Multi-American | How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Posts of the week: Syrian unrest and social media, a bittersweet family keepsake, more

A pencil box that survived a Japanese American internment camp, now one family's keepsake
A pencil box that survived a Japanese American internment camp, now one family's keepsake
Photo courtesy of David Toyoshima

This week's posts have covered things ranging from a hamburger menu in Spanglish to interracial marriage. But among the favorites have been a couple first-person posts, one which gathered the accounts of Syrian Americans uneasily following the violent unrest back home, and another from a fourth-generation Japanese American who recalled the story of a family keepsake, a souvenir of his mother's imprisonment in a Wyoming internment camp during World War II.

Without further ado, here are Multi-American's posts of the week:


'I can't get these images out of my mind': Syrian Americans on revolution, death and social media Watching the violence spread in Syria, Syrian Americans in Southern California have been trying to follow the news from afar, often relying on social media. As they fear for loved ones, it's difficult for some to keep up their hopes seeing the raw photos and footage; one woman even saw photos of murdered relatives online.


Need a last-minute pink teddy bear? Try one of L.A.'s curbside cupids Who are the people who camp out on Los Angeles street corners selling teddy bears and flower arrangements late into the evening every Valentine's Day? Chances are they're enterprising immigrants, most likely with other jobs as well. Two of them tell their stories and discuss how they do it, assembling the gifts at home then taking them to the street.


The pencil box: A Japanese American family's souvenir of internment Feb. 19 marks the 70th anniversary of the signing of an order that authorized the forced relocation and internment of more than 100,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. In this moving essay, contributor David Toyoshima tells the story of a small prized possession that his mother took with her to one of the camps, something he treasures today.


'Oprime el red button': Do burgers in Spanglish satisfy? The use of Spanglish is becoming a favorite way for advertisers to reach younger Latinos, along with English. But authenticity is key, and experts say that if Spanglish is used, it needs to be used in the right context with the right message. Now a fast-food chain has launched a website with menu choices in English, Spanish, and Spanglish. Does such an approach work?


Interracial marriage: Who is most likely to 'marry out,' and where The Pew Research Center has further distilled the data on interrracial and inter-ethnic marriages, breaking out who is most likely to "marry out" and where these marriages are most likely to take place (the West wins). Changing demographics and greater social tolerance are cited for contributing to the growth in mixed marriages, but not all the news is good, including a greater tendency to divorce.