Pariwisata adalah sektor yang sangat rumit. Industri raksasa ini jadi tumpuan pendapatan. Namun di sisi lain, masyarakat suatu daerah yang bergantung pada pariwisata seringkali mengorbankan banyak hal-hal pokok demi para turis yang datang, kadang menyerupai kolonialisme. Nyatanya, banyak negara bertumpu pada pariwisata karena kolonialisme mengeruk sumber daya mereka. Saat ini, di samping masalah sumber daya yang semakin mendesak, perilaku turis juga butuh disorot. Apalagi banyak blogger dan pengusaha mengambil keuntungan di atas usaha dan kerja keras masyarakat lokal, sambil acapkali memperpanjang narasi-narasi yang meminggirkan warga lokal. Tapi ada cara untuk berwisata dengan etis. Salah satu caranya adalah dengan mengedukasi diri tentang sejarah, politik, dan kondisi lingkungan tujuan wisata. Selain itu, mendukung usaha-usaha lokal serta turut serta dalam pelestarian lingkungan. Yang pasti, segalanya dimulai dari kesadaran diri sendiri.
More Asian people opting into IVF treatment doesn’t mean that more Asian people are getting pregnant. Why? Not only is IVF not designed with Asian bodies in mind, but we also have genetic, environmental, and cultural factors impacting us--whether we know it or not. When tapping into in vitro fertilization, East and South Asians specifically find longer wait times, more expensive bills, and a higher risk of treatment not working. They report that the monolithic treatment of Asians includes microaggressions, and no consideration of ethnicity or language–which ultimately makes them distrust the physician and medical system. On top of that, Asian bodies do some things differently, including how we metabolize estrogen. And our diets may have more methylmercury, a known reproductive toxin seen commonly in fish. So when we know we’re genetically and environmentally predisposed to infertility, and that our cultures don’t necessarily give us permission to seek fertility support out, the need for normalizing this conversation becomes even more urgent.
On Thursday, an apartment fire in China’s Xinjiang Province is reported to have killed nearly a dozen people. The tragedy was the last straw for the region’s residents who had been in lockdown for over 100 days, prompting widespread protests against China’s strict covid measures. City officials have explained that fire trucks were blocked by cars and a narrow gate–something that had been a safety issue for years. The fire, which spread from electric outlets on the 15th floor, took almost 4 hours to extinguish and left at least 10 people dead and 9 injured. After Chinese citizens at home and abroad began protesting the Zero COVID Policy, government officials have announced they will lift policies in phases. Is it too late?
Indian politicians request the return of $600M seminal Kohinoor diamond–23% of India’s GDP. Stealing this diamond from India is equivalent to stealing Walmart’s entire stock value from the US. And drama in the chess world: player accuses opponent of cheating - using an unusual method. Two prolific chess players went head to head in a chess tournament in September. When the young underdog Hans Neimann unexpectedly won, his opponent Magnus Carlsen pulled out of the tournament and implied Hans cheated. The most popular conspiracy theory is that he used morse code via anal beads to cheat.
Neighborhood Safety Companions (NSC) is an all-volunteer street patrol in Koreatown, Los Angeles. At first, some assumed they were vigilantes but NSC are just regular people doing their part to protect Asian people and neighborhoods facing violence and racism. The volunteers walk the streets in a group of five to six, wearing yellow vests. They believe their presence inhibits violence, as they watch out for anyone who seems vulnerable–single pedestrians, elderly people, vendors. They talk to store owners to learn the history of the area, if there has been any trouble, and how the community feels about their safety. If that’s not enough, NSC also provides self-defense tips. David Monkawa is one of the leaders of NSC: he moved to America when he was eight years old from Yokohama, Japan. Growing up in a poor neighborhood, he witnessed systemic racism, gentrification, and became inspired by the unity among people of color. Other NSC volunteers, like David, have felt helpless and angry with the increase of violence in Asian communities within the past two years. Now, as more and more volunteer patrol groups pop across the country, David hopes Asian resistance will be mentioned in history.
We still don’t have a definitive answer as to who Malaysia’s 10th Prime Minister is, and now the King must choose. While the elections have been tense, the polls have seen more voter turnout than ever, and the results may expose a rise of Malay nationalism and Islamic extremism. Despite heavy rain and floods, Malaysians showed up to vote for either multi-ethnic coalition Pakatan Harapan or new right-wing party Perikatan Nasional. The two leading coalitions failed to negotiate and they have also failed to secure the majority vote. So now, Malaysia awaits the King to make the final decision.