top of page

716 items found for ""

  • ASTRO Member Moonbin’s Death at 25

    Moonbin was a former Southern Korean idol from the group “ASTRO.” Known for his debuts in music videos and TV shows from 2004 to 2016, Moonbin had his breaking hit in the KBS drama Boys Over Flowers before joining Astro and showcasing the group’s first album Spring Up in February 2016. Passing away on April 19, 2023 in Seoul, South Korea, his manager on Wednesday evening showed initial concerns when Moonbin was unresponsive. His manager visited Moonbin’s home in the hopes of speaking to him after the period of silence and failing to attend rehearsals. Discovering Moonbin in his home, his death at 25 years old shocked numerous fans as he was in the middle of hosting a world tour as a part of a subunit with fellow K-pop idol and Astro member Sanha. To the public, the cause of death remains unknown as the investigation continues, yet police have spoken to news outlets informing the public on Moonbin who “appears to have taken his own life.” Living alone, the reasons remain unknown to numerous fans and family why Moonbin’s death was caused, yet many suspect the continued pressures of Korean idols face demonstrates the rigor of the industry. Flowers and notes were placed by fans at street memorials in South Korea, continuing the hashtag #MoonbinWeLoveYou to commemorate the idol’s legacy on social media. With MoonBin’s last performance in Thailand, purple and silver balloons adorned memorials as both colors were prevalent in the last show. The Astro’s management company, Fantagio, released a statement on the issue, saying, “On April 19, ASTRO member Moonbin suddenly left us and has now become a star in the sky. Although it cannot compare to the grief of the bereaved family that had to part with their beloved son and brother, his fellow artists and the staff here at Fantagio, who have been together with him for a long time, are also deeply mourning the departed amidst tremendous shock and sorrow.” While the family hosted a private funeral, Moonbin’s sister, Moon Sua, canceled and postponed all her upcoming shows as a member in the K-pop group Billie. If you or someone you know are experiencing thoughts of suicide or mental-crisis, call or text 988. In emergent cases, call 911 or seek aid from a local hospital or providers. Editors: Blenda Y., Chelsea D. Photo Credits: The New York Times

  • happy

    TW: slight mention of bruises my paper butterflies crumple like your eyes when you're hurt and when my feet remain cold after hours under the blanket, i know you are up to something. the walls of my room are covered with you and it takes every fiber of my control to refrain myself from burning my house down with myself in it my lips turn chapped on their own and my skin parades pretty reds and blues, i get dressed in the dark so i can’t see your face on my body i am happy and i am secure, i do not hold my head in my hands, and i do not tell myself "you do not exist to others", my things are only mine, i have turned selfish i go to my garden the wet grass stains my breath, and when i go inside i fog up the room with disgust, and mirth. i thought you would be happy to know that i am happy. Editor(s): Alisha B., Blenda Y., Uzayer M. Photo Credits: Unsplash

  • Lilirose's Goodreads Page

    Editors: Alisha B., Uzayer M., Blenda Y.

  • if my eyes were blue...

    as a child, i longed to be blue-eyed. with eyes like the ocean or perhaps the sky above, my life would be golden, maybe at last i’d be loved. so i wished and i wished, on every birthday, on every eyelash. and i prayed my drawings would come true, the ones i designed myself with eyes so blue. as i whispered to myself: “if my eyes were blue, maybe they wouldn’t stare. if my eyes were blue, those haunting words would no longer be my nightmare: “where are you really from?” if my eyes were blue, maybe i’d feel free. maybe whenever i turned on the TV, i’d see someone who looks like me. if my eyes were blue, maybe life would feel more fair, and i wouldn’t have to feel the wrath of everyone’s stare. if my eyes were blue, and my skin pale like snow, maybe then, and only then, i’d finally then know. if my eyes were blue, with golden hair like you, maybe i’d look in the mirror and see that i am beautiful, too.” Editors: Joyce P. Photo credit

  • Pieces on Rise of Asian American Cinema

    Foreword: Within the last decade, Asian stories that decorate the silver screen have expanded past the international film category and have instead been celebrated across a variety of themes and stories. In the past, Asian representation was only present in ‘foreign language’ films and Asian-Americans in Hollywood were always cast as the ruthless warrior or the exotic dragon lady. However, Asian-Americans have climbed the steep ladder that the past has mounted, restoring representation and hope for young audiences. By telling the honest cinematic stories of Asian-Americans, stereotypes are being erased and heartfelt characters are being formed. These four collected pieces narrate the successes and growth of Asian-American cinema and document how representation has changed the lives of today’s Asian Youth. – Aubrey Meiling Evolution of Asian Representation in Western Media By Leila Wickliffe An opinion piece presenting the history of Asian representation in Western media and how characterization of Asian characters has changed— from the exotic foreigner character of Mickey Rooney to the dashing prince charming of Henry Golding. “The history of accurate and nuanced stories of Asian people has had its ups and downs, and progress is beginning to show. Mainstream media has reached a point where simply having an Asian person on screen is not enough. There is a difference between being on screen and being seen.” The Academy's Baby Steps By Yanitta Iew A personal essay recounting how the 2021 Academy Award nominations took big steps into diversifying the playing field, with many historical firsts for both Asians and women. “The moment I heard the nominees for the first category, Actress in a Supporting Role, I knew that this was going to be another year for us Asians in film. No, not only for us. I have a feeling this could be the most diverse Oscars in the history of the Academy Awards.” The American Narrative and Minari By Chris Fong Chew A deep dive into the meaning and background of the 2020 film Minari and how its story, background, and reception defines what it means to be (Asian) American. “As we are living through a particularly divisive and violent time in American history, we need stories like Minari that remind us of what it means to be American, and it was an absolute failure of the Golden Globes to say otherwise.” Michelle Yeoh Receives an AFI Honorary Degree By Amber Ting This collection would be incomplete without mentioning Michelle Yeoh– the Malaysian actress who has represented Asians in Hollywood for the past 26 years. An empowering piece about how Michelle Yeoh earned her well deserved Honorary Degree from the American Film Institute. “In the past, Yeoh has been vocal about the need for diversity and inclusion in the film industry, and she has paved a path for representation by bringing to life complex Asian characters on screen. Her role as Evelyn Wang is merely another demonstrative example. To this day, her flourishing career is one of the best examples of Asian excellence in Hollywood, and the doctorate is a deserved recognition of her talent.”

  • Cultural Connections: How Transracial Adoptees Celebrate Lunar New Year

    This month, over 1.5 billion people across the globe from different cultural backgrounds are celebrating Lunar New Year. In Chinese culture, the Lunar New Year is one of the largest and most culturally significant celebrations. From hongbao to haircuts and long-life noodles to night-long activities, the fifteen-day-long celebration is packed with many important traditions and superstitions to help ring in a new year. Yet for Chinese transracial adoptees, the celebration of the Lunar New Year looks slightly different. Despite being born in China and being of Chinese ethnic descent, Chinese transracial adoptees are adopted into non-Chinese families residing in different countries and, consequently, experience a disconnect from Chinese culture. Subsequently, many adoptees and their adoptive families have adopted non-conventional traditions to celebrate Lunar New Year. Growing up a Chinese transracial adoptee in the United States, I never felt fully connected to Chinese culture. My parents attempted to expose me to cultural events in my area, but I never felt a sense of belonging or inclusion. This feeling extended to Lunar New Year celebrations; my family would celebrate by decorating our house, going out to dinner at a Chinese restaurant, and exchanging hongbao, or red envelopes containing money and gifts. As I’ve grown older, I’ve realized that I am not alone in this sentiment. Countless Chinese adoptees around the world have had a similar experience to me where our adoptive parents have attempted to celebrate with us, though there is some disconnect from the culture that was essentially taken from us. As we’ve grown into our own identities as young adults, many of us have found new adaptive ways to celebrate the holiday. Chinese adoptee Miki Kent says she learned about Chinese New Year from her white cousins who lived in China. “My family always looked for ways to expose me to Chinese traditions and introduced me to Chinese family friends who would invite us to celebrations and parties. Many Lunar New Years I spent time with other adoptees from our agency at an Asian buffet, during the dragon dancing events. It was always so comforting to be around the other girls I was adopted with.” As an adult, Kent likes to spend Lunar New Year going out to dinner at an Asian American restaurant and going on adventures looking for mooncakes locally. She wears something red along with her jade bracelet gifted to her as a baby. Others have found ways to celebrate with others in the adoptee community. Chinese adoptee Shelley Rottenberg looks back fondly on receiving red envelopes from her adoptive mother during childhood. Rottenberg was raised in Ontario by a single-mother of Jewish descent. Although Shelly often felt removed from the culture, she credits her mother for trying her best to connect her with Chinese culture and traditions such as Lunar New Year. She remembers meeting up with other adoptive families through different organizations to Lunar New Year together. “All of the families would get together at one family's house,” Rottenberg explained. “They would have like a little box at the front where you could pick like a red envelope, they would do fireworks. And so as a kid, I celebrated it to a certain extent with other adoptees, but I don't think I thought about all of that as much as I do now. So as a kid, it's like, maybe I should have appreciated it a bit more.” Now as an adult, Rottenberg celebrates Lunar New Year with friends she made through her involvement with the organization Asian Adoptees of Canada. This is her first year of involvement in the Lunar New Year festivities, and she expressed her excitement prior to the event. This year, Rottenberg joined the members of her organization in attendance at a Lunar New Year festival and grabbed lunch at a restaurant after. This was also her first year celebrating Lunar New Year with a large group of adoptees since childhood. “I feel like I'm coming full circle by helping kind of plan and create that community for other adoptees to get together to do something,” shared Rottenberg. “Otherwise, they maybe wouldn't know how to celebrate on their own.” Likewise, Eryn Peritz, a Chinese adoptee from Long Island, New York, and current student at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania was also able to connect with Chinese culture and celebrate Lunar New Year through an organization she founded at her college called Bi-Co Asian Adoptees. “We're going to have a big or hopefully big decorating event where we go around camping and decorations like banners and fishes,” she explained prior to the holiday. “I'm very excited about it because I finally founded this club this year. I hope to include other adoptees in it and I hope that when people pass by the decorations, it’ll make them really happy.” Others have only more recently begun to truly look into traditions of Lunar New Year. “I wasn't quite aware of how deep and how complex these traditions went until later on, when I learned for myself these little things of what you're supposed to be doing. What's traditional, what kind of celebrations are out there,” said Jack Freeman, Chinese adoptee from the United Kingdom. When he and his sisters were younger, Freeman’s family mainly celebrated by cooking stir fry and eating prawn crackers at home. They also exchanged red envelopes with money. As Jack got older and gained more of a desire to learn about Chinese culture, he began his own traditions to celebrate. Freeman admits it has been tough finding a group of people or friends that celebrate Lunar New Year, he decided to embrace the culture in his own way. This year, Freeman spent Lunar New Year in London amid the celebrations within the city. For Lunar New Year, even though I don't feel fully connected with the celebrations and the traditions, I still want to celebrate in some way or do something around it,” admitted Freeman. “Because at the end of the day, it is part of my identity.” Despite having a large shared experience and collective identity, there are ultimately so many different Asian communities across the diaspora and many different aspects of Asian identity, and transracial adoptees are ultimately a small community within that. Chinese adoptees have a different shared experience from many others who celebrate Lunar New Year, and it is important to represent these experiences whenever possible. As Chinese adoptees find new ways to come into their Chinese identity and celebrate the traditions of the culture that has been taken away, it is always important to keep sharing these stories not only for other adoptees, but for the larger Asian community as well. Despite the disconnect from Chinese culture, adoptees remain a strong community and will continue to find new ways to celebrate their birth culture. Editors: Blenda Y., Phoebe H., Alisha B., Lang D.

  • Seventeen

    these days, i feel like i’m drowning like my life is running from me, only to leave me to the shadows. i want to be 17, like the movies: i want to be kissed in the rain 17, walking on train tracks 17, i want to be messy, angsty, beautiful 17, not ghostly, exhausted, numb 17. i want to feel the butterflies of lust, feel the pain of a shattered heart— something. i need to feel something, for i’m not sure how much longer i can hold on. but for now, my words are my oxygen and we all know that there’s an end to every chapter, a closing of the pages, for i, and we, are finite. Editor(s): Cathay L., Joyce P. Photo Credits: Unsplash

  • The Declining Asian Elephant Population

    Sherman de Silva, a faculty member from UC San Diego, led a research team in discovering new, suitable habitats for the Asian elephant population after losing about two-thirds of their inhabited ecosystems. Analyzing previous insights regarding the change in land use over the past 300 years, the historic suitable elephant habitat has suffered under the colonial-era land-use practices in Asia, such as timber extraction and farming or agriculture. As an assistant professor of ecology and founder of the elephant conservation nonprofit Trunks & Leaves, Silva noted the importance of the elephant population in her study published on April 27, 2023 regarding the rapid decline. She referred to the species as “ecosystem engineers” to the ABC News. However, Silva explained, the findings regarding the limited ecosystems are significant because Asian elephants are extremely adaptable and able to live in various habitats, from open and dry grasslands to dense rainforests. Meaning, the changing landscape of Asia underscores the fragmented spaces left for the survival of ecosystems without human inference. The late 1600s and early 1700s illustrated the beginnings of massive changes in elephant population decline as the land practices brought on by the colonial-era proceeded into the European industrial revolution. This massive exploitation of resources across the world led to inadequate habitat areas for the remaining elephants. In the mid 20th-century, the rise of industrial agriculture contributed to severe habitat loss. The 1700s continued holding habitats 100% suitable for elephant populations within the 100 kilometers provided, yet Silva and her team discovered the portion declined to less than 50% when comparing the appropriate ecosystems left in 2015. Her and her team mention the continued conflict between human-dominated regions as elephants adapted their behaviors to “co-exist” with the influx of communities in those suitable areas (as their responses vary due to human-modified landscapes). Mainland China, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Sumatra, and Thailand have all lost more than half of their previously suitable elephant ecosystems. Asian elephants, as of now, remain endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species. Editor: Chelsea D. Photo credit

  • Ghosts

    Scroll down to the bottom to listen to the author read this piece! The emerald green door opens to a foreign land, a fantasy— not somewhere new, no; somewhere far too familiar, somewhere home. Pill bottles are scattered about the room, framing his bed. It’s been one year since I’ve stepped foot in that house, but no matter, because its distinct aroma, a blend of my uncle’s herbal Chinese medicine and dust, leave an imprint in my mind that is impossible to erase. Not that I’d ever want to, anyway. Perhaps it’s an off-putting odor for most, but for me, this scent is the magic you read about in fairytales, the magic that transports me back in time. In seconds, I can see the house blurring around me in a haze, while the photos in the albums fly at me, flipping faster and faster and faster; I am surrounded by history, storylines that existed long before me, stories that will continue beyond me. But this year, the house is still. A heavy fog has settled in, making the home its own. Something has changed; we go through the motions, laugh and chat, the same as always, but there is an unmistakable emptiness that plagues our every move. Each year, my mind races to observe any subtle changes to the house, but mostly to my chagrin, it’s frozen in time. This is the first year “time” has become painstakingly obvious, and I hate it. I hate the grains of sand seeping through the hourglass, unwilling to just stop. The house mocks me; rather, reminders of my grandparents’ mortality mock me— the collection of walkers and canes mock me, the lists of prescriptions mock me, the fact that my grandfather wore the very shoes he purchased to wear at his own funeral to my cousin’s wedding mocks me. I fear I have gotten too used to goodbyes. For as long as I can remember, it has been my immediate family leaving the rest. As a child, I failed to understand why my family was always the one to leave. Traces of our presence were left behind, whether it was the empty Yakult carton I forgot to throw out, or the red bean bun my aunt had bought especially for my brother that he was saving for later. Our presence was marked by our footprints, erased as quickly as the next time the garbage was taken out or the next time my cousin snatched the bun up to eat it himself. The thing is, I’m not ready to say goodbye. It is far too early to say goodbye. You need to understand, I am the ghost in that house, not them. Voices swirl around me. The house is alive, fed by conversations and laughter, during the misty month of December. How I wonder how lonely my ye-ye and nai-nai are the other eleven months of the year. I have learned that our time on this earth is painfully finite. The sands of time are simply not in our favor. I long to be connected to my grandparents, I long to say the words “I love you”, but how can I when I lack the vocabulary to do so? Beyond my wallowing, though, I know I can’t do anything to change the past, the hundreds upon thousands of memories missed — the photos don’t lie — so I build, and I build, and I build— and I am far from finished. Editors: Joyce P., Leila W. Image: Pinterest

  • a letter to my past august selves

    Dear Past Lilirose, Three years ago, you wrote a poem about autumn; yet it was mostly about missing home. It went, “the air smells like burnt letters and / grey skies, my heart aches too much i think / and i miss home the way / a teenager teetering on the edge of adulthood / misses their innocence-” How did you know that? Were you aware of the ways these lines would resonate with me, even three autumns & three bodies past? The only critique I have is that the dash should have been an em dash like this: —. This is probably not the letter you want, where your future self is marveling at a thirteen-year-old’s words & yearning for every season of life. This is also probably not the letter you expected, where your future self is neither dead nor wise beyond their years. Lower your expectations, love. You located stretch marks on the uneven terrain of your body last week, and you were delighted because you never thought you would live long enough for them. You really enjoy going with your Mom to the local Raley’s to buy oranges, but you still get irritated whenever she spends too long in your room. You dream about the juncture of a girl-who-lives-across-the-country’s neck and you haven’t texted her back in three days. Your vision has gotten worse. Your friends have gotten gentler. Your prayers have gotten blessings. There are two really big truths in life: 1. Ma was right—a cup of tea always helps. (I recommend raspberry leaf tea, which is a great colour.) 2. Everything will change. I mean this in ways both good and bad. Let’s start with the negatives; it’s bad because we inherently fear change. This summer, you go to a residential two-week summer program & have what you call “an honestly low-key very chill panic attack” in your empty dormitory. You heave for breath on your crinkly navy blue assigned bed. It’s your first time in a community full of writers & your first time away from home for an extended period of time without your Ma, and you are not doing well. The Ohio skyline laughs at you. Streamlined clouds & oak leaves peer at you from outside the window. Every time you rewrite a poem you still feel sick to your stomach. All those poor innocent darlings, slaughtered under your hand to create a new and better piece. You’re still in a friendship you said you would end two years ago. Last week you went to their house & doom-scrolled on Instagram together. But an instrumental thing you will learn as you age is that fear is not inherently negative. Because you are so afraid of losing your friends, you slip your hands into theirs & affix matching pins onto your tote bags. You whisper secrets like you’re girl-best-friends in second grade & you nap next to each other like you’re two-cats-under-sunlight. When you return home this summer, you redecorate your room one last time before senior year. Unaddressed postcards & tattered calligraphy & rip-off polaroids. The summer program was life changing & you are pretty certain of what you want to major in (spoiler alert: it’s English). You call yourself a poet without hesitation. Because you are so aware that every moment is so fleeting, you love each moment all the more. And perhaps even more importantly: I know you are miserable today. I know you were miserable yesterday, and the day-before-yesterday, and the day-before-the-day-before-yesterday, and so it goes on. That too is temporary, love. Home changes, as everything does. The unhappiness is not inherent to you. You are yourself and your consciousness, and your feelings will pass. It all passes. & I will be waiting here, at the end of it all. Love, August 2023 Lilirose Editor(s): Blenda Y., Chelsea D., Uzayer M. Photo Credits: Unsplash

  • JULY '22

    Summer scribbling HAGS in junior yearbooks. Summer stretching languidly into sunsets. Summer truth-or-daring wildness. Summer like a rabid dog Summer sky. Summer spitballing into closed pools. Summer slashing silhouettes across heat-risen horizons. Summer bikini, on sale 50% off. Summer slamming shoulder blades against apartment garage cars. Summer napping to the asphalt heaving like a second heartbeat in the record July temperatures, dreaming of siamese twins. Summer saying my name. Summer saying yours. Summer like the wrong side of a knife. Summer split open by car alarms wailing for recollection. Summer sizzling into overheated elastic bikini tops. Summer slinking back to mothers’ phone calls at 11. Summer aspirin for a pounding headache. Summer backdoor shut tight. Summer, hungrily breathing goodbye. Editor(s): Blenda Y., Uzayer M., Alisha B. Photo Credits: Unsplash

  • a text exchange intercepted by myself

    THE SUMMER THIS BODY TURNS 16 I’M GONNA BE NOTHING MORE THAN A SOUNDLESS PLEA– TURN MY KNEES JAM-SMEARED AGAINST CHAINLINK FENCES & CHLORINE DIVOTS & A FALLEN GOD’S WORD. & I don’t know, love, I’d like to say I understand Judas but you know how it goes on and on. what confuses me, really, is how every damn year my words fly out of me endlessly like locusts in a plague & I & I CAN NEVER FIND MYSELF AGAIN. IF THERE ARE ANGELS ROAMING THE STREETS I’LL LET THEM BUY ME A DRINK. I’LL FIT THEIR NAMES BETWEEN THE RIDGES OF MY TEETH, BETTER THAN MY OWN TO find myself hanging laundry & doing grossly normal things. Somehow, the phone hasn’t stopped ringing– I haven’t started answering either. Instead I palliate bread with raspberry jam, treat my numbed mouth with kindness. Sort my mail, admit that every love poem I write with “You” is about more than one person. They say angels now come in any form they can, ornate themselves in thrifted bikinis & cowboy boots & psalms out their car window. If divinity can quietly shapeshift, I can too. Start mornings with beginner’s yoga or reading a bookstore-fresh recipe book or even saying your name again & again. The truth is that there are no ulterior motives other than vowing to never turn & JUNE WATCHES ME HALF-CRAWLING OUT OF MY WINDOW, DIVINE INTERCEPTION THROUGH BEER CANS WHITTLING MY MOUTH INTO PRAYER & PRESSING MYSELF UP AGAINST ANY WRONGDOING I CAN FIND, LIKE THE wrong sides of knives against myself. There is no need for x-rays of possibly broken ribs or misaligned bleeding. Your last injury was a paper cut. Your last score was zero, at least, upon the body. SUMMER WILL BE WILD. / SUMMER WILL BE WILD. SUMMER WILL BE WILD. / SUMMER WILL BE WILD. Summer will be gentle. / Summer will be gentle. Summer will be gentle. / Summer will be gentle. Editor(s): Alisha B., Uzayer M., Blenda Y., Luna Y. Photo Credits: Unsplash

bottom of page