Bill Wading presents "All the Tea in China"

2013 Chinese New Year Bazaar

Chinese New Year Bazaar

13cny 25 20140103 1333758643On January 20, 2013 On a blustery cold January day dozens of families, with children in tow and totaling close to 200, came to the Chinese New Year Bazaar presented by CHF Friends. The party room of Gramercy Park Co-op had been transformed into a festive Chinese home, complete with red lanterns, red couplets, symbolic firecrackers, and iconic fresh flowers. Chief among the flowers were narcissus flowers, peach blossoms, and chrysanthemums. And of course there were oranges – symbols of gold.

The children were intent on learning Chinese characters through paper cuts, and trying hard to learn how to wrap dumplings. Under patient tutelage recalcitrant fingers soon turned nimble and characters and dumplings came flying off the tables. While children learned a traditional Chinese song, the parents were browsing through many choices of propitious sayings, to be written out in Chinese calligraphy in the form of a couplet, trying to decide what would best fit in their own home.

There were of course many delicious traditional New Year foods to be tried. Gourmet chef Linda Tam had prepared many traditional offerings, including arrowroot, lotus root, black fungi, lotus seeds, gingko nuts, lily flowers, etc. A vegetarian dish is a must on New Year's Day: a sign of respect for the sanctity of life. There were also the celebratory sesame balls, peanut puffs, and dumplings.

Many families who came to this event were new to CHF Friends. So there were many warm greetings and getting-to-know-you conversations going on. Everyone agreed this event was fun and pledged to attend moresimilar events in the future. The afternoon was capped by President Ming Tchou bestowing the traditional hong bao on all children. They left this memorable event with big smiles on their faces.  

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For coverage in China Insight, please visit:http://www.chinainsight.info/component/content/article/225-community/980-chinese-new-year-preparation-101-presented-at-gathering-by-chinese-heritage-foundation-friends.html

A Passage to China 2010

May 22 & 23

CHF presented its third annual free outreach event, A Passage to China, at Mall of America on May 22 and 23. With a new, more spacious table layout and eye-catching overhead decorations in Best Buy Rotunda, families, with elders and young children in tow, enjoyed fun-filled and leisurely visits to our many activities booths. Our cultural entertainments, expanded to cover the entire two days, kept audiences enthralled in Sears Court. Read more.

2011 Open House

CHF Open House October 16, 2011

Engaging the Young While Remembering the Old

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On a brilliant Sunday afternoon close to 100 people came to the Chinese Heritage Foundation's 7thannual open house at Gramercy Park to celebrate another eventful year in the Foundation's young history. Under the watchful eye of gourmand Yin Simpson a festive table of hors doeuvres (hot crab dip, tea leaf eggs, peanut puffs, almond cookies, pea pod chips and fresh fruit, etc.) greeted attendees upon their arrival. A warm hum of conviviality abounded as old, as well as newly found, friends sat next to each other and got caught up on community news.

general5img 2 20131107 1404051004The theme for this year's program centered on engaging the young while remembering the old. Ida Lano began the program by introducing the Foundation's grant recipients, many of them young students, from the past year. 13-year-old Sarah Becker attended the National History Day competition in Washington D. C., while second and third graders at Yinghua Academy were treated to an engaging lecture/recital by cellist Evan Drachman and pianist Mary Au. Two recent graduates of Patrick Henry High School were able to attend a weeklong training and performing arts program, in Chinese, at the International Meeting of the Confucius Institute headquarters in Beijing, China. Following along a student's path, Dr. Gary Cohen, chair of the History Department at the University of Minnesota, gave an update on the CHF endowed graduate fellowship in his department. To date, three CHF fellows have completed their Ph. D. programs and returned to Mainland China and Taiwan to begin their teaching careers.A concert by the China National Broadcasting Chorus, organized by the Minnesota Chinese Dance Theater, rounded out the Foundation's grant activities.

2011-1 17 20131107 1444131814Margaret Wong then introduced the Foundation's Chinese Minnesotans of Note awards for 2011. The recipients were the 19 Chinese American young men who served in the U. S. military forces during WWII. Families of several of the deceased veterans were on hand to receive posthumous award certificates on their behalf. Among them were families of William, Thomas and Robert Wong (Betty Hum), Albert Wong (Mary and Mona), Phillip Huie (Leslie Huie, Maryanne Lo and Oy Anderson, John and Carol Huie), Fred Wong (Pearl, Judy, Karen, Patricia, Janice and Ronald), Danny Woo (Lila and Linda), Richard Hom (Blanche, Daniel and Chris Fong), Albert Hum (Allen). Families of George Sing Gee and Walter Hong were not able to be present. Of the two veterans currently residing in the Twin Cities, Fred Hum was too frail to travel. But Archie Hum, accompanied by daughter Missy and her husband, was on hand and generously shared his reminiscences of his WWII times in the Philippines. At present the Foundation has little information on the following veterans and would appreciate any information on them: Bing Hum, Henry Lee, Lim H. Wo, Harlan Wong, and Walter T. Wong.

For many of these veterans, this was the first time their valor was publicly recognized. While itgeneral5img 5 20131107 1094413715 was unfortunate that it did not come during many of their lifetimes, their surviving families were visibly moved by this belated recognition. They were appreciative of CHF's goal to keep this little-known history of our community alive and expressed their quiet pride in their husbands/fathers in different ways. Some wanted their mothers to savor that public recognition moment alone, while others chose to stand with them. Ron Wong spoke eloquently of his father's (Fred) abiding dedication to his adopted country and recalled many family vacations centered around visiting military bases. All survivors expressed their heartfelt appreciation for this spotlight on their loved ones.

CHF Friends chair Greg Hugh concluded the program with a brief report on the Foundation's acclaimed annual outreach event, A Passage to China, at Mall of America last April. The dates for 2012 will be April 21 and 22. As attendees bid each other good byes, the Foundation looks forward to another year of meaningful pursuits in our community.

For more information on the Foundation, please visit www.chineseheritagefoundation.org.

For coverage in World Journal, please visit http://worldjournal.com/bookmark/16144940


A Passage to China at Mall of America April 16 & 17 CHF Friends presented its fourth annual outreach festival, A Passage to China, at Mall of America on April 16 & 17. By the time it closed Sunday afternoon, it had drawn a record 13,000 attendees and spectators. Read more

A Leisurely Evening at a Chinese Home On 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.

A Leisurely Evening of Jade Appreciation at a Chinese Home On 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.

Calligraphy Team 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 the 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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2010 OpenHouse

The Tie That Binds

October 17, 2010

generalimg 13 20131107 1146965860One of the goals of the Chinese Heritage Foundation (CHF) has always been to bring different segments /generations of the local Chinese community together. At its sixth annual open house it did just that. There were nonagenarians and newborns, first generation immigrants and fourth generation ABC's (American born Chinese), as well as academicians and small business owners. The atmosphere was convivial, the tone celebratory, and the food scrumptious.

There has been much talk; most of it under the table as it were, about the gulf that separates the intellectuals from the restaurateurs within the Chinese community. Does it really exist? And if so, generalimg 15 20131107 1679348836does it last beyond the first generation?

The honoree for CHF's Chinese Minnesotan of Note this year was Jane Wilson, a 95-year-old lady who has spent the last 64 years nurturing three generations of Chinese Americans, watching them go from restaurateurs to other professions such as physicians and engineers, or remain in the family business. In her eyes, they are the same people, whatever their professions: all are warm, tight-knit, reverential of teachers, and respectful of family values and traditions. She loves them all.

That was the spirit that prevailed at the CHF open house. Attendees celebrated the accomplishments of CHF in its brief 6-year history. Continuing grant giving for worthy projects, such as CAAM Chinese Dance Theatre's outreach program for underprivileged school children and Families with Children from Asia's retreat for adolescent and teenage Chinese adoptees, gives relevance to the existence of the endowed CHF Fund. A Passage to China, the successful community-wide interactive cultural excursion and performances at Mall of America and a project of CHF Friends, highlights the need to promote mutual understanding among all Minnesotans.
The Volunteer of the Year Award, going to Moon Fong this year, emphasizes the generalimg 50 20131107 1037837227importance CHF places on volunteerism.

Responding to popular requests, CHF Friends (the activities arm of CHF) has decided to present more cultural/social activities in the future, on a membership-driven basis. Membership is open to interested people of all ages and ethnicities. An initial call for members at this meeting netted more than 20 enthusiastic responses. More information on its direction will be available shortly.

As it approaches its 10-year mark, CHF (in both its grant making and cultural activities) will build and expand on the common ground that binds all Chinese Minnesotans together. It will recognize and embrace differences, whether they be regional, geographic, linguistic, or social, and celebrate the common heritage and humanity among us all.


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