Hapa Happy Hour
A lively discussion and celebration of the mixed heritage experience.
American Hope (episode 11) In this episode the women of Hapa Happy Hour discuss the 2008 presidential election, and President-Elect Barack Obama. Please send any comments or questions to hapahappyhour@gmail.com. Thanks for listening! Happy Holidays! (Recorded in November 2008.)
Direct download: American_Hope_episode_11.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:02pm UTC

Global Citizen, Heart of Gold, Part II (episode 10)  The second part of our interview with Hiwa's mom.  Donna discusses her ongoing love affair with Hawaii and asks the ladies personal questions about growing up.  Questions or comments about this episode?  Feel free to email the Hapas at hapahappyhour@gmail.com.  Mahalo! (Recorded in September 2008.)
Direct download: Episode010.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:24am UTC

Global Citizen, Heart of Gold, Part I (episode 9) We proudly present Hiwa's mom, Donna, who shares her travels of the world and her journeys of the heart. This is part one in a two-part episode. Please share your thoughts with us at hapahappyhour@gmail.com. Mahalo! (Recorded in September 2008.)
Direct download: Hapa_Happy_Hour_episode_9_1-2-MP3_for_Audio_Podcasting.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

WE MADE IT!!! Welcome to the 44th President of the United States of America, President Barack Hussein Obama. Welcome to the first president from the Aloha State, the great state of Hawai'i. (Happy Hiwa.) My heart is filled with gladness. Thank you, America. We're ready. We're ready for this new chapter in the history of our presidency. This is truly a happy hour. With joy, Rena

Category:blogs -- posted at: 10:21am UTC

Political Hapa

Hello blog readers and Hapa Happy Hour supporters! First a note: we normally publish new episodes twice each month… but this October 2008 we didn’t quite have our technical abilities at the ready… and, Lisa is celebrating her honeymoon, congratulations Lisa! So we have two blogs to offer, one from Rena and one from myself. We do have some really incredible podcasat episodes coming up so I hope you stay tuned.

Secondly a confession: I have never blogged before. I wasn’t planning to blog either until Lisa and Rena encouraged me… because I really wanted to talk politics before our big national election. So please read on if you’re interested, and as always, we are interested in your feedback: hapahappyhour@gmail.com. Thanks, Hiwa.

Barack Obama! Wow he has totally lit up our nation and our world; whether you decide to vote for him or not, I think that is undeniable. Part of his fascination is his ethnicity. I like this definition of ethnicity (from American Heritage New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition) “Identity with or membership in a particular racial, national, or cultural group and observance of that group’s customs, beliefs, and language.” And when I read that definition the conclusion of ethnicity I reach for Mr. Obama is… American. He is truly an American. If you look at his customs, beliefs and language they are all American.

Fellow politicians McCain and Palin have been implying that Obama is un-American. What standard are they using? If it’s economics, and they are implying that Obama is a Socialist, which is not true, that would still be American. As a Republic we Americans can vote into office capitalists, socialists, any –ists. So what does it really mean to be an American?

It sounds like McCain and Palin think that being American is being like them. Which is not only narcissistic but also dangerous and ignorant. The white elephant in the room is that in the eyes of most people Obama is seen as a black man. (Although I hear people refer to his white grandmother and mother I don’t hear him being called mixed race.)  While McCain and Palin claim not to be “playing the race card” it seems obvious that part of the fear they encourage in their supporters and the undecided voters is the fear of Obama as a foreign, brown-skinned man.

Our war in Iraq (aside from the fact that we went in to Afghanistan to seek terrorists and conveniently-for-them Bush and Cheney added Iraq) over the last five years has added to the fear of foreignness, Islam, and brown skin and it is irresponsible and unconscionable that McCain and Palin should feed that fear. To say he is in league with terrorists is cultivating and focusing the energy of hate, when it would be of far greater public service to lead with integrity.

The office of President should be synonymous with the term public servant - alas it has been many a year since it has. As a leader and a senior citizen I would hope McCain would consider more thoughtfully his political strategy.

The economic recession, when it is not easy for some people to earn their living, should remind us all to treat each other a little bit better, not worse. At a time when people are being laid-off work, and not sure if they will be able to provide for their families, when tempers may flair, McCain should know better than to point an insidious finger at Obama. Aren’t they both fighting to lead and protect America? I trust, hopefully, that people know better.

And I’m so proud, not only that Hawai’i can claim Obama (and that I hope its patchwork quilt of cultures has influenced him).  I'm also proud that Americans have embraced so whole-heartedly a mixed race, intelligent presidential nominee. On a personal note I am validated with the belief that “you can do anything” when I see him campaigning. And he has been so inspiring moving beyond race so elegantly, knowing that it is the heart and minds of Americans that matter, that he is appealing to. Please go out and vote and we’ll “talk” with you again in November.

Category:blogs -- posted at: 8:39am UTC

Hello All!

A big thank you to Heidi W. Durrow, whose blogpost, "Obama's Biracial Background Makes Him Mysterious (Read Risky) to Southern White Voters," prompted this entry. Heidi, the co-host of the mixedchickschat podcast (along with the lovely Fanshen Cox), blogs regularly at www.lightskinnededgirl.typepad.com. Check it out!

In the New York Times article,"For Some, Uncertainty Starts at Racial Identity," (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/15/us/politics/15biracial.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin) James Halsey of Mobile, Alabama said of Barack Obama, “He’s going to tear up the rose bushes and plant a watermelon patch...I just don’t think we’ll ever have a black president.” Still another interviewee, a pipe-fitter who works north of Mobile, said, "“He’s neither-nor...He’s other. It’s in the Bible. Come as one. Don’t create other breeds.”

Other breeds.

Then, two of my students came to me this week and wanted to share with me a video they had found on youtube. The video, allegedly produced by a man registered as "independent" (He made a point of telling viewers this), claimed that Barack Obama was not a natural-born citizen, and therefore, should not be allowed to run for president. So convinced were my students that everything else on the yard fell away from me as they talked. I stood on the blacktop, utterly crushed, staring at these two intelligent, impressionable boys, and my mind was racing. Was this the culture they had inherited? How was I going to pry them from these political briars? How was I going to undo this abuse? In my mind, I was thinking, "That's absurd, you know. Barack Obama was born in Hawai'i. It's a state, you guys. A STATE," but I couldn't say that. I couldn't deliver the information with the sarcastic tone with which it was playing in my head.

He is that much of a threat to our national psyche? We could only be at the "bottom" to find ourselves voting for a Hapa? A Hapa, no less, and still our black and white society only sees the non-white.

I know I am not speaking for Senator Obama, nor do I mean to. I will probably spend three paragraphs describing what Barack would eloquently articulate in much, much (much) less. (One sentence.) But for my part, as someone of mixed heritage, here's what I want to say:

Barack Obama is white.

When you are a Hapa, you get to be the ethnicity of both parents. When you're a Hapa, you are.

I don't say that as if I'm trying to lay claim to some ancient parentage, some forgotten inheritance that would afford me something if I could only prove it were true.

People don't understand that, and because they don't, they dismiss me. It's not important. What's important is only what they can see. Folks immediately retort, "But he's African-American, too," as if that takes care of the conversation. If I persist, they look at me like I'm speaking another language or worse, attempting to practice ancestral voo-doo. They look at me as if to say, "Your magic won't work here."

Only folks who are multi-racial can understand what I mean.

It shouldn't matter, and perhaps it doesn't, but alas, here's the rub. If race doesn't matter, why is Barack's heritage so hard for us to wrap our minds around? Why is it such a paradigm shift? When my liberal friends say, "But he's African-American, too," and perhaps they mean, "and people won't forget that," they're still bearing witness to the fact that race does indeed matter.

I'm tired of people not acknowledging Barack's mixed heritage. It's true that he identifies with being African-American. I understand that. It's the way I relish being Filipino, the way I search for a box on the census to encompass all that I am. When I finally settle on Asian-Pacific Islander because all other choices fall short, believe me, I have not forgotten that I am Swedish and German.

We have no problem saying that Barack is black. Absolutely no problem with that. We're very comfortable with that box.

But, turn it around, and it's a huge mind shift. It's outside the box, and we don't know what to do with it.

Yet, Barack is just as much white, just as much, as he is black. And if we're comfortable letting him be black, we should be just as comfortable letting him be white.

When we do that, then race won't matter.

Barack Obama is a man of mixed race. His diverse background and global perspective in an ever-changing society, in the midst of a technological revolution, is exactly what we need in the White House. This world is smaller and more delicate than ever, and he understands that.

Just a few more days to the election! See you on the other side.

Category:blogs -- posted at: 12:24am UTC

In the Eyes of Beholders (episode 8) Continuing the conversation about going home, from episode 6, the ladies talk about what itʻs like to be seen in various parts of the world. And where they feel the most at home. Are you Hapa, too? Let us know your opinions and questions at our email: hapahappyhour@gmail.com. (Recorded in August 2008.)
Direct download: 08_In_The_Eyes_Of_Beholders_episode_8.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:33pm UTC

Hiwaʻs Dad Talks Story (episode 7) Hiwa interviews her father, Terry, in the Honolulu airport. He is hapa himself, of Hawaiian and Chinese ancestry. Thanks for joining us and as always we welcome your comments and any questions... hapahappyhour@gmail.com. Aloha!
Direct download: 07_Hiwas_Dad_Talks_Story_episode_7.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:28pm UTC

Going Home (episode 6) 6 - Reflecting on our travels this past year and sharing the cuisines that make Alaska, Hawaii, and Guatemala so unique. Please email comments to hapahappyhour@gmail.com. Thanks! (Recorded in June 2008.)
Direct download: Episode6.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:12pm UTC

Meet Rena's Dad (episode 5) 5 - We're interviewing our parents! Meet our first guest, Rena's dad, Jim, from Chamberlain, South Dakota. Find out how this Midwestern farmer fell in love with a teacher from the Philippines. This week we also touch on the similarities between being transracially adopted and being multiracial. Please email any comments to hapahappyhour@gmail.com. (Recorded in May 2008.)
Direct download: Episode_5.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:41pm UTC

After weeks of traveling and visiting family, I am finally home in Los Angeles!  Last month, I had the pleasure of attending the Filipino-American National Historical Society's (FANHS, for short) biennial conference in Anchorage.  Organized in 1982, FANHS is an organization that "collects, preserves, and disseminates" the history and culture of Filipino-Americans in the United States.  The conference is a place for experts from various fields to share their knowledge and experiences with the FANHS community.  Topics presented over three days covered a wide variety of subject areas: from the Filipino pioneers of the Lousiana bayous to the Filipina wives of Hawaii's plantations and the Alaskeros of the Alaskan canneries.  There were films, dances, panels on pinoy pedagogy, books galore, and no Filipino anything would be complete without FOOD.  Over three fabulous days, the conference enlightened, educated, and energized me. 

Dare I say it?

I had forgotten I was Filipino.

Of course, I knew it.  I love it.  But what does it mean to be Filipino-American?  It was emotional reconnecting with my "Asian" heritage, learning things new, and seeing research historians come together and create a community of Mabuhay in the frozen north.  Here are some my highlights:

In a writing workshop led by author Patricia Justiniani McReynolds, I was reacquainted with the word, "Mestizo," the Filipino equivalent of Hapa, but specifically for those half-Caucasian and half-Filipino.  Patricia's memoir entitled Almost Americans, A Quest For Dignity chronicles her experiences as a Mestiza, growing up in L.A. in the 1930s-40s!  Needless to say, I was in awe of her, mesmerized.  Her parents, a Norwegian mother and Filipino father, had been married in 1922. 

In the workshop she gave us 10 minutes to write about a turning point in our lives.  Since it was my personal theme of the day, I wrote about attending a high school dance sponsored by the Filipino Community (of Anchorage) and being stunned that none of the other kids would dance with me.  It was the moment that solidified my "otherness" as someone multiracial.  Patricia asked for volunteers to read their pieces, and after I spoke, an older gentleman passed me a note that said, "I can very much relate to your experience."  I was surprised and gratified at the same time.  Also an author, he was Ray Guimary, a retired gentleman who was Norwegian and Visayan.  He said when he would go to FANHS meetings, people would look at him like, "It's cool that you're here, but...why are you here?"  I introduced him to my mother, and as we were walking to the car later, she kept saying, "He looks white.  He looks white," as if she, too, could not believe it.  I found myself getting completely defensive for him.  "He's not white,” I told her.  “You see, that's it.  That's what I'm talking about."

There were three other sessions besides ours that discussed issues surrounding interracial marriage and families.  One was a round table of Native Alaskan-Filipino "Hapas" entitled, "Double Identities, Double Conflicts, and Double Fulfillments."  It was incredible.  Max Dolchok, an Athabascan (Alaskan Indian)-Filipino, talked about how he wasn't Native enough, he wasn't Filipino enough, he wasn't Japanese...  He said, "Nobody knew what to do with me."  He grew up in an orphanage, and because he could not fit into any group, he was treated mercilessly by the other children.  Ironically, his wife, Lisa, was Yupik-Filipino.  Most surprising, however, was George Quinto, an old family friend, who, as it turned out, was Filipino and Tlingit.  All these years, I had no idea.

As an actor and a director, I just have to share a session entitled, "Transforming Our Communities through Art: Theatre and Photography on the Edge."  Filipino artists on the edge?  You know I was there.  Noted playwright, musician, and poet, Timoteo Cordova, and documentary photographer, Abraham Menor, were not to be believed.  First of all, what these two guys could do with a kubing (Filipino jaw harp) would knock your socks off.  No lie.  Revolutionaries in their own right, they both expressed a desire for (Filipino) artists to produce work that is compelling and evocative.  "...Understand there are no limits," Timoteo said.  "Tradition has its place," but we "show proper respect to these art forms by being innovative."  He spoke of fusing different traditions and sounds and through self-expression, creating something new.  Say no more.  He was speaking my language.  My brain was on fire.   

On our panel was Dr. James Sobredo, a professor from California State University, Sacramento, who presented the work of Dr. Penelope Flores of San Francisco State University.  In Dr. Flores' new book, The Philippine Jeepney: A Filipino Family Metaphor, she interviewed 100 Filipino students and compared the answers of Philippine-born students to U.S.-born students.  One part of the study I found interesting was in asking these students how they identifed themselves: 49.3% referred to themselves as Filipino-American, 31.9% as Filipino, 7.2% as American or Biracial (I'm curious as to why these were lumped together.), 2.9% as Pacific Islander, and 1.4% as Asian.  It was the last one that struck me.  It's true I don't subscribe to being "Asian" in the traditional sense.  We're islanders.  We are not Confucius-based like our neighbors to the north.  (The Philippines actually "belongs" to Indonesia as it was part of the Indonesian trade network before the Spanish came.)

The study above prompted me to ask my cousins at home how they identify themselves.  Three of my Hapa cousins in Alaska said they were
Filipino and one said he was Asian/Pacific Islander.  None of them claimed to be mixed.  When I questioned Ivan about this, he said what people are really asking about is this, and then he pointed to his face.  "What you are," he said.  My cousin, Alex, thought that "being two things has made things more clear" (for him).  "When you're only one thing, things are not always as clear for you," he mused.  I'd be curious to ask my Aussie Hapa cousins how folks down under see them and then compare their answers to the Americans.

Also on the panel was Evelyn Abello who presented her research on different ways Filipinos cope with stress other than therapy.  One of the cultural characteristics she identified surprised me because I recognized it as a trait I possess.  While I'm not opposed to a good rant in a therapist's office, I will rely on my own inner strength (if you're curious, "lakas ng loob") to get through a rough patch.  I always thought that I just came hard-wired this way.  I never considered that it was cultural, that it was Filipino.

Finally, my mother, Maria, and I spoke about the need to provide context for children being raised in two cultures, Hapa or not.  We worked together, taking turns between theory (mom) and practical application (me).  I talked about my parents' ethnic backgrounds, their hometowns, and agreed with Mr. Dolchok that being Hapa is sometimes problematic for others. I told how my mother raised my brother and me to be proud of our heritage, but also to her family's dismay, to be "mouthy" Americans.  In Filipino culture, children do NOT talk back.  We did.  We were allowed because my mom wanted to know what was going on with us.  Information revealed itself in the discord.

Maria quoted Edward T. Hall, saying that "every individual is made up of many cultures and subcultures within himself.  The goal of education is to integrate all of these into one whole identity."  It's a dynamic process, one that never stops.  The Filipino culture, like all "Asian" cultures, needs context.  People discipline their children differently all over the world, and it's been said that the Filipino child is the "best" child that there is.  (Submissive, obedient, respectful.  Basically, seen and not heard, y'all.)  But if your children are growing up here in the U.S., they need to be guaranteed survival here.  Parents must define their values, communicate them to their children, and put them into context for them.  Then children can make sense of the conflicts they will encounter while trying to honor both belief systems.  Parents must also be willing to dialogue with their kids and be receptive to what they have to say. 

It's been said that culture is the sum total of all the answers to questions about daily life.  Language is the mechanism we use to pass on these ways of living.  Culture, then, is like the pair of glasses through which you see the world.  That means that I, and all of my Hapa brethen, have acquired coping skills, answers to everyday problems, from two different voices, born in two different places; these ideas embedded in my upbringing.  It's no wonder then, as cousin Alex pointed out, that we hapas have a unique perspective.  We seek to make sense of two (or more) different value systems and to live by these multiple sets of rules.  It's a dynamic process, one that never stops. 

I am this fusion.

I have made two cultures, two sets of answers, co-exist in one identity.

 It was an incredible, eye-opening, invigorating conference.  I was thrilled and honored to be a part of it.

 For any of you Mestizos out there, the next one is in Seattle, 2010.

Let's go


Category:blogs -- posted at: 11:58pm UTC

Hello from the Land of the Midnight Sun!

It's Rena in the wilds of Alaska. A big thank you to everyone who has shown us tremendous support during our debut month. We continue to be humbled and honored by the positivity that keeps coming our way!

I have some terrific news to share. I am a panelist at the upcoming Filipino-American National Historical Society Biennial National Conference taking place on July 3-5 here in Anchorage. Three things make this event even more sublime: I will be sharing the panel with my very own mom, Maria; I've returned to the land that raised me; and our presentation is scheduled on my birthday, July 3rd. In the presentation entitled, "Building a Culture of Harmony and Peace Within a Filipino-American Family," we will be discussing the joys and the challenges of reconciling two cultures in one household.

When my mom and I were kicking around proposal ideas to submit for the conference, I told her, "We need to talk about raising Hapa/Filipino-American children in this country. That's what we should be talking about."

"Really?" she said. "Why?"

"Why?!" I sputtered. I was taken aback.

Now, you must understand, my mom has two masters, the first being a Masters of Arts in Teaching Bilingual/Multicultural Education. She developed the scope and sequence for bilingual education grades K-3 for the Anchorage School District. This is the same woman who pulled me out of Catholic school, so that I could don the Filipino "butterfly" sleeves and dance to "Paru-Parong Bukid" at every multicultural fair ever held in town between 1978-1985. I've been living and breathing cultural diversity since I was born.

And I'm Hapa.

"Because it's extremely difficult to be raised in two cultures," I said, "especially if you have parents who are not aware of the tightrope you must walk every day, the balance you constantly strive to attain."

It got me thinking of my own journey as a Hapa, a term I've come to love and embrace as the one I choose to describe my ethnic heritage.

The only thing universal about being Hapa is that each experience is unique. It remains the quintessential essence of being multiracial. While you can identify with those who are of mixed heritage, you can't truly commiserate because rarely is one your exact "blend" of ethnic backgrounds. You can lay claim to all and yet lay claim to no one in the same breath. It seems contradictory, a paradox, like being a citizen of the world...with no country.

"Hmmmm..." my mom had said. I think she was playing devil's advocate. I'm still not sure.

If you're interested in learning more about the conference, please go to: www.fanhs-national.org. Stay tuned. Lots more to come!

Also, we hope you enjoy the new episodes! Post your comments or share your thoughts with us at hapahappyhour@gmail.com.

Warmest regards,
Category:blogs -- posted at: 5:44am UTC

I went to the first annual Mixed Roots Literary & Film Festival's opening ceremony on June 12 at the Japanese American National Museum in L.A.  It was great!  Not a huge turnout but a respectable one.  The founders, Fanshen Cox and Heidi W. Durrow, were clearly moved and excited by how many people came--it was pretty amazing to be in a large roomful of multi-ethnic people of all backgrounds.  Fanshen and Heidi are the podcasters of MixedChicksChat, the only "live," weekly podcast about being racially & culturally mixed.  They were thrilled that Rebecca Walker, Alice Walker's daughter who wrote the awesome memoir Black, White & Jewish, agreed to be the opening speaker.

She was terrific, very warm and inclusive.  Her speech was entitled "Tipas for Hapas" b/c she lives in Hawai'i and she preferred the way "tipas" sounded to "tips."  (It's not Spanish.)  She gave the co-hostesses leis from Hawai'i before her speech.  These were her tips for mixed folk:

1. No Self Sacrifice
When she was at Yale undergrad, one night a dorm-mate who was white and male and carrying an open swiss army knife asked her in a hostile tone, "How can you be black and white?  Huh?"  She got out of the situation and went to the dean the next day to ask to be transferred to another dorm.  The dean replied, "You're here to diversify the community. So you need to help the white over-privileged students open their minds."  She said "When you start paying me a salary to diversify the community, I'll consider that."
It's not our job to educate the ignorant, 24/7.
She referenced Gloria Anzaldua's This Bridge Called My Back and said we are often looked upon as bridges between peoples, and we need to be careful not to assume that that's always our obligation or main role.
We see so many points of view b/c we come from different peoples within our families, so we end up validating everyone's point of view--everyone's right all the time.  This can be exhausting...and we don't have to consider it our job to make everyone feel this way.

2. No Dishonesty
We adapt at lightning speed to the people who surround us at any given moment.  So we must be exceedingly careful to tell the truth even if it's not what others relate to.
We need to ask ourselves, "Is this behavior/attitude, are these words, truthful to me?  Am I really being honest about who I am?"
She spoke of having been in love with a devout Muslim man, and becoming a devout Muslim to be with him until she realized she could not spend the rest of her life that way.  We must not stretch ourselves further than we can--we must be realistic and honest about who we are and how far we are and are not willing to stretch for someone.  (We're so used to morphing that we need to be sure we're still being true to ourselves.)

3. Beware the Pitfall of Appropriation
We must not show a lack of concern/understanding about how we can be used by others.
She remembered being categorized as an ugly duckling until the day came when her same face became "the look of the moment."
Our likenesses and identities can be used to sell products and push agendas.  We must not fall into that, unaware.
We must be actively allied with those who are pigeonholed by race.
We must not be poster children for anything we do not fully endorse.

4. Beware of Hubris or Becoming "The New Us"
Some of us have decided "We're at the center of it all, so we're the coolest, and all those monoracial people are uncool."  This is no good.
We must find a way to confound dualism, not contribute to it.
Some of us are obsessed with race.  We must not limit ourselves to this.
She was watching "America's Next Top Model" (she was very funny about that--she's kind of addicted to it), and Tyra was teaching the models how to model "pain."  Rebecca said it reminded her of her fellow mixed peeps--"Oh god, i'm multiracial, oh god, it's all so hard and complicated, oh me!"  She made everyone laugh with that--I'm pretty sure her point was: lighten up.
Our identities are performed in a way, sometimes.  We can rewrite them at any moment.

5. Freedom
Remember that ethnic identity is just one of our gazillion facets.  If we concentrate only on the stars here and there we'll miss the whole sky.  Each one of us is an entire sky.

I stood in line to meet her afterward and thank her, and I watched as a guy in front of me introduced himself as an Arab Jew.  He started educating her on the fact that countless Muslim women in many Arab countries are empowered--working as CEOs and politicians, etc.  She concurred--it was clear she knew this.  But he had misinterpreted a part of her speech--he thought she had said/implied that all Muslim women are in burqas, living like slaves.  She had not, but he kept going--it had obviously hurt him to (mis)hear this, so she listened, and very gently and warmly tried to let him know that she knew what he was talking about, that she had been talking about something else, and perhaps she had been unclear... He didn't quite hear her.  So he said he would email her myspace page with "tips" about the Muslim world, and she started to say she was well aware...and then she very kindly/politely said "OK."

So I had to tell her that I had overheard the conversation, and that she HAD been clear, and what she had done at the end of their conversation was a microcosm of the multi-ethnic experience: you're misunderstood, you try to clarify, you realize this person has more need to speak than you do, or it's just not worth the uphill battle, and you don't want him/her to feel dishonored by arguing, so you just stop yourself mid-sentence and say "OK."

We laughed, I told her about Rena's, Hiwa's, and my podcast, and right before I left she hugged me and told me to email her the details on the podcast BECAUSE SHE WOULD LOVE TO BE ON IT.

So the next couple of days I went back for a couple of hours each (it was hard to do more; it was an all day thing for two days and I had too much else to do).  I watched a bunch of short films and 3 of them were terrific: SILENCES, SECRET ASIAN WOMAN, and NIGEL'S FINGERPRINT.  Most of the others were also worthwhile.

I made 2 friendly acquaintances, and they had made acquaintance with others, and everyone was saying how extraordinary it was to see and hear ourselves represented on screen or in readings, in a large roomful of us.

And it was!

:) Lisa

Category:blogs -- posted at: 10:41pm UTC

Loving Day (episode 4) 4 - Celebrate Loving Day, the day the US Supreme court decided that mixed race marriage was (finally) legal in the United States! We talk about Loving vs Virginia and are grateful that our parents weren't arrested. Please email us at HapaHappyHour@gmail.com, thank you.
Direct download: 04_Hapa_Happy_Hour_episode_4__Loving_Day_.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:06am UTC

Nurture vs Nation: We Are What We Eat (episode 3) 3 - Exploring the connection between how we were raised culturally and how we view ourselves. Someone can look Chinese but not know how to use chopsticks; breaking down stereotypical ideas. Please email us at HapaHappyHour@gmail.com, thank you. (Recorded in May 2008.)
Direct download: 03_Hapa_Happy_Hour_episode_3_Cultural_Home_.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:01am UTC

Where We Came From (episode 2) 2 - Further exploration into the backgrounds of Lisa, Hiwa and Rena. From Alaska to Hawaiʻi to Guatemala and beyond the women have experienced many places. Please send comments to HapaHappyHour@gmail.com, thanks. (Recorded in May 2008.)
Direct download: 02_Hapa_Happy_Hour_episode_2_Where_We_Came_From_.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:57am UTC

Who We Are (episode 1) 1 - Welcome to Hapa Happy Hour where Lisa, Hiwa and Rena, who met doing "Three Sisters", explore their multi racial experiences from three different backgrounds. Please email comments to HapaHappyHour@gmail.com, thank you. (Episode recorded in April 2008.)
Direct download: 01_Hapa_Happy_Hour_episode_1__Who_We_Are_.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:51am UTC