Sunday, November 23, 2014

Kevin Lee - Blog #2

Be Green Challenge Week 2

            Week 2 of the “Be Green” Challenge went by really fast and without a trace because I was very busy this past week to actually shop for new items. This past week went by really fast and unnoticeable because to be perfectly honest, I forgot about the challenge since I was very busy, but luckily I did not buy anything new during the week. However, even though I was doing so well during the week, that all changed yesterday when I went to SF. Yesterday, I went to SF with my community service organization, Tzu-Chi Collegiate Association (TC), to attend TC’s 20th Anniversary Charity Concert. Originating from Taiwan, TC is a non-profit organization that helps provide disaster relief around the world, and one way they do this is by raising money and using that money to help the countries that have suffered from severe natural disasters. Since this concert was a charity concert, TC was selling materials to help raise money that would be used to help countries that needed it. The problem was that these materials were all new materials made by TC, and I ended up buying some things which went against the “Be Green” Challenge. Buying these materials reminded me of the time when we watched “China Blue” in class. In “China Blue”, the children were forced to work in factories for many hours in horrible conditions. This made me think that the materials made in those factories in China have no value to them because they were made by children who were forced to work there. However, the materials made by TC are made by people who volunteered to help make them and not forced. Knowing that volunteers are willing to give up their time to help make materials that could help people of the less fortunate makes those materials have more value than those made in China where people were forced to make the materials. Therefore, even though I ended up failing the “Be Green” Challenge for this week, I do not regret it because I know that the money I spent on these materials are going to a good cause.

This week in class we learned more about the Hmong culture and the importance of textiles in the Hmong culture. The reading for this week, “Speaking through Cloth: Teaching Hmong History and Culture through Textile Arts.” By Ava L. McCall, talks about the importance and significance of embroidery in the Hmong culture and how textiles is used to tell stories of Hmong history. Before this reading, I did not know much about the Hmong culture; however, after reading this article and watching the short video of how embroidery is used to tell the story of Hmong history, I learned the importance of the textiles used in Hmong culture. It was really interesting to learn that the Hmong culture is preserved through the use of embroidery because this showed that each culture has their own ways of preserving their culture, such as Native Americans using storytelling to preserve their culture. We were shown pictures of the different textile designs on Hmong clothing in class, and the designs really stood out. So, I wanted to see if there were other designs used things other than Hmong clothing, and here are the items I found:

Shoulder bag:


Cushion Covers:

It is really interesting to see that Hmong culture is not only preserved through the clothing but also through the different items that are used every day. Learning about the significance of embroidery and textiles and how they relate to culture taught me that the designs on clothing or any material might not just be design but a design with deeper meanings to it. Therefore, the next time designs on a piece of clothing/item is being discussed or criticized, ya’ll should stop and think to see if there is some deeper meaning to those designs.

China Blue Dir. Micha Peled 2005

McCall, Ava L.. "Speaking through Cloth: Teaching Hmong History and Culture through Textile Arts." Reader.

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