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First Lady Joins Chinese Tai Chi Class
First lady Michelle Obama took part in a Tai Chi class as she visited a high school in the Chinese city of Chengdu on Tuesday.
“It is a truly beautiful form of physical activity, and I loved giving it a try,” the first lady wrote in a travel journal posted on the White House website.
Obama, who is in the midst of a week-long trip around China with her daughters and mother, had earlier sat in on an English class at the high-tech school, which teaches over 40,000 students through remote learning.
In a speech to students, the first lady touched on “the American Dream”, her own humble background and the importance of freedom of speech and religion. “In America, we view these rights as universal human rights that belong to all people in all countries,” she wrote.
The First Multiracial Miss Universe Japan Has Been Crowned
Born in Japan to a Japanese mother and African American father, Miyamoto is a Japanese citizen, grew up in Japan, and identifies as Japanese. Described in local media as a “saishoku kenbi,” a woman blessed with both intelligence and beauty, she holds a 5th degree mastery of Japanese calligraphy.
But reaction to her win has been both positive and negative, with some people questioning whether a multiracial person can truly represent Japan. According to local media, even she was initially a little wary about entering the pageant because she was “hāfu,” the Japanese word used to refer to multiracial or multi-ethnic half-Japanese people.
“The selection of Ariana Miyamoto as this year’s Miss Universe Japan is a huge step forward in expanding the definition of what it means to be Japanese,” filmmaker and co-director of the film “Hafu,” Megumi Nishikura told NBC News, “The controversy that has erupted over her selection is a great opportunity for us Japanese to examine how far we have come from our self-perpetuated myth of homogeneity while at the same time it shows us how much further we have to go.”
According to the film, “Hafu: The Mixed-Race Experience in Japan,” 20,000 half-Japanese people are born in Japan each year, including both multiethnic and multiracial people.
“In a country where the majority of fashion beauty magazines and TV shows are reigned by ‘hāfu’ models and actors,” filmmaker and co-director of the film “Hafu,” Lara Perez Takagi told NBC News, “It was actually about time that a mixed-race Japanese girl won the Miss Universe pageant.”
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