The Burma Humanitarian Mission supports community based health-care and education projects that improve lives of the Burmese people. This is an article about religious freedom in Burma. Read more about the Burma Humanitarian Mission here.
For decades, Burma existed in a stagnant state of a dictatorship and conflict. Changes over the last 2 years have left many stupefied: Aung San Suu Kyi released; elections held and a nascent ceasefire emerging. Are the reforms real? Or, are the reforms window dressing to dupe Western governments?
Bill Keller of the New York Times offers some penetrating insights in the wake of the recent visit to the U.S. of Aung San Suu Kyi and Burma’s President U Thein Sein. It’s worth a few minutes of your day to read. (The Burmese Odd Couple: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/01/opinion/keller-the-burmese-odd-couple.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20121001
While Keller captures the upbeat and promise of what the reforms offer, he, more importantly, provides unique insights into why Sein is pursing them and what’s the source of his power or authority to do so. At the same time, he images Aung San Suu Kyi in the balanced view of both moral heroine for her steadfast commitment and phenomenal sacrifice for democratic principles that resulted in years of house arrest plus her emerging role as stateswoman and political leader in Burma.
From Chicago Tribune, read original article here.
Dr. Donald Liu did not hesitate when he saw the two boys struggling to swim in the rough Lake Michigan waters.
Despite objections from his children, who were worried about the dangerous conditions, Liu raced down the beach in Berrien County, Mich., and plunged into the lake to help the boys, who had fallen out of a kayak, according to Liu's wife and authorities.
An elite pediatric surgeon from Chicago, Liu made it to the swimmers, said his wife, Dr. Dana Suskind. But the rip current surging below the 5-foot waves dragged the doctor underwater, said Bruce McKamey, a police officer for Chikaming Township.
Emergency responders, who arrived about 10:40 a.m. local time Sunday, pulled Liu, 50, from the water and Suskind, who is also a surgeon, frantically performed CPR on her husband of more than 17 years. The boys he swam to save, who were friends of the family, made it safely back to land. But Liu was pronounced dead shortly after.
"It was horrible," Suskind said Monday. "He had the biggest heart. He was a brilliant surgeon … but what was amazing about him was that he was the best father, that was his priority in life, and he loved me with all of his heart."
This year, East Villagers gained a very unique partnership with the Clover Project. Together, they initiated an “art collaboration,” in which both the East Villagers US interns and the Chinese summer camp students explored a common theme through the medium of art.
For our project, each of the EV interns created posters and pictures, representing our understanding of Christmas and how it is celebrated in America. We broke down the most important themes and traditions into four categories: Christmas decorations, folklore and myths, the Christmas Spirit, and the Nativity Story. Each piece included a visual, along with a brief background of the tradition: its history, importance, and relevance to how Americans celebrate Christmas. Made to be interactive, each one included suggestions for the students at the summer camp to create something tangible of their own in hopes of learning a little more about Christmas in the Western Culture.
Kevin with his Christmas decorations artwork
Janna with her Christmas Spirit artwork
As we hoped, the students were interested in our project and were very responsive with their own creations. In response to our “decorations” activity, the students went above and beyond what we asked of them, creating not a shopping list, but the actual decorations! They first compared Christmas decorations with those of the Spring Festival (i.e. Chinese New Year) and later made their own Spring Festival decorations, such as Chinese couplets and paper cuts shaped as swans and lanterns. For our “folklore and myths” section, the students also made a visual, representing the background and history of Spring Festival. Lastly, the students depicted the Spring Festival Spirit by creating a shadow paper cut drawing to show how the Spring Festival originated and its developments since.
After learning about Christmas decorations, the students unleashed their artistic talents in creating their own Spring Festival decorations.
Students collaborate with one another to create their artworks!
Visual representation of spring festival folklore and myths.
A shadow paper cut drawing depicting how the Spring Festival developed and how they it is celebrated nowadays.
We would like to thank the Clover Project for such a successful collaboration, especially with it being our first of the sort! We are ecstatic that the students enjoyed this project and hope they learned more about Christmas and how it is celebrated in America as much as we have about the Spring Festival and its celebration in China.
Please find below a collection of news dealing with the recent trafficking issues in China. The following was gathered from multiple sources relating to this ongoing disaster.
China rescued more than 24,000 abducted children and women last year. Some of these victims were sold for adoption while others were forced into prostitution as far away as Angola.
The Ministry of Public Security said that another 77 children were saved in a bust on a cross-province human trafficking network last week.
According to the Irish Times, the ministry told the annual parliament, the National People’s Congress, that the police rescued a total of 8,660 abducted children and 15,458 women in busts of 3,195 human trafficking gangs during 2011.
Agence France-Presse also notes that the trafficking of boy children is a particularly serious problem in China — and is blamed in part on the strict "one-child" policy. Couples unable to conceive a son, or male heir, can simply just obtain one.
The author, Xhao Xiaoping
The following is a translated community article from one of our TFish contributors, Zhao Xiaoping. It highlights the idea of giving and what it means to truly give. Find the original story here.
In the philosophy of love, giving comes first, but merely giving does not really define what love is. To understand giving in its entirety--what to give, to whom to give, who gives, and how to give--is something worth personally experiencing and pondering about all our life.
For some, “giving” is painful; it is an action of sacrificing oneself for the success of another. Therefore, those who have the “transaction personality” will usually refuse to give because they want to gain something in return. In contrast, others think that sacrificing is a virtue; although giving can be painful, it is still necessary to sacrifice. Thus, it is a virtue when we give, even if the individual receives nothing in the end. Giving is never something to regret!
However, we now need to truly understand the universal meaning of “giving.” To explain this phenomenon, Fromm created an insightful explanation: “Giving is the fullest presentation of human ability. Through giving I have felt my own power, treasure, and ability. This power of life and consequent sublimation completely fills me with joy. I’m happy because I myself feel that I’m abundant, rich, and full of vitality. ‘Giving’ is much more rewarding than ‘receiving.’ Giving has not felt like a sacrifice because through the process of giving has my vitality shown!”