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Taiwanese Americans are glued to the 'soap opera' that is the high-stakes presidential election back home

As Jean Tsao prepared a feast with her son on Thanksgiving, her phone kept pinging.

She and many other Taiwanese Americans were glued to what some have described as a “soap opera” of a presidential election across the Pacific.

That day in Taiwan, after an attempt to unify the opposition parties had collapsed, the candidates were cementing their intent to run on separate tickets, and several vice presidential picks would be revealed.

Many who contacted Tsao, as she juggled her phone and the tu

At a Filipino-Cuban Nochebuena celebration, cultures blend — but karaoke is a must

At a Nochebuena celebration hosted by Filipino American Archie Cubarrubia and his Cuban partner, T.J. Morales, in their North Hollywood home, karaoke is a must for everyone. That includes an 89-year-old Cuban immigrant who had never performed such an act in his life.

Frank Navarro, who came from Miami to visit his 45-year-old daughter, did not know what to do as the melody of Edith Piaf’s “La Vie en Rose” played over the television. When Cubarrubia, 44, handed Navarro a glowing microphone, Nava

Lee Sun Kyun, one of the main actors behind Oscar-winning 'Parasite,' dies at 48

Lee Sun Kyun, center left, with fellow “Parasite” cast members at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2020, was found dead in Seoul.

Actor Lee Sun Kyun, who gained international fame in the Oscar-winning movie “Parasite,” has died in Seoul amid a police investigation over suspected drug use. He was 48.

The news of his death was confirmed by the Associated Press and Korean media outlets, which cited local police.

The Korean-language outlet Yonhap News, citing local police, said Lee’s wife report

In L.A.’s Santee Alley, Korean and Latino communities bond in an acupuncture shop

Good morning. It’s Monday, Oct. 30. I’m Helen Li, a reporting fellow for The Times. Here’s what you need to know to start your day.
• In L.A.’s Santee Alley, Korean and Latino communities connect in acupuncture

For two blocks near East Pico and Santee Alley, there are dozens of little shops filled with the latest counterfeit Gucci and Prada bags, Inter Miami Messi jerseys and bejeweled sunglasses. There are ATMs galore — cash is king. The “ZZT!” sound of a Taser echoes through the air as shopke

A 'man's man.' 'Young and vibrant.' 'The biggest heart.': Family and friends mourn 18 killed in Maine shootings

This poster provided by the Maine Department of Public Safety shows victims of the mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine.

A gunman opened fire at a bowling alley and bar in Lewiston, Maine, on Wednesday, killing 18 people in the deadliest mass shooting in state history.

In a statement Friday, Gov. Janet Mills called the victims “our family, friends, colleagues and neighbors,” and said she knew some of the victims personally. One — Joshua Seal, whom Mills called a friend — had provided American Sign

'There's no processing this': Relative of 2 Maine shooting victims tells of hopes dashed

Aaron Young, 14, was one of the 18 victims of the mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine, on Oct. 25, 2023. He died with his father, Bill Young.

Rob Young knew something was off. He’d texted his brother Bill about buying tickets to see Blink-182 in Washington, D.C., but Bill hadn’t responded for hours.

Then he heard from a friend about the shooting in Lewiston, Maine, at a bowling alley and a bar. From his dad, he learned that his brother and his 14-year-old nephew, Aaron, had gone bowling that nigh

This must be Koreatown

This must be Koreatown

My first impression of Koreatown wasn’t a great one.

In 2006, a family friend picked me up at LAX. I was 11, and all I could think about was how I had said goodbye to my relatives in Seoul just hours earlier. As soon as I got in the car, I started crying. As we drove off the 10 Freeway and onto Vermont Boulevard, I looked out the window.

“This place looks like Seoul in the 1970s,” I blurted out.

Any illusion I had of the United States — the glitz of Hollywood and the p

Gov. Newsom vetoes bill banning caste discrimination in the workplace, housing and beyond

Hunger striker Thenmozhi Soundararajan, center, and others rally in Sacramento last month for a bill to ban caste discrimination. SB 403 passed the Legislature, but Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed it Saturday.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Saturday vetoed a bill highly watched by the South Asian community that would have banned discrimination on the basis of caste — a system of social hierarchy that dictates a person’s standing from the time they’re born.

Newsom called the bill “unnecessary” in his

In Fresno, Sikhs and Oaxacans unite to pass caste discrimination ban

Sikhs in Fresno and across California have joined residents of Oaxacan descent in working to outlaw caste-based discrimination, which both have been subject to.

As a teenager picking apples in the Central Valley town of Mendota, Miguel Arias was puzzled when Mexican farmers yelled the insult “Oaxaquita” at Oaxacans working in the fields.

His parents explained that in Mexico, the system of casta persisted, with some people looking down on those with darker skin or Indigenous heritage.

“As a Me

In an increasingly pessimistic era, immigrants espouse a hallmark American trait — optimism

Two sisters. Two American dreams. Two very different results.

Maria Del Pilar Barradas-Medel and her older sister Maria Del Consuelo emigrated from Mexico nearly three decades ago. They wanted, more or less, a better life for themselves and the families they hoped for. They wanted schools and jobs — where they could make more than $5 a day — and an end to daily struggles in their home on the outskirts of Mexico City.

Maria Del Consuelo would last only a few months in Southern California, force

In Koreatown, a lack of bus shelters makes a hot summer even hotter

James Kim waits for the bus in Koreatown on Aug. 16 in Los Angeles. For many elders, buses are their lifeline, connecting them to groceries, community events and activities and freeing them from lives of isolation.

On a hot August afternoon, Teddy Hwang ducked behind a light pole for the little shade it offered as he waited for a bus in Koreatown.

Hwang, 71, has failing eyesight and rarely drives. He relies on public transportation to get to Korean grocery stores, friends and a part-time job a

In an L.A. suburb, Chinese 'border crossers' seek a new life after harrowing journey

Shidong Liang, second from left, walks with his wife and three children, ages 6, 7 and 10, at Peter F. Schabarum Regional Park in Rowland Heights on June 15. The family reached the Los Angeles area on June 6 after a journey that included crossing the dangerous Darien Gap.

Drawn by a message on the WeChat app, the Chinese immigrants lined up for free bags of leafy greens that volunteers handed out from a battered minivan in a Monterey Park parking lot.

Many had recently survived a novel and dan

Anti-Asian hate attacks are down in L.A. Why some are worried

Linda Shen, center, of Alhambra participates in a demonstration in Los Angeles against anti-Asian violence on May 8, 2021.

After hitting record highs in 2021, anti-Asian hate attacks have significantly decreased both in the Los Angeles area and statewide.

The trend has prompted relief but also concern that some Asian Americans are not reporting attacks against them as attention on the topic fades.

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, attacks on Asian Americans rose, fanned in part by rhetoric from

This merchandise store reps Little Saigon, with a twist

Chris Tran of Anaheim owns a store in the Asian Garden Mall. He holds up a black sweatshirt, designed to celebrate Little Saigon and its identity.

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California . It’s Thursday, June 29. I am Jeong Park, covering Asian American communities for The Times.

After you resist the sweet taste of bánh mì kem sữa, or milk buns, or the beautiful displays of purple orchids, after wading through smells of incense and ginseng, you will arrive at a small corner store

The end of affirmative action won't change much for them, some Asian Americans say

People with the Asian American Coalition for Education rally outside of the Supreme Court of the United States on Thursday.

Cecilia Chang bluntly told her two kids: You have to try harder because of who you are.

She believed that admission to elite colleges was stacked against Asian Americans — “You’re competing for a very little number of seats with all these qualified Asian kids,” she said.

Still, she doesn’t think the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling doing away with affirmation action will chan

L.A. on the Record: Asian Americans and the L.A. vote

Kenneth Mejia heading to his downtown campaign office in 2022 after he was elected L.A. city controller.

Good morning, and welcome to L.A. on the Record — our City Hall newsletter. It’s Jeong Park and Dakota Smith at the helm.

In Los Angeles politics, 2022 was a historic year for Asian Americans.

Kenneth Mejia became the first Asian American to win a citywide office when he triumphed in the city controller’s race.

But a report released this week by the UCLA Asian American Studies Center argu

A year later, Taiwanese church remembers mass shooting in Laguna Woods

The church choir performs during the memorial service marking the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting at Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods.

When Feng Feng Lee saw a strange man with closely cropped white hair at her church, she didn’t think much of it.

Hours later, the man opened fire at a luncheon, wounding five parishioners and killing a 52-year-old man who had accompanied his mother to church.

Now, Lee has flashbacks about that day a year ago at Irvine Taiwanese Pr

Mandarin classes are a new battleground between China and Taiwan

In the relaxed cadences of her native Taiwan, Kelly Chuang instructed her students to repeat after her.

She projected the written Chinese for the phrases onto a whiteboard. “Taiwan” appeared in the traditional form, with 25 strokes in the second character alone.

The four adults were studying Mandarin, Taiwanese style — elaborately written characters over the simplified versions used in China, no “ers” appended to words, less of a curled tongue for “sh” sounds.

In a small way, as they struggle

America's Top Model, Koreatown-style — older immigrants strike a pose and fulfill a dream

Youngjoo Chang, Hey Kyung Lee and Seonghee Jung pose for a photo after their Silver Models USA audition at the Line LA Hotel on April 15 in Los Angeles.

As a girl in South Korea, Kristen Yoo walked with books on her head to cultivate a model’s ramrod straight posture.

When she moved to Alaska as a teenager, her dreams of strutting down the runway faded.

On April 15 in Koreatown, she finally had her chance. At 59, she was one of the younger contestants in a Silver Models USA audition.


The Times podcast: The music genre Korean elders 'trot' to

Retirees at the Koreatown Senior and Community Center dance to trot hits led by Janet Chon, center.

“Trot” is a Korean music genre that has been around for decades. But in recent years, it has exploded in popularity in Southern California. The biggest fans? Immigrant seniors.

Today, we talk about trot’s history, staying power and role in the Korean American community. Read the full transcript here.

Host: Gustavo Arellano

K-Pop isn’t the only hot ticket in Koreatown — how ‘trot’ is captivatin

Long Beach's new year festival: Some Cambodian Americans aren't happy with the name Sankranta

At Long Beach’s first Sankranta festival to celebrate the Cambodian new year, people knelt and prayed at a mound of sand called a stupa, decorated with bright yellow flowers to honor ancestors.

They snacked on Cambodian barbecue pork chops with Belgian waffles and browsed booths with shirts featuring Angkor Wat, the famous temple.

A separate parade and celebration, which has been a fixture in the city for decades, followed the next day, April 2.

Sankranta means “beginning of a new year” in Kh

Taiwan president's meeting with McCarthy inflames divide among local immigrants

A scuffle breaks out between supporters of China and supporters of Taiwan as Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen visits the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on Wednesday in Simi Valley.

As a highly anticipated meeting took place between Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, Nancy Yingli Son shouted into a microphone.

“Taiwan is China’s territory! Taiwan is part of China!” she declared in Mandarin outside the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, clutching a Chinese fl

How Korean Americans shaped K-pop, and vice versa

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Wednesday, March 29. I’m Jeong Park, a reporter covering Asian American communities for The Times, coming from Mid-City.

When I introduce myself and say what I do for a living, people have asked me: Do you cover K-pop?

No, I don’t — or at least not in a way you would expect. I’m not writing about the latest albums or reviewing concerts.

Still, I’ve found myself putting K-Pop references into many stories, from one on the re

How a Korean American found healing by retracing the first Korean immigrants' ocean voyage

In the sailing yacht’s cramped living area, nearly 20 sticky notes reminded Jin Woo Nam and his crew of the tasks ahead — buffing and waxing, applying a special paint to prevent barnacles from sticking, fixing a leaky water heater.

Nam, 63, didn’t seem stressed. On this day in early February, he smiled as he strode among a dizzying array of ropes and sails to repair the antennas for the boat’s tracking system.

Since he bought the Ignatella in 2011, selling his home to buy the used 37-foot craf
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