25 Irresistible Panda-Shaped Foods

To avoid stereotyping, I’m not going to say that all Asians like pandas, but we definitely have a soft spot for these adorable bears. Native to south central China, pandas are known for their distinct black and white color and for (despite their large size) having a diet that consists  almost entirely of bamboo.

Well many people have decided to incorporate pandas into their own diet. No, I’m not talking about eating our beloved bears. A number of people have found creative ways to incorporate the panda’s distinct black and white patches into every day food. The result? Adorable panda-shaped and panda-themed food!

And who wouldn’t want food in the shape of these docile, cuddly creatures? Pandas are now considered an endangered species, but people have definitely made up for that number by incorporating pandas into just about anything you can think of.

Now riceballs, cookies, pastries, bread, mochi, ice cream, cookies and even coffee can come in an adorable panda shape.

panda 1 panda 2 panda 3 panda 4
panda 5 panda 6 panda 7 panda 8 panda 9 panda 10 panda 11

panda 12 panda 13 panda 14 panda 15 panda 16 panda 17 panda 18 panda 19 panda 20 panda 21 panda 22


panda head


India’s Very First Street Art Festival Looks Amazing

Some exciting news from the streets of Dehli!

India is showcasing what is being called “India’s First Street Art Festival” in the south Delhi neighborhood of Shahpur Jat. This past spring, the neighborhood hosted a number of local and international artists to paint the walls of their city.

According to Huffington Post, the project was possible with the help of artists, professionals, art school students, and those who joined the Goethe-Institut and the Italian and Polish cultural institutes in Delhi.

“With volunteers, supplies, and a lot of community outreach, the event organizers were able to bring the artists and help get walls for them– an effort which took about a year and a half of serious planning to bring to fruition.”

The project began by asking permission from the locals and wall owners. Because the idea of street art was very new to the netizens, some were confused and even irritated with what was going on.

Thankfully, even more people were intrigued by the idea of street art.

“Once we started, there was so much noise about what was happening,” one artist commented. “People were always looking after you, and looking for you. There were people always around you. There was this kid that would come by almost everyday, just standing there, talking to you about your work.. So there was a bit of buzz around here.”

Soon, the neighborhood began embracing the art popping up on their walls. One artist pointed out that confusion turned into happiness that their neighborhood was helping to build the culture of street art.

Among the various murals set up, there is a portrait of a strong woman which aims to empower Indian woman. The artist notes that the painting represents respect, security and the message that they should be free.

Even more impressive was a piece on the Delhi Police Headquarters. This work, which is the tallest one of the 75 pieces created around Delhi, is a portrait of Gandhi that measures 150 by 38 feet.

sa 1 sa 2 sa 3 sa 4

sa 5 sa 6 sa 7 sa 8 sa 9

sa 10 sa 11 sa 12


Images courtesy of  © Akshat Nauriyal & © BrooklynStreetArt.com

Even More Photos Of The Brazilian Man Who Got Surgery To Look Asian

The newest internet sensation is undoubtedly Xiahn, a 25-year-old Brazilian man who had 10 surgical procedures to achieve an Asian appearance. The former model has been catapulted into online fame and has been able to shed some light on his interesting decision.

Xiahn, who has been studying in South Korea as a foreign exchange student, commented on the startling amount of surgery among Koreans and pointed out that his procedures are not all too different.

He pointed out that the desire for plastic surgery is quite similar to anyone’s desire to use make up. “Many people change their original look with make up and look completely different so I think it’s the same with surgery,” he explained.

So what sort of surgery did he get done? To alter his eyes, the skin around Xiahn’s eyes was injected with hyaluronic acid to make the eyes appear smaller. The acid in Xiahn’s eyes will only last a couple years. He told the Herald he is not sure yet if he will repeat the injections.

Xiahn’s growing popularity has given him both positive and negative reactions from readers. Despite criticism, it is clear that Xiahn has no regrets about his alterations.

“I think I look handsomer like this. Maybe some people think it’s not, but I think it is,” he said. “I’ve always been shy but now I’m more happy, more confident with myself.”

Most importantly, Xiahn has explained that he is still Brazilian despite the changed look. “I don’t see myself as an Asian. I see myself as something in between,” he said. “I just wanted my eyes to look that way. I don’t feel like I’ve become an Asian or a Korean person”

“There are many mixed Brazilian people,” he continued. “For me, a Korean person looks Brazilian as much as a German person or any other person that has born here.”

Check out before & after photos below!


bef 1

bef 2 bef 3


xiahn brazilian to korean surgery with permission

xiahn brazilian to korean surgery with permission

aft 3

aft 4

aft 5aft 6

aft 7

aft 8



aft 9

aft 10aft 11


(Source 1, 2, 3, 4)

The World’s Last Women With Bound Feet

The tradition of foot binding is one that is deeply rooted in Chinese culture. The popularity of this practice continued for nearly 10 centuries and it was not until the early 1900’s that foot binding was officially banned.

As you can imagine, the process of foot binding was quite a painful one. Extremely tight binding was applied to the feet of young girls to prevent the feet from growing. To ensure that the foot stayed small, toes were curled inward and pressed with a great force until the toes were broken. As you can expect, infection and lifelong disabilities were extremely common.

Foot binding was a very obvious way of showing status. The idea was that women from wealthy families could afford the luxury of having their feet bound while women from impoverished families could not participate in the practice because it would restrict their mobility to work. Bound feet became a mark of beauty and many women who did not have their feet bound would not be able to find a husband.

The very few remaining women who had their feet bound are now in their 80s and 90s. British photographer Jo Farrell decided to document and celebrate the lives of these women. She has been photographing and interviewing women since 2006 and is currently raising funds to compile her research into a book, Living History: Bound Feet Women of China. Fastcodesign.com‘s Carey Dunne managed to speak to the photographer:

Though the foot-binding process was excruciating, Farrell says the women she spoke to didn’t express anger over their past. “The women know that having bound feet was a part of normal life at the time. It was what was required of them to find a suitable marriage,” she says. Often, women and their husbands took great pride in their tiny feet–the ideal length for a bound foot was three inches. In many cases, foot-binding led to permanent disabilities, but in the cases of the women Farrell photographed, most of whom are in their 80s and 90s, “they get around on their own just fine. Most of their ailments are to do with old age,” Farrell says. If anything, “they feel somewhat ashamed of their feet, as it is a bygone tradition and does not represent modern ways in China. They are a generation of forgotten women.”


Farrell acknowledges that her photographs are shocking and, at times, difficult to look at. However, she points out that we currently have a number of body modification practices which may seem just as bizarre to an outsider’s eye. We have plastic surgery, tattoos, FGM, etc.

“Perhaps her documentation of the painful remains of one culture’s insane beauty standards will help shed light on our own.” Dunne remarks.

fb 1 fb 2 fb 3

fb 4 fb 5 fb 6


This Summer’s Guilty Pleasure Must-Read: ‘The Ring & The Crown’

Looking for a good summer read to bring along to the beach? We have just the thing: Filipina American author Melissa de la Cruz, best known for her young adult Blue Blood series, is back with another page-turner.

The Ring & the Crown is touted as a melding of European history and magic, but the book doesn’t focus on magic at all. Rather than a politically-driven fantasy one would expect, the story’s driving force is allll drama, and trust me, there’s a lot of it.

The story shifts between the narratives of four very different girls who lead four very different lives. Marie-Victoria is a sickly princess who wants nothing to do with royalty. Aelwyn is a mage who wishes she were royalty. Ronan is a social-climbing beauty, while Isabelle is willing to do whatever it takes to reclaim her prince.


As you can expect, The Ring & the Crown is filled with jealously, betrayal, manipulation and love triangles. Get through the first couple of chapters and you’ll soon find yourself quickly flipping through the pages just to find out who’s sleeping with whom.

So will this make it onto your list of all-time favorite books? We’re not sure. Feminists will be tempted to rip this book apart and there are some plot holes here and there. But should you read this book anyway? You bet. The Ring & the Crown certainly has all the qualifications for a guilty-pleasure read. Besides, it’s summertime. Go ahead and indulge in all the addictive drama. You’ve earned it.

Details Hardcover, $17.99, ringandthecrown.com.

This story was originally published in our Summer 2014 issue. Get your copy here

Forget Cuteness, This 7-Year-Old Will Destroy You

Back in October of last year, we showed you just how cute martial arts can be when performed by little Asian toddlers. The video, most known as “The Cutest Taekwondo Match Ever,”  features two little girls gently swaying their hips and lightly hitting each other to show off their taekwondo skills.

Of course, this isn’t always the case. Take 7-year-old Mahiro-chan as an example. She proves that little Asian girls can be much more than “cute” while performing martial arts. 

Mahiro-chan begins her routine with a vicious scream and as soon as she begins showing off her moves, one thing is clear: this little girl can kick assMahiro-chan moves with an intensity, fierceness and speed that would impress any martial artist.

Mahiro-chan is practicing Kankudai which is also known as Kūshankū (クーシャンク, 公相君) or Kūsankū. It is an open hand form of karate kata that is known to be basic, but very technical and long to perform.

Apparently, it’s also extremely impressive. Check it below and don’t feel too bad about your own fighting skills after seeing this– she can probably beat up all of us.

Top 5 Most Extreme Cases of Cosmetic Surgery

Cosmetic surgery seems to be the debate of the year. Half our readers believe that we should all just accept our physical appearance while the other half believe people should not be judged for their decisions.

Regardless of where you stand on this issue, plastic surgery rates are growing fast in Asia. After all, a double eyelid procedure is a common graduation gift given to high school girls. As you can imagine, we’ve seen quite a bit of instances where people alter their looks to better fit society’s standard of beauty, but some cases are more intense than others. The following are the top 5 most extreme cases of cosmetic surgery that we’ve come across.


eps 3
1) Woman gets surgery to look like Miranda Kerr.
“On a recent episode of Martian X-Files, a Korean reality TV show that spotlights eccentric and unique non-celebrities, one of the guests was a woman who underwent plastic surgery to look like Australian model Miranda Kerr.” (Read the full story here)

eps 2
2) Twins sisters look unrecognizable after appearing on plastic surgery show.

“The purpose of this show is to “help those with special circumstances or people who are too ugly to feel confident in their life.” The participant facing “special circumstances” will have their plastic surgery sponsored by the television program and audiences follow along during the transformation.” (Read the full story here) 

eps 4
3) “Hand lifts” for engagement ring selfies.

Note: We realize that this is invasive surgery and not plastic surgery, but it makes it onto the list since hand selfies qualify as an extreme justification for cosmetic alteration. (Read the full story here) 

eps 1
4) Television show reverses excessive surgery… with more surgery. 

“Back to My Face features contestants who have had 10 or more procedures done and may have some regrets about their decisions.” (Read the full story here) 

5) A Brazilian man gets plastic surgery to look Korean

“A 25-year-old model has had 10 surgical procedures on his eyes to achieve an Asian appearance. Originally blonde and blue-eyed, the man who goes by “Xiahn” became fascinated by plastic surgery while studying in South Korea as a foreign exchange student.” (Read the full story here) 


Heartwarming Video of What Growing Up With Sisters Looks Like

They say that the bond between sisters is a bond like no other. Sure, sisters can be a headache and they can argue way too much, but when you think about it, life wouldn’t be as beautiful without them.

The following video, created by Buzzfeed Yellow shows how three sisters are as children and how they turn out as adults. Clearly, some things never change.

The video was only released earlier this month, but it already has over a million views. Why? Find out for yourself by checking out the video below. Trust us, you won’t regret it.

Why Asian Barbie Dolls Are Important

When I was a little girl, I had a lot of dolls. I mean a lot of dolls. There were Barbie dolls cluttering my toy box, Cabbage Patch dolls lining my window sill and Ragdolls taking up most of my bed.

Despite my ever-growing collection, I noticed there was one doll in particular that I favored above the rest. She was the one doll that went on family vacations with me, accompanied me to the dinner table and was the only one in my arms for nap time.

As a child, I couldn’t figure out why I played favorites with her. Now as an adult, the answer is obvious: she was my only Asian doll. I quickly realized it wasn’t favoritism at all. It was my natural craving to find anything that looked like me in a toybox filled with blond hair and blue eyes. It was the craving to know that the way I looked was “pretty enough” to be created into a doll. It was the craving to know that it was okay to look different.

This is probably why there is quite some sadness over the recent news of American Girl discontinuing their only Asian American doll. Our community has lost an already rare opportunity for our little ones to see their culture and experiences reflected in mainstream/popular culture.

Luckily for us, in the midst of this bad news, we discovered something incredible. While looking for alternate Asian dolls that our little ones could have instead of an American Girl doll, we uncovered something even better.

As it turns out, Barbie, the world’s most popular series of dolls, saw the necessity in having diversity among their dolls. We found everything from Korean and Filipino Barbies to Japanese Kens.

Now don’t get us wrong. We’re aware of the various problems that come along with the Barbie franchise and we certainly don’t want our children facing unrealistic expectations to be thin, but having Asians portrayed in such a mainstream fashion is clearly a win for us. Imagine children going home with these and gaining a curiosity for the cultural significance of their Barbie’s dress or headpiece or jewelry. Imagine children having dolls that make them proud of their ethnic makeup.

Unfortunately, many of these very limited-edition dolls are no longer available from Mattel and are probably in the hands of hardcore doll collectors. Maybe if we cross our fingers enough, we can get these Barbies back? We could certainly use them.

barbie 1

Philippines Barbie® Doll

barbie 2

China Barbie® Doll

barbie 3

India Barbie® Doll

barbie 4

Japan Ken® Doll

barbie 5

Japan Barbie® Doll

barbie 6

Japan Barbie® Doll

barbie 7

Happy New Year™ Barbie® Doll

barbie 8

Sumatra-Indonesia Barbie® Doll

barbie 9

Thai Barbie® Doll

barbie 10

India Barbie® Doll 2nd Edition

barbie 11

Japanese Barbie® Doll 2nd Edition

barbie 12

Chinese Barbie® Doll

barbie 13

Japanese Barbie® Doll 1st edition

barbie 14

Malaysian Barbie® Doll

barbie 15

Korean Barbie® Doll

barbie 16

India Barbie® Doll


Couple Recreates Photo 51 Years Later

For this week’s #tbt, we decided to showcase the “adorable image of the day” from last month. Why? We still can’t get over how cute this is.

Some say that romantic love doesn’t exist anymore and who can blame them? After all, there’s a Korean website for “discreet cheating” and in Japan, people have resorted to virtual girlfriends.

Luckily for us, there are still some believers of love and every now and then they help us believe in it too.

The Twitter account History in Pictures shows us exactly what it’s title suggests. They post pictures of a New York blizzard in 1888, a San Francisco drive-in theater in the early 90’s and even a rare picture of Charlie Chaplin and Helen Keller.


Recently, they posted an image that has been capturing hearts. An Asian couple posed for a picture in 1963 and then recreated the picture in 2014 at the exact same spot. The picture was only uploaded last night, but it has already gathered nearly 4,000 retweets and over 7,000 favorites.

Unfortunately, no one seems to know who this adorable mystery couple is. We’d like nothing more than to get in contact with them and thank them for reminding us of how love looks like.