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Archive for the ‘Asia’ Category

‘Asian Susan Boyle’ is a Taiwanese Man-Boy Nicknamed ‘Little Fatty’

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A bow tie-wearing, chubby-cheeked 24-year-old male from Taiwan is being called the “Asian Susan Boyle.” His name is Lin Yu Chun, and he is the latest singing sensation to garner millions of views on YouTube (nearly 4 million at last count).

Never mind the shape of his haircut, Lin will bowl you over with his singing. Jaws dropped when he appeared on a talent show on Taiwanese television and sang Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.” (A monster hit of a song written by Dolly Parton in 1973, and later recorded by Houstin in 1992.)

He “floored the judges this week with his pitch-perfect rendition,” declared ABC News.

(Watch the Youtube video of his performance, below.)

Growing up a chubby kid with a plain face, Lin reveals that he was ridiculed for his appearance. “Being fat draws a lot of mockery in our society,” he told the Daily Mail in an exclusive interview. (Yes, he speaks English!)

He found solace in music, reports the Daily Mail, locking himself in his room for hours as he sang along to Celine Dion, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston, especially her songs from the soundtrack, “The Bodyguard,” in which “I Will Always Love You,” is included.

“I played it again and again even though my parents couldn’t stand it any more and asked me to stop,” he said.

Lin, who loves to sing and dreamt of a career in music, finds encouragement in his newfound stardom. “I now have more confidence in pursuing a singing career,” he told the Daily Mail. “You don’t have to be a good-looking man or woman to succeed. Just be yourself and try your best.”

Written by Asianista

April 11, 2010 at 9:29 am

Korean Man Marries Anime Body Pillow (Photo, Video)

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Lord have mercy. Lee Jin-gyu, 28, of South Korea has married his anime body pillow, reports the U.K. Metro. The pillow bears the blond visage of anime character Fate Testarossa. For the special day, he dressed up his “bride” in a long, white gown, then gave her a passionate kiss on the lips. (More after the photo.)

Mr. Lee was featured on local Korean television taking his “wife” to an amusement park, where he purchased two admission tickets — one for himself and one for his betrothed. “Isn’t that a waste to buy two tickets?” somebody asks him. “No,” he murmurs.

He takes Fate on a roller coaster, ignoring the shocked and staring crowds. Afterwards, he asks his wife, “Were you scared, are you okay?” She does not answer.

At a restaurant he orders two entrees of spaghetti. When the waitress asks, “Are you expecting another person?” He says, gesturing to the lifesize pillow sitting across from him in the booth, “No, this is my wife.”

What’s astounding — aside from the fact that a man married a pillow — is that Mr. Lee is so public about it. Having lived in Seoul for a year as an adult, I can tell you that it’s a country of conformists. The worst thing to do is to stand out from the crowd.

I’m a little freaked out by the story, but also feel admiration for his openness. I feel like saying, “Good for you , Mr. Lee! If that’s what makes you happy, who are we to judge?”

Written by Asianista

March 12, 2010 at 11:09 am

South Korean Figure Skater, Yu-Na Kim, Wins Gold!

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AP/Amy Sancetta

She did it! South Korean figure skater Yu-Na Kim had the weight of an entire nation on her shoulders tonight as she skated in the final of the Winter Olympics.

When it came her turn to take the ice, she performed like a diamond under pressure and won the first ever figure skating medal for South Korea. And she did it with a record-breaking score of  150.06 for the free style (long) program, giving her a total score of 228.56. (This was after scoring a record-breaking 78.50 points in the short program on Tuesday night.)

Wearing a bright, royal blue halter dress trimmed with sparkling rhinestones and a glittering crystal collar, Yu-Na seemed composed as she readied herself; the only sign of nerves showing when she quickly crossed herself before skating onto the ice to begin her performance. “My heart just beat a little faster,” confessed NBC commentator, Scott Hamilton. “This has been so anticipated.”

As piano music began tinkling over the speakers, Yu-Na began to skate — twirling, jumping and gliding to Concerto in F by George Gershwin. “Oh my goodness, this is glorious,” the female NBC commentator exclaimed as Yu-Na neared the end of her routine. “It’s one of the greatest Olympic performances I have ever seen!”

Seconds after striking her final pose, Yu-Na’s face briefly crumpled as she became overwhelmed with emotion, her eyes filling with tears. She had given a flawless performance; a gold medal worthy performance. But would her main rival, the Japanese skater, Mao Asada — skating next — overtake her for the gold?

No. Though Mao landed both her Triple Axels — the first woman to land three during Olympic competition — it would not be enough to best Yu-Na. Mao made several small, but costly, errors during her routine. As Mao continued to skate — knowing that she had probably lost the gold medal — the music she had chosen, a dark, dramatic piece of classical music filled with thundering, deep notes, seemed only to dramatize the Japanese skater’s downfall.

Final results: Yu-Na won gold, and she did it by blistering the competition. Mao won silver, more than 20 points behind Yu-Na. Canadian skater, Joannie Rochette, whose mother suddenly died of a massive heart attack two days before the figure skating competition, won bronze.

On the podium, it was the South Korean flag that was raised the highest. And as the Korean national anthem played, Yu-Na mouthed the words to the song, keeping her composure. But it became too much for the 19-year-old Korean skater. Her eyes welled up and tears streamed down her face. She wept. She wept for a job well done, for making her country proud, and because it was finally all over and she had won. Gold.

AP/Mark Baker

AP/Mark Baker

Written by Asianista

February 26, 2010 at 1:19 am

Posted in Asia, News, Sports

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Yu-na Kim and Mao Asada Go Head-to-Head for Olympic Gold

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Mao Asada of Japan (left) and Yu-na Kim of S. Korea (right).

On the shoulders of two young women rest the hope and pride of two nations. Tonight, figure skaters Mao Asada of Japan and Yu-na Kim of South Korea will be battling to see which will take home the gold medal in the Winter Olympics.

For many who will be watching tonight, the sporting competition will take on historical significance. Will South Korea, once dominated by Japan, triumph over its one-time aggressor?

Japan officially occupied the Korean peninsula for more than three decades beginning in 1910 — before there was a North or South Korea. The Japanese made Koreans change their names to Japanese monikers and forbade them to speak Korean, essentially trying to wipe out the Korean culture and peoples.

At the 1936 Summer Games in Berlin, Sohn Kee-chung set a world marathon record to win the first Olympic gold medal by a Korean, but because Korea was at the time occupied by Japanese forces, Sohn had to qualify for the Japanese team, adopt a Japanese name, endure the sight of the Japanese flag being raised and hear the Japanese national anthem being played to celebrate his victory. He bowed his head in protest during the ceremony.

— Reporter Beverly Smith of The Globe and Mail

There is also some research that suggests Korea was once spelled “Corea,” but the spelling was changed by the Japanese colonial government so that Korea would follow Japan alphabetically. (The French still spell it “Corea.”)

Is it fair to thrust all this history upon Korean figure skater Yu-na Kim — in the hopes that a victory over Japanese skater Mao Asada will symbolize the Korean nation’s triumph over Japan? No, it’s not fair. But it is reality.

Written by Asianista

February 25, 2010 at 5:03 pm

Chinese woman to get massive plastic surgery to look like Jessica Alba to win back boyfriend

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Reuters/Nir Elias

A 21-year-old Chinese woman in Shanghai (pictured, left) will soon be getting massive plastic surgery in order to look like Jessica Alba (pictured, below).

Why, you ask? To win back her boyfriend (presumably Chinese), who she dated for a year and a half, but broke up with because of his obsession with Alba.

The woman’s “28-year-old boyfriend had been obsessed with Alba, adorning their apartment with her photographs and talking about her constantly,” reports Reuters. “He always hinted that he wanted [his girlfriend] to resemble his favorite star and even bought her a blonde wig to wear.” Creeepy!

The young woman, who would only identify herself as Xiaoqing, told Reuters that she broke up with her boyfriend a month ago because his Alba obsession became “too much” for her. But she’s been unable to get over the break-up and wants the guy back in her life. What’s even worse is the advice she’s been getting from her apparently dim-witted friends.

“My friends… kept consoling me but it did not work, so they suggested I do plastic surgery to look like her (Jessica Alba),” the woman told Reuters. “I have never been able to let [my boyfriend] go. If in the end he still does not accept me after I undergo the plastic surgeries, I will give up. I will then choose to let go, start afresh and live life by myself,” the 21-year-old said.

Jessica Alba at the African First Ladies' Health Summit

Astoundingly, the Shanghai Time Plastic Surgery center has offered to do the operations for free to “showcase their surgery skills,” reports Reuters, noting that the young woman will need multiple surgeries to her eyes and nose to get her to look like Alba — if that is even possible, which doesn’t seem likely. The Chinese woman and Alba are, after all, entirely different ethnicities.

There is one last hope that someone will knock some sense into the psychologically fragile young woman. Xiaoqing will be visiting her mother in the countryside for Chinese New Year (on February 14 this year) and says she will talk with her mother before making a final decision about the plastic surgery.

And we thought Heidi Montag’s plastic surgery was tragic!

Written by Asianista

February 9, 2010 at 1:16 pm

‘Ukulele boy’ covering Jason Mraz’s ‘I’m Yours’ is latest Youtube sensation (Video)

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A five year-old Japanese boy, who speaks little English and lives in Japan, is the latest Youtube sensation with over 4 million hits on Youtube, and counting.

The little guy’s videos are a must-see…

He really rocks out on this song…just look at his little legs churning at one point…

Written by Asianista

December 14, 2009 at 6:07 pm

Posted in Asia

Why Do Asian Men Hold Their Girlfriends’ Purses?

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I noticed a peculiar phenomenon while I lived in Seoul for a year in 2003: many Korean men will hold their girlfriends’ purses for them as they stroll down the street, shop in a mall, or just generally walk about. Truly mystifying.

Imagine my surprise when I spotted the same practice on display outside a sushi restaurant in downtown Mountain View, Calif. (See photo, left.)

Clearly, the man is not the true owner of the Louis Vuitton Speedy bag he is clutching in his right hand. It must belong to the woman next to him. So why is he holding it?

Someone explain. Please.

Written by Asianista

December 7, 2009 at 12:40 am

Posted in Asia, Habits and Customs

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