Washington Post: Reopened schools in Europe and Asia have largely avoided coronavirus outbreaks. They have lessons for the U.S.. “Many countries around the world are pushing ahead with plans for full-time, full-capacity, in-person classes, after having largely avoided coronavirus outbreaks linked to schools during more tentative reopenings in the spring. From Belgium to Japan, schools are abandoning certain social distancing measures, such as alternate-day schedules or extra space between desks. They have decided that part-time or voluntary school attendance, supplemented by distance learning, is not enough — that full classrooms are preferable to leaving kids at home.”
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona: First database on the Imjin War now available. “The database covers a wide range of aspects of the Imjin War, such as information on prisoners, pottery produced during that period, Christianity, international relations, economics, the environment, Europe, identities, literature, military history, migrations, social history and trade. It allows analysing the human aspect of war, given that tens of thousands of Koreans were captured and sold to Japan as slaves, and many Japanese soldiers fell into the hands of the Chinese army and never returned to their country of origin. The project examines the trajectory of these people and how they were integrated into their new societies.”
TTG Asia: New website aims to promote Covid-19 efforts in SE Asia. “South-east Asian countries have agreed to publicise Covid-19-related updates, as well as promote the region’s tourism offerings, on a shared platform.”
Hartford Courant: Most New York coronavirus cases came from Europe, genomes show. “New research indicates that the coronavirus began to circulate in the New York area by mid-February, weeks before the first confirmed case, and that travelers brought in the virus mainly from Europe, not Asia. ‘The majority is clearly European,’ said Harm van Bakel, a geneticist at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who co-wrote a study awaiting peer review.”
Vietnam+: Vietnam, Laos ink cooperative MoU on archive. “The national archive agencies of Vietnam and Laos signed a Memorandum of Understanding on bilateral cooperation in 2020 at a ceremony in Hanoi on December 3.”
The Hindu: Hashtag, history: There’s a growing appetite for online archives from South Asia. “An old black-and-white photo shows an Indian soldier from the British Indian Army posing with his lady love somewhere in Italy. The accompanying caption reveals that the soldier, also a football player, had gone to Italy for a tournament when he met the woman and they fell in love. The soldier’s father, however, opposed their love, and asked him to cut all ties with her. This photograph was taken by the estranged couple as a keepsake. This tragic love story garnered more than 20,000 likes on an Instagram account called ‘Brown History’.”
Mozilla Blog: Mozilla and BMZ Announce Cooperation to Open Up Voice Technology for African Languages. “Today, Mozilla and the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) have announced to join forces in the collection of open speech data in local languages, as well as the development of local innovation ecosystems for voice-enabled products and technologies. The initiative builds on the pilot project, which our Open Innovation team and the Machine Learning Group started together with the organization ‘Digital Umuganda’ earlier this year. The Rwandan start-up collects language data in Kinyarwanda, an African language spoken by over 12 million people. Further languages in Africa and Asia are going to be added.”
Nikkei Asian Review: Vietnamese social media networks spring up to challenge Facebook. “Vietnamese companies have started a string of new social networks in a bid to crack a sector dominated by Facebook, which boasts more than 60 million users out of a population of over 96 million. The latest debut was announced on July 23 by Gapo Technology, a unit of Hanoi-based G-group.’
Ohio University: Ohio University Libraries awarded grant to develop Southeast Asia Digital Library. “Ohio University Libraries has been awarded a $1.2 million grant to develop the Southeast Asia Digital Library in collaboration with 14 other institutions. The five-year grant was awarded by the Henry Luce Foundation. The project will update the Southeast Asia Digital Library with a new generation of digital initiatives and expand its collection of materials to further enhance studies of Southeast Asia, including language program support.”
Technology Times Pakistan: Punjab archives digitized historical web portal launched. “The digitized data covers the pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial era in South Asia holding more than Seven Million files of unique documents and rare books. Secretary Punjab Archives & Libraries Tahir Yousaf and Chairman PITB Azfar Manzoor inaugurated the portal.” Unfortunately I got an error when I tried to access the link in the story.
South China Morning Post: Social media: Asia’s new battleground between youth movements and state control of fake news. “Pro-democracy movements in Southeast Asia grappling with limited freedom of speech have found a new battleground in social media, but the rise of authoritarian policies on online platforms may curtail the effectiveness of such efforts, regional analysts say.”
Dazed Beauty: Sanam Sindhi Is Spotlighting South Asian Beauty. “This account serves as a reminder that it’s important to tell our stories and diversity is not just a box to be ticked off. South Asian representation in beauty and fashion is often limited to a fairer complexion and a euro-centric idea of what is beautiful. This account is a visceral view of beauty in its most pure and raw form. This Instagram account is a place where you can learn about the African diaspora in India or simply be inspired by South Asian tattoo traditions and jewellery details.”
Asian Image: First ever photo archive of Asian Women and their cars to be launched. “Artist Dawinder Bansal is celebrating ‘Asian Women and Cars’ in the first ever photo archive of South Asian women and their cars. Asian Women & Cars: The Road to Independence is a brand new art installation and film about the first generation of South Asian women who learned to drive in the UK.” The site appears to be VERY new and there isn’t much content yet.
The Sociable: Social media is the new dais for Asian elections. “Asian countries, such as India, Thailand, and Indonesia are all starting an election year and are banking on social media and tech to draw in the votes. Here we take a look at the role of social media platforms in upcoming elections throughout Asia.”
The Atlantic: The Meme-ification of Asianness. “Early every Sunday growing up in Australia, Anne Gu attended Chinese school, the weekend classes where many children of Chinese immigrants learn Mandarin. There, she bonded with her classmates over their shared sense of obligation…. They kept in touch via group chat, exchanging jokes about life as first-generation Asian Australians. ‘Someone was like, it would be fun if we made a Facebook group, and we all agreed,’ Gu said. In September, she and her friends created a group and added ‘all the Asian friends’ on their Facebook friend lists. They called it Subtle Asian Traits, after a then-popular Facebook group among Aussie teens called Subtle Private School Traits.”