Showing posts from January, 2011

On Amy Chua, and Tiger Mothers

It has been astounding to me to see how the whole "Tiger Mother" furore has erupted in America, considering that the original text is so flawed. To be the cover story on Time magazine? My first issue with the Amy Chua excerpt that was published in the Wall Street Journal is methodological. Setting aside the question of definitions of success, to extrapolate a whole category of behaviour by an ethnic group (which may or may not be an ethnic group, seeing how she fudges her definition of "Chinese" mothers) from anecdotal data is completely ridiculous. Having come from Chinese parents myself, I could state just as confidently from my 1-family sample that Chinese mothers are loving, supportive, and always listen to the child and give him the space he needs to grow. And that confidence would be misplaced. The next concern is sociological. I fear that the Amy Chua article reinforces stereotypes of Asian education, and specifically that of Singapore's. I worry abo

On tea

It's not often I quote Christopher Hitchens, but his Slate article is right on about tea, at least teas of the Indian/Sri Lankan variety. Tea goes first, then hot water. As per Orwell . So much bad tea abounds. Incidentally, best tea I had in 2010 was at Crema Cafe in Cambridge, Mass.  Disclaimer: I didn't go back to Tea Luxe.

Ringing in 2011

New Year's weekend in DC: went to Pho 75 in Arlington for pho. Why are all DC-area pho restaurants numbered? There's Pho 14, and even Nam Viet calls itself Pho 79. Also went to the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City; Eastern Market, only to find it was closed (always call ahead!); and Great Wall supermarket in Falls Church. But the best thing of the new year was discovering an old treasure: watching The Age of Innocence on Netflix streaming. There was one shot by Scorsese that blew my mind, composed almost like Seurat's Un dimanche après-midi à l'Île de la Grande Jatte . The ending, sage about the passing of time and about the collisions and separations of happiness and passion, was a wonder.


Two thousand-one-one, party over, oops out of time... Happy new year one and all! And to warm up the new year, here's Cute Overload's Top 10 photos of the year . My favourite's the seal.