Top Weekend Picks: Asian Heritage Month Edition by Jessie and Derrick

ASIAN HERITAGE MONTH IS THE OPPORTUNITY TO CELEBRATE OUR DIVERSITY AND TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE HISTORY AND CULTURE OF OUR EMPLOYEES OF ASIAN DESCENT.

 

 

jessie

Position: Data Analyst

Country of origin: China

Best series to binge-watch until you fall asleep?

Yuru Camp (Laid-Back Camp)!

It's an anime about cute girls camping.

The music, the atmosphere, the story, and the scenery are all very relaxing. You can also learn many tips about camping.

The original soundtrack is also calming and will give you a good night's sleep for sure!

Even the name implies that it's laid-back.

best old movie to watch again and again?

I spent my early childhood in China so the old movies I watched are a bit different from others. I would say that the first Digimon Adventure film was one of the most memorable from my childhood.

Growing up, I watched and collected all first 4 seasons of Digimon and re-watched them again and again during summer vacation.

The first movie was especially memorable because it depicted the main characters before they reached adolescence. I still remembered how I marvelled that even small children can show such signs of strength and resilience.

The soundtrack was also great. 😀 I dare say that I learned many classical music pieces from Digimon's soundtrack.

Bolero is still one of my favourites. Just watching the film takes me back to those summers, when I still believed in the Digital World and wanted to go on adventures there.

I used to put the digi devices I owned underneath my bed so that I can be summoned there. Those were the days~

the last movie that surprise you?

I finally built up enough courage to watch Train to Busan.

It was everything I expected and more!

I didn't expect it to be so touching and thrilling at the same time.

There was never a dull moment and the story really shined light on the different aspects of humanity.

I cried buckets at the end. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to see something that's both fast paced and meaningful.

a video game or boardgame recommendation?

I play a decent number of video games (Console + PC + Mobile) in my spare time but my recommendation this time will be a mobile game.

Kakao Games' Guardian Tales was definitely the best mobile game I played in 2020.

It plays more like a classical JRPG adventure with arcade style controls than your typical gacha game.

I really enjoyed the challenging game play, the expansive plot, the lively pixel art, and the beautiful music. It's been so long since I enjoyed a mobile game's game play this much. The last time I did was when I first started Honkai Impact 3rd, and I spent 3 years and countless hours on that game.

 

I would really recommend Guardian Tales to anyone who has some free time on their hands as the game play requires quite a bit of time dedication and your full attention when you're doing anything other than grinding.

The story starts off as your typical RPG set in a magical kingdom but you'll soon find out that not all is what it seems.

By the end the current season, the story will have taken on a much darker and sci-fi tone. The fantastic references to modern pop and geek culture is also not to be missed.

Can you recommend a Montreal restaurant to eat an authentic Asian meal?

I would recommend Dobe and Andy. They make authentic Guangdong-style cuisine.

The prices are reasonable too. I'd recommend their BBQ, wontons, and fried rice.

Derrick

Position: Product Manager

Country of origin: CHina (Hong Kong)

 

What does Asian Heritage Month mean to you?

 One of the most admirable aspects of Canadian society is that we choose to embrace our cultural differences and recognize our unique contributions to the home we share.

The idea of the Cultural Mosaic is a powerful one and has made Canada one of the most uniquely welcoming places in the world. However, as we have seen with a series of unfortunate events that have happened this year, it is also a fragile one and requires all of us to work together to maintain it.

For me, Asian Heritage Month is an opportunity to contribute to Canada’s unique social fabric by sharing my own unique story.

It is a story of a little boy that came to Canada from Hong Kong with his parents at the age of 4. He grew up alongside people from many backgrounds - some Canadian, some French, some Asian, and many more. Each of them taught him something new about the world, as he also taught others too.

He came to be proud of our differences as that is what makes us all unique, but also to celebrate the similarities we share as that is what helps build a better home together.

Through more open-mindedness, we can bring communities together. And so, today I share with you a bit of my heritage in hopes that you will share yours too.

Do you have movies/series/books and/or music recommendations that showcase Asian culture?

Asian cinema is one that is bustling with creativity but often gets overlooked.

From true classics like Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai from Japan to modern masterpieces like Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite from South Korea, each culture has something unique to offer.

Our different backgrounds give us different lenses to view familiar subject matter and their variety in approaches may often surprise you. I’d like to take this opportunity to recommend one of my favourite movies from my home - Hong Kong - and hope it shows a unique perspective of something familiar.

Infernal Affairs is one of the crown  jewels of modern Hong Kong cinema. The movie is a gripping crime thriller that follows an undercover cop and a triad mole each working in the rival organization. As the police and the triads wrestle to root out the traitors, the stakes continually rise as you never know who will be the first to die. Does this sound familiar? You may be more familiar with its remake - Martin Scorsese’s The Departed.

To me, this movie showcases the creativity and ingenuity that can come from a small place - enough to inspire an Academy Award. Additionally, it offers a unique opportunity to see how Asian culture and Western culture approach the same subject differently - and this is something that I will leave for you to uncover for yourself.

Can you recommend an Ontario restaurant to eat an authentic Asian meal?

Dumplings are the ultimate comfort food in my culture.

One of my favorite places for dumplings in Toronto is a hole-in-the-wall restaurant called Loga’s Corner.

This restaurant is known for its savoury momos (a variety of steamed dumplings originating from South Asia and East Asia) and garlic-infused hot sauce. The combination of freshly steamed momos and the heat of the hot sauce makes for some heart-filling warmth that cures a cold Winter day.

In addition to delicious food, the owner – Loga – is one that embodies the humility and hospitality of Asian culture. When he is not overwhelmed by food orders, he loves speaking with his customers and sharing stories about his family and home country. A meal at his restaurant often feels like visiting a long lost friend, one that feeds you the best his home has to offer.

If you ever want an Asian meal that goes beyond just the food, Loga’s Corner is the place to visit.

Which stereotypes about Asian culture would you like to break?

Popular media often portrays Asian culture through the lens of exotic mysticism.

How many movies have you seen where the hero visits an Asian country to learn more about spirituality and gain new powers?

While this doesn’t lead to anyone thinking that Asians are all martial-arts loving zen masters, I think it over-emphasizes how different we are. While we all have different backgrounds and perspectives, we are much more similar than we are different.

  • We may eat different things, but we all strive to fill our families’ bellies.
  • We may like different music, but we all feel the same joys from the melodies.
  • We may have different expertise, but we all wish to work together to build a better society.

More than anything, I hope that the perception of Asian culture shifts from how different we are to focus on how similar we are. At the end of the day, we are all human.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your cultural heritage?

Rather than sharing more about myself, I’d like to take this opportunity to promote other Asian cultures that are not my own.

I am from Hong Kong, but Asia is a large place that encompasses much more diversity than I could ever dream to represent.

From Chinese culture to Japanese culture to Korean culture to Indian culture and far beyond (and I apologize for any cultures that I did not have the word count to represent here), each culture is uniquely beautiful and worth learning more about.

I hope that this post becomes the beginning of a conversation with your own friends of Asian descent. Ask them to share their own story and you’ll be surprised by the diversity of the answers.

As we continue to construct this Cultural Mosaic together, I hope that we continue to build a better society for all of us regardless of which background you come from.