Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Born Out of Place book launch at Pitt, September 11.

The University of Pittsburgh's Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Program will host the stateside book launch for Born Out of Place: Migrant Mothers and the Politics of International Migration by professor Nicole Constable. The talk will be held on September 11 from 4:00 to 5:30 in room 602 of the Cathedral of Learning. A summary from the GS&W webpage:
Nicole Constable is a professor in the Department of Anthropology and the director of the Asian Studies Center at the University of Pittsburgh. Her latest book, Born Out of Place: Migrant Mothers and the Politics of International Migration was co-published by the University of California Press and Hong Kong University Press, and had its first official launch in Hong Kong in June. At this University of Pittsburgh book launch, Constable will speak on her work, and Shalini Puri (Department of English) and Lara Putnam (Department of History) will respond.

Based on research and interviews conducted in 2011 and 2012, the book tells the stories of Indonesian and Filipino migrant women, their South Asian, African, Chinese, and Western expatriate partners, and their Hong Kong–born babies. The main focus is on the often painful and poignant struggles of women as they consider abortion, adoption, keeping a child, remaining in Hong Kong as “illegal” overstayers, or returning home as single mothers. This ethnography provides insight into global problems of mobility, family, gender, and citizenship, and points to the consequences, creative responses, melodramas, inequalities, and tragedies of labor and migration policies.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

"Intro to Japanese Cinema" series at Row House Cinema, tomorrow through September 4.



Clockwise from top left: Tokyo Story (東京物語), Princess Mononoke (もののけ姫), Rashomon (羅生門), Nobody Knows (誰も知らない). Not pictured: Brother.

Lawrenceville's Row House Cinema will present an "Intro to Japanese Cinema" series from August 29 through September 4, featuring animated and live action films from the 1950s, 1990s, and 2000s. Five films will be shown in all: Rashomon (羅生門), Tokyo Story (東京物語), Brother, Nobody Knows (誰も知らない), and Princess Mononoke (もののけ姫). Sunday's noon showing of Princess Mononoke is a "Kids Will Be Kids" show, and the September 2 showing of Rashomon will be followed by a discussion of the film.

Times are available on the theater's website, and tickets are $9. The single-screen theater is located at 4115 Butler Street (map).

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Asian student groups holding events on Pitt campus this weekend.

Several of the University of Pittsburgh's largest Asia-focused student groups will be holding events on campus this weekend to welcome members old and new. The Facebook pages listed below offer more details, but the events generally include food, socializing, and a chance to meet the groups' organizers.

* Asian Student Alliance - Friday, August 28, 1:00 - 3:00 pm, William Pitt Union Assembly Room

* Vietnamese Student Association First Social on the Lawn - Friday, August 28, 3:00 - 5:00 pm, William Pitt Union patio and lawn

* Korean Culture Association [KCA] First Social - Friday, August 28, 4:45 to 6:45 pm, William Pitt Union lawn

* Filipino Student Association [FSA] First Social - Saturday, August 30, 3:30 - 4:30 pm, 630 William Pitt Union

* Chinese American Student Association [CASA] - Sunday, August 31, 3:00 - 5:00 pm, William Pitt Union lawn

* Japanese Culture Association [JCA] Ice Cream Social - Sunday, August 31, 5:00 - 7:00 pm, 548 William Pitt Union

The events will be held in or around the William Pitt Union, located at the intersection of Forbes and Bigelow Blvds. in Oakland (map).

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tickets now on sale for Royal Ballet of Cambodia in Pittsburgh, November 7.


A 2010 performance in Paris, by Jean-Pierre Dalbera (Creative Commons).

Tickets recently went on sale for the November 7 performance of the Royal Ballet of Cambodia at the Byham Theater. It is considered an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO, and is described thus:
Renowned for its graceful hand gestures and stunning costumes, the Royal Ballet of Cambodia, also known as Khmer Classical Dance, has been closely associated with the Khmer court for over one thousand years. Performances would traditionally accompany royal ceremonies and observances such as coronations, marriages, funerals or Khmer holidays. This art form, which narrowly escaped annihilation in the 1970s, is cherished by many Cambodians.

Infused with a sacred and symbolic role, the dance embodies the traditional values of refinement, respect and spirituality. Its repertory perpetuates the legends associated with the origins of the Khmer people. Consequently, Cambodians have long esteemed this tradition as the emblem of Khmer culture. Four distinct character types exist in the classical repertory: Neang the woman, Neayrong the man, Yeak the giant, and Sva the monkey. Each possesses distinctive colours, costumes, makeup and masks.The gestures and poses, mastered by the dancers only after years of intensive training, evoke the gamut of human emotions, from fear and rage to love and joy. An orchestra accompanies the dance, and a female chorus provides a running commentary on the plot, highlighting the emotions mimed by the dancers, who were considered the kings’ messengers to the gods and to the ancestors.
The Friday show begins at 8:00 pm, and tickets range from $20 to $45. The Byham Theater is located at 101 6th Street, in the Cultural District downtown (map).

Monday, August 25, 2014

Road to Ninja: Naruto the Movie at Hollywood Theater, August 30 and 31.



The Hollywood Theater in Dormont will show the 2012 animated movie Road to Ninja: Naruto the Movie (劇場版 NARUTO -ナルト- ロード・トゥ・ニンジャ) on August 30 and 31. Tickets are $12 and are available online for the Saturday and Sunday afternoon shows. The movie, which will be released in the US on August 29, will be dubbed in English and the Hollywood Theater will be the only one in Pennsylvania showing the film the weekend it makes its stateside premiere.

The theater is located at 1449 Potomac Ave. in Dormont (map), and is accessible by Pittsburgh's subway/LRT at a block south of Potomac Station.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Free Chinese, Japanese, Korean classes at Oakland branch of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

As the new school year begins, a reminder that the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has free Korean, Japanese, and Chinese classes at its Oakland branch (map). Depending on the class and the particular volunteer teacher, the sessions range from a period of casual free talking to more rigorous class with workbooks and chalk-and-talk instruction on grammar and usage.

Here's a look at what's coming up:

* Chinese for Beginners (next meeting: August 31). Held the second and fourth Sunday of the month from 3:30 to 4:30.
* Chinese Conversation Club (next meeting: August 28). Held the second and fourth Thursday of each month from 6:00 to 7:00 in the Large Print Room. For intermediate and advanced learners.

* Japanese for Beginners (next meeting: August 25 in Classroom A). Second and fourth Monday of the month from 6:30 to 7:30.
* Japanese II (next meeting: August 26 in Classroom A). Second and fourth Tuesday of the month from 6:30 to 7:30. "Japanese II is geared toward those who already have a basic understanding of Japanese and are interested in increasing proficiency," says the library website. "Ability to read and write hiragana is required to take this class."
* Japanese Conversation Club (next meeting: September 2). Held on the first and third Tuesday of the month from 6:00 to 7:00. For intermediate and advanced learners.

* Korean for Beginners (next meeting: August 30). Every Saturday from 1:00 to 2:30 in the Large Print Room. Focuses on reading Hangeul and producing basic phrases.
* Korean II (next meeting: August 30). Every Saturday from 11:00 to 12:30 in the Large Print Room.

Students may join the class at any time of the year, though registration is now required for the classes. This can be done online by clicking on the class and submitting your name and email address. For more information about the courses, and to register for one, visit the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh homepage, click events, and search for Chinese, Japanese, or Korean.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Korean mall.



Visited More Shopping Center last weekend, a Korean mall in North Philadelphia (map). The anchor is a Korean grocery, H Mart, and there are branches of Korean franchises like Paris Baguette, Hana Tour, Woori Bank, and The Face Shop. There are also doctor offices, dentists, salons, a pharmacy, a Korean food court, and a few dozen other local businesses. Walking through there, if you didn't know you were above ground you might think you've stepped into one of the underground arcades (지하상가) ubiquitous in Korean cities.

Chick'n Bubbly grand opening, August 25.



A reminder that Chick'n Bubbly will have its grand opening on Monday, August 25, the start of the University of Pittsburgh fall term. It's had a soft opening since July 28, during which time it's only been serving chicken and tea.

Chick'n Bubbly is the Korean-style fried chicken restaurant in Oakland, next to---and run by the same people who own---Oishii Bento (map). The small restaurant in a former nail salon is the city's first Korean fried chicken place.


A picture from a University of Pittsburgh Lantern Night ceremony, circa 1940. It's at least prior to 1942, as the university tells us:
The Japanese paper lanterns, abandoned when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, were replaced by metal lanterns. Later the ceremony was simplified and the less costly candles were substituted.
This year's Lantern Night is scheduled for August 24.

Monday, August 18, 2014

"Intro to Japanese Cinema" series at Row House Cinema, August 29 through September 4.



Lawrenceville's Row House Cinema will present an "Intro to Japanese Cinema" series from August 29 through September 4, featuring animated and live action films from the 1950s, 1990s, and 2000s. Five films will be shown in all: Rashomon (羅生門), Tokyo Story (東京物語), Brother, Nobody Knows (誰も知らない), and Princess Mononoke (もののけ姫).

Times are available on the theater's website, and tickets are $9. The single-screen theater is located at 4115 Butler Street (map).