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Andrew Lam
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Entries by Andrew Lam

Teacher's Image Takes a Hit in America

(0) Comments | Posted January 14, 2015 | 2:12 PM

The yoga class was near maximum capacity. There was a spot up front but it usually belonged to D, a teacher who practices yoga with us plebes when not teaching.

So I moved to the crowded second row. My new neighbor, however, was clearly annoyed at having to rearrange her...

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Messages in a Bottle: Listening to an Old Answering Machine

(1) Comments | Posted December 31, 2014 | 3:08 PM

A few years ago when my parents moved from their five-bedroom suburban home at the edge of Silicon Valley to their retirement condo nearby, my siblings and I went through three decades' worth of junk to throw away. To my surprise I found, among many other things long forgotten, an...

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The War in Afghanistan Formally Ended; The War in Afghanistan Informally Goes On

(0) Comments | Posted December 30, 2014 | 11:59 AM

On Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, US-led forces formally ended the war in Afghanistan, the longest war in American history. Some 18,000 foreign troops, and about 10,600 of them American, however, are staying under the terms of two security pacts the Afghan government signed with the U.S....

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Self-Censorship Will Doom Us All: Why Hollywood Is Powerful But Doesn't Really Know It

(1) Comments | Posted December 23, 2014 | 8:25 PM

Free speech in America may be a constitutional right but self-censorship is an American congenital habit. From government officials to corporation executives, from filmmakers to the media, it happens at great frequency and intervals.

Sony Pictures, threatened by North Korea, is currently in hot water for canceling The Interview,...

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Bao Nguyen, Rabble Rouser Transforming Politics in Little Saigon, OC

(1) Comments | Posted December 9, 2014 | 5:47 PM

This week, Bao Nguyen takes office as mayor of Garden Grove. He is the city's first Vietnamese American mayor and its youngest ever to hold that office, having beat out his opponent and six-time incumbent Bruce Broadwater by just 15 votes.

For Vietnamese residents his win points to a...

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Mourning the Loss of the Tiger

(0) Comments | Posted December 6, 2014 | 6:14 PM

The essay below is adapted from my book, "East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres."

Many years ago when I was a frail asthmatic child living in Vietnam during the war, my great-aunt gave me a broth made of tiger bone. She promised it would turn me...

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Viral Video on Man on His Knees Reflects Modern Life in Asia

(0) Comments | Posted November 17, 2014 | 5:31 PM

The video is unsettling: A Vietnamese tourist on his knees begging a Chinese storeowner in Singapore for his money back after trying to purchase an iPhone 6. Within minutes the video goes viral, capturing headlines across Asia.

Rarely does a story such as this reflect so many...

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Ignored by Major Candidates, Asian American Voters Remain Energized

(1) Comments | Posted October 22, 2014 | 4:38 PM

In Orange County, California, home to Little Saigon and the largest Vietnamese American population outside of Vietnam, a whopping 19 Vietnamese American candidates are vying for 20 open seats this November. For the community, ethnic loyalties are helping to galvanize an electorate largely ignored by Republicans and Democrats alike.

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On Having an Accent in America

(0) Comments | Posted October 16, 2014 | 5:29 PM

Below is an excerpt from "East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres" published in 2010. I have an accent still, somewhere between San Francisco and Saigon. You can hear it here in an NPR's commentary.

Uncle Tho, my father's older brother, was a studious man. He...

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Why Candidates Shouldn't Ignore Asian-American Voters

(9) Comments | Posted October 13, 2014 | 1:13 PM

Asians and Pacific Islanders (APIs) are a fast-growing population, and as a voting bloc, their numbers have nearly doubled since 2000, but political candidates continue to ignore them, according to a new study.

In terms of political power, the API electorate nearly doubled to 3.9 million voters between...

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In Celebration of the Karaoke, Vietnamese Style

(0) Comments | Posted September 23, 2014 | 1:15 PM

Below is an excerpt from my book, East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres, published in 2010. Sadness and joy and yearnings and stories of broken hearts all found expression through this interactive entertainment contraption, For many Vietnamese it's a godsend.

SAN FRANCISCO--On the recent occasion...

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Stress, Vietnamese-Style

(9) Comments | Posted September 15, 2014 | 4:21 PM

Below is an excerpt from my book, East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres, published in 2010. Vietnam is on a course for credit upgrade and its economy is growing. For many this leads to new found wealth and status, and, inevitably, a lot of stress.

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For Freelancers, Growing Opportunity and Risk

(0) Comments | Posted August 27, 2014 | 7:36 PM

The recent beheading of freelance journalist James Foley (pictured above) by militants from the Islamic State highlights the growing dangers that freelance reporters covering conflict zones face. NAM Editor Andrew Lam writes the paring back by media of foreign correspondents in these regions has opened up new opportunities -- and...

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African-American Media on the Death of Michael Brown in Ferguson

(0) Comments | Posted August 20, 2014 | 12:41 PM


Police killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, 18, in Ferguson, Missouri, has mobilized African American media across the country. Below is a compilation of editorial excerpts from some of the major black newspapers and news sites since the killing and subsequent protest began.

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In Asia, Cheating to the Test

(0) Comments | Posted August 19, 2014 | 5:12 PM

CNN recently reported that college applications from Chinese foreign students to the US sounded exactly the same.

In fact, one admission officer read a phrase in one of the applications that sent up red flags: "Insert girl's name here." The number of Chinese students in the United...

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Franz Schurmann: A Curious, Restless American Soul

(0) Comments | Posted August 18, 2014 | 6:13 PM

Four years ago today, one of my beloved mentors passed away. His name was Franz Schurmann, a well-known sinologist and author, and he taught at UC Berkeley for many years. He spoke and read 11 languages and also cofounded Pacific News Service/New America Media where I now work...

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Robin Williams -- A Comic Genius Who Named Everything, Except His Own Depression

(2) Comments | Posted August 13, 2014 | 4:43 PM

Robin Williams once joked that death is "nature's way to let you know that your table is ready." It's not funny now that the comedian overrode nature by grabbing the table without waiting for the maître d'. But if his suicide has any silver lining, it's that depression and mental...

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After MH17: I Am Committed to International Travel More Than Before

(0) Comments | Posted July 24, 2014 | 3:22 PM

My mother still remembers me as a happy Vietnamese child whenever I got to fly in an airplane during the Vietnam War. Flying was full of risks and dangers back then, but I was apparently a bouncy and cheerful little boy. Other passengers fretted and prayed yet it would seem...

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The Asian Elephant Vanishes: Once Revered Animal Becomes Consumer Product

(0) Comments | Posted July 18, 2014 | 4:16 PM

In Asia there's an ongoing irony that deepens as the natural world dwindles to the size of a parking lot. Wild animals, once revered and assigned all kinds of spiritual meaning, are increasingly ending up as the main entrée or as decorations for the rich.

The tiger, for instance,...

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Vietnam in a Quandary: China's Aggression, America's Seduction

(6) Comments | Posted July 8, 2014 | 1:53 PM

Thi Quang Lam, a former general in the South Vietnamese army, is the author of The Twenty-five Year Century: A South Vietnamese General Remembers the Indochina War to the Fall of Saigon and most recently, Hell in An Loc: The 1972 Easter Invasion and the Battle...

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