When it comes to Korean food, we all know and love bibimbap, fried chicken, and BBQ–but what else is there? SĀNG is a Korean restaurant in Australia run by a family who migrated in 1996. Here’s why. Kenny Yong Soo Son’s mom left Korea looking for freedom in life–and work. Today, she and her husband are self-taught chefs at their restaurant in Surry Hills, Sydney, while their son Kenny manages the front of house. But this family owned Korean restaurant isn’t where the others are: it’s in the vibey neighborhood of Surry Hills. One of Sydney’s most expensive areas. . This has people questioning the authenticity of SĀNG. Once you try it, questions are answered, because even though the menu is from staple dishes, the styles of food Koreans love but most others don’t know are what shine. Their goal is to show the wide range of Korean culture and cuisine–even to people who think they already know it.
In Atlanta, there’s only one place you can get late night sushi on a Thursday: Trap Sushi. Fusing Atlanta and Japanese pop culture, Trap Sushi builds community around food, music, anime, and cosplay. Founders speak on the due diligence it takes to appreciate (and not appropriate) culture. Artist Tolden Williams, aka Troop Brand, grew up in Mississippi loving Dragon Ball Z. Stephanie Lindo, an environmental scientist, first learned about manga and anime from her Vietnamese best friends. When Tolden discovered Stephanie art online, their shared love for Japanese culture fueled a project that has now become centerstage of Atlanta’s growing cosplay community. Many Black cosplayers are on the rise–and so is racism. This exists in anime communities too, where being Black means you cannot play a certain character. Trap Sushi has become the place where people of all backgrounds feel safe and accepted to tap into cosplay, anime, and community in general.
In 2020, the number of women buying boxing gloves doubled. While more girls are participating in boxing studios more than ever, it’s still rare for women to be coaches. Meet Summer Jiao, the Muay Thai instructor whose ex-boyfriend’s fat shaming catalyzed her journey to boxing. Muay Thai is known to be brutal, fierce, and violent, especially when you watch athletes in merciless matches. But the practice is about decisiveness, speed, persistence–and is a great test for observing and collecting your thoughts. After practicing for 8 years, 27-year-old instructor Summer has devoted her life to boxing and says it gave her reason for existence. Students like Yan Bao, who is also a mother, agrees that Muay Thai isn’t about violence as much as it is about peace. Being strong in your body, able to kick properly, and run fast is about safety and calming your mind–especially as a girl or woman out there in the world.
On average, 16 people die from snakebites every day in Bangladesh. Deep Ecology is a 24/7 on-standby, volunteer group that rescues these snakes. Not only is their rescue work saving lives (both humans and snakes) but they're also breaking the misconceptions causing snake extinction. Snake-related awareness and snake rescue ideas are not well known yet. Before Syeda Annanya Faria, there were no women involved in this rescue work. While Syeda grew up with a fear of snakes like many of us, today she isn’t afraid . In fact, when she first held one, she understood how fragile and harmless of a creature it is–especially when handled properly. Rescuers like Syeda explain that this work is about animal and human survival. There is nothing more rewarding to them than hearing that their work is the reason someone survived.
Dogs have been part of Bali’s native community for thousands of years. Today, there are over half a million strays who attack--and spread disease. Yayasan Seva Bhuana is an organization sterilizing dogs. They want to promote healthy animals, neighborhoods, and people in Bali. In the past eight years, the organization has sterilized an estimated 23,000 dogs and cats and offers free sterilization events for villages who don’t have pet clinics. Sterilization has health benefits, like increasing an animal’s life span, reducing risks of cancer, and more. The cost of medicine is $3000 each month for all the animals, but for Yayasun Seva Bhuana, it’s worth it. They believe healthy dogs will help Bali.
In Korea, K-pop dominates the dance industry. But shows like Street Girls Fighter are legitimizing dance–giving performers a platform to be seen as more than just back dancers. They say dance helps them be present–something that is still hard to do in Korea. Street Woman Fighter and its spin-off Street Girls Fighter are dance competitions that began highlighting more than K-Pop. They featured street dancing, which for many adults in Korea, is a pointless path. Even for the teens who are successful dancers, finding the answers to the questions from adults – “What are you going to do with this?” – feels like a very real pressure at a very young age. Despite the societal pressures, physical tolls, and injuries that come with this career, dancers like twenty-year-old Hong Hayeon say they hope to dance for the rest of their lives. Working together with other dancers as a unit is an art form, and being able to draw from your own personality to pair it with the dynamics of others is a skill of its own.