All posts filed under: Events

To All My Faux Aunties and Uncles…

Dear Aunties and Uncles: I now know the purpose you served… For years, growing up, it was never properly explained to me. Perhaps my parents lacked the words I would understand. Perhaps it was more than that. Because of that communication gap, I genuinely believed that everyone my mom and dad introduced me to, was my blood relative. That meant that when I went to my American grade school and people asked me about my family, I inadvertently lied. “I’m the youngest of 8. I know, big family. Both of my parents have like 13 brothers and sisters each. I haven’t even met all of them! Well, some died in the war, of course. I never knew my grandparents.” I guess I should be happy I grew up in a state surrounded by Mormons and Catholics. Big families weren’t anything new to them. But, for the skeptical others that dared to question my authenticity? I was sure self-righteous in my defense of my village-like family! At a certain point, I reached an age where I started questioning …

Lao Chess on the Rise!

When it comes to chess in Southeast Asia, most people think of that highly problematic Murray Head song, “One Night in Bangkok” from the 80s musical Chess, and chess queens might not excite you the way it would others. Last month, the Laos Chess Federation made a strong showing to change that perception, hosting the 1st Laos International Open from January 3rd to 7th in Vientiane. Chess is an Asian strategy game over 1,500 years old, depicting the conflict between two rival armies, with each piece capable of unique moves to capture the other’s pieces. The goal is to place your opponent’s king into a situation where it is impossible for him to move safely, known as checkmate, from an Arabic term, shah mat, meaning “the King is dead” or “the King is helpless.” Today, it’s a game popular around the world, including Europe, Russia, the Middle East, and the US. Well-known players of the 20th century include Garry Kasparov and Bobby Fischer. Although chess is widely believed to have begun in India, India’s first modern Grandmaster, Viswanathan …