Dear Mochi readers,
I was 5 or 6 when I attended my first sleepover. One of the girls, in an attempt to show us how sophisticated she was, announced to the group that Santa Claus wasn’t real. The reactions ranged from wide-eyed confusion to tears. My nonchalance stemmed largely from the fact that Santa was a mythical figure I’d read about in children’s books, but one whose role in my life had never been explained to me—my parents made it quite clear that those gifts under our plastic green tree were from Mom and Dad.
So as my peers were having their worlds shattered, I simply shrugged it off. “There’s no Santa,” I thought to myself. “That’s okay, I never believed in him anyway.” (I have to admit, I fully believed in the Tooth Fairy for way too many years after this.)
Our holiday season was never about celebrating religion, or the illusion of having been a “good” or “bad” kid that year, or any of those rituals we so often associate with December 25. What I did celebrate, however, was a decadent two weeks of no responsibilities—no waking up at 6 a.m., no school, no homework—and 20-odd years later, I still look forward to this time of year as a personal time to recharge.
We have a lot to rejoice over at Mochi, which is why we’ve dubbed this our Celebration issue. Asian Americans of all stripes have been celebrated this year, especially in the entertainment industry. This issue features interviews with singer songwriter Kina Grannis, who at 29 is realizing the power she has as an independent artist. We also chatted with rapper Awkwafina; the producers behind Fresh Off The Boat, the TV show based on Eddie Huang’s memoir; Ryan Potter, star of Disney’s Big Hero 6; and Diana Bang, the female lead in The Interview—possibly the most controversial film of the year, and we still don’t know if (or where) we’ll actually get to see it. Writer Stephanie Zhou looks beyond the glitz and bling to parse out the ambition goals of Ultra Rich Asian Girls, a web-based show that’s been largely derided.
On a more serious note, one of the pieces I’m most proud of is on the chilling statistics surrounding sexual assault and Asian Americans. The eye-opening numbers (and an accompanying piece on resources for help) is especially important at a time when college campuses are rethinking how they deal with sexual assault. And speaking of colleges, guest writer Carlina Duan’s essay on finding her Asian American voice as an English major at University of Michigan is especially moving.
No matter what it is you’re celebrating this year, we hope you’ll keep in mind what’s truly important. After all, you don’t need Santa to reflect on your accomplishments, spend time with your loved ones, or make ambitious goals for the year ahead. That, Mochi readers, is all on you.