Baby Products and the Asian American Baby Boom


Have you noticed all the babies that are suddenly everywhere? We are currently seeing another Baby Boom very similar to the one that occurred after the Second World War. The difference is half of the babies born during this Baby Boom are minority children.  According to Census Bureau statistics there are approximately as many non-white babies being born in the United States as white children. Asian Americans are one of the fastest-growing minority groups.  Asian Americans have accounted for 25 percent of the U.S. population gain during the last decade. In the future the number of Asian-Americans is expected to increase dramatically.  This increase is expected to be even greater than the increase of the Hispanic population.  Because of this the Asian American baby boom is not expected to end anytime soon.

The Asian American baby boom is now presenting significant opportunities to companies selling baby products. There are approximately 18 million Asian Americans living in the United States and they are currently concentrated in 19 U.S. cities.  Asian Americans are expected to contribute to at least 43% of the population growth of those cities. Diapers, baby food, baby clothes, baby shoes, baby toys, and other baby products are in high demand among Asian American parents. This is a very important target market for companies selling baby products because as a group Asian Americans are at the top of the socioeconomic ladder.  Identifying and catering to the needs of this key demographic group should be a top priority for baby product companies.

Photo by Ivodman –

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Asianification of Skin Care


Have you even wondered how Korean women maintain seemingly ageless skin? While shopping at an H-Mart Korean supermarket this weekend I went into the beauty products boutique and had an interesting conversation with two South Korean women about skin care. I was told that there is a major difference between the Korean and the western approach to beauty. Women in the west typically follow a three-step facial regime whereas in South Korea there are 10 different steps. I was then shown all of the products that are used in this typical 10-step approach. No wonder South Korea is increasingly regarded as the holy ground of skin care innovation.

South Korean women spend more of their money on cosmetics than those in any other country and spend twice as much of their income on beauty products as do their American counterparts. Because of this South Korea is at the forefront of research into new skincare products, and its exports of skincare products are soaring. In 2015 South Korea exported more than $2.6 billion in cosmetics. Two of the products at the forefront of global skin care, for example, are Korean face masks (often made from seaweed) and Korean face cream (often made from snail slime). If western women find it too time consuming and expensive to use 10 plus beauty products a day as they do in South Korea, cherry picking these products will still result in a noticeable difference in their skin.

Shopping for Korean skincare products in retail stores can currently be difficult unless you live in a city with a large Asian population. It is great to have a knowledgeable sales person explain the benefits of all of the different products and how to fit them into a daily skin care routine. You can, however, purchase a wide range of Korean skincare products online. I found many websites that sell beauty products from South Korea. Two of the best were and Imomoko has a huge selection of masks and Gmarket has numerous skincare pads, creams and other products. Both sites are in multiple languages.

Photo by kaybee07 –

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Din Tai Fung Was a Special Treat in Seattle


One of the highlights of my recent trip to Seattle was dinner at the famous Din Tai Fung dumpling restaurant. I have had dinner at this world famous restaurant in Shanghai and was delighted to learn that they were also in Seattle.  With its signature xiao long bao (soup dumplings) Din Tai Fung is ranked as one of the world’s Top 10 Best Restaurants by The New York Times.  The Shanghai Soup Dumplings are wonderful.  There are 10 of these tiny dumplings in each order and they come in the traditional bamboo steamers.  We ordered several steamers and they went fast.  They are not the cheapest dumplings around but the experience is well worth the money.

Everything about Din Tai Fung is unique, which is probably why this Taiwanese-based dumpling chain is so highly praised. You cannot make a reservation but they have set up a phone-based text message notification system that makes getting in easier.  While you are waiting you can watch the showmanship of Din Tai Fung’s chefs within the open concept kitchen.  Creating these miniature dumplings is not easy but these chefs, wearing their Din Tai Fung uniforms, make them with obvious precision and skill.  It is fun to watch. I really like the way the Din Tai Fung restaurants are decorated.  It is a very modern setting decked out in earthy tones and illuminated by lighting that creates a truly enjoyable dining experience.

Photo by Sarah Ackerman –

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Richmond BC versus Flushing NY


Last week I had my first opportunity to visit Richmond BC located on Canada’s West Coast. I was anxious to compare this famous Chinese community to that of Flushing New York, which I visit frequently.  Richmond is 20 minutes from Downtown Vancouver, and 25 minutes from the US border. As I drove into Richmond the differences between Flushing and Richmond were immediately apparent.  Both cities have a huge Chinese population, which is obvious from the Chinese characters on many buildings and businesses.  Upon entering both cities you sort of feel like you are in China.  The difference, however, is Flushing is a walking city and Richmond is not.  Where you can walk most places in Flushing in minutes, Richmond is quite spread out and most people drive from one place to another.

Richmond’s downtown and waterfront areas are quite beautiful. There is even a new monorail, Canada Line rapid transit system, which reminded me of the modern monorail in Shanghai.  One of the highlights of my trip to Richmond was my visit to Aberdeen Center.  This is a modern mall that reminded me of some of the great malls in Shanghai and Beijing.  Most of the staff in the stores in these malls spoke Chinese and much of the merchandise catered to the Asian consumer.  There are also several interesting malls in Flushing but they are much smaller.  We had lunch at Dinesty Dumpling House within Aberdeen Center, which was a real treat.  I especially liked their Xiaolongbao soup dumplings with minced pork.  They were at least as good as those in my favorite restaurant Nan Xiang Dumpling House in Flushing.

Photo by Robert Ashworth – 

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The Red Fire Rooster and the Goat

8 Cartoon Young Young Final-Ss

The goat was complaining to the Red Fire Rooster that things are tough and seem to be getting worse. Because he was an excellent musician the animals in the barnyard brought him food to hear his music.  He prospered for many years by sitting in front of the barn playing his delightful tunes.  Now, he complained, very few animals seemed interested.

10 Cartoon Ge Ge Final-Ss

The Red Fire Rooster was a pottery maker and told a different story. He had lived through many ups and downs in the pottery business.  Sometimes, it seemed, everybody was buying pottery.  Other times he had to travel to many different barnyards to find animals interested in his wares.  He told the goat you have to find opportunity because opportunity won’t find you.

The goat spent every day sitting in front of the barn playing his music hoping others would bring him food like they always had. He continued to complain that things are tough and seem to be getting worse.  The Red Fire Rooster was happy and full of food.  He told the goat that he always has food but sometimes he has to work really hard to get it.

Story by ZuZuthePig. All Rights Reserved

Artwork by Tiffany Chang, All Rights

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An Amazing Collection of Mao Badges

Mao Badges

There are many different types of badges collected by people dating back many years. Many of these are campaign buttons used during election years dating as far back as George Washington.  The first mass produced photographic images on badges were used in 1896 by the William McKinley campaign for president of the United States.  The largest production of badges in history was in China.  A Mao badge was a symbol of communism in China during the early period of the Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1971. Several billion Mao badges were produced.

A friend of mine made frequent business trips to China from 1969 – 1972. He was a Danish businessman with a passport from one of the few countries allowed Chinese visas.  During every meeting he was given a Mao badge. He was also given badges collected by others traveling with him.  He eventually collected an incredible 250 Mao badges.  He now has his collection of Mao badges displayed in frames.  Interestingly he points out that although they all look similar each of the Mao badges in his collection is unique and slightly different.  What an amazing collection!

Photo by Zu Zu the Pig of friend’s actual Mao badge collection

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Why Do We Want to Change our Race?

Chinese Solders

I was struck by an article that appeared in AOL news today by Sharline Chiang, which was originally written in the Daily Dose on May 25, 2015. I was struck by the article because it reminded me of myself.  Sharline was born in a Chinese body but wanted to be white.  She grew up in a suburb of New Jersey where in school there were a few black kids and a couple of Latinos and Asians, but most of the kids were white. She only had white friends and wanted to be just like them. She wanted to get eyelid surgery, breast implants and blue contacts so nobody would know that she was Chinese.  When she looked in the mirror she saw a Chinese girl but she wanted to see a blonde with blue eyes.  She hated the idea that people would ask her if she was a foreigner.

Eventually she stopped trying to be white and made friends with proud Asian Americans, Latinos and African-Americans. Her self-hatred slowly dissipated and was replaced by a new appreciation of herself.  She was reminded of her ancestors and the courage of people of color in America.  When I was a teenager I lived in Mexico City and also wanted to change my race. I was not Mexican but all of my classmates were and I too wanted to be just like them.  I was envious of the way they looked, which was nothing like the way I looked.  Like Sharline I also did many things to make myself look like my Mexican friends.  Eventually I also came to appreciate who I really was but it took much longer than I wish it would have.

Photo by Ashley Van Haeften –

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Malaysian Roti Canai with Curry Chicken

Malaysian Canai

Last weekend we had a special treat at a new Malaysian restaurant in Flushing, New York. PapaRich Malasian Delights is a beautiful, modern restaurant on the top floor of One Fulton square on Prince Street.  We had two traditional Malaysian dishes that were so authentic I felt like we had actually traveled to Malaysia.  As an appetizer we had Satay Chicken which we dipped in a wonderful peanut flavored sauce.  This was followed by a very traditional Malaysian dish Roti Canai with Curry Chicken.  For desert we had shaved ice with cendol red beans.  At the end of the meal we were greeted by the restaurant’s owner Daniel Tiew, who suggested we also try their signature desert “Cendol”.  This is also shaved ice with cendol but has brown sugar for added flavor.  I normally don’t eat two desserts but what a great way to end a meal on a hot summer day.

I have to say that eating roti canai for the first time was an amazingly positive experience for me. I realize that this is a famous Malaysian dish that is available everywhere in Malaysia but I have never had the opportunity to try it.  It is made by taking out a piece of dough that has been slightly oiled and contains eggs, butter, flour and water.  It is then kneaded and flattened into a thin layer.  The thin layer of dough is then folded into a square and placed on a hot griddle to fry.  Oil is sprinkled over the dough to give it a crispy outer layer.  The dough is finally loosened by the cooks slamming it between their hands to make it crunchy.  Ours was served with a curry sauce and curry chicken.  I liked it so much that we went to an Asian supermarket afterwards and purchased some frozen pre-made roti canai to take home.

Photo by Zu Zu the Pig

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The Rooster is a Symbol of Integrity

10 Cartoon Ge Ge Final-Ss

The Chinese see the rooster as a symbol of integrity and efficiency. People born in the “Year of the Rooster” are felt to be hardworking, resourceful, courageous and talented. In the Asian world, 2017 is the Year of the Red Fire Rooster and this has some important implications for careers and investments. According to Chinese astrology rooster years are known to be generally positive and will be good for most people.  Hard work and patience will be the keys to achieving success next year.  If you look at the behavior of actual roosters you can see how Chinese legend came about.

A rooster is an adult male chicken and they instinctively see themselves as protectors of their hens. They will often sit on a high perch serving as a lookout.  If anything causes their hens to squawk, they can become a bit aggressive.  For the most part, however, the rooster has a nurturing but dominant personality and many people who keep roosters as pets find them quite affectionate.   There are many children’s stories about roosters ranging from fables like “The Rooster Prince” to “The Magnificent Rooster and the Little Ant”. These stories typically portray the rooster as a proud bird who swaggers around the barnyard picking kernels of grain and protecting his hens.

Artwork by Tiffany Chang, All Rights

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