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We hope you enjoyed last week’s circular; this week we have another issue full of lots more interesting information celebrating the beauty of East & South East Asian culture

Be Inspired

Words that can change your world
When you are discontent, you always want more, more, more. Your desire can never be satisfied. But when you practice contentment, you can say to yourself, 'Oh yes - I already have everything that I really need.'

  Dalai Lama

Words, Rhythm, Harmony

Poetry New & Old

The Floral Apron

by Marilyn Chin

The woman wore a floral apron around her neck,
that woman from my mother’s village
with a sharp cleaver in her hand.
She said, “What shall we cook tonight?
Perhaps these six tiny squid
lined up so perfectly on the block?”

She wiped her hand on the apron,
pierced the blade into the first.
There was no resistance,
no blood, only cartilage
soft as a child’s nose. A last
iota of ink made us wince.

Suddenly, the aroma of ginger and scallion fogged our senses,
and we absolved her for that moment’s barbarism.
Then, she, an elder of the tribe,
without formal headdress, without elegance,
deigned to teach the younger
about the Asian plight.

And although we have traveled far
we would never forget that primal lesson
—on patience, courage, forbearance,
on how to love squid despite squid,
how to honor the village, the tribe,
that floral apron.

Source: here

Food Lovers

Delicious recipes from East and South East Asia

Chicken Adobo ( traditional Philippine dish)
Adobo is a popular Filipino dish and cooking process in Philippine cuisine that involves meat, seafood, or vegetables marinated in vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves, and black peppercorns, which is browned in oil, and simmered in the marinade

Serves: 6

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 (3 pound) chicken, cut into pieces
  • 1 large onion, quartered and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ⅔ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • ½ tablespoon and ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf


  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken pieces until golden brown on both sides, then remove. Stir in the onion and garlic; cook until they soften and brown, about 6 minutes.
  2. Pour in vinegar and soy sauce, and season with garlic powder, black pepper, and bay leaf. Add the browned chicken, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the chicken is tender and cooked through, 35 to 40 minutes.

Full recipe: here and vegan recipe here

Spotlight on The Chinese Lunar calendar

Fun & Interesting Facts
Although the Gregorian Calendar is used in China for civil purposes, many Chinese people around the world still observe the lunisolar calendar. Many Chinese festivals such as Chinese New Year, Tomb-sweeping Day, Dragon Boat Festival and the Mid-Autumn Festival are calculated according to the Chinese lunar calendar. The calendar is also used among many Chinese people to select lucky days and hours for special occasions like weddings, engagements, funerals, residential relocation, traveling and more.

Unlike the Gregorian Calendar, the Chinese Lunar Calendar does not count years in an infinite sequence. The 60 year cycle is based on a combination of ten heavenly stems and twelve earthly branches. Each year is named by one stem and one branch. The names of the stems and branches can be seen here.

The earthly branch forms the basis of the Chinese zodiac. The Chinese zodiac is based on twelve animals. Currently the year 2021 is the year of the Ox, 2022 will be the year of the tiger and will start on the 1st February 2022.

Keep Exploring
Read, Watch, Listen


The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
follows a half-French, half-Vietnamese man serving as a spy for the Communist forces in the final days of the Vietnam War. The novel is framed as a confession written by the narrator to a mysterious commandant, by whom he is being held prisoner.

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
A stunning “portrait of the enduring grace of friendship” (NPR) about the families we are born into, and those that we make for ourselves. A masterful depiction of love in the twenty-first century.

Poems by Ocean Vuong - winner of the T.S.Eliot prize in 2017 Ocean Vuong's 2016 collection entitled Night Sky with Exit Wounds


From Japan: Gamarjobat on Comedy Rocks
Gamarjobat is a Japanese stand up comedy group. They performed during this year's opening Olympic ceremony in Japan.

From Hong Kong: explore the works of the 'evocative master of bittersweet romance' Wong Kar Wai at the BFI and other films set in Hong Kong

From Singapore: Indie documentary film Shirkers

From Korea: check out these classics of modern Korean cinema, including Bong Joon Ho's Oscar winning masterpiece Parasite and the Oscar nominated Minari

From Hollywood: the Marvel Universe's first East Asian led superhero film: Shang Chi and the legend of the 10 Rings



Besea.n But where are you from? is a podcast that explores life, culture and politics from the perspective of East & South East Asians living in the UK.
Listen to the poet, educator and founder of Project Voice Sarah Kay at her spoken word Ted Talk

What's On
News & Events

London’s Festival of Korean music returns to the live stage this October & November, bringing exciting new talent from Korea to venues across the capital. K Music will run from 6 October-17 November 2021.

The London Korean Film Festival (LKFF) is pleased to be returning to cinema screens across the UK’s capital for its 16th year, running from 4 – 19 November 2021.

The BFI announces the return of BFI Japan 2021: 100 Years of Japanese Cinema, coming to cinemas UK-wide from October to December 2021.

Haiku competition!
Try your hand at a Haiku in Teams and vote for your favourite!
This week's issue was compiled by
Lucie Teoh from ICH Population, Policy & Practice Research &  Teaching Department and Wing Han Wu from ICH Genomics & Genomic Medicine Research &  Teaching Department

Editors Terrie Fiawoo & Francessca Cavallaro
NEXT ISSUE: REG Circular, East/ South East Asian Heritage Month # 3
ISSUE DATE: September 2021

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