The Dynamics of Cultural Counterpoint in Asian Studies (SUNY series in Asian Studies Development) edited by David Jones and Michele Marion

The Dynamics of Cultural Counterpoint in Asian Studies (SUNY series in Asian Studies Development) represents a rich collection of essays edited by David Jones and Michele Marion. The essays emerged from the work of participants in the Asians Study Development Program (ASDP), a joint program of the East-West Center and the University of Hawai'i and the volume is in part a celebration of more than 20 years of that program. The essays illustrate a number of approaches and perspectives on education and Asian studies but from perspectives of interaction. The volume illustrates the breadth of the work the done by ASDP participants and suggests ways to approach Asia that are relational.

Each essay represents a clear window into other thinkers' and disciplines' approaches making most of the essays good introductions to a wider field of discourse. Each essay is highly researched and provides an excellent bibliography for those with more interest in the area. The final essay by Leonard and Barbara Andaya, for example, suggests that a familiar way of looking at regional relationships in is terms of the surrounding bodies of water, the maritime perspective. One could not tell a story of the Phoneticians, Greeks, Persians, or Romans without the Mediterranean or the Aegean Sea. The New World's east coast certainly had a relationship with the west coast of Europe and Africa. This is also the case in the Southeast Asian world. Relationships such as trade and cultural exchange can be understood through the relations formed by maritime proximity, travel and communication. While their work focuses on the “Sea of Malayu” the importance of seas is clear in the Pacific. 

Lawrence Butler uses architecture, not the sea, to explore the history of Muslims in China. The essay stresses the importance of understanding Islam within the Chinese context and examines mosque architecture to tell part of that story. By understanding Islamic architecture in China one can understand Muslims' history up to today. Mara Miller considers the philosophical problem of representing Japanese gardens in other mediums; by representing a Japanese garden you take away from the garden's actual situatedness. Given the value of situatedness to the Japanese aesthetics of gardens, representations seem a conundrum. Ronnie Littlejohn provides the fascinating story of Matteo Ricci's Journals, the earliest Western account, he holds, of Daoism. Littlejohn's well-written essay summarizes the Journals in which Ricci (b. 1552, d. 1610) recording travels to Beijing in 1600. In his journals, he described the “rites and superstitions” that he observed which Littlejohn identifies as Doaist. One of the volume's essays is meant specifically for educators. Shudong Chen considers the novel pedagogical recommendations of Zhuangzi and suggests Daoist strategies for education involving a “spiritual ecology” along with natural ecology or nature. 

These essays above are illustrative of the diversity of topics and approaches represented in the volume. It can be jarring as we move into disciplines unfamiliar to us, but the common theme of interaction runs through each essay. Japanese popular culture, aesthetics and experience in Indian aesthetics, art therapy in South Korea, Hindu-Muslim experiences in South Asia, feminist theory and footbinding, North Korea's nuclear threat, and the modern history of Bhutan as a contested space are all included as topics and many. While readers are sure to find some of the essays of more interest than others, they are equally sure to learn from all of them.

When We Were Young

Family 8mm video from the early 1980s . . .

Anticipating Summer 2014

This is just a transition entry.

My summer is mostly about language studies. I'm going to be spending the summer in Malang in East Java.  Allow me to issue a quick disclaimer:
This blog and any comments, discussions, images, etc.,  are not endorsed by, maintained by, or otherwise associated in any way with the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, American Councils for International Education, or Ohio State University/Ohio University.
I hope I get to visit many of the candi (temples) in the area to photograph them.  My summer plan is just to get my Bahasa Indonesia up to par, increase my Khmer vocabulary by 600 words and write at least six blogs in Khmer.  I'm going to be reviewing Sanskrit verb forms, and in the fall when I get back to Hawai'i I plan to sit in on a Sanskrit course with our new professor here at UH.  I will also try to get my dissertation proposal into shape.  That already seems like too much to accomplish.

I was hoping to get my Patani chapter done of my MS, but I think it is better to get something of a draft together and then work on it once I get back.

While I have finished all my coursework for the Ph.D. in philosophy, this is my last year of taking courses. I finished my culminating exams just a few days ago.  My summer reading list is only in part meant to prepare for my dissertation proposal, but it looks pretty ambitious.  The three themes of the reading are similarity and analogy, Buddhism and violence, and Indonesia.  Feel free to read something with me :)  In the meantime, with the little downtime I have this week I am reading The Dravidian Languages. 

My summer reading list:

Learning Indonesian: Memasak soto mi

Hari ini saya memasak soto mi dari resep dari kuliah saya.  Resep ini di bawah!  Kami suka.  Saya kira itu tidak enak kerena pertama tidak ada rasa tetapi bila selesai enak sekali!  Dan isteri saya kira pun!

Resep Soto Mi
Dimasak soto

Untuk 5-6 orang



500 g daging sapi
2 l air
3 bungkus (500gr) mi kuning
1/2 kol
bawang goreng
krupuk udang
3 telur rebus
5 batang daun bawang
2 buah wortel diiris kira-kira 0,5 cm
2 batang seledri diiris setebal 1 cm (aku tidak menambah--isteriku nggak suka seledri)



1 batang serai, dimemarkan
3 helai daun jeruk
1 helai daun salam
3 siung bawang merah, dihaluskan
3 siung bawang putih, dihaluskan
1/2 st bubuk kunyit
1 st merica putih, dihaluskan
3 butir kemiri, dihaluskan
garam secukupnya
(aku menambah sedikit lengkuas dan sedikit jehe, diiris, dan satu biji adas manis atau anis bintang dan dua atau tiga cabai merah dihaluskan)



10 butir cabai merah, dihaluskan
1/4 st garam
1 st air jeruk nipis


Daging dipotong kira-kira 2x3 cm lalu direbus dengan 2 liter air di api sedang selama satu jam. Masukkan bumbu halus, serai, daun jeruk, daun salam, dan seledri. Direbus selama 15 menit lalu masukkan wortel dan masak lagi selama 15 menit. Masukkan separuh daun bawang. Sajikan dengan sisa daun bawang, bawang goreng, krupuk, dan mi (sebelum disajikan mi diseduh dengan air panas).

Learning Khmer : លំហាត់

So, I'm trying to learn Khmer.  It isn't so easy.  This summer I will try to blog in Khmer at least four times a month to stay in practice (I'll be in Indonesia this summer, and I'll blog in Khmer on another site, Learn Khmer With Me; I'll also be keeping an Indonesian language blog about my time there).

I'm nearing the end of my first year of intensive study, and I thought I would share what my homework looks like at this point.  By the way, the word for homework or drill in Khmer is លំហាត់.  The words I have to look up I try to write and define so I remember them especially when I am trying to re-read my stories. 

Below is the story of Big Brother Mao.  Big Brother Mao is basically an extremely lazy good-for-nothing who does not brush his teeth and continues to live and leach off of his mother. The story (and grammar) below is pretty simple.  He wakes up late and wants to go to the nearby zoo, but he does not want to walk and does not have any money.  If you know Khmer, feel free to correct my mistakes!

រឿងរ៉ាវ នៃ ថ្ងៃ បង ប្រុស ម៉ៅ
ផ្នែក មួយ

បង ប្រុស ម៉ៅ ភ្ញាក់ ១០ ម៉ោង។
គាត់​ បាន ដេក ច្រើន។

នៅ ថ្ងៃ នេះ គាត់ នឹង ទៅ សួនសត្វ។
គាត់ នឹង ឃើញ សត្វ។

ម្តាយ គាត់ ធ្វើ កាហ្វេ។
បង ប្រុស ម៉ៅ ចូលចិត្ត ផឹក កាហ្វេ នៅ ពេល ព្រឹក។
គាត់ ចូលចិត្ត វា ផ្អែមណាស់ ជាមួយ ស្ករ ច្រើន។

គាត់  ទៅ នៅ ខាង ក្នុងបន្ទ ប់ទឹក។
គាត់ មិន កោរ ពុក មាត់ គាត់។
បង ប្រុស ម៉ៅ ខ្ជិលណាស់។
គាត់ លុប មុខ ប៉ុន្តែ មិន ដុស ធ្មេញ។

គាត់ ស្លៀក ខោ ខ្លី មិន ល្អ។ 
អាវយឺត គាត់ មិន ល្អ។
ម្តាយ គាត់​ បោកអ្ញុត ប៉ុន្តែ គាត់ មិន មើល ទៅ នៅ ខាងក្នុ ងទូ។
គាត់ ស្លៀក អ្វីមួយ នៅ ជិតស្និទ្ធ ពី គាត់។
បង ប្រុស ម៉ៅ​ ខ្ជិលណាស់!

សួនសត្វ នៅ ជិត ផ្ទះ គាត់។ ដប់ នាទី ពី ផ្ទះ បង ប្រុស ម៉ៅ.
គាត់ សួរ: "ម៉ា!  សូម លុយ!"
គាត់ មិន មាន ធ្វើការ។
គាត់ មិន មាន លុយ។
គាត់ ចង់ យក ម៉ូតូ ទៅ សួនសត្វ។
គាត់ មិន ចង់ ដើរ។
គាត់ ចង់ ទិញ សំបុត្រ សួនសត្វ។

បន្ទាប់ពី គាត់ មាន លុយ គាត់ បាន ទៅ។
គាត់ ជិះ ម៉ូតូ។
បន្ទាប់ពី មួយ នាទី គាត់ មកដល់ នោ សួនសត្វ។

ខាងក្នុង - Inside
ខ្ជិល - Lazy
អ្ញុត - Iron (clothing)
សួរ - Ask
មកដល់ - Arrive

Music to Read Kant By, or, We're Not in Königsberg Anymore

Immanuel Kant

Hey, folks, 

It has been ages since I've blogged, but hey, I've had nothing to say.

Anyway, here is my short 2014 Spring Break Music Mix.  Unlike most spring break mixes, it isn't about party tracks and getting your groove on.  No, it is background music for the reading of Kant.

I created the mix so that I would have some background music while I study for my philosophy canonical exam--Plato, Aristotle, Spinoza, Kant, Hegel as well as the Bhasapariccheda and and Tattvasangraha.  It is a "world music mix."  It had to be something that was not distracting, either, and since most of my classical music is program music it did not fit the bill. 

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this and find it somewhat soothing background tunes for you, too.  And by the way--it is 40 minutes long, so you know it is time for a study break once it ends!

Just click on the image below to download the .zip file complete with a .m3u playlist.  Note that the music is in different file formats,  There is also a track listing below the picture.


Song             Artist                                                                                          

Abene            Telek (Papua New Guinea)
Misty Morning        Tony Rice (Bluegrass)
Farewell Wishes        Kong Nay (Cambodian)
Track One            Unknown Artist (Burmese)
Ek Lau            Performed by Shilpa Rao (Bollywood)
Ingkar Janji        Soendari Soekotjo (Javanese)
Koto & Shakuhachi Track    Unknown Artist (Japanese)
Picking Flowers        Lei Qiang (Chinese)
Kamalabham Bhajare    Prassana (Carnatic [Indian])
Ada Ada Dongen        Dengung Bali (Balinese)
For Julia            Sanjay Mishra (Contemporary/Indian)

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