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In Wake of Tragedy, How Do We Talk to Our Children?

Pictured is one of the young survivors of the South Korean ferry sinking. (Photo via Getty)

As many of us—parents especially—empathize deeply with the pain of the families of the South Korean ferry victims, we also find ourselves wondering how to talk about this tragic incident involving so many children with our own kids. KoreAm looked back to our February 2013 issue, when mental health columnist Dr. Esther Oh gave some valuable advice on how to help our youth deal with trauma, in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. We revisit that advice here.

How Do We Talk to the Children?

In light of the December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, mental health columnist Dr. Esther Oh dispenses advice on how to help our youth deal with trauma.

by DR. ESTHER OH

My eyes are glued to CNN, and it’s hard to digest the headline I’m seeing: “Gunman kills 20 elementary school students.” I am left speechless, as more news surfaces about the gunman, who took the lives of 20 young children and six adults. Weeks later, the details are still chilling.

It’s hard to imagine how the victims’ families and friends—as well as the survivors—can return to their lives after this horrific incident. Such tragedies often make us think about how we would handle such a situation if we were ever faced with it. The truth is, many of us will also face some form of trauma in our lives, such as the death of a loved one or a natural disaster. After the initial shock wears off, most adults are able to process what happened, with support from others, and eventually move on in life.

Children and teenagers, however, differ. They’ll undergo a range of reactions, based on their age, previous experiences and understanding of the world. They’ll often turn to adults for answers and comfort. Knowing ahead of time how to deal with such events will help you take care of yourself and also prepare you to talk to your own children in an effective and healthy way. (more…)

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Author: KoreAm
Posted: April 18th, 2014
Filed Under: Back Issues , BLOG , February 2013
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April Issue: 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors Celebrates 20 Years of Asian American Comedy

Greg Watanabe (left) and Michael Chih Ming Hornbuckle of 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors.
Photo by Michael Palma

The Comedy Might of 18MMW

18 Mighty Mountain Warriors, known for its incisive humor taking on Asian and Asian American topics, celebrates its 20th anniversary year.

by ADA TSENG

An 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors creative brainstorming session may not be what one would expect from such a zany, boisterous Asian American comedy team. As Greg Watanabe and Michael Chih Ming Hornbuckle discuss possible new sketch ideas for their upcoming show in San Diego, topics include the recent affirmative action bill in California; China’s growing influence on Hollywood contrasted with the fear-inspiring headlines about China in American media; Cambodian refugee communities that have come to the U.S. through San Diego’s military bases; and even the Korean “comfort women.”

“I’ve always wanted to do a sketch about Korean ‘comfort women,’ but I have yet to figure out how to make it funny,” says Hornbuckle, referencing the very serious issue of Korean women and girls who were forced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II. Survivors, and their supporters, have been fighting for an apology and reparations from the Japanese government for decades.

“Would it be about making fun of the Japanese [denial]?” Watanabe muses, before launching into a discussion about how there were actually some Japanese activists trying to get the issue addressed in the 1970s, and how the challenge would be to contextualize the sketch, as many audience members may not have heard of the “comfort women.” (more…)

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Author: Cassandra Kwok
Posted: April 18th, 2014
Filed Under: April 2014 , Back Issues , BLOG
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Vice Principal Rescued From SKorean Ferry Found Hanged

Rescue workers install floats where the capsized passenger ferry sank in the sea off Jindo island. 
Photo via Reuters/Yonhap

The South Korean ferry tragedy, from which over 260 people are still missing, has added another casualty, after the vice principal from the high school that had over 300 of its students on board was found dead in what is believed to be a suicide.

Kang Min-kyu, one of the 179 passengers rescued, was found hanging from a tree at a small mountain on Jindo island, near a temporary shelter where families of those still missing have gathered to learn the fate of their loved ones. The vice principal at Danwon High School in Ansan, Kang had organized the school’s annual field trip to Jejudo, the destination to which students and faculty never reached.

The 52-year-old had been missing since Thursday. The South Korean daily JoongAng Ilbo reported that, before Kang went missing, police had questioned him about whether he took proper care of 325 students and 14 teachers as the ferry was sinking,

(more…)

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Author: Steve Han
Posted: April 18th, 2014
Filed Under: BLOG
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New Film Stars K-pop Star BoA and Dancing With the Stars’ Derek Hough

BoA and Derek Hough star in Make Your Move. Image via High Top Releasing

by LORNA SOONHEE UMPHREY

K-pop fans get a chance to see their “Queen of Pop,” BoA, in a whole new light, as she makes her American feature film debut in Make Your Move, co-starring Dancing With the Stars’ Derek Hough.

Set in the underground dance clubs of New York, the film tells the story of star-crossed dancers Aya (played by BoA) and Donny (played by Hough), whose respective families are competing to see who has the most successful dance club in the Brooklyn scene. Their brothers (Aya’s brother is played by Korean American actor Will Yun Lee) also are former partners who had a testy falling-out, making the pairing of Aya and Donny a somewhat forbidden one.

The film’s writer and director Duane Adler (Step Up, Save The Last Dance) tells KoreAm that he wrote the role of Aya specifically for BoA. “I got introduced to her personally years ago through a Korean filmmaker friend of mine who said, ‘You make dance films, you need to know who this girl is.’ So when I started writing this movie, I wrote it with her in mind,” he said, during a March 31 screening at The Grove in Los Angeles. (more…)

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Author: KoreAm
Posted: April 18th, 2014
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SKorean Yu Ho-jin Named Magician of the Year at L.A. Ceremony

South Korean magician Yu Ho-jin captured the prestigious Magician of the Year Award on Sunday at the Academy of Magical Arts (AMA) annual awards show, held at the Orpheum Theatre in Hollywood.

Yu, 23, first rose to prominence as a card magician in 2012 when he became the first Asian to win the Federation Internationale des Societes Magiques (FISM) World Championships of Magic, a competition that’s widely considered the Olympic Games for magicians.

Having started practicing magic at age 9, Yu is best known for his creativity and elegance. He reportedly spent 13 hours a day over five years to hone his skills in order to compete at the 2012 world championship.

(more…)

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Author: Julie Ha
Posted: April 18th, 2014
Filed Under: BLOG
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