Archive for the ‘Arts&Culture’ Category
January 19, 2009
by Antonio Graceffo
Antonio Graceffo is the former assistant head of Private Wealth Management for one of the largest private banks in the United States. He is now an adventure and martial arts author, and has lived in Asia for many years, publishing four books and several hundred articles in magazines and websites around the world. He has worked as a consultant and writer for shows on the History and Discovery channels and appears on camera in “Digging for the Truth” and “Human Weapon”. Antonio is host of the web TV show, “Martial Arts Odyssey.” He was embedded with the Shan State rebel army in Burma, documenting human rights abuses, and doing a film and print project to raise awareness of the Shan people. To see all of his videos about martial arts, Burma and other countries, click here. Check out his books here. Visit his website at www.speakingadventure.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“During a lecture in Germany, I once fell asleep while waiting for the verb.” — Paraphrase, Mark Twain
About the story.
Many Americans don’t know this, but author Mark Twain once spent a year studying at the university in Heidelberg, Germany. While there, he wrote an article entitled “On the Awful German Language.” I found the article humorous, as it explored a lot of the same frustrations I experienced, studying at a German university about fifty miles away. And so, I began writing a series of language articles, entitled, “On Learning the X language.” Chinese and Korean went off without a hitch. But the one I wrote about Khmer came back to haunt me.
Once the article was published, I received a constant slue of emails, primarily from overseas Khmers, complaining that I had insulted their culture. It became so bad that my life was actually threatened on more than one occasion. The pinnacle came when one of the magazine editors received an anonymous email saying, “We know your daughter goes to X school. And we know where your wife is. If you ever publish another story by Antonio Graceffo, we will kill them.” (more…)