Experience” in college.

It was also in college, after reading several books and articles on race/ethnicity, that I started to prefer using the term ethnicity ...

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A letter to Virginia

Who and what’s to blame? That is not the question.

The Virginia Tech tragedy was indeed a tragedy. No amount of condolences will alleviate the grief of the 33 lives lost on April 17, 2007.

I can’t help but feel frustrated. Frustrated with the responses of intelligent American voices on radio and television airwaves discussing what could have been if Sueng-hui Cho was committed to a mental institution months or years prior; if Virginia Tech campus security and Blacksburg Police had taken “better” precautionary measures in the two hours before the second shooting. I’m frustrated that these ...

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