Pregnant Women from China and Taiwan Giving Birth in the US

From CBS Local (San Francisco): More and more mothers from China and Taiwan are willing to pay thousands of dollars to deliver their babies in the USA, specifically in California. “So-called maternity homes” have popped up in cities like San Jose.

The Dropbox: South Korea Baby Box Rescue

8A-2014-02-10-TheDropboxI have no words. It took me a while to watch the promo because anything with babies makes me feel crazy raw and wrecks me for a few days. But this is strangely heartening.

From Faithit:

In Seoul, South Korea, hundreds of unwanted babies are abandoned on the streets every year. That’s when this brave pastor and his wife decided to do something about it. Watch their extraordinary story of love here.

From Independent Journal Review:

Lee Jong-rak is the creator of the Baby Box. His Baby Box is the first and only box in Korea that is for collecting abandoned babies who are physically or mentally handicapped or are just unwanted by their mothers.

To support the documentary and organization: Go to


Asian American Christianity and Linsanity


(Image from the Christian Film Database)

Authors Robert D. Putnam and David E. Campbell offer an interesting statistic in American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us about the connection between being religious and one’s ethnic identity:

Do other minority groups also have a high level of religiosity? The answer is that it depends on the minority group. Asian Americans, for example, have a much lower level of religiosity than whites, blacks, or Latinos. In keeping with our hypothesis that ethnic and racial identity go together, it also turns out Asian Americans have a much lower sense of ethnic identity than blacks or Latinos (Ch. 9, section “Black Protestants,” paragraph 22)

This research defines religiosity in terms of “belonging, behaving, and believing – what social scientists call the three Bs of religiosity,” (Ch.1, paragraph 17). In more tangible terms, it is based on certain elements like church attendance, frequency of prayer, etc, and results are from individual surveys. I was surprised to see that Asian Americans were considered “less religious,” and less tied to their ethnicity than other groups.

But, then there’s JLin.

Continue reading “Asian American Christianity and Linsanity”

First Public Gay Wedding in South Korea

ÇÏÆ® ±×¸®´Â ±èÁ¶±¤¼ö-±è½ÂȯFrom the Korea Herald:

Even though South Korea does not legally recognize hay marriages, “Film director and producer Kimjo Gwang-soo, 48, and 29-year-old Kim Seung-hwan, the head of gay film distributor Rainbow Factory, got married on a temporary stage built near Cheonggye Stream with about 1,000 guests and citizens in attendance.”

Happy for this couple and hopeful this is a sign of more changes coming for LGBTQ all over the world.

Photo credit: Yonhap News

Tibetan Mastiff Dog Not Best Impersonator of Lion at Chinese Zoo

From SF Gate: “Workers at a Chinese zoo thought nobody would notice when they replaced a lion with a big dog. But then the dog barked. And didn’t really look like a lion.”

I’m not sure what is more amusing or shocking – the thought that people would really think this dog looks like a lion (though I admit without my glasses maybe I would be duped) or that people pay upwards of millions for such a dog.

South Koreans Need Dating Parties to Find That Special Someone

From the NY Times: The difficulties in meeting potential spouses have exacerbated an increasing tendency among South Koreans to marry late. As young women have gotten better jobs, analysts say, many are loath to give them up to shepherd children through a hypercompetitive education system and care for aging in-laws. In 2011, the average age of a first marriage for South Korean women hit 29.14, up from 24.8 in 1990; for men it jumped to 31.8 from 27.9 in 1990. The birthrate sunk to 1.15 children per woman, the lowest among the world’s most developed countries. The dating scene is difficult enough but adding pressure from the government for the sake of population growth? Oy the awkwardness at so many levels is painful.

Asian Americans Stepping Up for Immigration Reform

8A-2013-08-19-SCPRimmgrationreformFrom the Southern California Public Radio:

“About 55 percent of Asian-American immigration into the United States has been due to family preferences… More young Asian-Americans who grew up in the U.S. without papers have been going public with their status, as have young Latinos and other activists.”

But a lot of the issues around the current reform doesn’t address family immigration. Asian Americans are stepping up to advocate for these realities and helping to shape the conversation since “Immigration from Asia recently surpassed new arrivals from Latin America, with Asians becoming the nation’s fastest-growing racial group.”

Domestic Violence and Korean American Churches


Christian churches are strange, complicated gatherings of people where the tension between acknowledging brokenness and appearing virtuous is constantly present. Growing up in a Korean American church I always felt this awkward back and forth. People interacted with each other in superficial ways and no one spoke of their problems or struggles unless in hushed voices during some moment of juicy gossip. But, actually I guess that hasn’t changed too much even now. And, in my experience as clergy it certainly isn’t limited to just Asian churches.

I had originally thought I was done with this article, and wasn’t going to go further, that it would be short, simple, and sweet, but the more I thought about it, the more I felt and still feel really pissed off about the way women are treated these days.

Continue reading “Domestic Violence and Korean American Churches”

Asian American Women Champions of Change


Inspiration is rarity these days. But when I read about these incredible women who are truly making a difference in their communities,  both locally and globally, I get super excited…and hopeful, which is also somewhat elusive these days.

The White House has nominated 15 AAPI women are making waves with their dedication and hard work.

“These fifteen women represent the strength and diversity of the AAPI community. These leaders–in business, advocacy, philanthropy, the arts and academia—are wonderful examples for young women across the country,” said Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President and Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls.

Even more impressive is that 5 of them are from California, and they include women who are working in higher education, advocating for those affected by modern day slavery, and fighting for disability and transformative justice to end child sexual abuse. But all 15 women are contributing in huge ways.

But, we at 8Asians felt that there was someone missing from the list. Our own Jozjozjoz (Jocelyn Wang) – our fearless leader, editor, and CEO – is an artist in her own right. She is a writer and journalist, a fierce voice and advocate for the AAPI community, and we are so better off because of her vision and direction.

Plus, like all the women lauded by the White House, she seems really cool. And, honestly, I basically want to be her when I grow up.

Kindergartners Poisoned by Rival School Director in China

From the Daily Caller: Two chinese girls were killed Thursday after eating poisoned yogurt that had been planted by the owner of a rival kindergarten. The owner confessed to adding rat poison to the yogurt before leaving it on the side of the road along with school notebooks, reports the BBC. 

It doesn’t really need to said or pointed out that this is horrible. It just doesn’t make any sense to me. When reputation or profit becomes more important in education I can’t help but wonder what is the point of it all in the first place.

North Korea Imprisons Korean American Kenneth Bae, Possibly As Bait

Photo: Facebook
Photo: Facebook

From AP: “An American detained for nearly six months in North Korea has been sentenced to 15 years of labor for crimes against the state, the North’s state media said Thursday… Analysts say Pyongyang could use Bae as a bargaining chip as it seeks dialogue with Washington.”

It seems really difficult to read into North Korea’s motives right now especially with this latest sentence.

Are they seeking leverage?

Are they trying to construct a certain image on the world stage?

Are they looking to distract us from some other plan?

Only time will tell.

Bullying and Teen Suicide in South Korea

8A-2013-03-21-Time-SouthKoreaRattledBySuicideFrom Time: “A 15-year-old high schooler, only identified by his surname Choi, jumped out of his apartment home in the southeastern city of Gyeongsan last Monday after being bullied for roughly two years. His death — the second youth suicide in South Korea this month — has shocked the nation and called into question the government’s efforts to stop school violence.” South Korea is known for its high suicide rates especially among young people. It is about time the government intentionally pursues obvious causes like bullying, and hopefully initiates some real change not only in the educational sphere but in wider society concerning family relationships and dealing with judgment and pressure.