Umbrella Revolution Wall 2014

Umbrella Revolution Wall 2014
Admiralty, Umbrella Revolution 2014

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Canto is kicking in...slowly

Had a conversation with another parent trying the Canto schooling route to gain some language skills in the K1-K3 years. It's really hard for all parties--parents, teachers and kid. It has not been an easy route for Keohi, and nothing is really certain about the outcome or the effect of pedagogical styles or expectations given his cultural context and background...there have been many sleepless nights and lots of agonizing. It has not been easy. But I will say this proudly on his behalf: Canto is finally kicking in!

There are now some words or phrases uttered with some serious mimicry of tones. He's getting it. It's limited. But it finally began to click this summer. We have started Year 3 of Canto. We did have some tutoring. No, we were pretty bad at doing the homework (but I don't care about the writing -- I just hoped he could speak and make friends). I hope that it sticks as Canto schooling won't be forever. Given the status of my Canto, it's nice to know that in a desperate situation I will be able to call upon my son for some basic translation.

My father, my husband, and my son claim childhoods in different countries: Korea, England and Hong Kong. There is clearly some larger aspect here that could provide hours of psychoanalytic amusement, but suffice to say, a good portion of my life has been in some kind of cultural or linguistic translation...One might frame this romantically. Or one could say that it's like permanently riding a train because you have no real final stop...

Friday, September 21, 2012

Sumo Mania and Sumo Lantern 2012

Time for the annual lantern making. This is how you know you have a Hong Kong kid. The annual fall project...

Sumo Mania has hit our house…well, it’s been here for about 10 months…I introduced Keohi to sumo wrestling via Youtube clips from National Geographic as I thought he was getting too obsessed with unrealistic body images of muscle bound freaks.

But, yes, the passionate nature of my son took over, as usual. Whatever Keohi does is full on and very take-no-prisoners. Unfortunately, this may be a genetic trait as this is clearly something he shares with his father, myself, and every other member of my family! We’re a family of fairly fanatical types. Only my logical mom, who at times is very random, is there to mellow us out.

These days we are running a one-boy sumo stable. I found if I actually tell Keohi that sumos do X, then there is a little more enthusiasm--like, sumos help their mommies set the table...Keohi says he wants to bulk up and downs bowls of udon noodles (chonkonabe, as the Japanese say) and is a sumo fanatic. Loincloth has been again pulled out. Last night he was slathering lotion all over his body so he could get that smooth sumo skin and has been asking me daily to stick his hair up in a topknot. He was also doing the pre-match squat in front of the mirror and marching around with his arms bent at his side (like he is really big, so his arms can’t touch his sides!) and murmurs the Japanese he hears on the youtube. For all I know he could be saying, give me another beer. He pretends his apple juice is a beer as sumos drink beer and then sleep. He has requested a futon on the floor (we have one on our bed, so no big deal), and has tried to throw salt on the ground for the pre-match ceremony. I am involved in daily matches on our small rug. So is Angie. Stephen gets the weekend rotation of this. Since he told me his main goal in life is to become a sumo wrestler (or a fish market worker who kills squid) and this was now nearly a year ago, I’m thinking that this could be my future—me cheering for my 400 pound son…

Instead, it was a family effort and we made this sumo, from recycled paper, toilet rolls, plastic bottles, tofu container stomach, finger and regular paint (yellow, red and white make peach), string, glue, wire and doublestick tape. It’s Asashoryu, the Mongolian former Yokozuna until he got kicked out as he beat up a bouncer (I explained to Keohi, this sumo had NO SELF CONTROL. Self-control is our mantra for the fall…this will clearly be a lifelong challenge for him…)

So we also watched a short doc on white American guys who do sumo in SoCal (where else but LA?) and various matches with the Fijian and Estoniana sumo. So Keohi says to me: I’m going to be ALL sumos when I grow up. Japanese, Korean, Mongolian and English ones. I say, what English sumos? He says, the ones in the gym on youtube. I realize, oh yeah, those white guys in LA.

This discovery has now led to a strong suspicion that any male in Mui Wo with a large beer belly is a possible closeted sumo wrestler! This is a little embarrassing. We were in the swimming pool a few weeks ago and he says to me, MOM. LOOK. I glance over. It’s a British guy with a very large stomach. DO YOU THINK..Keohi says excitedly…I say NO. Keohi, no, please, don’t ask him. He’s not a sumo. He just has a big tummy. Keohi is visibly crushed. Still, he is suspicious. He wants to ask the guy. So I have to add: He’s very big, and maybe his feelings will be hurt if you ask him if he is a sumo wrestler. Some people are just big. And they aren’t sumo wrestlers…

 So Mui Wo guys, hope you aren't offended if Keohi asks you if you are sumo wrestler. If it's any consolation, he thinks you are super cool. The bigger the stomach, the better...