December 2009 Archives

Sandip Roy

Christmas Miracles in India

By Sandip Roy, Dec 25, 2009 1:50 AM

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Christmas feels smaller and bigger in Calcutta.

When we were kids we used to go to see the Christmas lights on Park Street, the main restaurant drag in Calcutta. Restaurants with names like Sky Room and Moulin Rouge twinkled with lights. Flury’s fine confectioners would stay open late for Darjeeling tea and plum cakes. Calcutta, the most British of India’s big cities, celebrated Christmas as if the 1950s had not gone out of style.

This year as I walked down Park Street and saw the trees and restaurants strung with twinkling strings of lights, it felt a little shabby. Nothing, it seemed, had been updated in the last twenty years, unless you consider the new McDonalds an upgrade. Sky Room was gone. The fancy restaurants of our childhood looked a little timeworn, the uniforms of the doorman seemed a little shop soiled.

Paul Kleyman

"Is There a Doctor in the House -- or Senate -- Before 2013?"

By Paul Kleyman, Dec 23, 2009 2:25 PM

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., seems to have his 60 blue ducks in order for a health care reform vote by Christmas Eve. And journalists on the political "dog watch" will start eyeing the conference committee process for reconciling the House and Senate versions to see where Democrats will have to sidestep congressional IEDs (improvised electoral detonators) for the 2010 and 2012 elections.

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

Learning about Christmas and Santa through the claymation classics

By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang, Dec 22, 2009 3:34 PM

Asian American journalist Lisa Ling once said on The View that as a child she thought Santa liked Caucasian children better than Chinese children because he always left much better and bigger gifts, like stereos, for her Caucasian friends, whereas he only left small gifts, like batteries and toothbrushes, in her stocking.

When I heard that, it was as if I was hearing silver bells. I always got batteries and toothbrushes in my stocking, too. I had grown up thinking that gifts from Santa always had to be small in order to fit inside the stocking.

M. Junaid Levesque-Alam

Revealing Pew Report on Latino Youth

By M. Junaid Levesque-Alam, Dec 20, 2009 10:02 AM

Editor's note: This blog originally appeared on WireTap.

The Pew Hispanic Center just released a new report about young Latinos in the United States, finding high rates of pregnancy, gang affiliation and school dropouts. It also revealed an optimistic streak and an emphasis on education and career success, and contextualized the latest immigration pattern by comparing it with historic patterns of immigration to the U.S.

Part of a Pew Center series on American youth, the report was based on a survey conducted in August and September of this year "among a randomly selected, nationally representative sample of 22,012 Hispanics ages 16 and older, with an oversample of 1,240 Hispanics ages 16 to 25." It was done in both English and Spanish.


Weekly Diaspora: CIR ASAP the First Step to Reform

By Nezua, Dec 17, 2009 9:50 PM

On Tuesday, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) introduced the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Act of 2009 (CIR-ASAP). Rep. Gutierrez said that the bill represents "the final push for comprehensive immigration reform," as Khalil Abdullah reports for New America Media. Seth Hoy at AlterNet breaks down some of the bill's key points, which include a border security provisions, family unification, a legalization component, and improved detention conditions.

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