The New Faces of Korea

 A show where a group of 11 foreigners living in Korea (G11), come together to represent their countries views when discussing social issues.

Every so often as I flip through channels here in Korea I come across some amazing things. There are several documentaries showing "real" Korean life: people living in the country side, a mother who gave birth to triplets, grandparents who live out of an RV...and a Congolese family living in Korea. The children are fluent in Korean while the mother barely speaks any.

There is a hilarious show that has a caught the attention of many living here in Korea called Abnormal Summit or 비정상 회담 in Korean. Its a panel of  three Koreans guys and about eleven other guys from different countries including the USA, Turkey, Ghana, France, the UK, Italy, and Australia just to name a few. My favorite panelist is Enes from Turkey. In a poll, the fan favorite is Enes from Turkey and second is Sam from Ghana!
All of the men are fluent in Korean and it is interesting to see them intereact with each other in the language. They discuss foreigner life in Korea and how foreigners are viewed by Korean people in a hiliarious and fun way. They even discuss and share their own cultures. Many of the guys have become famous starring in commercials on Korean television. It is interesting to watch. All the episodes are subbed now on Dailymotion. I have showed my students a few episodes and they love the show. Without realizing it, they are learning about other cultures. Give it a look and tell us what you think!


The Skin I'm In: Korean Beauty Products

The Blasian Narrative received a letter from Paige, a Blasian Narrative reader, who uses Korean skin care products. If you or anyone you know has ever been to Korea, you have noticed that there are an abundance of stores that sell make-up and skin care products. You'll also notice that they are always next to each other.
Some will argue, right-fully so, that Koreans -men and women alike- are obssessed with outer beauty. Whether you think this is a good or bad thing, I would like to say that their products are spreading across the globe and proving to be effective for many people struggling to have "clear, flawless" skin.

Paige has been using a host of products from Korea's most popular stores: Skinfood, Innisfree, and Nature Republic. She has used cleansers, scrubs, masks, and oils, all that she has really grown to love and now has become an avid user of. However, because she lives in the states her access to the products that she likes are not readily available so she has been ordering online or getting them from really good friends...and just like buying from the stores in Korea....she has received several samples to try. She raised an interesting question to the narrative: Do Asians (Koreans in particular) have similar skin needs as black people?

I would say when it comes to the oiliness that many black people including myself have yes our skin is very similar. Koreans, from what I see, have a lot of acne issues and the many stores and skin doctors are a result of trying to get rid of those issues. Before coming to Korea, I did not have significant acne problem, but I did have extremely oily skin. It was so bad that I rarely wore loion on my face in attempt to keep it dry. Coming to Korea and experiencing air quality changes and nutritional changes, my skin has become sensitive to everything. To try and control the oil I began using Skinfood's Egg White Pore foam. It worked well for a few weeks, making  my skin feel clean and soft, but the oiliness got worse. And I started getting these large pimples on my cheeks. So then, I switched to Skinfood's rice mask...this made my skin feel clean and smooth, but the oiliness continued to get worse.

Nothing seemed to be working until I sucked it up and went to the more expensive (still great price compared to the states) brand for skin Innisfree. I started with the Persimmon Toner for excess sebum (oil). Then a friend, who is Cauasian and has some severe acne issuse and oily skin, introduced me to Innisfree's Bija  anti-trouble facial foam. I bought the moisturizing lotion to go with it. They both contain torreya seed oil (found in Japan and Korea's Jeju island)-  applied on the skin it can heal inflammation, treat acne and boils. To remove make-up and dirt before cleansing, I use Innisfree's Green Barley No-Wash Cleansing Toner, which water based, with no alcohol.
All my products on the coffee table

And to top it off I was given some free masks, one of which was the Its real squeeze Kiwi Mask....I took a pic wearing the mask, but I look cray cray to say the least...so....but for the creative process...I did it...
Anyway, after a month and a half, all of these products together have done wonders on my skin-- reducing oil and getting rid of pimples and blemishes.

If any of you out there are using Korean beauty products let us know how they work for you!


Autumn Asian Men: Jake Choi on #Gotham (@TheJakeChoi)

I'll be honest: I've basically been watching FOX's Gotham waiting to see what crazy thing Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett-Smith) says or does next.  She generally doesn't disappoint.

But tonight...I was stunned to find this guy on the show.

To be fair, Jake Choi doesn't have a big role, and we only see him reveal his gorgeous face at the end when he's getting poisoned by Oswald-fucking-Cobblepot.  But dude was so pretty I just had to give him a shout-out...and gleefully do some research.


Autumn Asian Men: Arjun Gupta on #HTGAWM (@arjunguptabk)

Hello, Salty Goodness.  I'm talkin' Salt.of.the.Urf goodness, feel me?

When I learned this guy would be in the 3rd episode of How to Get Away with Murder, I immediately started my customary research (not a whole lot of personal info on this guy).  Lawd Hammercy on me, Narrators.  Gupta has a brief appearance (making another man understandably jealous) with potential for recurrence which, if it happens, will give us additional eye candy on this show - a huge A+ in my book.

AMBW: Facebook Groups

Sorry for the music volume. Definitely will fix that in the future. So some stuff I've noticed out of these groups made me want to address it and receive some feedback. Agree? Disagree?

Chrispy AKA Kon


Autumn Asian Men: Conrad Ricamora in #HTGAWM

Calm down, ladies.  This one's not interested in women.

That being said...it doesn't mean we can't dream.

Move over Viola and Aja...we have yet another reason to pine for Thursday nights.  I first saw Conrad Ricamora in the pilot for How to Get Away with Murder.  He played Oliver, an insecure IT guy for a firm where a murder suspect was also working.  One of the main characters, Connor (Jack Falahee from Twisted...which, to no one's surprise, isn't being renewed) uses him to get some evidence.

At first, I thought we would see him one time, but come on...who can taste that just one time and walk away?  This past week's episode showed Connor asking Oliver to  dinner.  It also showed Oliver wasn't the insecure pushover we were initially led to believe.  He's not above hanging up on or slamming the door in a lover's face.  And his more "intimate" scenes are hawt.

Ricamora is Filipino, with an impressive background as a dedicated, versatile thespian.  You may not recognize him from a whole lot of film and TV, but trust and believe he's burning up the stage.

My hope for Ricamora is the he continues to recur on HTGAWM because I think it has a good shot at sticking around for at least a few years and launching/reviving/maintaining some careers.  The casting on the show has been quite satisfactory in some ways, and Ricamora is definitely one of those ways.


Autumn Asian Men: John Cho on #Selfie

John Cho as "Henry"

Fall TV is here and I'm more excited than I've been in a looong time.  In fact, I can't even remember ever being this excited about Fall TV.

Anyway, allow me begin this by reiterating: I am a huge John Cho fan.  I will watch him in anything.  So even though his new show has a lower survival rate than FlashForward did back in 2009, I will watch.  I will watch until right up until the final episode, whenever that may be.

I actually watched the pilot while back when it was released on Hulu, then rewatched it today, and my verdict still stands: John Cho is foine.

Forty-two years old and still looking fly, I actually like his character of Henry (no last name).  Commenters and critics haven't been particularly enthusiastic about his performance, and while I will be the first to remark that he's nowhere near as passionate as he was in FlashForward, the premise of the show is both lame and problematic, and I doubt his heart is in it.

Hell, if it were me, I'd just show up for the check, the exposure, and the chance to make some new connections, okay?


Sheik's Bed (2014)

Quick shout-out to author Rachel Cade whose email this afternoon made me laugh out loud.
I released a book recently called Sheik's Bed, I was wondering about sending it to Blasian Narrative because I wasn't sure if it would be considered 'Blasian'. On seeing your last post I guess it is....
It's a brief romantic novella, about 45 pages, and available on Amazon for only $0.99.

Now...I know some of you are missing CosmicYoruba right about now (I know I am), but hey...I can't fill those legendary Blasian Literature shoes.  But for those of you who read Sheik's Bed, tell your fellow Narrators all about it!  I'll keep this thread nice and warm for you.


The Narrative Nods to Jeremy Passion (@jeremypassion)

Leigh...thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing this one with us.

Oh, my Lord...on a lazy Sunday afternoon, this guy totally hits the spot.
Jeremy Passion Manongdo is a singer/songwriter known for his soulful, melodic voice, and delivers his music with messages on love, life and faith. Born and raised in San Francisco, he grew up with an immense appreciation and love for music. At the age of 4, he taught himself to play piano and, at 15, started songwriting. By the following year he was self-taught on the guitar and developed his talents into his signature style today.

Considered a “YouTube Sensation” to his fans and musical peers, he is acknowledged as a pioneer of the acoustic R&B /soul movement on the internet. Passion was one of the first Asian-Americans to go viral online with his famous original songs “Lemonade” and “Well Done,” and his acoustic covers of “So Sick” and “Cater 2 U” featuring Melvin. His subscriber base has exceeded 243,000 followers and has over 37 million channel views.

Passion is well versed in travel as he has toured across North America and internationally in more than a dozen countries. He has performed with artists including Colbie Caillat, Kirk Franklin, Bobby Valentino, Jo Koy, Ernie Halter, Alain Clark and Goapele, among others. In addition to his writing and vocal talents, he is also an up-and-coming producer, creating tracks for Taboo (Black Eyed Peas), Slim (112), Megan Rochelle and more.

Aside from his love for music, Passion has a heart for people. After doing volunteer work in Ghana in 2007, he was inspired to initiate The Empty Suitcase Project in Tanzania -- a music and art project with the mission to provide kids with an opportunity to find their own creative passions. Passion hopes to take The Empty Suitcase Project to the Philippines in the near future.


Random Rant about Western Asia

A while back, my eldest sister and I were talking about romantic partner preferences (or at least I think that was the topic).  She talked about regularly interacting with various Asians at work and outside of work and until today, maintains she's just not attracted to Asians.  Quick side note: as the founder and co-moderator of a Blasian blog and author of multiple Blasian works, I'll understand if folks consider me biased.  But to me, logically and simply, if you're a sexual person who's regularly interacting with Asians but simply not attracted to them, then you must be hanging out with the wrong Asians.

As fellow Narrator Kon has had to reiterate in a vlog, Asia is a "big-ass continent.  Huge." Saying you're a sexual person (as in not asexual) who's "just not attracted to Asians" is saying you're just not attracted to 60% of the human species...literally billions of people spanning a vast variety of ethnicities, languages, cultures, and yes, physical appearances.  When you're ruling out that level of variety, one has to wonder why you'd even bother calling yourself a sexual person.

But I digress.

This post isn't actually about romantic/sexual preference, it's about geography.  As we kept talking, my sister mentioned all her Lebanese connections, Arab friends, Middle Eastern acquaintances, etc.  For folks who've ever wondered, Mid-East/Middle East, over time, became shorthand for "Middle East Asia."  So while she was talking about her friends from Syria, etc., I was like, "Oh...you're kicking it with Western Asians."

By her reaction, you would've thought I'd uttered some heinous form of sacrilege. My sister emphatically insisted these were not Asians nor did they consider themselves Asian, and you already know the reason why: "Asian" has essentially come to mean Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.  If the person has a couple of more points to their IQ, they might also tack on Thailand and Vietnam...Philippines too, if they've had their morning coffee.  But for a lot of folks, that's pretty much it.