holinglogo2014

2016 A Passage to China

The Moon Gate

featured photos 301 20160721 1390441618To the Chinese, the circle signifies completeness. In the old days, every married couple treasured a round bronze mirror: their happiness complete. The roundness of the full moon is of course an image to be celebrated and emulated.   Thus the moon gate in the Chinese garden was born. To step over the threshold of the moon gate is to enter into a special space, one to be savored in leisure and enjoyment.

In 2016, the kiosk linking the Rotunda to the Nickelodeon Universe became available to Passage for the first time in several years. It offered us an additional entrance into the Rotunda and we seized the opportunity to create our very own moon gate, one that would entice Nickelodeon patrons to step into our unique space, to begin their own passages to China.featured photos 300 20160721 2095120748

To create a moon gate there presented us with many challenges. The lack of guide wires over the kiosk pre-empted the option to hang the gate, similar to our Gates of Mutual Understanding and Courtesy at our two other entrances. Stand-alone structures, in order to meet safety concerns, required a massiveness that we wished to avoid. After numerous trips to the MOA and countless designs, we hit upon a design to build the gate with translucent fabric and to suspend it from stand-alone 8-foot pipes. The resulting golden moon gate is light and airy, inviting and, most importantly, sturdy enough to meet the Mall’s safety concerns.   For the first time, a steady stream of visitors came in through the gate from the Nickelodeon Universe, testifying to its success!

After nine years, Passage has settled into a steady rhythm. Many returning attendees, with new family members and friends in tow, knew what to do or expect. They also delighted in discovering new activities, such as a chance to try the classic Chinese instrument, qing, or gathering enough daring to try the cerebral game of Go. Trying on Chinese costumes continued to draw, particularly when paired with a chance to have a photo taken next featured photos 302 20160721 1878316680to our terra cotta warrior. New cooking demonstrations, heavy on garlic and spices, added a new dimension to the sights and sounds of the Rotunda.

Over at Sears Court, cultural performances, announced by the ever-popular lion dance, proceeded without a break for four hours or more each day. The highlight was the Kanle Senior Citizens Band. Their hairnets and ‘instruments’ of pots and pans brought much applause from, and knowing smiles in, the appreciative audience. This year also marked the arrival of real-time technology at Passage.  Under the watchful eye of wizard Will Ahern, performances at Sears Court were brought live to the jumbotron in the Rotunda.

Another first at Sears Court was the inauguration of a new CHF program: the Young Volunteer Award. Junior High and High School students who volunteer 20 or more hours at Chinese cultural events in a calendarfeatured photos 304 20160721 1011345850 year will be recognized and awarded a certificate from our founder and president, Ming Tchou. This year we recognized our first recipient, Summer Ahern. Summer has volunteered at Passage and other CHF events since 2009, accumulating many more than 20 hours. She is the inspiration for this service award. Many congratulations, Summer!

Too soon, our two-day festival came to a close. So many Mall goers now have come to expect to see us every spring. We bid them a fond ‘See you next year!” in a joyful sigh of satisfaction.

 

Dream Committee

Andrew Lawrence

Mary Yee

Ben Torrell

Dominic Wong

Gary Lee

JC Wang

Ken Lau

Margaret Wong

Nancy Tang

Ling Nei

Pearl Bergad

Tim Moy

Will Ahern

Whitney Clark

Yen Chin Woo

Yin Simpson

Zhen Zou

 

 

 

Passage Volunteer Appreciation Picnic

On a sunny July 17 morning, many volunteers gathered at the home of Passage Chair Ken Lau and enjoyed a tasty picnic consisting of BBQ chicken, grilled vegetables, various salads and fruits, and many cookies and cake for dessert.  Everyone enjoyed the opportunity to relax and get to know each other outside of the hustle and bustle of Passage.  John, Ken's son, had thoughtfully erected two tents to shield us from the hot July sun.  While children played on the spacious lawn, adults stretched back on the comfortable chairs and soaked in the warm rays of the MN sun.  Everyone had a wonderful time!

2014 A Passage to China

 

Future Leaders

As we headed into our seventh presentation of A Passage to China at Mall of America we were excited to have a small corps of young volunteers staffing some of our activities table: a new initiative for us. Who better to interact with children than someone their own age or slightly older? Ten-year-old Chris was eager to show his peers how to mold heads of terra cotta warriors. Recently arrived from China, he interacted easily with children from all cultural backgrounds (Asian Indian, African Somalis, Hispanics, and native Minnesotans and all), no English proficiency needed. Ninth-grader Zoe and tenth-grader Summer were so busy working at the print table (this year’s most popular activity) that they barely had time to greet each other before children descended on their table. For the next three hours they were individually so busy helping an endless stream of children that they never had a chance to chat. This printing activity, the first to highlight the fact that printing was first invented in China, showcased, with the aid of a Gelli printing plate, many of the quintessential emblems in Chinese art: the horse (this being the Year of the Horse), the ginkgo leaf (integral part of Chinese herbal medicine), or the bamboo stand (the Chinese painter’s perennial goal.)

In the meantime, Zoe’s younger sisters, Lydia and Anna, saw to it that the tables in the eating area were kept in good order. Across the Rotunda, thirteen-year-old Caroline handled the role of mentor with the ease of a veteran. To the Passage Committee, the lesson from these young volunteers is clear: they are our future leaders. Provide youngsters with an engaging environment and they will thrive. Encourage them in volunteerism and they will give back ten fold. Offer them a chance to be the ambassadors of their own culture and they will shine. We have seen our future and it is them.

This year Passage also expanded into a new space in the Southeast Court of the Mall. We showcased two exciting and informative exhibits. The first one, created by China Center at the University of Minnesota, consisted of 10 panels commemorating 100 years of Chinese students at the University. The second one, curated by our very own style maker, Yin Simpson, displayed court costumes, as well as costumes of citizens and ethnic minorities, in China in the last two centuries. They were graciously loaned to us by Minesota Chinese Dance Theatre, U MN Chinese Scholars and Students Association, Margaret Wong, and Yin Simpson.  Gracefully draped on versatile stands, these costumes enticed visitors into the exhibit space and linger. This fashion exhibit also caught the eye of the local TV stations: three of them featured our fashions in the three days leading up to our opening! You can catch them here:

http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/video/10022796-take-a-passage-to-china-at-the-moa/

http://www.kare11.com/story/life/2014/04/02/passagetochina/7194037/

http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/story/25163988/a-passage-to-china-at-mall-of-america

Over in Sears Court various cultural performances held sway throughout the two days of Passage. Many more school children (another good sign) participated than before. Nothing warmed the hearts of the elders more than to see young children merrily singing away in Chinese, or dancing traditional Chinese dances. It was the nonchalant ease with which they performed that brought a smile to an elder’s face. And as always, the drums of the lion dancers got everyone’s attention and put everyone into a festive mood. They are truly the Chinese equivalent of a trumpet fanfare.

The multi-faceted nature of our offerings and our annual residency at Mall of America had helped to generate anticipation and excitement among festivalgoers.  Each morning they were lined up outside our gates waiting patiently for us to open, and many lingered inside long after we were officially closed at 5 o’clock in the evening.

Passage, a volunteer-driven festival, owes its success to the participation of 54 organizations, a hard working Planning Committee and an army of volunteers. We send a heart felt thank you to you all and see you the first weekend in April in 2015!

Passage Committee

Ken Lau
Gary Lee
Greg Hugh
Yin Simpson
Zhen Zou
Margaret Wong
Pearl Bergad
Ming Li Tchou
Paul Chen
Cari Lee
Michelle Cao
Henry Han
Ben Torell
Whitney Clark
Mary Yee
Michelle Lee
Will Ahern 
J.C. Wang

Arts Subcommittee

Gary Erickson
Ying Liang
Angie Brain

Participating Organizations

Asian Creations

Breck School

CAAM Chinese Dance Theater

Carleton College Chinese Music Ensemble

Carleton College Singers

ChinaSprout Inc.

Chinese American Academic and Professional Association in Minnesota 

Chinese American Association of Minnesota (CAAM)

Chinese American Ballroom Dance Association and Dance With Us America

Chinese Musical Gallery 

Chinese Social Service Center

CIAC Travel Inc.

Concordia Language Villages

David Fong's Lion Dance Team

Dragon Festival

Dragon Gate School of Tai Chi Chuan

Families with Children from Asia

Gary Erickson

Golden Leopard Martial Arts Center

Green Dragon Kung Fu

Ha Family Entertainment and Family Troupe

Hongde Lion Dance Association

Hopkins Xin Xing Academy

Hui's Lucky Dragon Dance

Jie Ming Mandarin Immersion Academy

Legacy Adult Day Care Chorus

Legacy Performing Art Studio

Little Swan Dance Studio

Mandarin Links LLC (student performance)

Mingzhou Hua Xia School

Minhua Chorus

Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Minneapolis Plum Blossom Kung Fu School

Minnesota China Friendship Garden Society

Minnesota Chinese Dance Theater

Minnesota Minghua Central School

Minnetonka Public Schools

MN Historical Society

Muzi Youth Chorus/Li Lei Music Studio

Pak Mei Athletic Association

Panda Express

Stages Theatre

Tea Garden

Ting James Kong Studio

Twin Cities Chinese Dance Center

Twin Cities Go Club

U MN China Center

U MN Confucius Institute 

US China Business Connections

US-China People's Friendship Association, MNChapter

Wei Ming Chiang Studio

Xu Qian Studio

Yang Ye Tai Chi

Yinghua Academy

 

Volunteers

Demi Madison           

Mary Chen     

Summer Ahern

Will Ahern

Luke Audette

Cindy Bai

Heather Ball

Danling Cai

Audrey Chan

Ivy Chang

Carmen Chen

Jing Chen

Ye Cheng

WinnieCrosbie

Wenyun Dong

Christina Erickson

Todd Erickson

Bernice Folz

Walter  Graff

Katy Guo

Jill Huang

Henry Han

Jijun He

John Ho

Eric Hsu

Jo Hui

Marlene Hui

Yin Jiang

Kaishan Kong

SharonKwan

Ida Lano

RuskinLi

Hung-ying Liu

Ana Ly

KelseyMacKenzie

Maya Maddaus

Anjali Maddock

Jane Mahowold

Stephen Mao

PatrickMcKinney

Stella McKinney

Matt McMillan

Sofie Mirviss

Robin Monty

Paula Moy

Brad Navarro

Sarah Penman

Duncan Phelps

Henry Phelps

Natalie Roberts

Qinyun Shao

Pei Shen

Liying  Shi

Foley Simons

Scott Simpson

Yin Simpson

Anna Suiter

Lydia Suiter

Yue-him Tam

Steve Tsai

Priscilla Van Sloun

Fion Wang

Jingbo Wang

Mary Warpeha

Elliott Weiler

Elizabeth Wilcox

Nathalie Wilson

Dominic Wong

HunterWong

TannerWong

Amanda Wooden

Kim Wu

Maureen Wu

Tian Xia

Bingwen Yan

Flora Yang

James Yang

Lu Yang

Lijuan  You

Maddi Youngdale

May Yue

Demi Zhang

John Zhang

Mary Zhang

Patty Zhao

BolingZheng

Tianxiao Zhu

Yin Jiang

ShiyunLi

Catherine Wong

 

 

 

 

2015 A Passage to China

Taking a Stand for Peace and Mutual Understanding

In February, as our preparations intensified for our 8th Passage at the MOA, the terrorist group Al Shabaab issued a video calling for attacks on U.S. shopping malls, including MOA. We did not take this threat lightly, and neither did the MOA. We met with Mall officials, and they briefed us on FBI and Homeland Security intelligence assessment that showed no credible specific threat to the Mall. They also showed us their own enhanced (and mostly behind the scenes) security and heavy surveillance efforts; and promised extra security measures (some visible and some invisible) in both the Rotunda and Sears Court during our event.

With this assurance and support from the MOA, we decided to go forward with Passage, while giving all participating organizations and volunteers the option to withdraw. We were very grateful to the many organizations and volunteers who chose to remain with us as we made a stand for peace and understanding, as proclaimed in our Gates of Mutual Understanding and Mutual Courtesy.

Under the vigilant eye of the Mall’s extra security personnel David Fong’s Lion Dance Team proclaimed the opening of Passage at 11 AM on March 14. There is really nothing that better heralds fun and excitement than a lion dance! Audiences lined up along the banisters on every floor of the Rotunda and every head on the escalators was turned towards the lion dancers as they made their way around all the tables. As soon as the dance was over, eager attendees, children and adults alike, streamed towards the tables where organizations and volunteers stood ready to engage them in activities such as Chinese papercuts, Chinese chess and Go, tangrams, speaking Mandarin, learning to use chopsticks or make dumplings or writing with a brush. Crafts projects such as making a porcelain medallion necklace, or a print, or a terra cotta warrior head on a stick remained popular. Fortune telling was always sought after, particularly since this year a new generation of young and yet so sincere soothsayers came forward from among our volunteers!

The central 'palazzo', created by the semi-circular arrangement of tables in the Rotunda, became the gathering spot for old friends while new acquaintances drew on their positive energies to build connectedness.  All this took place under the gaze of our six-foot-tall Terra cotta warrior who stood sentry on the west end. He also became the favorite backdrop for visitors as they tried on different historical fashions styles from the last dynasties. Many cell phones were held up high to record the glamorous moment. Quzheng music, provided by Lauren Moy nearby, completed the experience of old world elegance.

Over in Sears Court smooth operation was the order of the day. Streamlined logistical arrangement for performers eliminated the crowdedness around the stage area. Improved communications between performers and sound technicians led to a much smoother performance environment. As always, our variety of performers, ranging from Chinese classical music (guzheng, pipa, singing) to martial arts, Chinese dance and qigong, offered the audience a feast for both the eye and ear.

In addition to the lion dances, technological improvements and presentations on the jumbotron in the Rotunda attracted many more onlookers on the upper levels.  Once again, this year’s Passage became another favorite memory in our expanding story book.

The Passage Committee is grateful to the MOA for delivering on its promise of extra security. It enabled us and our participating organizations and volunteers to go forward with our goal of promoting mutual understanding and courtesy among all Minnesotans.

For a more complete description of the porcelain medallion activity, please visit 

Participating Organizations:

Asian Creations

Breck School

CAAM Chinese Dance Theater

CAAM Chinese Language School

Changqing Senior Chorus

Chinese Acupincture & Herb Center

Chinese American Association of Minnesota

Chinese Musical Gallery

CIAC Travel Inc.

Concordia Language Villages

David Fong's Lion Dance Team

Dragon Festival

Dragon Gate School of TAi Chi Chuan

Fair School

Families with Children from Asia

Gary Erickson

Golden Leopard Martial Arts Center

Green Dragon Kung Fu

Ha Family Entertainment and Family Troupe

Hongde Lion Dance Association

Hopkins Xin Xing Academy

Hui’s Lucky Dragon Dance

Hunan Folk Association

Legacy Performance Arts

Li Lei Music Studio

Little Swan Dance Studio

Mandarin Links LLC

Michelle Low

Minhua Chorus

Minneapolis Plum Blossom Martial Arts Center

Minnesota China Friendship Garden Society

Minnesota Chinese Dance Theater

Minnesota Chinese Opera

Minnesota Minhua Central School

Minnetonka Public School

Muzi Youth Chorus

Pak Mei Athletic Association

Panda Express

Spring Forest Qigong

Ting James Kong Studio

Twin Cities Chinese Dance Center

Twin Cities Go Club

U of MN China Center

U of MN Confucius Institute

US-China People’s Friendship Association MN Chapter

Xu Qian Academy

Yang Ye Tai Chi

Yu Cai Chinese Language School

 

Volunteers:

Summer Ahern

Cindy Bai

Aaron Bergad

Robert Bergad

Corey Bergad

Angie Brain

Michelle Cao

Ivy Chang

Paul Chen

Qin Chu

Winnie      Crosbie

Stephanie Duong

Gary Erickson

Jessica     Fang

Mike Ferrell

David Fong

Donald      Fong

Eddie Fong

Stephen Fong

David Fong Jr.

Becca Guo

Jill Huang

Joe & Marlene     Hui

Amy Kong

Sharon      Kwan

Ida Lano

John Lau

Ken Lau

Abby Le

Cindy Le

Hannah Le

Rick Ledford

Gary Lee

Michelle Lee

Chris Li

Kan Li

Lang Li

Michelle Li

Yi Li

Yueyi Li

Ying Liang

Christy     Lovlie

George Luangoudom

Hannah Lund

Jane Mahowold

Stephen Mao

George      Maverick

Ann Meier

Monica Ngo

Amy Nguyen

Lianna Novitz

Jordana Palmer

Victoria Qian

KyokoSakai

Qinyun Shao

Julia Shi

Mei Shu

Anna Suiter

Lydia Suiter

Zoe Suiter

Ben Torell

Steve Tsai

Danli Wang

Jingbo      Wang

Elizabeth Wilcox

Cathy Wong

Dominic Wong

Ruth Wong

Qifan Xiao

Shuwen Xu

Bingwen Yan

Alice Yang

Flora Yang

Ying Yang

Yehua Yao

Mary Yee

Nora Zhan

John Zhang

Liming      Zhang

Andrew Zheng

Boling      Zheng

HongJuan Zhou

Tianxiao Zhu

Cheng Ye

Wenjuan Wang

Ai-Ai Lin

Lu Yang

Bo Liu

Ying Li  

Jing Wang

Yupeng Deng  

Fang Wu  

Hailei Xie  

Cory Brathall

Luyi Lien

Yu-Chia Chen

Jasmine Lu