Ignoring parents

July 8, 2006


June 13, 2006

THREE out of four childcare centre workers use child-rearing practices that go against what some parents demand.

A new report reveals that although carers ask parents how they want their children cared for, they are often unable to put the requests into practice, resulting in many clashes over cultural expectations.

The Australian Institute of Family Studies said there were often wide differences between parents and childcare workers over discipline, toilet training and the value of “messy play”.

Childcare workers are more likely to encourage children to develop independence in dressing and feeding themselves, going against the wishes of some parents.

The need to conform with childcare accreditation standards and ensure children were not left out of group activities made it difficult for workers to meet the desires of many parents.


The study looked at the child-rearing practices of different cultural groups and found Vietnamese parents wanted their children to begin toilet training as soon as possible.

Somali and Vietnamese parents did not want their children involved in messy play involving things such as sand and water because they considered it dirty.

Somali families wanted childcare workers to feed their children and Vietnamese families wanted their children instructed in counting and writing, not play.

Childcare workers told study authors Kelly Hand and Sarah Wise that it was difficult to ban some children from messy play because they could not understand why others in the group were allowed to have the experience.

Meanwhile, parents are getting conflicting advice on how to claim the 30 per cent childcare rebate.

An Australian Taxation Office pamphlet issued to parents last week tells parents they must keep receipts to claim the rebate.

But the ATO’s website tells parents they can use information from the Family Assistance Office.


Two Vietnamese newspapers have been fined for running phone sex advertisements that violate the country’s traditional cultural values, AP news agency reported Thursday.

The Vietnam Sports newspaper was fined VND12 million (US$750) for “running sex advertisements with contents that violate traditional habits and customs,” its editor, Hoang Du, told AP.

The ads for mobile phone message services used “rude wording” to stir up sexual temptation, he said.

More than 10 other newspapers have carried similar ads and are under investigation by the Ministry of Culture and Information, Du said.

“It’s a lesson for us,” he said “I have asked my staff not to run this kind of ads in the future.”

Ho Chi Minh City Law newspaper was also fined VND10 million (US$625), and last month, two other newspapers, Sports Today and Soccer, were suspended for five editions and fined for carrying the same ads, Du said.

Source: AP

July 7,



Wednesday, July 5, 2006

THE NUMBERS: How many Asian-Americans are in the Richmond area?

When Brian Nguyen gets down on himself, he reads the message on his sneakers: RIP David.

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“It reminds me to play harder,” he said

A rising junior at J.R. Tucker High School, Nguyen, 16, lives for basketball. His brother, who played basketball at James River High School, died four years ago at the age of 18. According to Brian, peer pressure led to drugs and other complications and David took his own life.

But David’s support of Brian lives on, and the 6-4 center expects to play varsity for the Tigers next season.

“The reason I got into basketball was because my brother wanted me to play,” Brian said. “He wanted me to play to make my parents happy and to see me do something. He made it to college, but he failed . . . drugs and stuff . . . he didn’t want me to do that.”

. . .

Nguyen hopes to graduate from high school and college, then get a good job and support his parents. Those kinds of dreams fit the Asian stereotype of the model minority. But Nguyen doesn’t fit the stereotype of some Asian groups being genetically smaller and only able to challenge in sports that feature quickness and agility, such as soccer.

While some stereotypes may have at least a partial basis in fact, many do not. Just ask Nguyen.

“Not that many [Asians] play basketball, most play soccer or track . . . but don’t judge us, everyone is different,” Nguyen said. “I don’t think about race. Black, white, whatever, we’re all just playing sports.”

Asian-Americans playing sports in the Richmond metro area, however, are a silent minority. Some believe stereotypes, prejudice and bias still must be overcome.

“I’m Filipino. There’s a stereotype saying all Asians are the same, but Asians in this area come from many countries,” said Gerry Quindoza, a vice president at SunTrust Bank. “Filipinos, Koreans and Japanese might be smaller, but Chinese are not. Look at Yao Ming. He’s 7-foot-6.”

Quindoza, who has played sports most of his life, came to Richmond in 2003 from Hampton Roads. He believes Asians face subtle scrutiny in sports.

“Some people haven’t educated themselves. They might subconsciously perceive something that is not true. It’s more of a matter of ignorance or unconscious bias, not racism.”

Quindoza said that while basketball is big in the Philippines, he hasn’t seen nearly as many Asian-Americans playing the sport in this area as he has in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads. “Some play tennis and golf, but you don’t see many playing basketball, football and baseball.

“Soccer is big with the Indian, Pakistani and Korean populations. But with the second generation, there is increasing interest in all sports.”

. . .

Soccer has been the most noticeable of sports played by Asian-Americans in the area, underscored by a large annual tournament the past three years.

“We had six teams – China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Korea, Thailand and India,” said Dave Duong, event organizer and chair of the committee for the Asian American Society of Central Virginia. “Soccer is our primary sport, followed by ping-pong.”

Duong said each of the six teams had 22 players. He believes soccer is popular for two reasons. First, it is “played in the streets” of the 17 countries he says Richmond’s Asian-Americans are from. Second, soccer is not as physically demanding as football. Ping-pong, he says, is popular because it is inexpensive to play.

He doesn’t believe Asian-Americans in area high schools face scrutiny, even though coaches can have expectations for various sports.

“I think coaches can have a prototype in any sport,” said J.R. Tucker Athletic Director John Carroll. “But any unconscious bias goes by the wayside when a coach finds a kid who can maximize the effectiveness of the team. Every coach wants to win.”

Darrell Jenkins, athletic director at Deep Run High School, agrees. “Our coaches want to be as successful as possible. We are looking at ability. They are looking for bigger, stronger, faster, but that isn’t tied to ethnicity. They just want the best athletes.”

Asked if Asian parents encourage their children to play sports, Quindoza said, “I think they push them more toward academics. Sports are not a primary focus for Asian parents.”

He said, however, he will encourage his 2½-year-old son to play golf, basketball and baseball and that his 5-year-old daughter likes soccer and already is playing tennis.

“Second-generation Asian-Americans are different than first-generation,” he said. “I was talking to a . . . guy who called the second generation ‘confused.’ ” Confused, in the sense, he said, that later generations of American immigrants no longer just are interested in sports of their home country, but are becoming Americanized in overall sports interests.

Brian Nguyen is not sure about his basketball future. If he has a chance to play in college, he says he will take it. For now, however, he understands he will continue to face peer pressures to change and possibly conform, just like his brother David.

“My friends smoke and they want me to do it, but I won’t. I wasn’t real close to my brother [because of the age difference], but I listened and looked up to him.”

Now he looks down to reconnect with his brother and focus on the future.

This story can be found at: http://www.timesdispatch.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=RTD%2FMGArticle%2FRTD_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1149188939137&path=!sports&s=1045855934844

Go Back

San Jose Mercury News

SAN JOSE, Calif. There is one piece of advice Chloe Dao would give to aspiring Asian American artists: “Don’t listen to your parents.”

That is, after all, how the 34-year-old Vietnamese American refugee became a successful fashion designer, entrepreneur and winner of last season’s “Project Runway,” the Bravo channel’s popular reality series that takes place in New York’s fashion world.

“Don’t get me wrong,” says Dao, whose traditional parents urged her from a young age to become a doctor, despite her call to fashion. “I love my mom and dad. But you have to follow your dreams. You have to live for what you want to do.”

Dao, who lives in Houston, was in San Jose recently making an appearance at the Museum of Quilts and Textiles’ opening of its exhibit, “Ao Dai: A Modern Design Coming of Age.”

Wearing a layered green chiffon cocktail dress and open-toed platforms that boosted her 4-foot-11-inch frame to just over 5 feet, Dao toured the gallery of traditional Vietnamese garments with her mother, Hue Thuc Luong.

“I’m the superstar of the Vietnamese community right now, the golden child, and it’s very cool,” says Dao of her role-model status. “When I talk to young people, I tell them I’m living proof that this is what it’s about in America. There are so many career opportunities here — you should let your passion lead you. My mom jokes around saying, `You literally defied my wishes, and now look — you’re popular!’.”

Dao not only followed her dreams, but she’s also living them with her win on “Project Runway.”

The victory gave her $100,000 in seed money toward her own clothing line, an apprenticeship with the design team at Banana Republic, a spread in Elle magazine and a $24,000 Saturn Sky Roadster. It has also presented a flurry of national media attention and increased traffic into Lot 8, the Houston boutique that carries her designs, co-owned by her sister and business partner, Sydney Dao.

“Things haven’t drastically changed, but they’re not exactly the same,” Dao says. “People recognize me now. I have to brush my hair when I go out of the house.”

The cult show, which is now in production on its third season, is a behind-the-scenes look into the fashion industry.

It follows a group of aspiring designers in various creative challenges. In each episode, a panel of industry insiders — including designer Michael Kors, supermodel Heidi Klum and Elle magazine fashion director Nina Garcia — deems who did the best job and eliminates the weakest contestant.

Dao’s memorable designs and professionalism kept her in the running week to week, Garcia says. “She was very consistent with her work. It was always impeccable and always delivered. I don’t remember one episode where she didn’t make a good impression.”

The show has attracted a loyal following because “it’s about genuine talent,” Kors says. “It’s not about eating bugs.”

It also mimics the fickle and harsh reality of the fashion business, he adds.

“It’s really about each challenge. You could be floating along doing well, but if you do something that’s just not right — then it’s goodbye.”

Since the series ended for the season, Dao has been hard at work creating an online sales business for her boutique, negotiating a pending deal for a line of special-edition jeans with a yet-to-be-named premium denim company, and making rounds on the media circuit.

She has appeared on the “Today” show with Katie Couric and has been featured in Women’s Wear Daily, People, Forbes and Lucky magazines, among others.

Shortly after her appearance in San Jose, she spoke at a conference on women in leadership at the Vietnamese American National Gala in San Francisco.

“Vietnamese people aren’t afraid of hard work,” Dao says. “It’s how we have succeeded in this country. Ultimately, it’s why our parents came.”

Born in Laos, Dao, her parents and seven sisters fled the war-torn country and spent time in a Thai family prison before moving to Dallas in 1979 with sponsorship from an uncle.

A year later, the family settled in Houston, where her parents owned dry cleaning, food service and tailoring businesses. Seeing her parents’ example instilled a solid work ethic and an entrepreneurial spirit in her, she says.

So far, Dao’s drive has paid off. What began as an after-school hobby of making jewelry, Barbie outfits and her own prom dress evolved into a full-fledged fashion design career.

She opened her boutique, named after the eight Dao sisters, in 2000 and is already planning an expansion. She’s also working on more of her own designs, which she’ll sell in Lot 8.

But even after racking up accomplishments — from a degree in pattern-making from the Fashion Institute of Technology to an eight-year run working at fashion houses in New York to her “Project Runway” win — Dao says she still has a ways to go.

“Everything is next,” Dao says. “I’m working on my next collection. I’m dying to do a sportswear collection. Eventually I could do menswear. You’ll definitely see me in fashion for a long, long time.”