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If you want to find our blog, as well as join our online community, go to http://www.asian-central.com.

Thanks,
Peter.

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In the news!!!

We were recently featured on the Boston Globe!

http://www.boston.com/ae/media/articles/2008/03/24/coffee_and_yoga_and_prius_and_juno/

#44 Fortune Cookies

Posted March 23rd, 2008 by Peter · 2 Comments

Peter says:

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“Fortune Cookie: A Chinese-American cookie into which has been folded a printed message predicting one’s fortune.” If you’ve ever wondered why an asian person gives you that hug or profound food for though, look no further. They’ve probably been eating at Lucky’s Chinese.

When people go to “fast food” type restaurants such as Panda Express or Pickup Stix, they are greeted by a familiar site: the Fortune Cookie. When full-blooded asians go to these restaurants, they, besides scoffing at the silly adornments, are appalled by the abomination. Why? It’s simply not asian. After extensive research, both Chinese and American food historians agree that the “fortune cookie” is in fact an American invention. That, however, doesn’t stop americanized asians from enjoying the fortune that could lie in their immediate futures because of a very obscure but accurate connection. Combining a random horoscopic message with a funny fact or proverb, this pleasant low-calorie dessert has cracked its way into the hearts of people everywhere. There are three main categories of messages that asians can receive from their fortune cookies:

1. Enlightening: These messages may tell asians winning lottery numbers or how to say “watermelon” in Chinese. They may also present obscure truths about obscure people from obscure lands that have obscure names. These fortune cookies, however, continue to expand an asian’s vocabulary and their knowledge of “King Fifth the Twelth twice removed from the throne of Canterbury.” Examples of enlightening fortune cookie messages may be: obvious, like “A warm smile is testimony of a generous nature. or thought-provoking: If you would be loved, love and be lovable.” When asians receive these messages, they may re-think their current situations in life and be (next category) in the lives of people they know.

2. Inspiring: Have you ever wondered why asians are the best people to consult after a hard day at work? Asians aren’t born innately knowing Hammurabi’s Code, nor do they always know the right things to say. That’s where fortune cookies come into play. Asians love helping others by nature, no matter how gruesome their actions on the freeway. Asians are themselves inspired by some of the messages they receive in fortune cookies. That is why they, in turn, will pay them forward to their friends, family, and co-workers. Examples of inspiring messages include: The smart thing is to prepare for the unexpected.” and “A scholars ink lasts longer than a martyrs blood.” Asians, for this reason, will tell you that “The smart thing is to prepare for the unexpected.

fortune.jpg

3. Or just plain frightening: These messages will turn even jesterly Jackie Chan into the ill-fated Bruce Lee (comedy to tragedy). They can also, on the other hand, be the most comical ones out there (if you don’t take them too seriously). Asians always live on cloud nine, so it takes one of these reminders to bring them one cloud closer to earth. Of the more comical messages is, “Those weren’t chicken or chocolate ice cream you just ate.” Sometimes, the cookies may even hold a deeper and eerie meaning, as one of our members reports receiving, “You think it’s a secret, but it has never been one..” and the more frightening, What you perceive as an innocent infatuation, the law will perceive as punishable up to 15 years in federal prison,” in succession. These messages are very hard to come by, and are usually found in more “americanized” restaurants that believe that using broken english and a wise asian accent are unimportant (even though they are).

Besides from their obvious qualities, fortune cookies may be equivalent of fortune tellers to asians, as they both are predictors of ensuing fortune and success. On a more obscure note, fortune cookies are also like asian immigrants.

“At the beginning of this century, San Francisco’s Chinatown was a ghetto, rife with the problems that plague any poor neighborhood. But by the 1930s, the neighborhood’s exotic image was being used to attract tourists. During that marketing effort, a restaurant created the fortune cookie for visitors who expected a dessert course that Chinese cuisine largely lacks.” – Fortune Cookies: No Ancient Chinese Secret

The fortune cookie’s image was developed slowly by viral marketing, much like many asians had to climb their respective social ladders to achieve what they have today. They endured the rockin’ twenties and the Great Depression. They single-handedly transformed China Town, San Francisco into what it is today. Asians love knowledge, motivation, and humor. They also love people and things that will ensure them brighter futures. The Fortune Cookie is all those things and more.

#43 Spring & Egg Rolls

Peter says:

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“Spring roll… An Asian-American appetizer made of crispdough wrapped around a filling of various ingredients such as vegetables, meat, shrimp, and seasonings. Sometimes synonymous with “egg roll,” it is considered somewhat more “authentic” and delicious than the latter. The name, which dates in English print to 1943, comes from the Chinese tradition of serving them on the first day of the Chinese New Year, which is also the first day of the lunar year’s spring.” –Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink

When asians get tired of accumulating copious amounts of vitamin B from rice and fish sauce, they turn to a very delectable treat that can only be described as, “the best invention since the chopstick.” Originally an invention of the Chinese, the Spring Roll, nowadays synonymous with the Egg Roll, is quite different from its distant cousin. Spring rolls are served fresh with thinner rice paper, while Egg Rolls are made with, you guessed it, egg-glazed rice paper. Since 1985, when America popularized it, this treat has gained so much precedence that I will, from this moment on, refer to is as “her Springness.”

Egg Roll (top) and Spring Roll (bottom)

Asians love this voluptuous woman for the following reasons:

Delectability: Her Springness is a mixture of the best boiled shrimp, steamed pork, vermicelli noodles, lettuce, and herbs wrapped by a soft or crunchy rice-paper shell (depending on preference). She is usually served as in hors d’oeuvres, along with chow mein and the infamous “flied lice.” No asian can resist her mixture of meat and herbs, as she has become paraded around during asianEgg Roll festivities more times than the Pope has walked the Vatican.

Portability: Her Springness may be larger than an oreo or fig bar, but she quite dynamic. Asians kidnap her from dinner parties, birthdays, graduations, even funerals. Much like her loyal servants, she is forced into suspended animation in the refrigerator until her new masters are hungry. When this occurs, she can either be thawed or re-fried, once again bringing her back to power over asian taste buds.

Versatility: Her filling can be meat or vegetarian, economical or rich. If she is Fujianese, she will have very exotic fillings such as carrots, shredded cabbage, or leeks. Her Shanghai-ese counterpart will have a diversity of fillings including bamboo shoots. Her Cantonese cousin, however, has traveled overseas and is now known in the West as “Egg Roll.” Some asians think of her as “the best of Spring Rolls” for her widespread popularity and deliciousness.

“Her Springness” has a vast amount of family around the world, each incorporating a bit of its country into its ingredients. The Chinese believe in the merit and charm of eating her “undressed.” The Vietnamese, on the other hand, love to wrap her with soft lettuce, basil and mint. They will also drench her in glorious fish sauce to enhance her appearance and taste.

“Like many Vietnamese dishes, eating it this way resonates with layers of flavors and textures – the crispy vegetables and fish sauce with the crunchy spring roll…”

Let’s get back to reality. Asians everywhere love the Spring Roll and Egg Roll for their delectability, portability, and versatility. They have become a staple commodity at all asian fast food stores and even some higher class restaurants. So much so, that Wolfgang Puck has incorporated and mutilated them in one of his “Asian Fusion” recipes. They are also portable, as asians everywhere bring them home to their friends and families. Lastly, they are quite versatile. Everywhere they go, Spring/Egg Rolls gain new and better qualities. Asians know that there is nothing better than rice, but the Spring/Egg Roll comes in at a close second.

Here’s a video tutorial on How to Make Spring Rolls:

 

#42 Final Fantasy

Posted March 21st, 2008 by avaliant · 1 Comment

Despite their parents’ constant nagging to stop wasting time, video games are popular among Asian Youths. Take one quick look at a typical Asian’s game collection, and you are likely to see at least one version of Final Fantasy, Super Mario, and probably many more similar style RPGs (role playing games).

Just like with every other form of pop entertainment that Asians enjoy, they will completely and utterly obsess over it. Although Final Fantasy is generally popular in “nerd culture,” Asians find ways to take it to another level. They will load their iPods with in-game music and learn how to play it on the piano, or post drawings of game characters (all done in the anime style with correct anatomical measurements of course). However, the most devoted fans will dress up in costumes of their favorite characters, complete with weapons and accessories: a phenomenon known as cosplay. For some reason, cosplay is wildly popular in Japan, although it is hardly limited to that country.

Previously mentioned in post #7, Anime, “There is a wonderful anime fanbase and following” who will dress up and go to Anime Expos with their friends. One of our members mentions being pinched and prodded all day long by girls dressed in japanese school attire. Asians will go to great lengths to achieve these transformations in order to look like their favorite game characters. Where else do you think they get the spiky hair idea from?

So why is Final Fantasy so popular among Asians? The repetitive nature of the combat and character advancement plays well to the Asian tendency toward OCD (Post #28). Likewise, the numeric and predictable methods for “leveling up” characters satisfies the Asian need for a sense of accomplishment. Just like grades or paychecks, RPGs offer a set of numeric based awards that are given almost entirely as a function of time invested and hard work. Asians crave these rewards the same way alcoholics crave their liquor. This combination of game elements means that Final Fantasy is a game made by Asians, for Asians; a veritable window into the Asian soul.

#41 Eye Enlargement

Posted March 20th, 2008 by everydayasian · 1 Comment

Fact: Asian women think that their eyes are ugly. They will go to many lengths to change the appearance of their eyes, from high-maintenance temporary alterations to more expensive and permanent options. So much so, that every Asian person has at least one sister, mother, aunt, grandmother, or friend who has tried to change their eyes.Big EyesThe most common things Asian women change are their “lids.” Asian eyelids usually have a single fold (otherwise known as a monolid), whereas Caucasian eyelids have “double folds.” It is this “double fold” that Asian women spend most their lives coveting.

Young girls often start off with cheap and easily accessible apparatuses for achieving double-fold eyelids: tape or glue. Using these tools, asians, with the help of some adhesive and plastic tools, make possible this “pleat” in their own skin. During their teenage years, Asian girls learn about this from an older sister or cousin. They will also develop the asian stare at this age, which will allow them to strike fear into the hearts of people everywhere. The Asian Stare heavily contributes to the enlarging of an asian’s eyes because it requires asians to expose as much of their irises as possible. It will also prepare them for motherhood, where the asian stare will keep their children from going out with friends *gasp*. With repeated use, the Asian Stare will cause a noticeable increase in iris radius, bringing asians one step closer to having eyes as wide as wet noodles.

These days, there is a relative newcomer in the world of Asian eye fake-outs: the circle lense. Circle lenses were made popular in Korea before the trend spread to other Asian countries and is slowly making its way to the United States. “Circle Lenses” are like colored contact lenses, except the colored portion is larger than a person’s actual iris. The reasoning is that making their irises appear larger makes asian eyes look bigger. The effect is more dramatic than folding their eyelids, and can sometimes be rather cartoon-like (look at all the anime characters). Asians may even freak people out by getting designs on their lenses, much like Michael Jackson did to the world when he turned white.

Does eye enlargement sound ridiculously strange to you, or are you a woman who finds this so appealing that you have to try it right now? Click Here to check out the many Youtube tutorials about how to glue your eyes. As asian women approach their 20’s or their high school/college graduations, they opt for plastic surgery so that they don’t have to use glue or tape everyday. Eyelid surgery is probably the most common plastic surgery for Asian women for this reason.

So why do asian women spend so much time and money trying to change their eyes? Somewhere along the way, they were given the message that Caucasian is what’s normal, and that it is preferable to have more White features. Flip through an Asian beauty or fashion magazine and if you look closely, the majority of models have done something to their eyes or noses to make them look more White. This is true whether the magazine is for Asian Americans or for old timers. Compact that with the globalization of Japanese cartoon characters, who all have eyes the size of tennis balls (sometimes even larger). School girls live their lives dreaming that they can become the next Sakura (cardcaptors) or Sailor Moon (Sailor Moon).

White beauty standards put pressure on Asian women even when they’re in their home countries (which is sad and doesn’t make much sense). For you Asian-American women who read beauty mags and never understand the part where they say “apply eyeshadow to the crease” – I suggest you check out the book Asian Faces where you can learn makeup techniques that show, not hide, your differences. Until then, there is no denying that Asians love to make their eyes look bigger.

#40 White Girls

Posted March 19th, 2008 by Peter · 5 Comments

Peter says:

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Before we begin, if you haven’t read the overarching Post #26, check it out before reading this post or any posts for that matter. Then you’ll get why this whole white guys, white girls, white people business. Thanks! Now on with the talk: Asian guys love girls. Sure, there are plenty of asian girls to go around, but in recent years, a threatening epidemic has raged throughout suburban areas all over the United States.

leftHave you ever wondered why asian girls can date white guys, but it’s rare to see an asian guy with a white girl? This isn’t because asian guys are not attracted to white girls. On the contrary, white girls are many times the secret fantasy of any Twinkie. No, this is not a partially-hydrogenated pastry, but the asian guy who has a bunch of white friends and does the things white guys do. There’s one problem: He’s stuck in an asian body. Twinkies can be compared to a single kitten growing up in the midst of puppies. Twinkies feel like they are puppies because they are enculturated and they like what other puppies like, including the female dogs. Due to this immersion, Asians end up adopting white beauty standards. (but the same isn’t reciprocated by white girls.)

The fact of the matter is that most white girls do not even see asian guys as “dateable.” They would rather ask them for help with math homework, gaming tips, or fashion advice. They wouldn’t ever want an intimate relationship, leaving one lingering question: What causes this white obsession?

The media has a greater influence on asians than they want to admit. The minute asians turn on the tube, out pops all they need to know about being “hot,” “cool,” and “hip.” They also find considerable beauty in large eyes, a thinner pointed nose, a longer face, and fair skin. An increasing amount of asian pop stars are even having surgery to look more like this. However, these are distinctly Caucasian beauty standards. Why else are white males so exciting?

They’re more exotic and promiscuous. But then again, who says that asian guys aren’t exciting? Who wouldn’t want to have a lobster dinner, talk about current events, AND finish their Advanced Calculus Homework (all the while getting their computer reformatted) during the same date? Asian guys sure know how to live it up!

Asian guys would also love to date a white girl, but can’t. White guys, on the other hand, love to date asian women and can. There are immense differences in preferences and motivation among these genders. When asian guys talk about “Bleach” to white girls, they immediately think “hair product,” before they realize the guy is talking about that book he is reading from right to left (manga). When asian guys talk about meeting after school, it isn’t to make out. It’s to finish up a school project. Asian guys just seem too nerdy.

There is hope: Culture is constantly changing. It still turns heads when we see an asian guy with a white girl, but American-born asian guys just seem a bit more “cool” than they used to be. Movies like Harold and Kumar go to White Castle overturn stereotypes by having asian guys star in stoner films.

What usually happens to asian guys, however, is not that they get white girls, but that their tastes start to change. Though asians’ environments shape early inclinations, their thoughts start to change as they continue to develop as people. Some asians will realize that their love for white girls is only a far-fetched dream during an awkward stage in life. Others will continue their pursuit and ultimately fail, but some will succeed. These asians prove that: Asian Guys most definitely like White Girls.

Written by BananaBoy and Peter.