Celebrating Lunar New Year

Originally published at: Celebrating Lunar New Year -

#27: Lunar New Year is a holiday that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar. The year 2022 is the year of the Tiger, and tiger energy is exactly what Ariel and Stef want to take into the New Year. In this episode, they share the various cultures that celebrate Lunar New Year (and how Disney highlights them at their parks), the importance of identity in the AAPI community, and their podcast resolutions for the new year.

Read the blog post for this episode for additional references and resources.

Resources for this episode:

  1. Ultimate Rice Battle Ft Uncle Roger – SortedFood (reference can be found at the 11:43 time mark of this episode)

Become a member of Geek Therapy on Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/geektherapy


Stefanie Bautista 0:11
Hello, everyone, welcome to the Happiest Pod on Earth. I’m Stef.

Ariel Landrum 0:15
And I’m Ariel. And we’re Disney fans. But really, we’re so much more.

Stefanie Bautista 0:18
I’m an educator who uses passions and fandoms to help my students grow and learn about themselves and the world around them.

Ariel Landrum 0:24
I’m a licensed therapist who uses clients passions and fandoms to help them grow and heal from trauma and mental and wellness. And Happiness Pod, well, it’s a place where we dissect Disney mediums with what a critical lens.

Stefanie Bautista 0:35
Why do we do that? Because just like we are more than just fans, we expect more from the mediums we consume.

Ariel Landrum 0:41
So Stef, what Disney experience are we dissecting today?

Stefanie Bautista 0:45
Well, we are coming up on the end of January, which means February is just around the corner. And for many of us, especially in the AAPI community, we are celebrating Lunar New Year, which is like New Year part two.

Ariel Landrum 1:00
Okay, okay. Yes. And so for our audience members who may not be fully aware, Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year is a festival that celebrates the beginning of the new year on the traditional lunar solar Chinese calendar. And of course, contrary to popular belief, it is not just a festival that’s celebrated in China Lunar New Year’s actually, festival that is celebrated in a lot of East and South East Asian countries. This year, starting February 1 is when the when the new year is, is the year of the tiger.

Stefanie Bautista 1:35
Yep. The new Lunar New Year is something that many AAPI community members we celebrate, especially if you are from China, or Vietnam or Korea, or have, you know, descent in any of those countries. And Disney decides to celebrate that at the parks, which is really awesome. In the past couple of years at the Disney California Adventure Park, they turn the walkway from the main park all the way up to Pixar pier into a beautiful Lunar New Year festival where they have food, much like the night markets and markets in Asia. And also they bring out Mulan and many of the characters that identify as Asian American or Pacific Islander. And they decided to highlight them in such an awesome way.

Ariel Landrum 2:19
Yes. And for my understanding, you did go to the festival?

Stefanie Bautista 2:24
I did. This is my second year going. I just went and they really they really upped the amplification on AAPI representation. It was awesome.

Ariel Landrum 2:36
So because you went, this is your second time you’re able to compare the first the last but when you went the first time was that also the first time they did it?

Stefanie Bautista 2:45
From my understanding, yes, I may be wrong. This is the first me and my friend who I would go to the parks with, whenever there was a food festival. That was the first time we ever went it was the first time I knew about it. They might have done it maybe in Epcot or other Disney parks, especially in Shanghai or Hong Kong. But I know that they introduced the Lunar New Year festival as a food festival of sorts because the Food and Wine Festival had been so popular and so successful.

Ariel Landrum 3:17

Stefanie Bautista 3:17
And then you got the holiday, the festival holidays where they have that same market type of fast eats. And yeah, I think this time because they knew that they could incorporate so many Disney characters, and the addition of such characters as Raya as Moana. I mean, even Lilo and Stitch in some ways, and also pulling from a lot of the Shanghai parks and the Hong Kong parks where Mickey and Minnie would have a special costume that they would wear. They would have performers, just many elements of Disney that they already had. I feel like being transferred that over to the New York Lunar New Year festival.

Ariel Landrum 3:56
Okay. Okay. So in looking at last year, and this year, what were some of the big changes, you did mention more representation in general, but even in the fact that it started off as more of just a food festival as it now feel like more like really a Lunar New Year festival?

Stefanie Bautista 4:17
Absolutely, I think especially before so the last time they had this is obviously pre COVID. So there were a lot less restrictions that we had to abide by. But because it was more of a food base focused festival, you had the kiosks and stalls along the walkway in front of the Little Mermaid ride and all the way up to the back where they have the restaurant and kind of where they have a plaza where they have a stage and some performances. I remember that they had they had a little area where you could write on a piece of paper and you can make your Lunar New Year wish for you and your family and you can hang it up. Much like how they do in Asia and then next to it, you could take pictures with Minnie and Mickey and their lunar new year. And then they also had many performances of Chinese dancers, ribbon dancers, dancers that had tambourines of some acrobatics here and there. But that was basically it. This time around, they have Mulan’s Lunar New Year procession. Oh, they don’t call it a parade because they don’t want people gathering like that. Um, parades are still kind of not okay at the park right now. But they have a really cute little procession. It’s the Year of the Tiger.

Ariel Landrum 5:31

Stefanie Bautista 5:31
So they had Tigger leading the procession.

Ariel Landrum 5:34
Oh my god!

Stefanie Bautista 5:36
And he was in such cute as like a cute outfit. Everywhere is decked out in red like, right when you get like, through the main part of California Adventure. There’s like a huge artist Lunar New Year. But the procession happens. I think once every hour, from nine to nine. I think. I could be wrong. But I know, I think as the sun goes down it, they do their last show, but they have dragon dancers. They have Mulan and Mushu on a float with Chinese drummers. And…

Ariel Landrum 6:09
Okay wait, is Mushu a puppet or a character?

Stefanie Bautista 6:13
Full-bodied character. He is a person just dancing along next to Milan, they have two sets of dancers in the back and then they have I think that’s it actually. So it literally is a very small, small small parade because they do not want people gathering waiting, just hanging out like masks off eating. So they try to meet in the middle of by having a procession and calling it that. And while they are doing the procession, there’s a voiceover that talks about the Lunar New Year. So they inform a lot of people that this is a celebration to ring in new prosperity, new beginnings where the year of the Tiger is coming from. And yeah, it’s it’s very short, informative, and really beautiful.

Ariel Landrum 7:04
So they had Tigger. Are there any other Tiger characters? I mean, aside from Rajah?

Stefanie Bautista 7:10
Yeah, that was the only other one. AJ was like, “Where is Rajah?” I’m like, I’m pretty sure people would kind of think a little bit. Yes, here’s Rajah, but also Where’s Jasmine? Although she could celebrate in the Lunar New Year, I think a lot more questions would have been asked and answered. If we saw Raja I’ll be at he is one of the most popular Tiger characters in in the Disney World. But I think Tigger was the one that thing was the most wanted to go with because he’s just so bouncy and happy and he was everywhere. There was like little Tigger. You’d see like a little tiger in a cookie that they had, they had special items that were only for Lunar New Year. I’m going to talk about that really quick because the food is always my favorite part of any Disney festival. Not only did they honor many Chinese traditions is having boa which is like a dumpling. They also had lots of noodles, which symbolizes longevity and long life. They had many many drinks they actually had boba in the park which I’ve never seen boba in the park. But line to that was insane. I mean, the outpouring of support and just excitement for Lunar New Year you could just feel it there. Many people came in traditional Vietnamese wear. Many people came in traditional Chinese wear. I didn’t see a lot of people in Korean wear or traditional Korean wear. But I think that a lot of Asian Disney fans like really embraced just you know, being at the park very similar to going to Dapper Day or going to you know, Mermaid Day or Goth Day. Like it’s their culture. It’s, you know, something that they love and identify with. But yeah, the lines were ridiculous for every single food stalls. So I know we’ve mentioned this in the podcast before but if you can do mobile ordering ahead, this would be one of those times to do it. And that was really the only way I could get what I wanted to which was the Hong Kong style milk tea, Vietnamese iced coffee and there was also a Korean bulgogi burrito. That was super super good. And it came with Ariel I don’t know if you’ve had these before but they’re they’re like shrimp chips but they start off as little like discs and when you fry them they blossom.

Ariel Landrum 9:31

Stefanie Bautista 9:31
They have that as the chips that came with the Korean bulgogi burrito and..

Ariel Landrum 9:35
Oh clever.

Stefanie Bautista 9:36
They put like garlic oil on it and it was like a game changer like I’ve been I’ve been eating the stuff since I was small but I just fry them and I just watched them bloom and it’s so cool. But adding the level of like garlic oil was just like in my 30 some odd years of life…

Ariel Landrum 9:54
How did I not think of this?

Stefanie Bautista 9:56
Yeah, how did I not think of this but also thank you Disney for opening my eyes to doing This Asian Festival. But yeah, the food is fantastic. And you can look online to see the different Lunar New Year foods that they have available. I think the festival is running for almost the whole month of February. So it’s kind of great that it started February 1. So they started this weekend, as we are coming up on the new month, and it’ll go up until then.

Ariel Landrum 10:23
I’m curious, is it similar to the food festivals and that you get a punch card? Or is it more of you have options at stalls? Because I haven’t been to a food festival since the pandemic. And ordering ahead is not really an option in regards. So has that changed? Because of the pandemic?

Stefanie Bautista 10:44
The short answer is yes, and no. There are abilities because they want everything to be accessible, right. And that’s really what this is all about. I think for the fans who are tech savvy, who kind of know what they’re getting into coming prepared, knowing that they are going to be battling long lines, and you know, when they’re going to be hungry, and we mentioned things like this, going back to the parks, now that, you know, we’re still in a pandemic. They have options for you to stand by in line in order, but they also have the sip and savor Pass, which is similar to what they had at the festival of holidays. And also the food, food and wine festival where you have like a badge and they have like six little tabs that you can pull off and redeem. But you also have the option of ordering ahead. So let’s say you’re in line at in a ride, and you go, “Hey, I want to eat this. But I don’t really want to stand in line. And I want to kind of just use this time to maybe order ahead and like pick it up, I’m ready.” You can always do that, too. So there’s many different ways of doing it. Definitely, if you want to reduce contact with people and standing in line, because you’re already standing in line to go on a ride, the order ahead option is always best. And I think because food is such a central part of Lunar New Year, it was very hard to avoid eating in a crowded space because it was super busy. It was the first week of Lunar New Year. And also, I mean, that’s what Lunar New Year’s all about gathering with, you know, your friends, your family, other people and just eating like market style. So I would say depending on your level of comfort, I would you know, choose the day that you would go on, because you are going to be around a lot of people and because Disney wants it to be accessible to everybody. You just kind of have to have that in the back of your mind.

Ariel Landrum 12:35
What would you say the most memorable part of the experience was?

Stefanie Bautista 12:39
Oh, the most memorable. I think just the atmosphere. The atmosphere was very different this time. I don’t know if it’s because there has been an outpouring for the AAPI community because of a lot of the struggles and a lot of the things that we’ve been seeing, you know, in social media and everything against you know, our elders and just Asian American actors and actresses, bringing awareness to the community. And I think that and mixed with Disney’s ability to reach out to a core member of their market really. I saw people who were not of Asian descent wearing the Lunar New Year jerseys wearing the Lunar New your ears. They had the ones from Mulan, so many people were wearing like their favorite Asian Disney Princess t shirt. Raya was a she is makes an appearance as a character. You can take a picture with Raya and she is near the Grand Californian where they have like this obstacle course it’s right next to grizzly River Run. And I think it’s like the Brother Bear like kind of obstacle course. They turn that into Kumandra.

Ariel Landrum 13:47
Oh, lovely.

Stefanie Bautista 13:49
Yeah, it’s awesome. And then they have lanterns and they make it look like that part of they make it look like that part of Kumandra. And she’s there. So you see little girls in their Raya outfits. And, you know, there are people of all walks of life. And I think it was just really great to see that people are embracing Asian American characters. Shang-Chi is still in his regular clothes, which I’m just like, “You guys just put him in his superhero outfit. Because he still looks like…” we saw him at Avengers campus talking to Black Widow and Captain Marvel. And we were like, “He looks like the IT guy. What is happening here?”

Ariel Landrum 14:33
When he was talking to them, was it a skit?

Stefanie Bautista 14:36
It was like pre performance.

Ariel Landrum 14:38
Ah okay okay.

Stefanie Bautista 14:39
So they were like, it was like they were existing. It was like that part where they’re just existing in the world. And they’re like talking next to the Quinjet and I’m gonna make him change.

Ariel Landrum 14:51
Oh poor IT guy.

Stefanie Bautista 14:52
But yeah, the poor IT guy but a lot of people wearing Shang-Chi shirts and just the outpouring have like the interest for Asian culture Asian food, the lines of the boba, like, I think that was just really heartwarming for me. Because you’ve you saw yourself fully represented in Disney culture. Whereas, you know, traditionally it was, you know, not like that. So I think that was a biggest thing for me taking a step back and just watching it all happen.

Ariel Landrum 15:21
Okay, okay.

Stefanie Bautista 15:23

Ariel Landrum 15:24
Did you get a chance to try the boba?

Stefanie Bautista 15:25
I didn’t because the line was so long.

Ariel Landrum 15:28
Ah no!

Stefanie Bautista 15:28
I did it which is why I was like, I just want to get the milk tea. Because I really love milk tea and I like it a certain way. I don’t like it too sweet and I don’t like it too sugary. So I was like, okay, if every time I get boba I asked for 25% or less sweet. Like just I just need a hint of it.

Ariel Landrum 15:49
For our audience members who maybe don’t know what boba is?

Stefanie Bautista 15:54
So boba is very similar to tapioca pearls. If you eat it, it’s very much gelatinous. So it starts off as you know, like a really hard tapioca bubble and then you boil it and it kind of opens up and becomes this like jelly ball. Many people refer to it as bubble tea on in some parts of the country. Uh, we refer to it here in Southern California, and I think mainly on the west coast as boba. But they can always be referred to as like popping pearls or pearls, things like that. And then you you drink it with a bigger straw so that you can get the boba inside so, like, it’d be interchangeable with like, lychee jelly or coffee jelly, grass jelly, things like that.

Ariel Landrum 16:35
It’s in milk teas or non milk teas. We put it even in smoothies. We put in slushies.

Stefanie Bautista 16:40
Yeah, smoothies, slushies. Anything really, it’s just basically like an add on inside a drink. Yeah. So I didn’t get to try it. Because if you could visualize if anybody’s ever been to that back area of California Adventure, there’s a restaurant there. And the lines stretch all the way to almost Inside Out at Pixar pier.

Ariel Landrum 17:02
Oh, wow. That’s a long line.

Stefanie Bautista 17:06
Very long. So I didn’t get it. I was like, I just want milk tea. And it was like, oh, man, Disney you did it again. Like you nailed it. I could taste the black tea. I could taste the milk. I could. I didn’t want to put it down. I almost drink it all in one go, which was good. And I got a really cool bamboo Mulan Sipper with it.

Ariel Landrum 17:27

Stefanie Bautista 17:28
Yeah. So what they do now is when you order like Order Special popcorn bucket, or a special sipper, they don’t put the drink in there anymore for you. They separate them so that you can have it pristine.

Ariel Landrum 17:39

Stefanie Bautista 17:41
In case you want to sell it again, or if you want to display it and not have it tainted. So that’s really cool because I already have the Moana sipper bamboo super now I have the Mulan one. So maybe we’ll have a Raya one one day, that’d be really cool.

Ariel Landrum 17:55
Yes, complete the collection.

Stefanie Bautista 17:57
Yeah. Of Asian American characters on bamboo sippers.

Ariel Landrum 18:02
Just need Lilo and Nani.

Stefanie Bautista 18:04
I know. Oh, that’d be so cool. But yeah, I think it was it was really great. And I hope that it continues to grow. I hope that it continues to bring awareness to multicultural characters in Disney. And it’s really cool.

Ariel Landrum 18:21
Your favorite character is Stitch from Lilo and Stitch. And you mentioned they were there. Were they in a procession? Or did you actually get to like, engage and take a picture with them. Because the last time you mentioned your experience at Disney, it was at Merriest Nites. And you didn’t get to take a picture with Lilo and Stitch because of the line.

Stefanie Bautista 18:38
They were more represented in merchandise. They were not there actually.

Ariel Landrum 18:42
Oh okay.

Stefanie Bautista 18:42
I feel that because we have Adventureland at Disneyland and this was at California Adventure. They’re more represented over there than here. So I feel like because they did Merriest Nites with Hawaiian Merry Christmas, they probably decided to skip this one. And I know they’re very limited into which characters they decide to bring out because they don’t want people gathering too much. So I did not see them. But it was really nice to see Mulan and Mushu because I don’t see them very often either. They had an infographic in front of the Lunar New Year area where they would describe the different ways that Koreans, Chinese people and also Vietnamese people celebrate Lunar New Year. I think that that was beautifully represented because everybody kind of think oh Lunar New Year. It’s only you know, people who come from China, but it really isn’t. And I know that a couple of things about China and celebrating New Year’s Eve. In Northern China, they traditionally like eating food that’s made of flour like boa, like I mentioned earlier pancakes, noodles and dumplings, especially. Families often make these dishes from scratch. Everybody makes their dumplings together. They make everything as a family. Kids typically search for lucky coin inside the dumplings, please do not eat this coin. I’ve known of people who eat these and it’s just not fun. The dumplighs are usually served with fish as it symbolizes abundance. Oh my gosh, I totally, this reminds me, they serve the whole fried fish at a restaurant back then. And they specifically say good for two people had the amount of aunties and uncles that I saw just like going in on this fish, like, I felt like I was in Chinatown. And it was so awesome. And had I known that because the whole fried fish, I would have saved all my trips. But, I mean, that’s insane.

That again, is really good representation. Because I know, I know growing up, because I I grew up with more my white side of the family, the idea of a fish looking like a fish when you eat it was like so foreign and and essentially, like a little, you know, a little bit as you know, xenophobia literally like, “Ew gross that’s that’s nasty.” Trying to like really make it sound like this bad thing. And it’s like it’s fried fish. The difference is mine looks like a fish and yours is a stick!

Not in stick form. It’s true. And I think the fact that frying a whole fish symbolizes that you’re doing well. That’s not always the case. Usually, if you are frying fish, they’re very small and the you know, you just sprinkle them on top of your rice to fry a huge fish like that, like a soul fish, or even a flounder or something like that that’s symbolizes a special occasion. And I think that’s Disney really recognizing that and being able to share that with your family and friends. Kind of just goes along with the values of Lunar New Year. So it was really awesome to see whole fried fish and they’re like good for two. But really, if you’re at Disneyland, like could be good for four or five. Yeah, so they also talked about in Korea, how Lunar New Year is one of the most important traditional holidays. You are paying respect to your ancestors and elders, which was represented in you creating those paper wishes you could also honor your ancestors there too. It looked almost like it could be a shrine in itself. Everybody is bowing to each other, of course, especially deep when you’re bowing to your elders. Wearing in traditional costumes like hanbok, and also receiving money, words of wisdom for the New Year from your elders. In Vietnam, and if many of you don’t know Anaheim is situated right next to Fountain Valley in Garden Grove, which has a huge Vietnamese population like huge it could be you know, Little Saigon is what they call many parts of that area. They celebrate Tết. And they it’s also celebrated the family food. They had many versions of banh mi there, which is the traditional Vietnamese sandwich with a French baguette because of its influences from the French over the years in history. Sticky rice cakes are made and served and everybody like in other Asian cultures, they go to the temple to pray for good luck, health and fortune.

Ariel Landrum 23:15
That’s way that Lunar New Year is celebrated essentially in China and Korea and Vietnam. But those aren’t the only East Asian and Southeast Asian countries that celebrate Lunar New Year. So we definitely have Singapore. 75% of the population is actually Chinese. And so the largest Chinese New Year festival is actually held in Singapore, they move it around in different locations. And just like Stef mentioned the red envelopes, which usually have money in them. They usually have the phrase foo which means good luck. And it’s customary to also pay respect to Buddha at the temple and lighting incense.

Stefanie Bautista 24:00
Shout out to two Crazy Rich Asians was in Singapore and we saw a lot of that awesome stuff in there.

Ariel Landrum 24:06
And then in Malaysia, the Lunar New Year is seen as welcoming of spring and a chance for families to come together for an annual reunion dinner so instead of going out to a festival you’re sort of staying in and they celebrate the holiday for 15 days. They have a salad dish known as yee sang and that they serve at every table and that represents good luck and prosperity and some of the traditional outfits they wear are cheongsam which are red. And if you are celebrating your Zodiac year so if so if you’re the year the tiger you need to be wearing gold that year to attract abundance. And then in Taiwan, most people go home similar to Malaysia to celebrate New Year with their families. They of course have dumplings themselves neon gao, which is the most popular one. And then it’s closely followed by pineapple always serving pineapple.

Stefanie Bautista 25:05

Ariel Landrum 25:07
And then again an exchange of red envelopes. And of course neighborhoods set off fireworks. Stef you want to illuminate us to the sort of like final country that we have learned can cel celebrate Lunar New Year?

Stefanie Bautista 25:20
Definitely! In the Philippines, they do also celebrate Lunar New Year I’ll be it it kind of, as Filipinos love to drag on their holidays like how September marks the start of the holiday season. They do like to drag on New Year. And this is mainly because there’s so many people in the Philippines who come from other descent. So there’s a lot of Chinese Filipinos. And there’s also a lot of you can even see like Vietnamese Filipinos, Korean Filipinos. So all of those different practices come into play for people who are living in the Philippines. And because it’s such a trade based country, there’s also people who come from China, Korea, Malaysia, everywhere really in Southeast Asia living in the Philippines. So they do celebrate Lunar New Year as well as regular New Year. And many of those traditions kind of cross over. So for instance, when the clock strikes midnight in the Philippines, kids will jump really, really high to signify that you’re going to grow taller. Clearly, I did not jump high enough because that did not happen to me, even though I tried my best to jump.

Ariel Landrum 26:28
Same! Same!

Stefanie Bautista 26:30
But anyway, it’s just one of those superstitions that you could do either in regular, you know, our Solstice, New Year or Lunar New Year, the most traditional celebration of the Lunar New Year or regular New Year is media noche, which is where Filipino families come together for midnight to eat, and also celebrate a year of prosperity. This is normally when we open up our gifts. So if you got a gift for Lunar New Year, if you got your red envelope, you would open it then while you’re eating. The table is usually full of round shaped fruits, you always have to have a bowl of your oranges, your melons, your papayas. Even limes and lemons. Anything that is round in shape of avocados, if you live in America here in California. As long as it’s round, it represents good fortune. This tradition originated from China as well. The food that’s typically eaten during Lunar New Year in the Philippines includes sticky rice dishes such as beko, bibingka, and yan gao. But anything that’s sweet, you’ll probably see it on your table. One of the most unique superstitions of the Lunar New Year in the Philippines is choosing to wear polka dots, as a round shape represents prosperity and money and good fortune. You’ll also see it in the regular new year with a lot of aunties just wearing all the polka dots that they could possibly find. Hats, scarves, socks two piece suit that way. And if they do go to the temple, if they go to church, the next day, they will continue to wear those spots, bocce, that so that they can continue to having that good luck for wealth and good fortune.

Ariel Landrum 28:10
Obviously, we’re of Filipino descent. So some of these things are things that we just kind of are aware of from having a diverse friend group, and interacting with individuals who have various traditions and what their traditions look like. And then there’s a difference between being essentially Asian American, Pacific Islander American, and then actually coming from the country and migrating over here because the traditions are different in regards to accessibility of certain things. Just like Stef said, like we might do avocados, because that is essentially round. And it’s what’s accessible out here. If, technically, February might still be at least in the Midwest, some winter, so access to like oranges might not be as easily accessible. The other thing is that, and this was something that’s Stef and I were talking about before the podcast was some of the ways at least in the Philippines, that traditions are being celebrated, kind of also have to do with how you identify your heritage and the connection you have in closeness to the Chinese community. Do you want to touch on that a little bit?

Stefanie Bautista 29:18
Yeah, I know that for myself having an extended family of you know, Filipinos. There’s many of us who have backgrounds that come from different parts of Asia. So for example, I have a couple family members who are extended parts of my family who have Chinese heritage and that means their last names are not of Spanish descent like mine is my last name Bautista. And some of their last names are you know, Goh or Kim or Lym is a big one. Also, if you’re looking at the ways that these families decide to pick their profession is very much based on whether you are of other descent or if you are purely Filipino. I know that in the Philippines, we all look very, very different because of the years of…

Ariel Landrum 30:07
Mass colonization.

Stefanie Bautista 30:08
Yeah, mass colonization. Throughout hundreds of years of the Philippines. It was only really recently that we gained independence. So you have families that came into power because they had Chinese descent. Or because they had Korean descent or because they had Japanese descent in them. So for many of my family members who are of Chinese descent, they almost view as themselves as a little bit in a different class than a lot of other Filipinos. My personal experience traveling to the Philippines, I realized that wealth and power are associated with those who identify with having Chinese Filipino background. If you just look at people who are in the Philippine cabinet, and people who are have political power, many of them have Chinese last names. And that, you know, has a lot to do with the trade that happens there that has to do with a lot of job opportunities. People who are business, people who are doing trade with the neighboring countries. It’s just always kind of been an unspoken truth, that if you have Chinese descent, you’re most likely to be in a position of power. And that also has to correlate with your skin tone. People who have Chinese descent are naturally lighter in skin tone, as opposed to those who are coming from the Morra regions or of Spanish Spanish descent also. But if you’re like Morena, which is a little bit darker in skin tone, you might not be looked at, as you know, ideally, aesthetically pleasing or beautiful. Because you are have darker skin tone. Now, it’s 2022 I know a lot of these stereotypes have been you know, broken by you know, a lot of Filipinos who have been coming into the mainstream world. People such as even Miss Universe, Pia Wurtzbach, who is of German Filipino descent, she is a little bit darker in complexion than some of the other beauty queens that we’ve had in the past. And she completely embraces her darker skin and you know, people around her who have darker skin. But it’s you know, it goes without saying that a lot of stigma when it comes to just viewing yourself and your position in the world because of your skin tone, your last name and your family status is still very prevalent in the Philippines and in Asian countries. So although Lunar New Year is seen, as you know, a celebration for prosperity and wealth, we must also remember that that is not equal for everybody who is celebrating.

Ariel Landrum 32:44
And for those who aren’t aware what Stef is describing. She’s describing colorism. Colorism is a practice of favoring lighter skin over darker skin. It’s essentially a prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone and occurs typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group. There are social implications that come with the cultural meaning attached to skin color, that end up favoring or oppressing someone within that culture. I think that it’s important to highlight this because I’m a tenant of being a clinician of being a therapist is to get continuing education and one of them being what we call cultural awareness. In this case, I say cultural humility. Essentially, cultural humility is defined as a lifelong process of self reflection and self critique whereby someone not only learns about another’s culture, but starts with an examination of their own beliefs and cultural identities. And oftentimes, what happens when you are working with diverse populations is you only know about the surface things you don’t know about the intricacies of identity. Stef really touched on sort of like the Filipino experience, and I know, I have friends and clients who are Taiwanese, and their experience is in regards to having Chinese descent is very traught in. Some people vehemently identify themselves as Chinese and some people vehemently does identify themselves Taiwanese and that cultural aspect, and essentially, a lot of political war going on, goes all the way back to even as high as the Olympics. The Olympics in Taiwan is called the Chinese Taipei. That’s that app that is their identifier. They don’t get to go in as Taiwan because the Republic of China though they fled to Taiwan and established essentially Chinese culture. China considers Taiwan part of China. And so, though Taiwan runs very much like its own country, I’ve had experiences or not personally, but I’ve had friends whose experience will say that when they want to visit home they have to have a Chinese passport. And if they write on paperwork that they are Taiwanese, they’ve had people cross it out and write Chinese. And those are experiences you aren’t going to know about if you don’t actually take the time to have cultural humility and learn about someone’s experience. There’s something that I do with my clients when it comes to creating more social awareness that I talk about the difference between understanding something and accepting something. So many clients will say that, “Oh, I understand that.” It’s like, okay, so you’re saying that you comprehend it. But you when you accept something fully when you accept someone’s full lived experience fully, you’re also saying you believe it. And there are a lot of times when we’re trying to create a connection with someone that is very different than our own will say, “Yeah, that makes sense. I understand. But…” So it’s not that we we don’t understand it’s not that we don’t comprehend, we use our critical thinking it makes sense. But we’ve now are saying just because it makes sense, doesn’t mean I think it’s true. Basically, that I understand, but I don’t accept, or in another way of putting it. I comprehend. But I don’t believe.

Stefanie Bautista 36:23
And I think that’s definitely something that not many people take the second to pause and think about, because they’re, they’re very much into how they are responding as themselves, but also how they are looking from the outside and seeing like how they are responding because they don’t want to seem insensitive, right? They don’t want to seem like they are not making an effort to understand. But there are many layers and depth to that understanding. Something that I thought about while you were explaining was as a Filipino American who has been born here, I didn’t realize those intricacies until I took myself out of my Filipino American self and placed myself as a Filipino in the Philippines. And that is a whole nother level of depth and understanding of my heritage, what my identity is, because I’m in a different setting. And I think that’s true for a lot of second generation Asian American Pacific Islanders is that not only are we grappling with ourselves as AAPI members in the American community, but who are we when we go back to our homelands? Where our true heritage lies, is it? Are we one way or another? And I think that’s where a lot of struggles happen. And a lot of self realization can occur if we take the time to be graceful to ourselves about it, but also have that humility that you mentioned.

Ariel Landrum 37:53
In regards to Disney and diversity and representation. I’m curious, Stef, do you think that there should be more representation that is based in reality or more representation that is an amalgam of or diverse like Raya? So sort of like thinking of like Raya and Mulan, which do you think has essentially more weight and representation? Or should we do more both?

Stefanie Bautista 38:20
I mean, that’s, that’s a multi layered question. I think. I know we have spoken offline about how we felt about Raya and how we felt, you know, having Mulan as somebody who we grew up with. I think, for me speaking for myself, Mulan, because it was rooted in actual Chinese tradition. It took place in China. We knew where she was they were fighting the Huns. These were people who are rooted in history that we are seeing come to life through Disney story. And of course, it was based on an actual Legend of Fa Mulan. Raya, on the other hand, was a fictional country that pulled from many Southeast Asian countries, but it was never specified. It was one or the other. It was Kumandra, which is a fictional country. Fang, Talon, all of those places it named from a dragon looking, you know, area which could represent itself from, you know, the rivers that flow through type of through Thailand, through Vietnam, the rivers that flow through the Philippines, because everything is so disjointed. I feel like it’s hard to encapsulate all of that. And Southeast Asian experience, which really, it goes from India, all the way to the Philippines and really beyond. You could even count parts of Micronesia I know you know, Guam, looking at Moana and how those themes were routed in Māori culture which is way down south and that is is another entirely deep and beautiful culture that, you know, you’re spanning over huge parts of the world here. I think a little bit of both is needed. Because yes, you want people to be introduced to these countries. But also you want them to realize that they exist to this day and they have rich histories and cultures that we can reinterpret. I don’t know if you heard of the movie coming out called Turning Red.

Yes with the red panda!

The red panda, and the red panda she is Asian American. Living in America.

Ariel Landrum 40:34
Yeah. And I think San Francisco because it’s always San Francisco!

Stefanie Bautista 40:39
Yes. And really, I mean, the only San Francisco Bay Area Asian type of representation is what we got was Big Hero Six.

Ariel Landrum 40:48
Yeah Baymax.

Stefanie Bautista 40:49
That was San Fran. Tokyo, so it wasn’t even…

Ariel Landrum 40:53
No, San Fransokyo!

Stefanie Bautista 40:54
San Fransokyo. There you go.

Ariel Landrum 40:55

Stefanie Bautista 40:56
So it wasn’t it. It was again, a fictional, mishmosh of places. But, I mean, I think that representation is completely needed, because you’re going to have little girls who are growing up now, who are third generation who are living their Asian American truth, as third generation and their parents are Asian American. It’s, I feel like as we go on through time, and how people of our generation are creating these movies, they’re our age now. So they want to see things that their kids will enjoy and identify with. And all of those levels I there’s just so much more than we could ever thought of. When it comes to that.

Ariel Landrum 41:40
I like looking at it from the lens of here’s what a traditional experience might look like for this one culture. But also here is what an experience might look like for someone who has multiple cultures or is essentially a mix. Especially if I think of like my own experience as someone who’s has has mixed culture. It really is hard for me to pinpoint something being essentially one thing, and then even having that one culture be a culture that has been colonized so much that we have adopted a lot of things as our own. And if I think of some of my family members, who might be identified, essentially more as indigenous Filipinos, how it looks nothing like what I’ve seen as considered traditional Filipino traditions.

Stefanie Bautista 42:29
Yeah, definitely. I mean, I couldn’t even tell you if I asked my nieces or nephews in the Philippines, like who who do they see in themselves? A they’re all speaking English. So I mean, there’s that they are not speaking Tagalog, or Ilocano, or Bisaya. Or their own their own native tongue unless it’s translated into that. I think the addition of Ned’s Lola in Spider-Man…

Ariel Landrum 42:55

Stefanie Bautista 42:55
She was not speaking Tagalog. She was speaking another dialect. She was speaking in Ilocano, which is one like the second biggest dialect spoken in the Philippines. But those are people who do not live in Manila. They live in Cebu. They live in the other major large islands. But when you think of the Philippines, you really only think of the mainland or well Manila. The main the main island, as I should say, so I think just those little instances of, “Yes, you exist.” All of that is important. And I think even though some people had things to say about Raya being is she Filipino? Is she not Filipino? I think her existence itself as a very powerful Brown, long hair just, you know, amazing all around badass of a woman. I think that was enough. I think that reach in itself was important.

Ariel Landrum 43:49
I think this also brings up the notion when it comes to AAPI awareness. And something my my clients struggle with with any form of awareness or social justice, is they experience something that is kind of identified as moral anxiety. Moral anxiety is an emotion we feel in the face of a difficult moral decision. We want to do something right or just or good, but we’re just not really sure how we’re supposed to do that. Then oftentimes, uncertainty prompts us to investigate and we find options available to us. We consider reasons for or against an action and we make a decision. So moral anxiety has a function that’s twofold. It essentially signals us to let us know that we’re facing a difficult moral decision and it motivates us to actually have gather information and make a decision. The struggle some of my clients face is they face something called analysis paralysis. A lot of my clients have anxiety disorders a lot of my clients have are neurodivergent and so their brain wants to essentially overthink a problem. Analysis paralysis occurs when we’re unable to make a decision. And we’re essentially ruminating or what’s known as like spinning the thoughts over and over. Or maybe it’s either the same thought or stream of thoughts. And it feels almost like a whirlwind going in your head or, or like falling down a rabbit hole. And that fear of peds is from doing an action because we can’t figure out which action is the most appropriate or the maybe the most superior solution to a problem. I think that that is something that has happened a lot for even the general populace in supporting the AAPI community. Because the idea of what supporting the community looks like, is very different from someone who’s within the community and someone who’s outside of the community. And so I think about ways that I teach my clients to like resolve analysis paralysis, something that we definitely talk about is executive functioning, making a decision is using your prefrontal cortex your front brain, because you have to plan you have to reason you have to execute. Some individuals have executive functioning struggles. So something that I talk about my clients who want to create more action whose morals tell them that they need to support the community, but they don’t know how I talk about ways to remove the executive functioning struggle ways to remove how to activate yourself. So a lot of them think like, “Oh, I’m only supporting the community, if I’m the person at the podium, like essentially leading the chant. If I’m the leader.” And a lot of times what we need is people to join an organization or community and do establish tasks that you don’t have to think about, but we just need you to do them. A common one my clients have found very rewarding would be just like sending emails to senators, or bill makers, that scripts already made for them. So they don’t have to come up with what they need to say. They just need to take the time out of their day to do it. That feels like moral action that is necessary, it actually is necessary. So it’s not just a feeling it’s an it’s a way to move the organization forward. And it removes the stigma of trying to come up with something from the ground up.

Stefanie Bautista 47:14
Yeah, for sure. I think when we bring that down to the level of a child, they see these things happening, and they go, “Oh, how am I supposed to change it. I’m just the kid.” And you know, the they see themselves wanting to help, but they also see themselves limited. And it’s, I feel like I’m very mild version of analysis paralysis, because they’re just like, at a loss like, “How, how do I help? How, how do I make a difference just being one kid in the first, second, third, fourth, or fifth grade?” And really, we tell our kids at our school, it just starts with being an upstander to your friends, if your friend is eating their hot bowl of rice and soup, and it doesn’t look like a peanut butter sandwich, it’s normal. Don’t call him out on it. Don’t make a comment on it. Just say, “Hey, that looks good. What is it called?” Ask questions about it. That is the best thing that you can possibly do when you are at a loss for any information. You could just ask about it. Because I don’t think there is any world where if you ask what are you eating, people be like, I don’t tell you./

Ariel Landrum 48:21
No. It’s usually oh my god, this is so good. It’s blah, blah, blah. My mom made it. I got it from this place.

Stefanie Bautista 48:27
Absolutely. I mean, I think just those little things. Why you why you do certain things. Why when you go over to a friend’s house, why do you take off your shoes before you go in? I’m not saying “Oh, that’s weird, or ew what is that?” Those things are hurtful. And, you know, for kids being themselves, they don’t want to be conscious about how they’re doing things, because it’s been something that they’ve been doing for years, or you know, they see people that they love doing those things like eating stinky tofu or eating, you know, rice and sour soup. These are things that are embedded in their identity and their culture and they don’t want to second guess themselves about it. Another thing that we tell our kids is to support small Asian businesses, if you are hungry, maybe instead of going to McDonald’s, go to you know, a local Chinese bakery or a local Filipino bakery or…

Ariel Landrum 49:19
Or Jollibee!

Stefanie Bautista 49:20
Or Jollibee!

Ariel Landrum 49:21
It’s fast food!

Stefanie Bautista 49:22
Even the Jollibee now owns coffee bean which is so bizarre to me now. Whatever, but get that get that prosperity y’all. Like whatever. I think just knowing that there are businesses that you know, aren’t the Big Four are the big three. Wanting to go to an Asian market and play with the crabs there. That’s totally normal. Like those small things that are embedded into our everyday lives. I think if we if we give a little bit of love and curiosity to them, it’ll tell kids have, you know younger generations that it’s okay to accept something that’s different. And because it’s different doesn’t mean it’s bad.

Ariel Landrum 50:07
And going back to like, even the executive functioning, and moral anxiety analysis paralysis, a lot of people will say, well, like, Isn’t it rude for me to even ask? And this goes into really understanding the difference between asking a question with curiosity and questioning someone.

Stefanie Bautista 50:26
Yes, yes.

Ariel Landrum 50:27
When you’re questioning someone, it always feels like you’re being interrogated.

Stefanie Bautista 50:30

Ariel Landrum 50:30
And you have to defend yourself. So, “Why are you eating that?” Does not sound curious. It doesn’t sound inviting, even though there’s a why in the question, it the tonal presentation implies that they have to justify their food choice, versus saying, “What are you eating?” And learning about that. Usually, that’ll come with the why that that’ll be, “Oh, I’m eating this. It’s my favorite food.” That’s all you need to know. That’s the only why you need to know or I’m eating this because it’s a Lunar New Year, and I want some good luck in my day.

Stefanie Bautista 51:01
Yeah, I know, for a lot of the teacher’s assistants and people who help out during lunchtime, I think if we’ve always told them, “Hey, if you see a kid eating something that’s different, like shout them out, be like, hey, you know, that looks really good. What is that? Does your mom make that for you? Like, that looks so good and appetizing? Like, I want to try that one day? Where can I find that?” Just kind of lifting them up in the small things that they have. Or you know, hey, that lunchbox is super cute, like, where did you get that? Just praising them for you know, their small things that make up their identity, I think is huge. And also diversifying your library for any educators out there, that is the best thing you could possibly do to represent your kids, no matter if they’re AAPI descent, they’re African American, if they’re, you know, of mixed race, the more you can diversify your library, the better you can, you know, reach out to your students without you having to do the heavy lifting. Because if they see themselves represented in a book, if they see themselves, you know, represented in pictures and writing, it doesn’t have to be a profound history lesson. It could just be like, hey, that kid looks like me.

Ariel Landrum 51:02

Stefanie Bautista 51:32
There is an author out there, there’s an illustrator out there that took the time to create this character that looks like me, I think that’s cool. And because I see myself represented, therefore I exist in this world, and I am not erased. And I think that’s the one of the biggest struggles of the AAPI community is the feeling of erasure. And that, you know, we exist simply to be in the background simply to be the model minority, just to kind of blend in with the crowd. And you know, just be thankful for your life here in America, which is very important. However, that doesn’t mean that you are taking up space in this world in this community.

Ariel Landrum 52:50
And really looking at the media were engaging in in regards to Asian created media, were the creators actually AAPI or not? And even with the model minority myth, that has led to a trope of the Asian best friend. As much as I love Disney media, even up into Spider-Man, his best friend is his Asian hype boy.

Stefanie Bautista 53:15
Who was behind the computer, aka the IT guy.

Ariel Landrum 53:18
The IT Guy. Yes, yes, literally calls himself the guy in the chair, I’m really accentuating that that’s a good thing. And no, it is not a bad thing. But when it becomes the fact that you engage in media, and that’s all you see of Asian representation, that starts to distort your belief system and thinking, and I know, in regards to mental health and wellness, when you don’t see a certain culture that you think struggles, you don’t provide them the support and aid that they need. And when it comes to you the way that Asians are represented in the media, it’s, you’re the smart one, you can figure it out, you have high prestige, you probably are a doctor, you probably are an engineer, you have all these things, quote unquote, going for you, that you there shouldn’t be a reason for you to be quote unquote, struggling. And that makes it a real, it feeds into a bias that we start to internalize. And when it comes to actually taking on media, where we start to see that this community has just as much struggles, if not more unique struggles or different struggles than me, that makes it easier to get access.

Stefanie Bautista 54:25
And multi layered structures. I mean, struggles that, you know, can stem from socioeconomic status to location to position to a self identity is a huge one that we especially a second generation Asian Americans struggle with. So, I mean, you’re absolutely right, just because you’re not seeing these struggles doesn’t mean they’re not happening. Because yes, there are struggles that you know, other cultures go through which, you know, we we do want to take care to highlight and be aware of it but diminishing another culture struggles is, you know, something that I feel like we’re slowly as a society moving away from which is great. But at the same time, I think on a level where you know, you are not consuming media like this, it really just has to be conscious in your everyday life that you know, you gotta you got to open your eyes a little bit more, and see who you’re around and just kind of take a step back because I know there’s a bigger conversation when it comes to workplace and diversifying the workplace diversifying. I mean, even people I know who work for Disney, I’ve been seeing many more opportunities given to Asian Americans. Netflix has a whole Instagram dedicated to Southeast Asian Americans called Netflix Golden, which popped up on my feed, I think just a couple days ago. And I was like, whoa, wait, what? Like, this is an I feel like everybody can kind of relate when they go. “This is weird, but I don’t hate it.”

Ariel Landrum 56:03
It’s like that pause of like, “I was not expecting this. And I I need to reconcile what I’m feeling right now.”

Stefanie Bautista 56:09
Yeah, I think they had a post. And I think it was a bunch of Netflix characters with their shoes on the bed. They were just hanging out with their shoes inside. And then it said, like, “The awkward pause when you’re trying to Netflix binge, but you notice all the shoes inside the house.” And I’m like…

Ariel Landrum 56:31
Okay, I have noticed that that’s true.

Stefanie Bautista 56:33
Yeah. I mean, it was like a scene from Stranger Things. It was like Never Have I Ever and a bunch of other like, super popular Netflix series. And I was like, LOL in my head. This is kind of funny. Cuz Yeah, these are things that like we would notice. Like, why? Why would they be doing that that’s, that’s not right. Or, you know, those, just the lens of specifically a South East Asian American watching Netflix shows, I think it’s so bizarre, but I’m here for it.

Ariel Landrum 57:03
When it comes to, you know, supporting the AAPI community in allowing your morals and values to move you forward. You know, there’s definitely engaging in Asian owned restaurants, engaging in Asian created media. The other thing is really attending a lot of Asian festivals. Just like because Lunar New Year is happening the first but it’s essentially going to go on all month, depending on the culture, there will be festivals. Take the time to go to them, they are outdoor, right, you can still wear your mask, you can social distance. But sitting in immersing yourself in the cultural experience is very different than sort of hearing about it.

Stefanie Bautista 57:46
Take the time to embrace every aspect of it. Because I’ve noticed over the years attending some of these markets and festivals, of course, many people go for the food because everybody can identify and connect with each other over food. But food is bad. And our food is Yeah. And that’s how a lot of you know, social media posts happen because you know, people are foodies. And that’s how they get their exposure. But take the time to watch the performances and the dances and maybe even like a martial arts demonstration, or you know, those types of things give you a different perspective on culture and dance. And performance is such a different way of expressing your culture that I think is so unique, and many people tend to forego because you have to stop and take the time to visualize and kind of soak it in. So I would challenge everyone to just like, look at the traditional dancing, like what does it tell you? Like, what stories do you pull from it? Because I feel like a lot of people Oh, you know, like, I love noodles and dumplings. And I loved Din Tai Fung and yet they don’t remember that there’s so many other aspects to you know, embracing that culture. And I think just stepping out of your comfort zone a little bit maybe could be very rewarding.

Ariel Landrum 59:09
Yeah, I think that there’s a lot of on the surface experience and really trying to go in deeper. Okay, so I watched this YouTube channel called Sorted. It is these four British guys who are best friends that one of them was a chef taught them how to cook. They branched out since that brand, and they had a good old Uncle Roger.

Stefanie Bautista 59:31
Oh, my boy Uncle Roger.

Ariel Landrum 59:33
Yes guest starring in a competition they’re making in regards to effect essentially like a fish soup. And one of the contestants put all kinds of seafood in his soup. And Uncle Roger said “That looks like it’d be good. No one would buy that. That is too expensive. That is not streetfood.” And all a hearing that you could see like the look on his face of it, that never occurred to me, because all the ways that he had the soup was essentially in a way that was more high end.

Stefanie Bautista 1:00:11
Mm hmm. Yeah. The main thing about Asian markets is that the food is close to dirt cheap.

Ariel Landrum 1:00:20

Stefanie Bautista 1:00:20
And that’s what’s fantastic about it, because then you could experience all the stalls. They’re really not supposed to be like, an I know 626 might Night Market is fantastic, but it will run your wallet a little bit if you’re not careful. I know everybody’s trying to make a living out here. And you know, food prices have gone up, especially since the pandemic happened.

Ariel Landrum 1:00:41

Stefanie Bautista 1:00:41
But at the same time, if you are looking at it from the perspective of accessibility, Night Market food is supposed to be meant to be affordable. And I totally understand that, you know, he’s right, no one would buy that. They will go to another spot and get the same exact thing for less because traditionally, it is seen as regarding to be frugal and not wasteful with your money because that is how you achieve prosperity and wealth.

Ariel Landrum 1:01:13
And even like other examples, I I know a lot of friends are like, “Well, I go to Korean BBQ.” It’s like, “Yes, but Korean BBQ is not the true like traditional regular meal. Like we aren’t sitting down and eating beef every single day. That is that’s that’s for like you graduated and we need to celebrate.”

Stefanie Bautista 1:01:34
Yes, absolutely. It’s not just like a regular meal. I mean, you lived in Korea Ariel. I’ve been to Korea. When I went I wasn’t trying to be like where is the all you can eat spot? That’s not a thing. It is an LA thing. It’s a total American thing. That I think that’s a whole nother nother conversation of Americans and the history of America changing Asian traditional foods to suit their palate and to suit their understanding of it. Their lifestyle. I mean, there’s so many documentaries around about General Tso’s chicken. There is a General Tso, he does not exist.

Ariel Landrum 1:02:16
Orange chicken!

Stefanie Bautista 1:02:17
Orange chicken, not a thing. Maybe orange or maybe fried chicken with like Mandarin peels that you could maybe find that but if you go and ask for, “Can I get orange chicken with fried rice?” You will most likely not get it. But yeah, like many of these things are just offshoots and tangents of you know, interpretations of traditional Asian dishes. And yeah, like I think the all you can eat thing was like the biggest realization of that, especially living in Southern California, where it’s a part of everyday life, but also, you really want to try not to mistake it for everyday Korean life.

Ariel Landrum 1:02:55
So we’ve definitely talked about ways that support the community certainly talked about what we hope Disney will add, change or adapt. And we talked about the festival that Disney had. Because this podcast is about a new year. I would like us to share our new year resolutions for this podcast. I’ll have you got Stef haha!

Stefanie Bautista 1:03:19
Ah, okay. Well, I mean, for me, I am so thankful that we are still doing this podcast we pass the the seven episode itch or what have you?

Ariel Landrum 1:03:29
Yes, yes, the curse. After seven episodes, it never happens again.

Stefanie Bautista 1:03:33
I think that’s a sign of prosperity. But I am so thankful for this opportunity to even like talk about things like my identity and my heritage through a Disney medium. I think that’s so unique and awesome. I know, there’s many, many podcasts out there. And I thank you all for choosing this one to spend your time with either on your drive in the shower, or whatever you want to do, we are here with you. So I want to keep it consistent. I think me and Ariel have found a really good groove on you know, doing this whole thing. And I think as we delve deeper and deeper and deeper into the layers of Disney, it’s different avenues of media. There’s just so much more to unpack. And you know, even though I think because we are coming to you with a psychological lens a educational lens, there are a lot of heavy things that we do think about and we do talk about. But we also want to highlight that, you know, this is still the Happiest Pod on Earth. And we want to make sure that we are keeping the happy in there. So I think finding that really good balance between the two helps me individually and I hope it helps you all too. So more sponsorships and partnerships if you guys want to partner with us. I would love to! Catch me at Disneyland with a tripod next time haha! And I would love to incorporate more educational resources I think as a new wave of teachers are coming in those of you who are staying in the profession, thank you. It’s hard, we are struggling every day and I see you, I’m going through it. And I understand if you are somebody who used to work in education and just couldn’t do any more I see you too It, it’s been a tough couple of years for us. So I think as you know, we get new people, we can work together and create more educational resources. And hopefully Disney sees that. That would be great. How about you, Ariel?

Ariel Landrum 1:05:28
My resolutions for the podcast is some regular shooting schedule, which is very difficult because our schedules are like not the same.

Stefanie Bautista 1:05:36

Ariel Landrum 1:05:38
But uh, in regards to consistency, at least knowing that we released earlier podcast episode a month, at minimum? As a as a baseline baseline, not minimum. The baseline.

Stefanie Bautista 1:05:50
Baseline, I like that.

Ariel Landrum 1:05:51
I’d like to dive deeper into specific characters we mentioned a few in each episode. But really diving deep into one given like highlighting or celebrating and essentially challenging one specific character, I think that would be really interesting. I want to increase connecting to the rest of the GT network, I’d like to have more of our fellow podcasters as guests on our channel here, seeing if we do some cross pollenization as it where. Definitely sponsorships and partnerships or donations and fundings would be really cool. I’d like us to present a panel and be panelists at a convention, when it comes to specifically the clinical psychological lens, say same notes to as Stef, all you therapists, whether you’re still doing it, whether you’ve stopped whether you’ve pivoted and are doing something completely different. I see you this is huge burnout in regards to most, I would say 98% of the clinicians weren’t doing telehealth, right. So that was learning that process was a huge bitch. And there’s so much burnout because everyone is struggling and we’re wanting them to be the ones holding the load were essentially Luisa. Take a break. Take a break.

Stefanie Bautista 1:07:11
Take a break. The donkeys will handle it.

Ariel Landrum 1:07:14
The donkeys will handle it. Take it take a week break if you can, two weeks preferably. I just really want to see us being rejuvenated and not essentially being burnt out this year. And I’m hoping that this podcast will give new lens and insight that can rejuvenate the desire to utilize essentially Disney in mental health, seeing how our way of helping our clients doesn’t have to be like Stef said, it doesn’t have to be sad, it can be happy. It can be exciting. It can be interesting. It can be curious. It can it can have resolution and healing, and not really always being like this long void of pain.

Stefanie Bautista 1:08:01
Yeah. Thank you for the work you do. By the way.

Ariel Landrum 1:08:04
Nah thank you Oh my gawd.

Stefanie Bautista 1:08:07
We are both struggling. I think this brand new year I feel like is refreshing. Even though we’re like a year three into this thing. I have high hopes. And I think as long as we continue to be there for each other, continue to listen to each other and continue to have grace and humility for one another. I think we can all come out of this with a better understanding of each other so that we can live our lives and hopefully even though it’s probably not going to be the same normal. We’re used to some sense of normality.

Ariel Landrum 1:08:46
Yes, yes. So in signing off if you are the year of the Tiger if you want to let us know your traditions for Lunar New Year or how you celebrated the calendar New Year. Please please tweet at us @HappiestPodGT or DM us at @HappiestPodGT. If also you have suggestions for things you want us to talk about on the podcast please holler at us let us know. We know there’s been a lot of random Disney drama going on out there. We don’t be sipping in the drama too much but if you need us to spill the tea we will spill the tea.

Stefanie Bautista 1:09:29
We will spill it in through through a therapy and an education lens. We will spell it. It will still be spelt but it will have a filter.

Ariel Landrum 1:09:38
Yeah, it’ll be it’ll be contained spillment.

Stefanie Bautista 1:09:40
Contained spillment? Alright everyone, we will see you next episode. Take care.

Ariel Landrum 1:09:48

Stefanie Bautista 1:09:48

Media/Characters Mentioned
  • Tiger
  • Rajah
  • Mulan
  • Raya
  • Lilo
  • Nani
  • Moana
Topics/Themes Mentioned
  • Holidays
  • Music
  • Tradition
  • Diversity
  • Family
  • Festival
  • Food
  • AAPI
  • Support
  • Social jusice
  • Social awareness
  • Analysis paralysis
  • Moral anxiety
  • Colorism
  • Anxiety

Questions? Comments? Discuss this episode on the GT Forum.

 Website: happy.geektherapy.com
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 | Stef on Twitter: @stefa_kneee | Ariel on Instagram: @airyell3000 |

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