Archive for ‘Culture’

September 13, 2010

Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino

Gran Torino is a 2008 American drama film directed by, produced by and starring Clint Eastwood. The film marks Eastwood’s return to a lead acting role after four years, his previous leading role having been in Million Dollar Baby, and Eastwood has stated that this is his final film as an actor. The film features a large Hmong American cast, as well as Eastwood’s younger son, Scott Eastwood, playing Trey. Eastwood’s oldest son, Kyle Eastwood, provided the score. The film opened to theaters in a limited release in North America on December 12, 2008, and later to a worldwide release on January 9, 2009.

The story follows Walt Kowalski, a recently widowed Korean War veteran who is alienated from his family and angry at the world. Walt’s young Hmong neighbor, Thao, tries to steal Walt’s prized 1972 Ford Gran Torino on a dare by his cousin for initiation into a gang. Walt develops a relationship with the boy and his family.

Gran Torino was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $260 million worldwide.

Credits: Wikipedia

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February 5, 2009

The Wealth of One Girl

So my Daddy told me that bride fees were supposed to be like…a gesture of good will from the family of the groom to the family of the bride not only for taking care of all the expenses of the wedding and getting the newlywed couple on their feet with rugs and blankets, food, and etcetera, but also as a gesture of: we are honored by your allowance of letting your daughter to enter our familial folds. We promise to take good care of her, and here is the proof we will [exchange of currency occurs].

But as culture and human ambition, practice and customs have evolved, so have the implicit, underlying reasons for such social processes. And now…although I may be wrong and too harsh: bride fees are merely a sign of how much a girl is worth. A price to be haggled over, the daughter is now bargained over like a piece of property, some smelted flesh. No longer is she priceless, but of a set value that her beloved’s own may not be willing to budge upon.

The General–more on him later–a few years back set a “cap” on bride fees. Something like five G’s. A friend of mine was appalled. She thought–no she knew she was worth more than that. I wrinkled my nose and furrowed my brow: why perpetuate the custom at all? I’m tired of the objectification of women–in general too. Our subjugation to the man must end some time. Can I pay a fee to get rid of you? Buy myself out of this inequality because I’m not so sure I’d pay any price to have you anyways either…LOL. Just kidding.

But seriously: What do you think? Is this an archaic notion that needs to be eradicated if not reformed? Or are we moving towards some end–bride shops–that I’m not aware of…

FYI: Please don’t try to tell me we must adhere because it is “cultural”. Culture changes, it evolves, it is dynamic, and it is not the boss of me–especially if it asked me to kill my first born or jump off a cliff before my 50th birthday because wrinkles were a major catastrophe waiting to swallow me, my marital potential and ovaries whole.

BTW: Neither of the last couple of comments/ultimatums have any relation to Hmong culture…I just made them up to be overly dramatic and to drive in the point of ridiculously adhering–blindly ascribing to “cultural” establishments.

Controversially Congenial Lilian ;]