All posts filed under: Prose & Poetry

What DNA testing gets wrong about Southeast Asian heritage

As everyone knows, genetic ancestry testing is extremely popular. These tests typically involve a cheek swab or saliva sample that you send back to a company for laboratory testing. These tests give you information about your genome, the genetic material containing DNA that dictates who you are, and includes your relationships with genomes around the world. From these relationships, these tests can make informed estimates about your ancestral origins. Genetic ancestry testing is definitely fascinating, but the commercialized process of genetic ancestry testing doesn’t seem to be perfected just yet. To understand some of the issues with genetic ancestry testing, you can read this 2017 study about the testing process and this 2018 article about a journalist’s experience with genetic ancestry testing. Different companies can get different results, companies lack quality assurances, companies have limited validation of results, and there are unevenly sized sample pulls. A 2018 BuzzFeed video about genetic ancestry testing inspired this article when a Lao American had his “mind blown” when he was told by an Ancestry.com representative that 79.8 percent …

“For Mae Tow” by Soudary Kittivong-Greenbaum

when i picture you, you are 52. lips deep, bright plum skin patted smooth by powder jet black hair shaped by pink cushion curlers the night before. you are decorated in your finest gold. necklace. rings. earrings. sinh,  matching hand sewn top, after your shifts at the dealership the cleaning lady, now, ready for the party. you dress me, cure a high bun on my head, the same that you lift once set, and exclaim with joy: “good ga-lirl” i wonder if you’d still consider me good? i’m not always polite don’t bow as you did to others. service, that’s what they call it. i don’t go to temple. don’t offer alms, or truck kow to the sick, or for boun at Wat Lao, Wat Thai, Wat Khmer. you used to visit them all, every week. only you. everyone loved your smile. a diplomat’s for sure. laughing from the gut. you were a saint. didn’t discriminate for souls, only for those that took, and even then, you might have bent. — i wonder how would you like hearing your …