When we were younger, I’m sure many of us were told not to speak to strangers. More importantly, we were taught to be polite to adults. Unfortunately, in today’s world, these values don’t always hold true with kids. With viral videos of street fights or the dangerous (and pointless) Kylie Jenner lip challenge, who knows where kids’ heads are these days?
Fortunately, there are other videos, like the one shown below, that restores a little faith back into humanity. Plus, these adorable reactions are sure to put a smile on your face! Watch as the kids go from timid uncertainty, to attempting to assert their little selves in order to return a dropped wallet.
All images courtesy of JapaneseRedCrossPR on YouTube.
Indian fathers are posting selfies with their daughters online to address the alarmingly skewed gender ratio caused by sex-selective abortions in India. #SelfieWithDaughter, which has been going viral on social media since last Sunday, is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Save Your Daughter, Teach Your Daughter” campaign to discourage female foeticide and improve women’s education.
The hashtag originally started in a village in the state of Haryana where female foeticide, despite being illegal, is so common that in 2011, its female-to-male ratio was one of the lowest in the nation. In an effort to stop the declining number, village leader Sunil Jaglan launched a community-wide WhatsApp contest that urged fathers to submit selfies with their daughters.
“Usually we don’t see many pictures of daughters in people’s house,” Jaglan was quoted as saying. “The objective of the contest is to increase importance of daughters in their homes. Clicking selfies is the latest craze, so we decided to hold this contest to encourage parents to take pictures with their daughters.”
Weeks later, in his radio program “Mann Ki Baat,” Prime Minister Modi called on fathers across the nation to join Jaglan’s initiative and express their appreciation for their daughters on Twitter, using the hashtag #SelfieWithDaughter. Modi also promised to retweet the photo with the best tagline to further promote his “Save Your Daughter, Teach Your Daughter” campaign. Both men and women, not just fathers, showed support for #SelfieWithDaughter to speak up against the gender inequality in India’s patriarchal society:
And this isn’t the only initiative working to improve women’s education. Similar to the “Save Your Daughter, Teach Your Daughter” campaign, the Security for Girls Through Land Project also aims to empower women and teach parents what a blessing it is to have a daughter.
As Landesa Rural Development Institute website points out, “In India, girls are often perceived as burdens by their families because they are not seen as financial contributors and because their families must pay dowry to have them married.” As a result, many girls are married off at a young age–while their dowry is considerably lower– and these girls must give up their education and often face very serious health problems during and after early pregnancies.
The Security for Girls Through Land project not only teaches girls in West Bengal about their land rights and their rights as women, it also reminds families that daughters are not burdens. Thankfully, a lot of the fathers in the photos above seem to have already realized that.
Ditch your paper plates and plastic forks on your next picnic trip and entertain in style thanks to Lenox’s NEW Butterfly Meadow Melamine collection!
Summer is here and you know what that means. It’s picnic season! So we decided to get a head start and take out our picnic basket, call up some friends and have a little get together in Central Park! And with the help of Lenox’s new Butterfly Meadow Melamine dinnerware we can now picnic in style!
Packing up for a picnic can get overwhelming with all the supplies you have to travel with on top of the food. Who wants to travel with a super heavy picnic basket in the summer heat? But after we stumbled across this colorful melamine dinnerware collection we knew we would never have that problem again.
Believe it or not the Butterfly Meadow Melamine collection is completely unbreakable. So beautiful yet so functional! Aside from being extremely lightweight, the collection is dishwasher safe, reusable and super durable perfect for children! Plus, cleaning up after our picnic was a breeze with this collection. We didn’t have to worry about throwing out paper plates, we just wiped it down packed it up and off we went. Easy as 1-2-3!
From dinner plates, salad plates and soup bowls to serving pieces including trays, cake plates and serving bowls, this collection has everything you need for the ultimate outdoor dining experience!
The artist of this magical collection, Louise Le Luyer, was inspired by the lush meadows of her hometown on the island of Jersey, United Kingdom that was filled with flowers and butterflies and winding lanes.
After setting up our picnic, we couldn’t help but feel like we were dinning in a secret garden no one knew about in Central Park. There’s something about being surrounded by nature and monarch butterflies that emits positive energy all around. We could totally see this collection being the perfect addition to any summer tea party or bridal shower.
So no more excuses. Get outside and enjoy what Mother Nature has given us! Life is too short not to enjoy the beautiful world all around us. Now, thanks to the Lenox Butterfly Meadow Melamine collection, you can transform any table or picnic into a beautiful garden, just like we did!
For more information on Lenox’s new Butterfly Meadow Melamine collection visit Macy’s.com. And don’t forget to follow Lenox on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram (@Lenoxusa), Twitter (@Lenox), and their blog Table Talk!
The always super stylish Alexa Chung launches her second collaboration with AG Jeans this month! The first collection was highly successful and we anticipate the same fashion frenzy when products drop on Avenue32.com on July 23rd.
Fitting all the current street style and seasonal trends, there will be a range of suede, denim and chambray fabrics excellent for fall’s transitioning temperatures as well as wool and cashmere separates. According to Chung, “The first collection was very focused and stripped back, I challenged myself to create an essential denim wardrobe. With the second collection it was more about exploring where else we could take it.”
Vintage-inspired cuts will be the main theme, and outerwear will be introduced this time around. As always, you can expect the premium quality that AG is known for in their fabrication choices. Keep scrolling to see a quick preview of Chung modeling some of the pieces that will soon be available.
It’s that season again! Wedding bells are chiming and sparkly rings on Instagram are announcing engagements as couples begin a new chapter together. Congratulations if you are one of them!
While this is surely an exciting time for engaged couples, you don’t need me to tell you that it can be stressful planning a wedding. For instance, those who have close relatives in foreign countries may end up with guests who simply can’t make it because a trip to America is expensive. This is just one of the reasons many couples are now opting for a destination wedding in Asia. It can be easier for some relatives to travel to, and with the right budgeting, a wedding in Asia can even be less expensive than having a wedding in America. Sounds like a win-win!
So if you’re considering a wedding in Asia, we’re here to help! Check out our top 5 wedding destinations as well as specific locations we recommend to have the wedding of your dreams.
1. Taiwan – Lakeside Luxury
The Fleur de Chine Hotel at Sun Moon Lake – Photo courtesy of fleurdechinehotel.com
Taiwan has become a global trendsetter in the wedding industry, inviting international couples to celebrate the beginning of a new life together on the beautiful island. Many find that they are able to have more lavish parties and photoshoots for a fraction of the price. Taiwan has proven to be a great choice for those on a budget but don’t want to compromise on their happy day.
Where in Taiwan? One of the eight wonders of Taiwan, Sun Moon Lake is a scenic jewel in the island’s mountainous heart. The romantic lake transforms throughout the day to create different moods. In the early morning it is misty and mysterious. During the day it is a mirror of the mountains and forests that surround it. At sunset it shimmers with gold dust, and after dark, the lights of the villages and temples reflect gently across its surface. A stay at the Fleur de Chine Hotel, situated on the northern peninsula of the Sun Moon Lake, presents these magnificent views, as well as services and accommodations for an elegant outdoor wedding. Under the sun and moon, surrounded by the sky and earth, couples will surely take home sweet, unforgettable memories.
2. Indonesia – Island Dreams
The Pan Pacific Resort in Bali – Photo courtesy of golfworldresorts.com
For those dreaming of a storybook wedding, Indonesia can provide dreamy backdrops and vivid imagery. With botanical gardens, intimate beaches and cliff top venues overlooking the Indian Ocean, Bali effortlessly sets the scene for romance.
Where in Indonesia?
Consider Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort for your stay and venue. The picturesque property transports guests to an otherworldly setting where postcards come to life. Pan Pacific’s grand location, luxurious facilities and excellent service was recently selected to host Miss World. Guests can play around on the award-winning Greg Norman golf course and enjoy spectacular sunsets over the Indian Ocean. The resort’s spacious coastline lawns serve as a perfect wedding location with incredible views of Tanah Lot and its iconic temple.
3. Singapore – Chic Cityscape
The Marina Bay Sands Resort in Singapore – Photo courtesy of wikimedia.org
If you opt for a more modern wedding in the city, Singapore is your place to go. The island country is known for its surreal city skyline. Singapore is not only considered one of the safest places to live, it is also boasted to be the food capital of the world. Sounds like a solid place for a wedding!
Where in Singapore?
Marina Bay Sands Singapore is home to the futuristic Skypark, one of many iconic architectural buildings in Singapore. Its daring design and breathtaking rooftop decks, including the world’s largest infinity pool at 57 stories above ground, draw many couples to this contemporary resort. The Skypark’s landscaped rooftop gardens offers 360-degree views of Singapore and its offshore islands, easily becoming the most photogenic venue for couples tying the knot. World-class chefs and culinary concepts are also available to satisfy every taste.
4. Thailand – Golden Hours
Four Seasons Tented Camp at Golden Triangle – Photo courtesy of fourseasons.com
A country rich with culture and beautiful scenery, Thailand is one of the most versatile destinations for a wedding. From nature parks and beaches to Buddhist temples, there is a venue for every bride’s vision. Thailand’s prime location in the center of Asia also makes it a sensible choice for those inviting relatives from all over Asia.
Where in Thailand?
The Four Seasons Tented Camp, situated in an elephant sanctuary in the jungles of northern Thailand’s Golden Triangle, is right on the border of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos. Intimate tented camps perched on private platforms receive six-star service to ensure guests have the best experience during their stay. Still not convinced? Imagine dressing in soft Thai silks while riding a gentle elephant through the bamboo jungle before your wedding ceremony. Yes, it’s just as beautiful as it sounds.
5. India – Heaven in the Hills
The Tree of Life Resort & Spa in Jaipur – Photo courtesy of travelland.in
There are many hidden gems in India when it comes to finding the perfect getaway. Its long history and strong cultural traditions make India a special destination to experience. For instance, the “pink city” of Jaipur is a popular choice for those interested in exploring the diversity of wedding venues available, such as ornate palaces, old mansions and private villas.
Where in India?
Nestled in the undulating Aravalli hills is the gorgeous Tree of Life Resort & Spa. This venue features 14 luxury villas built using local styles and designs to reflect Rajasthan’s long architectural history. Complete with an infinity pool at its center and private outdoor spas for each villa, this resort was created with a vision of a heaven away from the bustle of city life. Guests also have the opportunity to dine in their villa from a personalized 4-course menu that guests can design daily with the head chef’s help. Talk about an extravagant getaway!
Feature image courtesy of blog.onethreeonefour.com
Amna Nawaz is hard-pressed to name a favorite story she’s worked on in her Emmy Award-winning career, which has taken her everywhere from Syria to South Africa, from Haiti to Pakistan, where she was NBC’s Islamabad bureau chief for several years. It’s hard to pick favorites when every single assignment, whether it’s taken two hours or multiple months, has left a lasting impression.
“I have hundreds, if not thousands, of photos of all the people I’ve met along the way,” says Nawaz. “It still blows my mind that as a journalist, you can walk up to people in their home and ask them about what’s going on in their lives, what they’re learning or what they’re scared about. In some cases, these are conversations that I have trouble starting with my friends and family, but I can engage with a stranger, who can help inform me and fill in the gaps of understanding.
“I think that’s what makes this job so great,” she continues. “Literally everyone I have ever met has had a story, and everyone deserves a chance to be heard.”
Though Nawaz’s father was a well-known war journalist and anchor in Pakistan, she initially didn’t have plans to follow in his footsteps. She was born in northern Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C., and though she always loved writing, she initially planned to go to law school.
“We were always taught growing up that we were luckier than most people in the world,” she says. “That with these opportunities, we had to give back, and our job was to make things a little bit better than how we found them.”
After college, she did a fellowship at ABC News, which was just supposed to be a pit stop before law school, but weeks into the job, the September 11 attacks happened, and her world was turned upside down.
“I felt like a huge part of my identity, as a Pakistani American and Muslim American, was suddenly under very sharp focus,” she says. “A lot of questions were being asked that I didn’t have the answer to, and journalism became a solace for me. I found peace and direction in the pursuit of information and answers to questions.”
She moved to London to get her masters in international political relations at the London School of Economics, but when the war in Iraq happened, she knew she wanted to be there. “When you feel something that strongly, you have to go with it,” she says, “so I came back to the States, got a job with NBC News, and I’ve been with the network ever since.”
Nawaz interviewing a Pakistan military spokesman in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
Nawaz at the Jalozai Refugee Camp, Peshawar, Pakistan.
In 2013, she became the first foreign journalist to gain access to North Waziristan, the region in northwest Pakistan bordering Afghanistan that is the global hub of Al Qaeda and Taliban activity.
Having worked at the foreign desk of a national American news network for a decade, Nawaz thinks sometimes media does a great disservice to readers by categorizing stories as “foreign” or “domestic.” “You can find a reason to care about anything, whether the story is happening in Syria or Arkansas,” she says. “How we tell it is what ends up making people care or not. But people are the same wherever you go. Everyone at heart wants the same things for themselves and for their family. If you talk to a mom about what she was feeling when her children were in danger, regardless of the circumstance, the language or location, moms everywhere hear what she has to say, see the look in her eyes and get it.”
Nawaz recently became a mother herself and also transitioned into a new job as the editor of NBCnews.com’s new Asian America vertical, which launched one year ago. NBC is the first national news organization to create a specific outlet for Asian Americans, and it is one of three diversity verticals, including sites that represent the Latino and African American communities.
“NBC News as a business realized a huge swath of America isn’t being served as it should be,” explains Nawaz. “And the best way to make sure the complete fabric of America is being represented in the national conversation is to have focused resources looking for these stories.”
After almost a year of covering Asian Americans, Nawaz is still finding out about new organizations, issues, communities and voices that she’s excited about highlighting. “We want to tackle some of the tough subjects not being discussed at the national level, like poverty, income disparity, the education gap and how race is discussed in America,” she says. “So we have our work cut out for us, but that’s a wonderful problem to have.”
She’s proud of a recent story they did called “For Asian Americans, Wealth Stereotypes Don’t Fit Reality.” The story was part of a greater series called “Class In America: Who Do You Think You Are?” created by NBC News as part of In Plain Sight, a special editorial initiative focused on inequality and poverty in the United States. Their reporting showed that while the general population tends to assume Asian Americans earn higher incomes, these broad data points don’t show the vast disparity in income between families whose highly educated parents immigrated to America to study in graduate programs versus other immigrants who migrated to this country as refugees.
While stories like this explore Asian American communities in a more extensive way, they are meant to inform readers of all backgrounds. “It’s about having space to show that perspective from within the community, as opposed to from someone outside the community looking in,” she says. “That’s very valuable and very potent.
“Everybody has certain ideas about different American communities, but part of our responsibility is to unpack these assumptions and bridge these gaps,” she continues. “Because ultimately, it’s about helping people understand their neighbors, the people they stand in line next to at the grocery store or the people their kids go to school with.”
It didn’t take us long to discover that many of our readers are obsessed with Hello Kitty. We don’t blame you, of course. Hello Kitty– who just celebrated her 40th birthday last year with a museum exhibit and a Hello Kitty convention–has become one of the most recognizable icons to date.
Although she was first introduced in Japan in 1975, Sanrio seems to be aware that her popularity is no where near finished. This is probably why within the last couple of years, we’ve seen a Hello Kitty theme park open up in China, a Hello Kitty menswear line and countless Hello Kitty cakes. But that’s not all. If you want your baby exposed to Hello Kitty cuteness the second he/she is born, then you can head over to Taiwan’s Hello Kitty maternity clinic.
As you can imagine, the entire clinic is overflowing with cuteness. You will find large Hello Kitty statues, Sanrio artwork lining the walls, a hello kitty elevator, Hello Kitty’s face covering the pink bed sheets and even a Hello Kitty mascot to greet the newborns.
According to Daily Mail, the clinic’s director Tsai Tsung-chi hopes that the Sanrio environment will help ease the pain and fear that comes with childbirth.
“I wish that everyone who comes here, mothers who suffer while giving birth and children who suffer from an illness, can get medical care while seeing these kitties,” he said. “And [it can] bring a smile to their faces, helping forget about discomfort and recover faster.”
Full name: Joanna Reed Sotomura Age: 28 Ethnic background: Japanese, German Where she was born: Honolulu, Hawaii Where she was raised: Honolulu, Hawaii
In Wong Fu’s very first feature-length film, Everything Before Us, Joanna Sotomura stars as Anna, who is introduced as Ben’s co-worker and later becomes his newest girlfriend. As Ben spends more time with his ex-girlfriend, Sara, through a mural project, Anna grows uneasy of their rekindling relationship.
About the film:
1. Describe your character in three words.
Quick, Ambitious, Critical.
2. What is the most crucial part of being in a romantic relationship?
Trust, communication and a shared sense of humor. Trust and communication will help you build a strong foundation and the humor will get you through the toughest of times.
3. What would your real-life relationship score be, and why?
I feel like a solid 87 is a good answer. That’s like a B+ right?
4. Any bloopers or memorable episodes on set?
Aaron Yoo, Chris Riedell and I had a scene together and Phil encouraged us to “play” with it. The guys wanted to do the whole take in these weird Kermit the Frog voices and I agreed! I had to bite my cheek to keep from laughing! It definitely didn’t make it into the final cut.
5. What is your opinion of Wong Fu as film directors?
I am a huge fan of these guys. They had such a beautiful vision for this film and I am just happy they trusted me to be a part of it. I laughed every single day on set and felt so lucky to be a piece of their story. I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for them.
1. What always makes you laugh?
My little sister…and watching the Try Guys on Buzzfeed
2. Your go-to comfort food?
Sweet potato fries, good sushi, thin mints, spam musubi, anything with peanut butter
3. Currently on “repeat” on your ipod?
Ed Sheeran’s “Photograph”
4. A guilty pleasure you don’t feel guilty about?
Loving Ed Sheeran’s “Photograph”
5. Current favorite place?
Watching an outdoor movie at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. I swear it’s not as creepy as it sounds!
6. Favorite drink, alcoholic or otherwise?
A nice glass of Pinot Noir or a peanut butter smoothie…I’m not picky
7. Current obsessions?
8. Pet peeve?
People who belittle others to make themselves feel bigger
9. Habit you need to break?
Telling myself “I can’t”
10. Hidden talent?
I can rap Watsky’s “Whoa Whoa Whoa”
11. Talent you’d like to have?
I wish I could paint
12. Word or phrase you most overuse?
13. Favorite hashtag?
14. Greatest fear?
Losing the people I love
15. If you weren’t doing what you are doing now, what occupation would you be doing?
I’d open a greeting card company with my little sister
If you’re a parent, you may have had to take on the difficult task of explaining loss to your young child. This was definitely a concern for Manoj Abraham who knew he had to explain the death of the family’s pet dog to his young son.
He decided that there could be a way to help this process for his children as well as every other child. This is when he turned to literature. Abraham created a book called Where the Tomorrows Go– a heartfelt story about a young girl navigating through the grief of losing her beloved dog.
“I try to use the loss of a pet as the vehicle through which to talk about loss to a small child,” Abraham told NBC News. “I wanted something universal, nothing too specific to a certain nationality or religion; the message should apply to all living things, whether it’s a person or a pet.”
Abraham not only believes that the book helps children learn positive ways to cope with grief, it also gives children the opportunity to process and understand something as serious as death.
It’s not only the readers who find this book helpful. The National Association of School Psychologists plans to add Where the Tomorrows Go to their updated list of Recommended Books for Children Coping With Loss or Trauma.
“Being from a first generation Indian-American family, respect was everything, it was woven into the fabric of who I am,” Abraham told NBC News. “My parents told us that they worked hard: you have to understand the value of money and hard work. That helped me write the first book. How do I teach [my son] that it’s not about possessions, money, and fame it’s really about quality of character. When I wrote my second book, just like in the first book, I wanted to emphasize the interaction between children and parents.”
When we brought you “The Ultimate Sushi Guide” last year, we pointed out that there are specific rules when it comes to eating sushi. For instance, wooden chopsticks should not be rubbed together before a meal and it is the fish portion of the sushi– not the rice portion– that should be dipped into soy sauce. Well, as you may have already guessed, it’s not just sushi that has a list of do’s and don’ts.
Recently, experts at The Restaurant Choice created a visual to show dining etiquette around the world. Who knew that loud slurping and burping can actually be considered a good thing in certain counties?
So far, The Restaurant Choice has covered only four Asian countries: Japan, India, Thailand and China. Despite the small number of examples, the four visuals are enough to recognize the very different dining rules within each country. Depending on where you are, it may be rude to tip or even rude to eat the last bite.
Want to make sure you’re not offending anyone when you head out to Asia? Check out the visuals below.
We will be patiently waiting for more visuals that cover other Asian countries, but until then, here are a few more do’s and don’ts when you dine in Asia.
-Both hands must always be on the table.
-Bowls and dishes must be passed using both hands.
-Never eat directly from the serving plate.
-Men are often served first.
-It is considered rude to turn down food that is offered to you.
-Finish all the food on your plate to show that you enjoy and appreciate the food given to you.
-Do not expect chopsticks. You will be provided a spoon and fork or no utensils at all.
-Hands must be washed before each meal as some dishes will require you to use your hands.
-Eating must be done with your right hand.
-You will always be offered more food. If you are full, leave a little on your plate.
-Refusing packed leftover food is considered rude. Thankfully accept.
-Eat everything on your plate.
-Do not take the last side dish to remain polite.
-Many of the meals are focused on community so be prepared to share.
-Do not use your hands to pick up food. Always use chopsticks or the spoon to put food directly into your mouth.
-Always be mindful and respectful of the elders at the table. Try to match their pace while eating.
Audrey Magazine is an award-winning national publication that covers the Asian experience from the perspective of Asian American women. Audrey covers the latest talent and trends in entertainment, fashion, beauty and lifestyle.