Picking a Name for an Asian Baby

Asian Baby III

Many Asians, when having babies after coming to the United States, begin a search to find the right name for the baby. Some prospective parents choose to give the baby an Asian name.  For many, picking an Asian name is easier because the Asian parents are often familiar with appropriate names and the meaning of these names.  Others, however, search for an appropriate western name in English.  This can be much more difficult because the meaning and popularity of these names is less clear.  The popularity of names for babies in the Western world changes over time and a great name 50 years ago may no longer be popular.

There are some names like James and Emma that have been around for centuries and are still popular in the western world. According to a recent article in AARP’s Home & Family online magazine (http://tinyurl.com/leglz7u) however, there are many names for babies that are quickly dying out.  The following is a list of 36 names that, according to AARP, are in danger of becoming extinct:  Angela, Bertram, Beverly, Carol, Cecil, Clarence, Clive, Cyril, Debra, Diane, Donna, Dean, Doris, Dennis, Derek, Duncan, Elaine, Ernest, Geoffrey, Horace, Joanne, Leonard, Maureen, Malcolm, Nigel, Neville, Paula, Roy, Sally, Sandra, Sharon, Sheila, Tracey, Wendy, Yvonne, Wayne.

The AARP article reports that 50 years ago the most popular girls’ names were Lisa, Kimberly, Michelle, Mary and Susan, while the most popular boys’ names were Michael, David, James, John and Robert. Names that are now starting to rise in popularity, however, are quite different.  They include names such as Tahiti, Koa, Calista, Alizeh and Ines.  These new trends in western names make picking a name for the new bundle of joy particularly difficult for prospective Asian parents.

Photo by Sodanie Chea – http://tinyurl.com/kg4c3dr

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Chinese American Artist Featured At Sterling Oaks

Shaolin Monkey

Award-winning Chinese American artist Tiffany Chang is being featured this month in the Sterling Oaks clubhouse in Naples Florida. Her art encompasses a variety of different bodies of work and includes a collection of oil paintings based on the animals of the Chinese zodiac.  Two of these animals, the Shaolin Monkey and the Tai Chi Rabbit will be on display during the Sterling Oaks exhibition.  Selections from her Garden collection will also be on display including a series of large oil paintings of exotic flowers found in Naples.  Using her unique style she has dramatized these flowers to maximize their impact to the viewer.  Her entire garden collection can be seen on her website www.tiffanychang.us.

Artist Tiffany Chang was born in Shanghai, China and raised in Taipei, Taiwan where she started her training as an artist at the age of 10. She now lives in Naples, Florida during the winter months.  She initially trained in Chinese calligraphy and brush painting.  In her early 20’s she transitioned to western art while she studied oil painting.  She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of California and a master’s degree from the University of Connecticut.

Artwork © Tiffany Chang.  All Rights Reserved

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Children and the Chinese Spring Festival

Spring Festival

The Chinese Spring Festival is the most important period in the Chinese calendar. It begins on Chinese New Year with the new moon and ends 15 days later with the Lantern Festival on the next full moon.  In 2017 the Chinese New Year falls on January 28th on the Western calendar.  This is the Year of the Rooster according to the Chinese zodiac.  The Spring Festival is the longest public holiday in China.  Most employees take at least seven days off work and many students take off a whole month.  It is a time for the whole family to get together, similar to the Christmas holidays for westerners.

This is a great time to get kids involved in the spirit of the Chinese New Year celebrations by making their own crafts and wearing clothing that celebrates the event. In China children spend months making crafts for the New Year celebrations.  You can get your kids into the spirit by having them make their own Chinese dragons or their own Rooster masks to celebrate the Year of the Rooster.  Even babies can participate by wearing t-shirts, body suits and coveralls featuring the rooster.  There is a whole variety of such clothing for children and babies available in online stores such as www.amazon.com and www.zodiacals.com.

Photo by Emran Kassim – http://tinyurl.com/jv8gh4o

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Innovative New Products for Asian Babies

asian-baby

Just in time for the current Asian American baby boom there are a number of innovative new products that are perfect for Asian babies. WubbaNub baby pacifiers, for example, have 8 baby pacifiers with animals that are related to the Chinese zodiac.  These include the Monkey, Dog, Lamb, Rabbit, Mouse, Dragon, Tiger and Bull.  The plush animals make it easy for the baby to grasp and manipulate the pacifier.  They are made with a medical grade, latex-free pacifier and are available on Amazon.com for $13.95.  See:  http://tinyurl.com/hytz5nu

Born Free has a wide selection of incredibly soft muslin and terry cloth bibs. The front of the bib is made of a soft muslin that makes it nice to wipe the baby’s face, while the other side is made of terry cloth for absorbing liquids and to help keep the baby dry. They are available on Amazon for under $12.  See: http://tinyurl.com/zdqeq3n. The swaddle blankets from Aden + Anais are something that babies will dream of. They are available in a swaddle blanket, dream blanket, sleeping bag, and a security blanket.  They are extremely soft and come in a variety of colors.  They are available on Amazon at prices ranging from $7.95.  See: http://tinyurl.com/hyg9ghf

Photo by Benny W. – http://tinyurl.com/gq3wakg

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Baby Products and the Asian American Baby Boom

korean-baby

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 – http://preview.tinyurl.com/gljklga

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Richmond BC versus Flushing NY

richmond-tram

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 – http://tinyurl.com/zm7qst9 

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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 – http://tinyurl.com/jkswcxs

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3 Secrets to Maintaining Beautiful Asian Hair

 

Asian Hair V

What is the secret to maintaining beautiful, long, thick, bouncy Asian hair? Naturally part of the secret is lifestyle and diet.  There are, however, actions you can take to maintain beautiful Asian hair.  The results of interviews with those with especially attractive hair and research with hairdressers have revealed three secrets that seem to help in keeping Asian hair healthy and shiny and full of life.

Proper Hair Cutting – Beautiful Asian hair can be enhanced by the way it is cut. .  Since most Asian hair types are very straight, layered cuts can be helpful to those who have facial shapes that call for layered cuts to add or remove volume in different areas of the head. The texture of Asian hair means that most of these layered cuts will need specific styling to help boost the volume in the desired areas. Those with fine thin hair should consider hair styles that are blunted with cleaner, sharer cut lines.

Proper Brushing – With long Asian hair you have to brush properly to keep your hair healthy and looking its best. Make sure to choose the correct brush that suits your hair. Choose the one with the largest head you are comfortable using.  Natural boar bristles on a narrow brush is ideal for short or fine Asian hair. A hairbrush with durable nylon bristles is a good brush for thicker Asian hair or for hair that often gets tangled. There is even an ionic hairbrush that keeps soft Asian hair static free. There is a wide selection of hairbrushes available on the online store zodiacals.com selected specifically for Asian hair.

Camellia Oil – One of the secrets to maintaining beautiful Asian hair for many people is camellia oil. This oil includes a wealth of necessary vitamins like A, B, C and E.  It also has an enticing herbal aroma.  In China this is called tea seed oil and is used as a scalp conditioner and healthy hair growth promoter.  In Japan some people believe camellia oil can put color back into gray hair.

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Are Asian Eating Habits Healthier?

Healthy Asian

In most Asian families, as in many cultures, food is very much central to their lives. Many special occasions, for example, use food as the centerpiece of the occasion.  Even everyday cooking gives great comfort to the typical Asian family.  There are several differences, however, between the typical Asian diet and the western diet and these differences may contribute to a healthier lifestyle.

One of the differences between the typical Asian diet and the western diet is the lack of processed food and cheap calories. I am sure this contributes to better diet control.  Another key to the Asian diet is balance.  Asians tend to eat a variety of foods to maintain health and do not try to exist on a single type of food.  One of the ways they do this is by choosing foods of different colors.  Red tomatoes, purple eggplant, green spinach and white garlic are examples.

Some Asians will maintain a proper body temperature with food. If they are cold they will eat warm foods and spices such as chili peppers, ginger and green onions.  If they are warm they will eat foods to cool down such as a mint beverage, citrus, cucumber and tomato. You may notice that there are not a lot of Western-style salads in the traditional Chinese diet.  This may be because traditional Chinese medicine teaches that cold raw food such as a salad is hard on the digestion and should be eaten in moderation.

Moderation is recommended in the Asian culture regarding the types of food that should be eaten as well as the amount of food that should be consumed. Eating in moderation is felt to lead to a longer life.  My Chinese father-in-law always told me he would only eat until he is 70 percent full.  The last time he told me that he was 90 years old.  As with my father-in-law, many Asians believe eating too much food will unnecessarily stress the body.

Photo by Take Back Your Health Conference – http://tinyurl.com/j756jzp

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Most Popular U.S Cities for Asian Americans

Seattle

Approximately 40% of new legal immigrants each year are Asian. They are currently the largest source of legal immigrants to the United States.  There are Asian-Americans living in virtually every American city; however there are ten cities that have a much larger concentration than others.  These include Seattle, Dallas, Las Vegas, Houston, San Diego, Austin, San Francisco, New York, Honolulu and Los Angeles.  Asian Americans are the country’s highest income and best educated racial group.  Because of this the most heavily Asian American communities tend to be prosperous.

There are many cities and towns in the United States where over 50% of the population is Asian American. They tend to be suburban communities that have good public schools and are often technologically oriented.  In the San Francisco area, for example, Union City, Daly City, Fremont, Cupertino and Milpitas are communities where the majority of the population is Asian American.  In the Los Angeles area the population in Monterey Park, San Gabriel, Alhambra, Rowland Heights and San Marino are mostly Asian American as is the population in Palisades Park, New Jersey.  Hawaii has a huge Asian American population.  In addition to Honolulu, the smaller communities of Kahului, Keaau, Lanai City and Pahoa also have a population that is mostly Asian American.

Photo by Tiffany Von Arnim – http://tinyurl.com/zenmzw4

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