Bill Wading presents "All the Tea in China"

2015 Ming Tchou Receives The Brightest Minnesotan Award

Ming Tchou Receives The Brightest Chinese Minnesotan Award / The First China Tribune Cup

On a bitterly cold January evening the party room at David Fong’s Restaurant was warm and festively decorated.  China Tribune, the local Chinese newspaper, has launched a program to salute the Brightest Minnesotan among us.  During 2014 readers to the newspaper nominated and then voted on 10 nominated individuals.  The accomplishments of those nominated included: decades-long enthusiastic volunteerism in the Chinese community; contributions to welfare and well-being of Chinese citizens, in particular the elderly; promoting mutual understanding between the Chinese and greater Minnesota communities; trying to save the life of someone drowning; contributing to the cultural and musical vitality of the Chinese community; actively supporting civic engagement in the wider community and recognition by city government; supporting the musical arts; recognition by U.S. President George W. Bush; running a model car business with honesty and integrity and practicing fair pricing; contributing to dialogues between China and the U.S.

Tonight the winner of the voting would be announced.  David Cheng, publisher of China Tribune, announced that the overwhelming winner was Ming Tchou!   The entire audience erupted in cheer.  Everyone was delighted that Ming, a longtime force in philanthropy and volunteerism in our community, was truly the best nominee for this meaningful award.  Many prominent members of our community, including Vincent Mar, John Zhang, David Cheng, spoke movingly in honor of Ming.  They cited different good deeds that she had done without fanfare and without expectation of public recognition.  Her long-time involvement in U.S. Chinese People’s Friendship Association, Chinese Senior Citizens Society, and Chinese Heritage Foundation, which she founded in 2004, has set examples for everyone on how to live a good and productive life.

After dinner a steady stream of old friends came up to greet Ming.  Everyone was thrilled to see that she was doing so well after recent health challenges.  Below is a copy of the testimony given by John Zhang on Ming.


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2014 Open House

It seems that the sun is always shining on the day of CHF Open House every year, and it was no exception this year. A jovial crowd gathered promptly at the festively decorated Gramercy Party Room, having become accustomed to being treated to a light but festive luncheon buffet, 14openhouse 5 20150819 1035521674beautifully presented under the watchful eye of Yin Simpson.

The year’s open house was devoted to the two signature projects of CHF: A Passage to China and the Dream of the Red Chamber Opera Project. Representatives from three organizations that have participated since the beginning spoke: Joan Brzezinski from China Center, Sophie Liu from Minhua Chorus and Melody Zhou from CAIC Travel.   All three 14openhouse 16 20150819 1482344022spoke movingly about the contributions Passage has made in connecting our Chinese community to the greater Minnesota community and the 14openhouse 10 20150819 1733578207international shoppers at Mall of America.

After a lovely musical interlude featuring Lauren Moy on the guzheng, Pearl Bergad, chair of the Dream Committee, gave a brief synopsis of the genesis and progress of the Opera Project (http://www.chineseheritagefoundation.org/programs/dream-project.html), from the advice from the American Composers Forum at the beginning to engaging Kevin Smith as our advisor to San Francisco Opera signing on to produce the opera. It has been a fantastic journey and everyone is looking forward to its world premiere in September 2016. Karen Himle, a member of the Dream Committee, then gave an overview of the Project’s financial goals and progress and invited everyone to participate in this exciting venture.

Following concluding remarks by Margaret Wong, the appreciative audience chatted with each other and helped themselves to one last round of desserts before dispersing.

2011 Calligraphy Committee

2011 Calligraphy Committee Activities

The Calligraphy Team has been highly popular and active this year. It celebrated Chinese New Year with visits to Normandale French Immerion Scool, Midtown Global Market and the Marsh. It offered both name translation, fortune telling, paper cutting instructions and an occasional lion dance.

For Asian Pacific Heritage Month calligrapher Stephen Mao offered a lecture demonstration on thegeneralaimg 6 20131107 1762821319 origin and evolution of Chinese calligraphy at Hennepin County Library in Plymouth. During the summer the team participated at Peace Games offered by the Minneapolis Parks and World Fest in Blaine. It rounded off the year by visiting YInghua Academy on grandparents day and Stephen Mao and Stephen Tsui talked about World War II, foods of Taiwan and Mainland, and different currencies in use in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Mainland.

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We invite you to join us at all our public activities, such as our Open Houses, Leisurely Evenings, A Passage to China at Mall of America, and other periodic outings.   Comes to these pages to see what is coming up, or peruse our past events.  Find out what took place, who said what, and best of all, what we ate!

2011 Leisurely Evenings

A Leisurely Evening at a Chinese Home

generalaimg 29 20131107 1823053882On March 18 the Chinese Heritage Foundation Friends launched its occasional series of activities at Gramercy Park. Titled A Leisurely Evening at a Chinese Home, this series attempts to reproduce an evening in a traditional multigenerational Chinese household in a simpler time. In many ways it succeeded: the ages of attendees stretched from 3 months to 96 years old! The 3-month-old luxuriated and slept contentedly in the many pairs of loving arms that enveloped him, while his 2-year-old brother played the Chinese game of 5-piece chess with gusto with his much older challengers. Elsewhere therewere tables of intense mahjong players sitting next to novices who were just trying to recognize and sort out the tiles. The quiet, complacent bridge-playing table on the other side made clear why laughter and chatter make mahjong such a social activity. The strolling elders, nodding appreciatively at the table showcasing paper cutting, shared laughter with each other, completing this picture of harmony and fun. Asian Max Catering provided a satisfying buffet dinner.

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A Leisurely Evening of Jade Appreciation at a Chinese Home


generalaimg 30 20131107 1806796084On May 20 the Chinese Heritage Foundation Friends continued its occasional series, A Leisurely Evening at a Chinese Home, at Gramercy Park. Adding jade appreciation as an educational component to the evening saw many attendees bringing their family heirlooms as well as recent acquisitions for all to enjoy. A sparkling jadeite bangle bracelet found a companion in a variegated nephrite one, while a translucent white phoenix looked over its shoulders at a 'mutton fat' little boy bearing a bat (the word 'bat' in Chinese is a homonym to 'blessings' and therefore a symbol of good fortune) on his back. How does one explain to an innocent 9-year-old that the chocolate brown color in a white jade bangle is really not due to it having been buried once with a corpse and therefore stained by the blood of the deceased, as legends would have it? Everyone was deeply appreciative of the willingness of everyone else for bringing in cherished objects and sharing the family stories behind them. We were all richer because of them.
In between jade jam sessions, many novices at mahjong congregated at two tables to unravel the mysteries behind the tiles. Similarities to bridge notwithstanding, the seemingly infinite possibilities of pairings and sequences within each 'suite' continued to confound. The tactile satisfaction of feeling the carving on the individual tiles added to the game's fascination. No wonder it is touted as an invigorating game for seniors!
As the evening drew to a close, young and old alike, satiated with good food from Golden Bamboo Catering and relaxed from easygoing conversations, smiled and bid each other farewell, until the next time.

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