There are dozens of Asian organizations and groups throughout Chicago: Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian, Filipino, Vietnamese, Pakistani and many more. It’s diversity within the diversity of our city! The local Asian community joins together annually for a common celebration ahead of the Lunar New Year. The Asian American Coalition event usually attracts over a thousand people and I always enjoy being among the emcees for the annual gala.
All week, I worried about what to wear. I hate buying evening gowns. They’re expensive and little-worn. So I decided to just go with one of the dresses already in my closet. Would people recognize it? Is it out of fashion? How trivial. There’s nothing like reality to knock things into perspective.
The keynote speaker for the evening was Euna Lee of Current TV. She was quite emotional in recalling her 140 days of captivity last year within North Korea. Click here for a great synopsis by Dan Rozek of the Chicago Sun-Times. It was nice to finally meet Euna. She expressed true gratitude for the vigils we held here in Chicago while she and Laura Ling were prisoners. Laura had called me days after they were freed. I was touched she would take the time to call just about everyone who had a role in the nationwide vigils.
As Euna broke down during her speech last night, she was joined on stage by her husband and 5-year-old daughter, Hannah. All eyes were glued to the photogenic family on stage as Euna talked about the horrid situation that continues to play out along the border of North Korea and China. For many women there, evening gowns and what to wear are of no concern whatsoever.