Among aid workers in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu, the rush to build shelters after the December 2004 tsunami came to be known as the Pongal hurry.
By Ken Moritsugu
December 7, 2005
NAGAPATTINAM, India Among aid workers in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu, the rush to build shelters after the December 2004 tsunami came to be known as the Pongal hurry.
At the time, the flurry of construction seemed like the right thing to do. People desperately needed shelter, and, with donations pouring in, money was not an issue. The Tamil Nadu government set a goal of moving the homeless into temporary housing by Pongal, a mid-January harvest festival. Eager aid agencies sprang into action.
But in the rush to build, some key considerations got overlooked. Shelters built in low-lying areas ended up flooding during the rainy season. Tarpaper roofs turned the windowless barracks into ovens. Aid agencies returned later and built thatched roofs over the shelters; the difference in temperature was palpable.
Its a shame we are all living with, said Annie George, head of the council coordinating tsunami relief in Nagapattinam, the hardest hit district in Tamil Nadu. The haste in building temporary shelters cost us more. Every two months, were going back to raise the floor, fix the roof.
With so much suffering after major disasters, its human nature to want to deliver relief as quickly as possible. But haste can make waste. A post-tsunami rush to build boats for fishermen produced a slew of shoddy boats in both India and Indonesia, including some that a United Nations expert declared not seaworthy.
Such examples point to a need to weigh the benefits of providing quick relief against the potential costs. Would survivors in Tamil Nadu have been better off waiting a few weeks for temporary housing on higher ground? Today, aid agencies face similar dilemmas as they move into long-term reconstruction for the tsunami-hit...
(Irvine, CA) October 24, 2005 The Public Relations Society of America has selected the Orange County chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (OC/PRSA) as a recipient of the second Annual Chapter Diversity Awards. Chapter Diversity Awards are given to PRSA chapters that embody and demonstrate key values in diversity as outlined in PRSAs National Diversity Committees mission. Also recognized were the National Capital Chapter, the Greater Cleveland Chapter and the St. Louis Chapter.
OC/PRSA formed its Diversity Committee in July 2004 in an effort to diversify OC/PRSAs membership and to encourage greater diversity within the PR profession.
Last February, the 25-member Diversity Committee organized an inaugural diversity conference, the first major program in Southern California that focused entirely on diversity issues in the practice of public relations. "Diversity in PR: New Challenges, New Opportunities" was considered an overwhelming success, with workshops and speakers encouraging PRSA members and nonmembers to embrace diversity as a priority as well as a smart business strategy.
The Diversity Committee is continuing to expand upon its preliminary success through increased visibility within the chapters website, organizing networking events, and providing ongoing workshops on the topic of diversity. Membership in OC/PRSAs Diversity Committee is open to members and non-members alike.
For more information, visit the chapters website at: www.ocprsa.org or contact Judy Iannaccone at (714) 480-7503.
The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) supports diversity through its Advancing Diversity initiative, which promotes multiculturalism in both the public relations industry and business community. The PRSA National Diversity Committee (www.diversity.prsa.org) advances the objectives of and develops an inclusive Society by reaching and involving members who represent a broad spectrum of ethnic, racial and...
Berkeley vs Stanford, USC vs UCLA, ahhh those rivalries!
This time Harvard gets Punk'd on its own home turf at its big game against Yale and AsianConnections' very own Mike Kai and classmate Dave Aulicino lead the merry pranksters.
Berkeley vs Stanford, USC vs UCLA, Arizona State vs University of Arizona - ahhh those rivalries!
This time Harvard gets Punk'd on its own home turf at its big game against Yale and AsianConnections' very own Mike Kai and classmate Dave Aulicino lead the pranksters to victory.
And if you haven't heard yet about the prank which has been covered in the news media around the world, including MSNBC''s Countdown, the Jimmy Kimmel TV Show, and Asian and European press, here are a few links:
Check out www.HarvardSucks.org for the video, the song, and the message board.
Yale Daily News
New York Sun Newspaper
Tomb Raider 2's Terence Yin chats with Steven Joe.
Just a few years ago Terence Yin was a UC Berkeley student aspiring to become a medical consultant. Terence is now a Hong Kong movie star and a singer with 19 films, two TV dramas and a supporting role in Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life.
AsianConnections Steve Joe caught up with Terence, as well as Hong Kong's legendary actor Simon Yam, and star Angelina Jolie at the movie's world premiere. Click here for red carpet coverage in Hollywood by AsianConnections' Steve Joe, Marissa Becker and Mike Kai.
Steve talked with both Terence and Simon in exclusive interviews.
Click here to Steve's chat with Simon Yam
and read right here for his conversation with Terence.
Studio cameras also captured Angelina talking about the Asian influences in her life
The Paramount Pictures movie starring Angelina Jolie and Gerard Butler is the sequel to the hit Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Directed by Jan de Bont.
Steve: Terence, you come from an acting background. Can you tell us about it, and how it has influenced you?
Terence: Both my parents were actors. My mom was a famous actress in Hong Kong. My father was a famous director and actor. The fact that they were in the business never really influenced my childhood that much, basically I grew up in LA.
But, I guess in the end, it influenced me quite a bit. Because when I went back to Hong Kong to work over the summer, I met one of their friends, who is my manager now, Willie Chen. He is the one responsible for bringing me back to Hong Kong, to get me started in the film business there. And Ive been there ever since.
Steve: What was your summer job?
Terence: I was working at the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. I was basically an intern, a secretary, a slave-boy. And I never thought that I was going to look for opportunities in acting or show business. It just kind of happened....
Sam Chu Lin
Sam Chu Lin
Reporter-Anchor, KOOL-TV (Phoenix), 1968
Sam Chu Lin is a reporter/news anchor/radio announcer who found that "informing and helping others is what makes journalism exciting." As one of the first Asian American network reporters in New York City (CBS News), he announced to the nation the fall of Saigon and helped Superman's creators win their pensions. He's interviewed presidents and world leaders and covered earthquakes and other major disaster. In China, he went on the air to report the government crackdown on the democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square. He feels journalism can also be educational. "It's a chance to use your roots for a positive purpose." Sam recently convinced ABC's Nightline to do a program called "Asian American - When Your Neighbor Looks Like the Enemy" and helped book the guest, checked the script for accuracy, and found historical footage for the broadcast. He spent over a year talking with the executive producer about how Asian Americans have been unfairly stereotyped because of the campaign fundraising and spy scandals. The program was the highest rated show in its time slot beating out Jay Leno and David Letterman in the national ratings. He has been presented with many awards including the AP, UPI, Golden Mike, National Headliner Award for Best Documentary, Chi Lin is an Old American Name, and the 1998 Los Angeles Press Club Award for covering a neighborhood shoot-out. Based in Sunnyvale with his wife Judy, and their sons Mark and Christopher, he also pioneered in Silicon Valley, establishing the television news department for Hewlett-Packard. Sam is a media consultant, contributor to AsianWeek, Rafu Shimpo, San Francisco Examiner, and reports for KTTV Fox 11 News in Los Angeles.