Connecting to the Minds and Hearts of Asia



Image credit: WikiCommons

By: Ashley Grogan


Asian culture bleeds past the continent daily.  Asia is more than just yellow stars on red material, and our newest Silk Road: Voices on Asia volume will show just that. There are too many hidden secrets in Asia for it to concern itself with classic stereotypes and rash judgments. This edition of Silk Road will raise some questions and answer others about a world that is not familiar to most of us. What must farmers experience when a dzi bead is found on their land, both waiting to be discovered and waiting to be plowed back into the earth?  Do you know how it feels to rely on returning home in order to progress in your future?  How have ancestors shaped the present and how will yours shape the future?

Elizabeth Horneber has been hypnotized by a dzi bead.  In her piece “Vermilion,” she delves into these mysterious and marvelous beads that capture some of the Tibetan culture.  Matthew Yasyoka tells the story of “Papa, the sky father, and Wakea, the earth mother” (54) and how their children sparked the history and future that is Hawaii.  Tammy Ho Lai-Ming gives hope by showing us a glance into a summer day of Hong Kong.  These are just glimpses into the pieces of some contributors, yet already, Asia is present in your mind.

After reading this issue, I felt a connection to Asia.  I learned more about Asian culture than I would have through mere research.  Experiencing these stories and poems has helped me feel connected to the minds that created them.  My views on the meaning of marriage were challenged as I understood Maitreyee’s desire to continue a façade with her husband, Biren, in “The Year of Paper.”  I also found myself speaking about Haloa, the child of Papa and Wakea, to classmates within a week of reading Yasyoka’s story.  This issue is more than just a collection of essays, stories, and poems to keep you entertained on your commute to work; these images stick with you and begin your connection with the air halfway around the world.

Silk Road: Voices on Asia will be available for purchase December 9th both online and at the Pacific University Bookstore in Forest Grove, Oregon.